I see many people using the word vest/suit and blazer jacket similarly. If it is a jacket worn with trousers or a matching skirt, they call it a suit/vest. A jacket without matching pants is called a blazer. In fact, this thinking is only partially correct. Fundamentally, these two products are quite similar. However, there are still many small differences, located in the shapes, fabrics… Blazers and vests are only suitable for certain dress codes.
Blazer the coat of the elite becomes office fashion
Let’s find out with Harper’s Bazaar what a blazer jacket is, what details are similar to/different from a vest, and standards for matching with blazer jackets.
The blazer jacket is a variation of men’s European court attire.
The word jacket comes from the jaquette, a long coat worn in European royal court clothes from around the 14th century. The jaquette was knee-length, embroidered with cotton or fur trim for warmth.
Then this jacket gets shorter. Various materials and colors are applied to jackets. The aristocrats made a shirt similar to a jaquette, but only short to the waist and made of tweed to keep warm when hunting. This is a sport coat that is still popular today in men’s fashion.
Many sources say that the blazer first appeared as a uniform for women. In 1825, the Lady Margaret Rowing Club at Cambridge University used a tight button-down jacket as a uniform. This shirt has a fiery red color (blazing red), so it is casually called a blazer.
Today, sailing clubs still wear blazers as uniforms. However, with the evolution in fashion, the sailing blazer is no longer confined to the red framework.
Another recorded source said that the blazer was a creation of the British Royal Navy. The name blazer comes from the battleship HMS Blazer, where in 1837 received a visit from Queen Victoria. To welcome the queen, the soldiers changed their uniforms for formality. They wore a navy blue canvas jacket, double-breasted in bronze and engraved with the battleship’s crest.
At that time, the British Royal Navy did not have a standard uniform. Each battleship has the right to decide on its own uniform. Legend has it that Queen Victoria loved the design of the battleship HMS Blazer so much that she asked the Royal Navy to use it as a general uniform. In 1857, when it was officially adopted, the blazer created a phenomenon in England and from there spread around the world.
The history of the blazer jacket shows that it was once a uniform that helped identify a powerful section of British Empire society. Those are prestigious universities, where there is enough funding to sponsor an expensive sailing club. And the British navy, where there is a strict selection to find the elite marines.
However, this shirt gradually entered the popular class from the 20th century onwards. In the 1910s and 1920s, striped blazers were especially popular among dandy men in America, thanks to advertising from the Brooks Brothers brand.
The straight silhouette of the blazer was also popular with Mods in the UK in the 1960s. Since then, the blazer has become a defining item of British elegance.
Even so, the blazer has not completely lost its opulent nature. Today, competitions favored by the elite such as rowing, rowing, horseback riding, etc. still use blazers as uniforms. These blazers are always embroidered with the badges of the competition team, family, or financial support unit for the team, proving the social status of the wearer.
Smooth shoulders . The vest/suit has padding at the shoulder, the sleeves are slightly puffy compared to the shoulder. And blazers often do not have shoulder pads, smooth sleeves.
Comfortable shape . Blazers are designed to be worn over multiple layers of clothing, such as a hoodie. Therefore, it has a spacious shape, not as tight as a vest/suit. Besides, it is not lined with thick fabric to avoid causing a lump when wearing.
Designed to be worn with asynchronous pants . It can be jeans, sweat pants, joggers, cargo pants, linen pants…
The material is more diverse than the suit . Suits need synchronization. Therefore, the fabric must be durable, difficult to wear and tear, to be suitable for sewing pants. Blazers, on the other hand, do not need to be synchronized, so they can freely experiment with many materials, including delicate ones like silk.
There are many modern variations . Today, blazers are also transformed into dresses for women to wear to the office. Besides, this style has many button styles, lengths and lapel designs.
Blazers are suitable for use for a relatively comfortable dress code of business casual and casual chic, or for fine dining. However, it is not suitable to wear in formal meetings, black tie or white tie dinner parties .
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