Tan France Selects Three Of The Best Out Of Office Blazers For Men

07 February 2020
Style, Tan France, Fashion, Blazer, Office style, Prada, Gucci, Vetements
Image: Illustration by Michael Hoeweler
Our style columnist explains why blazers aren’t just for the office

Every decade has had a moment where blazers become hot again. Need I remind you of the extended (and mostly glorious) blazer era of the ’80s? Good news: as 2020 kicks off, we’re in that moment right now.

Read More: Tan France Is GQ's International Man Of Style

Of course, wearing suiting to the office is a given – however you twist it or remix it to make it your own. The working man’s uniform is something we’ve touched on in these pages before, and I’m pleased to say that the 9-5 blazer has never been easier to pull-off, with impact. But I’m more interested in what’s happening outside the office.

Blazers are appearing more and more, particularly in streetwear – vacuumed up into that wonderful world of comfort, voluminous fits, bright neons and really stylish details.

Read More: Tan France On The Out of Office Wardrobe

And look, before you write-off the blazer as drab, uptight or dull, you need to reframe the way you look at it. Yes, a leather bomber is sexy. A killer moto jacket makes you look eternally rock and roll. But the high/low effect of the blazer shouldn’t be underestimated.

Out of Office Styling

Yes, it’s a blazer, but it should be anything but workmanlike

Detail is king

Blazer, $2550, Prada at Matches Fashion

Classic with a touch of logomania is key.

Go all out

Blazer, $3025, Gucci at Matches Fashion

A Gucci-state-of-mind can go a long way.

Make a statement

Blazer, $1758, Vetements at Matches Fashion

Good use of real estate can elevate a blazer.

Rule number one: your work suit jackets shouldn’t be a consideration in this trend. Swapping your suit trousers for chinos and throwing on a sweatshirt is totally fine – assuming your jacket is a little shorter in cut – but it isn’t what we’re getting at, here. You need to be a little more deliberate. Buy a fashion blazer the way you buy a statement jacket: as a separate.

Read More: Dressing For Maximum Impact

Dior are doing an inside-out jacket that isn’t for the office — it’s a totally new suggestion of what a jacket can be. Meanwhile, in Milan, Prada continues to pump out some of the most attention-stealing, totally handsome blazers known to man. Ms Prada’s take on the blazer is, as expected, unfailingly dapper and chic, but has just enough detail – like a pumped-up lapel, and a rubber logomania patch – to make it feel anything but standard-issue.

Elsewhere, things just get bigger, and louder, in the best way possible. The oversized blazers coming out of brands like Acne, Rick Owens, Fendi et al are a continuation of the grey XXL hero jackets that came out of Balenciaga a while back. These hyper-structured, voluminous blazers can be treated like any other hero jacket in your arsenal: they’re outerwear. Layer your favourite hoodie underneath. Or an easy weekend tee. Maybe your go-to graphic sweatshirt. Consider all this a nod to the Frankenstein-shouldered blazers that made the ’80s iconic (or better or worse) – only, this time, it’s less Wall Street and more streetwear.

The brashest blazers of all, like Gucci’s mermaid print double-breasted number, are an outfit all of their own.

Read More: How To Travel In Comfort... And Still Look Stylish

If you’re curious, but a little nervous to go all-in, just remember: you can always pare back what’s around your jacket. Think about your favourite denim, or perhaps the leather trousers that are tempting you right now.

And if I’m honest, that’s really the thing that I like about blazers now: they’re jackets. They’ve shifted from the office to the neighbourhoods, from the boardroom to a weekend coffee date. But trust me: just because you’re not at a desk, it doesn’t mean your blazer won’t still do some mean business right there on the streets.