I received a request last week from a reader to help her find a black investment blazer for interviews and professional wear, preferably “minimal & sculptural” in style, and similar to the Helmut Lang cropped tuxedo blazer.
It’s funny this email came when it did, because I had just a few weeks ago thought that I’d like to finally find myself a black blazer (no, I don’t already have one!). And then, while perusing local consignment shops, discovered a lot of black blazers and thought that might be a good way to dip my toes back into second-hand shopping; for a black blazer.
Ultimately, I think a good, minimal, black blazer is timeless – even if you think the style of the Helmut Lang blazer is “modern,” it has been around for several years, and is still a very popular style. As long as it’s well-made, without unnecessary embellishment, and FITS impeccably, any black blazer should last many years and work well with many different outfits. Which is why a secondhand black blazer is so appealing (here is a selection at The Real Real).
The key, I think, to finding an investment blazer truly is fit, which will require a lot of trial and error – and probably some tailoring. That said, if I was going to buy one, black, investment blazer:
- I would go for lightweight wool, or “suiting” fabric, so it is suitable for all seasons
- I would choose something I could wear in a professional setting (granted, it would probably be a “creative professional” setting), for interviews, AND with a white t-shirt & jeans
- I would want something that nips in at the waist, with some sort of edgy, architectural detailing; enough to make it modern, and interesting looking without being trendy
- I would select something that fits generally well, but would expect to tailor it (which would require considering that expense in the overall cost).
- I would try things on in person as much as possible to get an idea of how the BRAND fits, and specific styles I like, then search for them secondhand or online
Specifically, I prefer a blazer with one button, hard edges, and that is long enough to cover my hips, but that nips in at the waist. And I’m torn on whether not I would want 3/4 sleeves. My two favorites are the AYR blazer above (love the cutout style in the front, and very clean design. The price doesn’t hurt either…) and the schoolboy blazer by The Row. Of course the one by The Row is TOO big of an investment, and probably a style that you could find similar secondhand, and then get the sleeves shortened. You always hear of editors finding their “schoolboy” blazers in the boy’s department at J Crew, but really? who would that fit???
What are your thoughts on investment blazers for work/professional settings? Have any other suggestions?
And even more great black blazers: