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Finding the perfect, affordable, versatile, go-anywhere, do anything sportcoat/blazer

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    Finding the perfect, affordable, versatile, go-anywhere, do anything sportcoat/blazer

    Hello Dappered family,

    Many of you have helped me in my quest to find a great suit (still working on that), but in the meantime I want to continue to grow the staples in my wardrobe. Thus, the next most important piece on my list is a great blazer/sportcoat.

    The focus on this should be versatility and affordability (something under $150, preferably). I want something that I can dress up with khaki chinos and dress shoes, or dress down with some dark wash jeans, clarks, and a gingham button down. Something that can be worn casually out to bars or with friends, and something that can work in an office. I live in Seattle, so I'm not averse to relatively hefty fabrics (perpetual grey skies). I'm a 6'0, 140lb guy, so slim fits are necessary, and my jacket size is a 36 or 38 regular (depending on brand).

    I'm open minded on color or pattern, but my research tells me that a staple blazer should be in Blue or Grey.

    Let me know your suggestions, thoughts, or ideas.

    As always, I appreciate everyone in this online community. I'm learning so much from you guys, and I look forward to passing on that knowledge to my friends (who suddenly think I'm a fashion maven), and to new members on this site.

    #2
    Picked one of these up at Zara for $119. http://www.zara.com/us/en/man/blazer...2p2810273.html
    if you want to try it for free at no cost I can sent you an invite code to try.com.

    Comment


      #3
      I feel the best answer for this is a nice cotton sport coat instead of the usually mentioned navy blue wool sport coat. I, and a few others, feel wool jackets do not look great unless your pants are creased and depending on the jacket you decide on, the texture may appear to formal in a lot of the situations you listed. A cotton jacket will be able to fill all of your categories.

      One quick question, can you wear cotton blends? I know there was something a while back where a wool/X blend would not work. Is that still the case?

      I think you could fine something in the JCrew, JCrew Factory, Banana Republic, Uniqlo, JC Penny range to fit your needs. This will be a lot easier than the suit.

      Comment


        #4
        I have been on a JCP kick lately and mentioned my experiences with their Stafford Merino Wool sport coats on another thread. I have two of these, and like them a lot. They put out a new batch of them recently, and they are currently at $80 with 20% discount. Additionally, JCP has tall sizes if that is a consideration for you.

        Regardless of brand, I encourage you to get it altered to take care of any minor adjustments. A lot of guys skip this step. A well fitting jacket should always be the standard you strive for - even with lower priced garments.

        I always stick to 100% wool, even though there are lots of good choices in all price ranges and fabrics. I personally would not consider anything that wasn't at least a wool blend {or possibly cotton}. Wool looks best to either dress up - or down, IMO.

        Grey, Blue yeah...but don't rule out browns, olives or possibly light tan. And you don't have to necessarily stick with solid textures to be versatile. Sharks, pindots, herrings, checks and windowpanes work well especially for a more casual look.

        I do not own any true "blazers" in my collection. I don't much care for the mostly solid polyester-looking colors those come in, nor the goofy looking buttons you usually see on them. But that's just me...good luck

        Comment


          #5
          I would agree with Hobo Johnson. The JCP Merino wool sport coat, in 36R, would probably fit you pretty decently off the rack and, after 30 bucks of tailoring, would fit like a glove. I am 6'2" 180 and wear a 38R in this (I tend to like my sport coats a bit shorter in length, otherwise I would wear a Long size).

          Comment


            #6
            [MENTION=13756]Michael Lemus[/MENTION] just personal preference here, but I'm not the biggest fan of the buttons or same-color elbow patches, though it's a nice jacket. I'll keep it in mind.

            [MENTION=4069]JBarwick[/MENTION] Great memory! Thanks for keeping my religious limitations in mind. I'm should be able to wear cotton blends -- the restriction is focused around garments where fabrics derived from plant and animal sources are interwoven. For more info see the wikipidia article about Shatnez

            I tried on a cotton blazer from J crew a while back (this one, I think) and totally loved it. I agree, the cotton blazer looked less formal, and more likely to pair well with jeans. Glad to hear this will be easier to check off the list than the suit (which I'm still agonizing over). Any specific suggestions you think I should look at?

            [MENTION=14519]Hobo Johnson[/MENTION] cool tip! I might check out the JCP offering soon, but unfortunately the closest store to me is not so close, so I may explore other options first. Also, as Jbarwick suggested, I kindof like the idea of something in cotton (easier to dress down). I certainly won't rule out this option, or other colors/textures, but for my first sportcoat I want something super classic. My thought was to go grey herringbone for my second sportcoat, then branch out to olives or browns.

            [MENTION=9624]dancinginyourhead[/MENTION] second vote registered for JCP. Same response as above.

            Comment


              #7
              For the most versatile option, it should be navy. I am not sure about the cotton versus wool. Some cotton fabrics can look pretty rugged/casual and off place in the winter. The formality of wool often comes from the structure/ fit/ details. My preference would be an unconstructed partially lined or unlined navy wool sportscoat (?patch pockets).

              Comment


                #8
                compelling argument for wool, [MENTION=12115]doomx[/MENTION]. Any coat you can think of that fits your criteria (and stays within my budget)?

                Comment


                  #9
                  There is a cotton/wool blend, which I believe is rabbi approved (i actually asked a rabbi about shatnez a couple shabbots ago), suitsupply hudson for $500. It can easily be used as a navy suit or a blazer. I have it and it is great. As a suit it may be a little more casual than what you're going for.




                  This is it.

                  EDIT: I know you're price range is $400 and $150. This might kill two birds with one stone and leave some money in the bank.''

                  Oh yea, before I forget, it does have big lapels. I'm guessing they're about 4", which I actually like.
                  My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSs1xkOEoJdPfZ4KRW575qA

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'll add another vote for a cotton navy blazer. I find it easier to dress up a cotton blazer than to dress down a wool blazer, but my own personal lack of skill probably accounts for a lot of that.

                    Joe's recommendation for the JCF Thompson Chino blazer is spot on here. In fact I love this thing so much I ended up getting two of them, because I expect it to endure heavy use.

                    The other "staple" blazers I wear in casual settings are the Uniqlo Light Cotton Jacket and Dry Lightweight Jacket. Unfortunately they are mostly out of stock now, but if you can find one you should try it on and see if you like it. As a slight caveat, they do have a shorter tail and many here on Dappered treat that as a negative, but I'll let you in on a little secret: Girls in California LOVE those chopped tails... It's been a while since I've visited Seattle, but I remember the vibe there being pretty similar to CA.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I think the Hudson that [MENTION=14255]thecharlesg[/MENTION] mentioned is great, but the lapels are a bit aggressive.
                      For something cheaper as a blazer, this may be a good option: http://www.uniqlo.com/us/product/men...t-158105.html?
                      I like the JCF Thompson that [MENTION=14363]donniedemarco[/MENTION] linked, and I am actually looking for it to go on sale since my BR cotton one is falling apart, however I am not sure I would recommend this for the MOST versatile option. I am also not a big fan of the weak JC/JCF lapels. In general you should go try out all these things (and more) and get what fits and feels the best.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by doomx View Post
                        I think the Hudson that [MENTION=14255]thecharlesg[/MENTION] mentioned is great, but the lapels are a bit aggressive.
                        For something cheaper as a blazer, this may be a good option: http://www.uniqlo.com/us/product/men...t-158105.html?
                        I like the JCF Thompson that [MENTION=14363]donniedemarco[/MENTION] linked, and I am actually looking for it to go on sale since my BR cotton one is falling apart, however I am not sure I would recommend this for the MOST versatile option. I am also not a big fan of the weak JC/JCF lapels. In general you should go try out all these things (and more) and get what fits and feels the best.

                        I was actually going to recommend uniqlo. But he is tall (6') and thin (140). He would require a small which would be way to short. I'm 6' 180 and can squeeze into a small but it looks ridiculous.
                        My Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSs1xkOEoJdPfZ4KRW575qA

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by doomx View Post
                          I like the JCF Thompson that donniedemarco linked, and I am actually looking for it to go on sale since my BR cotton one is falling apart, however I am not sure I would recommend this for the MOST versatile option. I am also not a big fan of the weak JC/JCF lapels. In general you should go try out all these things (and more) and get what fits and feels the best.
                          Totally agree on the JCF lapels. The Thompson lapels are better than the Ludlow's (which I consider too slim), but even the Thompson may be too slim for some.

                          And my bad on overlooking the sizing situation here... At 6' 140lbs, you'll probably need a longer coat (unless your height is in your legs, as it is for me).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            [MENTION=14255]thecharlesg[/MENTION] You anticipated my responses very well! The lapels are a big concern, because 4" is just huge when I'm wearing a 2" collar and a 2.5" tie. It's also just a teensy bit darker than my ideal shade of blue. Nice thinking with the two birds one stone solution, though!

                            [MENTION=14363]donniedemarco[/MENTION] the Thompson chino seems pretty pricey. $188 now on sale -- I could have picked up my ideal blazer (the Ludlow in Italian Cotton) for about that much this summer. If I'm going to cough up that much for a blazer, I'll wait for the ludlow to drop in price.

                            [MENTION=12115]doomx[/MENTION] I'm reaaallly curious about the uniqlo blazers (and oxfords and chinos and...) but I just can't bring myself to pay for shipping (and probably the necessary return shipping) to try stuff on. The good news is that there is a store opening up near me "this fall" (infuriatingly, they won't provide more specificity). If I don't find something before then, I'll be all over that store. I'm so pumped. I'll be able to work out any fit issues when that happens.

                            [MENTION=14363]donniedemarco[/MENTION] (again) - I'm not bothered by slim lapels, especially given my thin frame. I know trends may be changing, but I'm not daunted by the cut on the Ludlow (or thompson etc).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Danny View Post
                              the Thompson chino seems pretty pricey. $188 now on sale
                              I totally agree, don't pay $188 for that blazer! I bought both of mine for under $100 (it goes on sale all the time), so you just have to wait for the next sale.

                              Comment

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