A Gentleman’s Guide: 6 Ways To Sport A Summer Blazer

Work or play, in the latest edition of A Gentleman’s Guide, we check out a few ways to wear this season’s wardrobe essential:

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  • Photograph by Mr Julien Boudet/BFA.com

It’s always heartening to see the first signs of summer’s advent – the swooping swallows, the Wimbledon wash-outs and the return of the lightweight seasonal blazer. The latter has long been celebrated as one of the most versatile items in the male wardrobe, equally au courant with shirt and tie or jeans and tees, but there is a world of fabric, colour, pattern and accessory combinations out there beyond the standard (and unimpeachable) navy. Take your cue from these street-style blog regulars, and forgo any hint of a jaded jacket in favour of a blazer glory.

BOW TIE, WHITE NOISE

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  • Mr Angelo Flaccavento. Photograph by Mr YoungJun Koo/Lickerish

Mr Angelo Flaccavento, writer, Sicilian native and street-style blog favourite, is a bit of an authority on blazers – a blazer-domo, if you will. He puts “unlined blazers that are softly tailored” at the top of his wardrobe-staple list, and among the styles he favours –denim, linen, seersucker – this white version might well be ivory-towering. Why? It’s cool enough to withstand the searing midday heat of Taormina or Torremolinos, it offsets the burnished tones of a summer tan quite exquisitely and, if you style it up – as Mr Flaccavento does here, adding pops of colour with a striped shirt and patterned bow tie – you’ll nail the visiting-professor-of-English-literature-at-the-University-of-Mississippi look more than adequately, while stringently adhering to Mr Flaccavento’s own style mantra: “trying too hard is not elegant”.

A LIGHTER SHADE OF PALE

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  • Mr Luca Rubinacci. Photograph by Ms Valentina Frugiuele/Blaublut-Edition.com

As the scion of a Neapolitan tailoring dynasty, and someone happy to fulfil a customer’s brief for a “pyjama tuxedo”, you can’t teach Mr Luca Rubinacci anything when it comes to a super-stylish mix of formal-informal, structured-soft and classic-exceptional, evinced by the way he carries off this sky-blue linen blazer. Its DB cut is rendered so-laid-back-it’s-practically-horizontal by the easeful hue, the slouchy low buttoning (“the Neapolitan way”, as Mr Rubinacci is fond of describing it), the breezy patch pockets, the languid puff of the pocket square and – most of all – by the turn-back cuffs, which give some welcome built-in air-con as well as the ability to display your collection of summer festival bracelets while reaching languorously for the nearest negroni, or similar.

ROYAL NAVY

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  • Mr Nick Sullivan. Photograph by Mr Christopher Fenimore

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy,” sang Ms Ella Fitzgerald. She didn’t quite add, “Fish are jumpin’, and the cotton-linen count is high,” but that’s no reason not to anoint the navy cotton-linen blazer your premier wardrobe stand-by for the summer months. Of course, the navy blazer’s go-with-literally-anything-ness is a given, whatever the time of year, but it really comes into its own during the more temperate seasons, when it perfectly complements all those lighter shades you’ll be reaching for – white, pastels, softer tones of blue – and demonstrates its super-adaptability, whether smartening up astriped T-shirt and jeans over poolside cocktails, or putting a suave DB spin on anOxford shirt and white trousers – a look championed here by Mr Nick Sullivan, fashion editor of US Esquire. Follow his lead and, sartorially at least, there won’t be nothin’ that can harm you.

GREEN ENERGY

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  • Photograph by Guerreisms

Do you have the bottle to go green? It’s a blazer shade that’s been unfairly maligned, perhaps as a result of the boxy garment presented to the winner of the Masters tournament every year. It may be the premier symbol of golfing genius, but it’s more budgie than eagle when it comes to putting on the style. This gentleman shows that the right shade of green – bold, bright, cut with viridian verve rather than spinach slump – can make a dynamic alternative to more regular blazer tones, particularly if accessorised with smart, clean summer accents of navy and white. It may not improve your handicap, but it’ll do wonders for your swing.

CUT TO THE CHASE

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  • Photograph by Mr YoungJun Koo/Lickerish

Deconstruction, as a concept, wouldn’t work too well when applied to a set of Ikea bookshelves or a railway bridge, but it’s practically de rigueur when it comes to the relaxed, supple cut and fit of the modern summer blazer. Popularised by the Neapolitans, who know a thing or two about keeping their innate cool as temperatures reach boiling point, the deconstructed blazer largely dispenses with lining, padding, shoulder pads, chest canvas and other standard tailoring building blocks, resulting in the easy wearability and dress up/dress down versatility seen in the navy/stone iterations modelled by these two gentlemen. Follow their less-is-more example, and slip into some consummate soft-power dressing.

PUCKER UP

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  • Photograph by Mr Marc Richardson

If seersucker hasn’t been getting a lot of love in recent years – with a Missouri legislator proposing a ban on anyone over the age of eight sporting the fabric, harrumphing that “adults look ridiculous in seersucker suits” – it’s because those who go the full ’sucker tend to look as if they’re on their way to an Atticus Finch lookalike contest. Much better to emulate this gentleman, and bring seersucker firmly into the 21st century by teaming the blazer’s bold lines (and, lest we forget, its peerless puckered weave, which facilitates heat dissipation and air circulation) with a deep navy T-shirt and trousers – and yes, even a beanie, should the sirocco make its presence felt along the Croisette – for an effortlessly modern look that more than earns its stripes.

~Mr Porter

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