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The best blazers for men are—actually, screw it. By now you’re on board with the spiel. (Or should be!) All you really need to know is that in 2021, the right blazer will pull your wildest fits together as effortlessly as Steph pulling up from three. Which means you needn’t wear one with a dress shirt—least of all those highly-starched, wildly uncomfortable joints hanging limply in the back of your closet.
Instead, style your blazers (yes, that’s blazers, plural) like you would any other piece of outerwear in your fall repertoire and no one will mistake you for a business casual dress code made horrifyingly sentient. Accessorize freely. Kooky jewelry is cool; a tie is even cooler. A trucker hat is kosher; ditto a ribbed beanie. Loafers are always a wise move; so are scuffed Chucks.
Below you’ll find the absolute best blazers for men on the market right now, from capital-D designer versions courtesy of the biggest names in the biz to achingly hip options from smaller, but no less beloved, menswear upstarts. [Inserts Canadian maple leaf emoji] It’s time to blaze up, baby.
The Best All-Around Blazer
We’ve extolled the virtues of Sid Mashburn’s tailoring at length before, so we might as well make it official: the Atlanta haberdasher’s signature Kincaid blazer is one of the best on the market. The brand’s hopsack No. 2 jacket is a perennial GQ favorite for a few reasons. Visually speaking, there’s little in the way of splashy design flourishes or distracting aesthetic tics. Instead, it comes kitted out with the type of sartorial minutiae—full canvassing, pick stitching, spalla camicia sleeves—hardcore menswear enthusiasts lose their minds over, which make its sub-$1,000 price tag feel like a bona fide bargain. (And that’s not even getting into the fabric’s Italian origins!) It’s also slightly less structured than the other jackets in the brand’s repertoire, so it naturally lends itself towards easy mixing and matching—layered over a fuzzy shetland sweater, for example, or paired with a striped Oxford-cloth shirt and a repp tie. Most importantly, its timeless design and quality construction means it’ll look just as good tomorrow as it will ten years from now—and ten years from then, too.
The Best Blazer for Fall
No fabric screams fall with the unbridled enthusiasm of the pumpkin spice set quite like corduroy. And no piece of outerwear lends itself more organically to the type of layering the season requires than a heavy-duty blazer. (See where we’re going here?) Combine the two and you’re left with a go-to fall style hack, which brings us to Alex Mill’s hearty corduroy jacket. Pre-washed for extra comfort and then garment-dyed to get that lightly toasted color, it’s more breathtaking than any foliage you’ll encounter scrolling mindlessly through the ‘gram—and a heck of a lot less played out. Try wearing it with one of the brand’s best-in-class striped shirts and a scuzzy tie, or over fine-gauge cardigan and a beefy T-shirt. Think of it as a seasonal purchase you don’t need to justify, but one that’ll help you look exponentially more put-together all the same.
The Best Skate-Ready Blazer
An odd thing happened over the last few years: a handful of the most influential brands in the streetwear universe started making suits. Good suits. Great ones, even. Noah’s gently-tailored sack jacket falls firmly into the latter camp, a testament to just how meaningless the gnomic “streetwear” moniker has become. Is a graphic tee streetwear? A hoodie? What about an Italian-made notch lapel blazer that’s cut soft and slightly oversized like the archetypal American suit that inspired it? This is a blazer meant to pair seamlessly with cropped jeans and loafers—and your baggiest chinos and scruffiest Vans. If you dig your tailoring injected with a healthy dose of irreverent downtown spunk, this is the jacket for you.
The Best Double-Breasted Blazer
In the finger-wagging parlance of classic menswear, a blazer is typically defined by two distinguishing details: a solid-colored cloth, often in navy, and contrasting metal buttons, often in brass. Ralph Lauren’s expertly-crafted wool jacket checks both boxes, sure, but that’s where its adherence to convention ends. Cut with soft shoulders and brash peak lapels, the brand’s double-breasted blazer also features a lower button stance that makes for a universally flattering shape, no matter your build. It’s a high-quality riff on an enduring American silhouette that’ll anchor your most formal fits just as ably as it’ll elevate your most casual ones: in other words, quintessential Ralph.
The Best “It’s Actually A Sport Coat” Blazer
If the Ralph Lauren blazer above represents the ne plus ultra of the form, Todd Snyder’s epitomizes the sport coat at its best—a patterned jacket specifically designed for solo wear. Sourced from Italy’s Subalpino mill and made in Canada, it’s the type of layer you should throw on with abandon this fall—over a lightweight knit and faded jeans on the weekend or a button-down and crisply-pleated khakis during the middle of the week. At just under 600 bucks it’s the rare value proposition actually worth every cent.
The Best Of-The-Moment Blazer
Balenciaga’s cotton-jersey blazer is a tour de force of contemporary menswear touchstones, courtesy of the most zeitgeist-y brand in the industry. Under the stewardship of creative director Demna Gvasalia, the storied French label has been on a sartorial kick as of late, churning out tailoring that hearkens back to its namesake’s legacy as a couturier of the highest order. This blazer is soft, slouchy, thoroughly worn-in, and makes the idea of shelling out a whopping two grand for a piece of tailoring that didn’t originate on Savile Row seem downright reasonable. (Noted Balenciaga devotee Kanye West has been wearing a similar style religiously for weeks.) Balenciaga’s wilder menswear offerings can veer into “Approach With Caution” territory, but this jacket will look just as good paired with washed black denim and hefty boots as it will loose trousers and lug-sole derbies.
The Best Blazer for WFH Life
What more is there to say about Issey Miyake’s signature pleated sets that hasn’t already been said—in glowing, superlative form—on this very site? In February, we called the brand’s instantly identifiable pleated jersey “as resilient and wrinkle-averse as your hardest Carhartt gear, but also more graceful and effortlessly polished than a Charlie Parker solo.” At the height of the pandemic, we praised the brand’s pants for their comfort and endless versatility, to say nothing of their ability to make everything else you’re wearing look a little more considered. In blazer form, it’s a sentiment that rings doubly true. With return-to-office plans still in flux, this is the jacket to reach for when slogging through the same exact Zoom meetings with the same exact people starts to feel preposterously tedious. We didn’t know WFH salvation would arrive in the form of an impossibly lightweight polyester layer, but we’re sure glad it did.