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Despite the negative association of resentment and a need to rebel against "the system" that enforced the school blazer, outside the school gates it can play a much more relaxing role.
In essence, a blazer is just the top (best) half of a suit, sawn off and given freedom to mingle with whichever trousers or jeans it pleases. For that reason, a smart, well-fitted blazer possesses a transformative power, injecting sophistication into an otherwise normal outfit. It is the ultimate smart-casual item. So, shed your school-day fears and embrace what is a versatile tool to have in your wardrobe. Here's our pick of the best men's blazers you can buy.
First things first: your wardrobe should hold a pinstripe blazer. Head to Saint Laurent for the best offering: a single-breasted, two button design with a notched collar and two flapped pockets. Subtle but strong. $1994 at ysl.com
Gucci is here to fulfil our double breasted dreams with this navy blazer. With huge peak lapels as a centre piece (the bigger the better, always), this is a seriously sharp dose of tailoring to complete your attire (day or night). $1960 at matchesfashion.com
Corduroy is a smart, stylish and practical material to embrace through winter. We're big fans of this bottle green design by De Fursac, featuring a Milanese open buttonhole and two back vents. Comfortable, yes, and also super elegant. FYI: there's matching trousers too. $310 at defursac.fr
Bottega Veneta is serving up serious cashmere dreams with this double-breasted design. This jacket is wintry, rustic and a pair of jeans' best friend; ideal for a weekend excursion or Friday night drinks. Glass of red wine imminent. 3630 at bottegaveneta.com
If louche is what you're after, take a trip to Cos. This wool-mix blazer is finished with a full lining and two vents at the back, meaning it's technically sharp but allows relaxed freedom of movement. For total elegance, invest in the full suit set. $234 at cosstores.com
Husbands is here to dress the men who enjoy enlightening conversations. This full canvas cashmere jacket is cut from a vintage houndstooth fabric – a perfect companion for straight-cut jeans by day and straight black trousers by night. The French way. $1653 at husbands-paris.com
If full-blown logo mania is too much for you, we advise opting for Prada's more subtly stamped take on the trend. Cut from a mid-weight twill, this single-breasted blazer brings a fun take to classic dressing. $2179 at matchesfashion.com
Stripes are always a shout, especially when they clad a design by Hedi Slimane. This cream Celine blazer is a great option for your "smart casual" event – made from satin wool and topped with cotton tennis stripes. Styled all black, this has serious Studio 54 vibes. $2533 at celine.com
Kim Jones has got us covered for unconventional takes on tailoring. Our favourite? This Tailleur Oblique jacket in wool and mohair, sealed with a side double-breasted structure. Sharp design, modern appeal – what more could we ask for? $2858 at dior.com
Since watching Tarantino's Once Upon A Time, we can't get chestnut jackets out of our mind. Fortunately, Ralph Lauren is providing the answer: a suede, single-breasted sports blazer that will see you through any activity, be it horse riding or partying. Brad Pitt would be into it. $516 at ralphlauren.co.uk
Our go-to for Italian tailoring? Brunello Cucinelli, of course. Top points for this deconstructed, one-and-a-half-breasted blazer – style and comfort have never been so hand in hand. $3014 at brunellocucinelli.com
For that perfect blend of Ivy-League preppiness and understated attraction, a trip to Drake's is calling. We're super into this checked wool blazer: with its earthy shades, soft natural shoulder line and barchetta breast pocket, it's ticking all the right boxes for sophistication. $1293 at drakes.com
The best way to enjoy winter? A classic bit of corduroy. Holiday Boileau's Ivy suit blazer has zero padding and zero lining, making it a brilliant piece to layer over a thick cream turtleneck. $434 at holiday-paris.fr