As we head in to Autumn, us ladies are wrapping up in the most stylish coats around. And for those of us who think a coat is just a little too cosy for this unseasonably warm weather (what's going on there in the name of all that's holy), the trench or coatigan is still getting an airing.
But what about the gentlemen in your life? Can you picture him in a coatigan with a furry collar? Or a trench with floral detail? If the answer is no, a blazer might just be the wardrobe essential he needs to smarten up his look with minimal effort.
Every man should own a blazer, whether he plans to wear it causally with jeans on a night out (a look that should be attempted with caution, as it can go from right to wrong in the blink of an eye) or he wants to look smart for a day’s work at the office.
And 'twill appeal to the spendthrift nature of man, for no matter what the occasion, a blazer will be something that he'll wear again and again. Yes, your refrain of 'But it's all about price per wear' will suddenly take on meaning in his world.
But his shopping spree should not go ahead unsupervised - the right choice can make an otherwise inexpensive outfit look like a million dollars, or, if done wrong, he’ll end up looking like he's wearing his dad’s clothes on a night out. And unless you live in a Lynx ad (bom chicka waaah waaah), nobody wants that.
Thankfully, we're here to help with a few suggestions. Maybe he's been looking for a new piece for his wardrobe and this will help you steer him down the right tweed-y road, or maybe you are picking up some gifts and this is on your list. In any case, we've got options for every budget and you can check out the gallery below for all the looks and pieces mentioned.
- The Luxury Item
There's no doubting that the American designer is the man of choice for Hollywood A-listers when it comes to the red carpet, and if you've got a substantial budget, then putting his up market threads on any of our shoulders is the first option. However, as you may well be aware, the price tag is not going to be easy on the pocket with this checked number setting you back just over $1,600 (€1,250). We can dream, though...
- High Street But High End
The quintessentially British brand manages to capture all that is best about their rich heritage of fine tailoring and adds a touch of the contemporary to it with everything they do, from shirts to chinos, but when it comes to blazers Hackett are top of their game - I just wish they would start a women's collection.
Now, it’s at the upper end of the budget range for high street, there’s no two ways around that, but it’s worth every penny, and it’s going to occupy pride of place in his wardrobe for a long time.
One of this season’s trends is the check look, and as you might expect, there’s no shortage of it in most collections. Hackett have two particularly good ones that we’re fond of, the Scottish Check jacket and this Windowpane check pieces.
For some reason, on these shores, Hilfiger has got a bit of a bad reputation with our fellas for being associated with bootcut jeans and plain shirts, and that’s something that they’ve been working hard to fight against (both Hilfiger and our Irish brethren). Their collections for this season once again bring the preppy and academic stylistic influences that the brand is based on to the forefront.
He should go for a fitted look, complimenting his shape much more than something that’s baggy and shapeless or something that’s too tight.
The Butch TS Fitted blazer captures tones of grey and blue, and introduces brown and sandy tones in through the check pattern that make it that little bit different.
- Bang for your Hardy Buck
Marks and Spencer
If those price tags are a little too high for his budget, that doesn’t mean he can’t own a seriously great blazer. Marks & Spencer’s Collezione range features a number of great pieces, and none more so than this check number.
It’s made from wool and as a natural fabric that not only means that it’s breathable, but it’s one of the best fabrics for keeping you warm, even when it’s wet. Trust us, when you go for something artificial, it not only looks bad (not to mention cheap, no matter what you pay for it) but it will have you sweating like you wouldn’t believe.
Gagliardi always gives serious value for your budget. Quality European tailoring and the finest materials go in to everything that they make, and when it comes to blazers, Himself'll have a world of options. From something brightly coloured that will inject some vibrancy in to his winter wardrobe (match with more neutral tones on the trousers to balance it out) to something like this brown Tattersall check, there is a lot to choose from.
Our pick of the bunch when it is this blue dogstooth jacket that is still understated, whilst introducing an element of flair with the pattern.
- The wallet-friendly options
Penneys have been upping their game on the style front for guys in a big way in the last few years, attempting to catch up with the huge selection they have on offer for us laaaaydees, and with the AW collection this year, they’ve introduced some genuine Harris Tweed, one of the most iconic brands around when it comes to producing that fabric.
At €99 for the blazer, you’d be hard-pushed to beat that when it comes to value.
While some of Zara’s collection can be a bit more off the wall (Himself still hasn't gotten over those silk, floral harem pants I picked up there last year), they also mix in some pieces that are more traditional and classic. If he wants something a bit brighter, then their tweed blazer with multi-coloured speck will be right up his street, while their combined tweed jacket is something a bit more down the usual route.
And for something that can combine the two, this blue dotted number will add a bit of colour and a pattern to the blazer without being incredibly loud and too hard to coordinate with your other pieces. He can even add the matching waistcoat to complete the look if he is feeling like channeling his inner co-ordinated Taylor Swift.
So tell us, what's your fella's/brother's/best man friend's go-to piece? Have we left the dark days of bootcut jeans slip on shoes behind us? Are our men just as sartorially interested as us ladies? Does he go on a shopping spree with the glee that we do? We want to know all about the fashion choices of our fellas. To the comments and tell us all about the skeletons (and those combats where you could zip off the piece below the knees) in his closet….