Style Classics: How to Wear a Navy Blazer

The virtues of the wardrobe staple and five ways to wear it.

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There are some pieces of clothing that no man should be without: white tennis shoes, slim selvedge jeans, hardy brown leather brogues, tailored blue trousers, a knitted tie, white Oxford shirts and – of course – a well cut navy blazer.

The latter, in our humble opinion, should form the cornerstone of your wardrobe. First of all, navy works on everyone – the Esquire fashion team wear pretty much nothing but the colour. It goes well with pretty much every other shade too – but as the summer edges closer, you're best pairing it with white, pastels or softer tones of blue.

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Secondly, a navy blazer is super-adaptable: wear one with jeans and a T-shirt, or a crisp white shirt and tie for a failsafe look. Thirdly, it's a lifesaver. Keep one at the office in case you need to smarten up at a moment's notice. Impromptu meeting? Unexpected date? Flashmob wedding? No dramas.

Now the colour's sorted, which cut is best for you? The trend right now is for slouchier styles, and 'sports lux' has opened a whole new avenue of jersey suiting, but more structured cuts still have their place. Here, to help you navigate the navy blazer minefield is five surefire ways to wear them and our pick of the seasons best (just click on the pictures on the left).

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1 | Simple for Summer

(Canali SS15)

One of the most timeless summer looks, this.  Wear your blazer with a plain white T-shirt, slim cut trousers and loafers or white tennis shoes. The look might be a touch smart if the jacket's tautly tailored, so opt for a softer, unlined jacket.

2 | Fully Sharpened

(Dunhill SS15)

If you need to look smart, a wool blazer will hold its own against a crisp white herringbone shirt and knitted tie. It needs to be cut properly though – nipped in at the waist and not too boxy – and make sure it's long enough. Stumpy jackets rarely look good.

3 | Layer up

(Hardy Amies SS15)

As long as it's not cut too true, there'll be room for a few light layers beneath your jacket. First of all, a thin gauge sweater in cashmere or merino will look great (more navy blue could work, but wine or bottle green will look good too), and tuck a light summer scarf around the back of your neck and under the lapel. You want it peeking out, but not too much.

4 | The Riviera Vibe

(Giorgio Armani SS15)

Navy is perhaps the best colour for a jacket worn over an open neck shirt. It might be pale blue or pink (very pale pink…), geometrically patterned or even a white granddad collar; whatever it is, tuck in a pocket square and team with some vintage-looking sunglasses. 

5 | Sports Lux

(Z by Zegna SS15)

Finally, a chance to mix things up. Wear your blazer over some light technical active wear to hit the 'sports lux' trend this season. Shells and bombers, as long as they're not too thick, are just the thing. Contrast colours are good, but geometric patterns and unorthodox textures are better. Check out the high street tailoring shoot in the April issue of Esquire for another take on the trend.

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SEE ALSO:

12 Spring Trends You Should Know About
How to Wear: White Sneakers
Cinema's Most Memorable Style Moments
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