A good jacket is a life force. It makes what­ever you wear with it sharper and a bit cooler

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - THE CONVERSATION -

Rumour has it not ev­ery­one’s as sold on blaz­ers as I am.

Is the name a bit louche? Too Nigel Havers?

For­get the nomen­cla­ture and any pre­con­cep­tions you may have about them be­ing un­com­fort­able, too stiff, un­flat­ter­ing if you have boobs. A good jacket is a life force. It makes what­ever you wear it with look firmer of pur­pose, sharper and a bit cooler.

It has to be the right one, and I’m not go­ing to lie – you need pa­tience. I’ve been hold­ing out for six years to find a re­place­ment for a per­fect grey, sin­gle-breasted An­to­nio Ber­ardi that I wore un­til it was thread­bare. When I fi­nally saw an Alexan­der McQueen one that looked as though it might just do the trick, it sold out while I was still de­lib­er­at­ing over the (as­tro­nom­i­cal) price.

That’s the other thing. They tend to cost a packet. Or tended to. J Crew’s Re­gent blazer – a slen­deris­ing sin­gle-breasted marvel with a stand-up col­lar and just the right amount of stretch – is around £285 for the wool ver­sion. Un­for­tu­nately, de­spite this be­ing one of the best re­viewed items on its web­site, J Crew had hardly any sizes avail­able in store and no idea whether it would be get­ting more. When I mum­bled some­thing about or­der­ing on­line, the (hon­est) as­sis­tant ad­vised me that the sizes were in­con­sis­tent. If you can lay your hands on a Re­gent in the cor­rect size, do so. The other promis­ing style at J Crew is the dou­ble-breasted, gold-but­toned Dover, which works un­done as well as fas­tened up.

Fashion is push­ing over­sized styles but they only work on bean­poles. If you want to dis­guise a small amount of ex­cess weight, neater, slim­mer out­lines are bet­ter. Other mark­ers of a good jacket in­clude con­trast lin­ings, a proper breast pocket, vents, ex­pen­sive but­tons and a cut that sits flat over the torso when done up. Try on as many as you can stand. Move your arms around. You want this to make you look great, not the back of your chair.

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