According to The Official Preppy Handbook, the blazer is ‘the exoskeleton’ – the item of men’s clothing around which all other clothing sits. The wardrobe staple that’s always correct.
The word blazer comes from the sport of rowing - the ‘blazing’ red jackets worn by the Lady Margaret Boat Club, a 19th Century women’s rowing club from St John’s College, Cambridge. The upper-crust, preppy associations still hold and no rowing club has yet produced a style icon to compete with the worlds of football or tennis – though striped regatta-style blazers were briefly co-opted by Sixties mods, and, less fortunately, by Liam Gallagher and one of the Kaiser Chiefs. New book Rowing Blazers celebrates the authentic piped and striped blazers worn by rowers and in rowing clubs all over the world.
Shot by former Ralph Lauren director of concept F.E Castleberry and edited by Henley Royal Regatta winner Jack Carson it makes a not-unconvincing case for its place as a sartorial icon – both for men, and particularly it has to be said, women.
Published by Thames & Hudson on July 7, £35