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