Blazers: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQ)

Blazers: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQ)

Blazers are one of the most common types of outerwear on the market. Available in a variety of colors and styles, they offer a semi-formal appearance. You can wear a blazer with khakis, chino pants, suit trousers or even jeans. Some men, in fact, prefer them over traditional suit jackets. Before investing in a blazer, though, you may have some questions. Below is a list of some of the most common questions and answers about blazers.

Why Are They Called 'Blazers?'

The term "blazer" can be traced back to its origins during the 19th century. In the early to mid-1800s, the St. John's College of Cambridge, England used red-colored jackets for its rowing club. Members of the college's rowing club were required to wear jackets made of a bright red cloth. The jackets featured a fiery appearance, so they were colloquially known as "blazers."

What Are Blazers Made Of?

You can find blazers in different materials. Wool is a popular material in which they are made. Wool blazers are soft, warm, durable and long-lasting. With that said, blazers are available in many other materials as well. You can find them in cotton, linen, corduroy, leather, tweed and more.

Are Blazers the Same as Suit Jackets?

Contrary to popular belief, blazers aren't the same as suit jackets. Some blazers may feature a similar appearance as suit jackets, but they differ in a few key ways. For starters, blazers are less formal. Suit jackets exhibit a formal style that allows them to be worn in formal outfits. Blazers, on the other hand, exhibit a semi-formal style. Blazers are also sold separately, whereas suit jackets are often sold as part of a two-piece or three-piece suit.

Why Do Some Blazers Have 2 Columns of Buttons?

When shopping for a blazer, you may notice that some of them have two columns of buttons. All blazers have buttons on the front. Some blazers, though, have a single column of buttons, and others have two columns of buttons. Dual-column blazers are known as double-breasted blazers. 

Blazers that only have a single column of buttons, conversely, are known as single-breasted blazers. In the past, double-breasted blazers were more common. You can still find many blazers available for sale that feature two columns of buttons. Nonetheless, single-breasted blazers have become a popular alternative. They feature a more modern style that many men prefer.

When Should You Wear a Blazer?

You can wear a blazer for most semi-formal events or occasions. Some events require a formal outfit, in which case you'll probably want to wear a two-piece or three-piece suit that's complete with a suit jacket. But for other events, you can wear a blazer. It's a versatile choice of outerwear that's perfect for most semi-formal events and occasions.

Do Blazers Have Pockets?

While there are exceptions, most blazers have pockets. You can typically find the pockets on the bottom-left and bottom-right sides of the front. If it's cold outside, you can place your hands inside of these pockets to keep them warm. Some blazers also have one or more breast pockets. Breast pockets are found in the breast area.

How Do You Maintain a Blazer?

Like with other coats and jackets, different types of blazers require different steps to maintain. Some of them should only be dry cleaned. Other blazers require spot cleaning. The material from which a blazer is made will ultimately determine its required maintenance. Most manufacturers, however, will include a care tag on their blazers. You can refer to the care tag -- typically found inside of the collar -- for more information on how to clean and care for the blazer.

What Is Made to Measure?

Blazers aren't limited to generic sizes. You can choose a made-to-measure blazer, instead. Made-to-measure blazers are exactly what they sound like: blazers that are made according to your measurements. When ordering a blazer here at StudioSuits, for instance, you can select the "Made to Measure" option. You won't be limited to choosing a generic size. After selecting the "Made to Measure" option, you can specify your body measurements during the checkout process.

Which Buttons Should You Fasten?

You might be wondering which buttons you should fasten on a blazer. There are single-breasted blazers that feature a single column of buttons, and there are double-breasted blazers that feature two columns of buttons.

Regardless, if your blazer only has two rows of buttons (not columns), you can leave both rows of buttons unfastened, or you can fasten the top row of buttons. If your blazer has three rows of buttons, you should always fasten the middle row while either fastening or unfastening the top row.

What Are the Buttons on the Sleeves For?

Some blazers also have buttons on the sleeves. They still feature one or two columns of buttons on the front. But in addition to these front buttons, they have a set of buttons around the cuffs of their sleeves. Some blazers have about three to five buttons around the cuffs.

What's the purpose of these cuff buttons exactly? They allow for adjustments. If a blazer is too loose in the sleeves, you can get it adjusted by a professional tailor. The tailor may "bring in" the sleeves while using the buttons to finish the cuffs. Of course, choosing a made-to-measure blazer eliminates sizing problems such as this.

Do Blazers Have Lapels?

Blazers do, in fact, have lapels. Lapels are vertical sections of folded material that are found directly below the sides of the collar. Most types of outerwear have lapels, including blazers. There are different lapel styles. Standard notch is perhaps the most common.

In addition to standard notch, other lapel styles include slim notch, wide notch, standard peak, wide peak, wider notch and wider peak. If you're thinking about buying a blazer, you should choose an appropriate lapel style. Notch is a classic, all-around great choice. For a bolder appearance, you can choose an alternative lapel style, such as wide notch or wide peak.