The How to Guide for Wearing (and pulling off) The Tweed Blazer
It’s that time of year again. Time to trade in your sandals for scarves and settle into the fall season. With fall comes overheard conversations about the newest pumpkin flavored something (coffee, cookies, candles…c’mon), Oktoberfest brews, football, and the need to pull out your warmer attire from the back of the closet. As you put away those board shorts and say goodbye to the ease of summer flare, rest assured that the trouble-free approach you used all summer can be carried into the months ahead. There is something to be said about fall clothes and their ability to boost the confidence of those guys who feel as though they are not fashion forward. This season, it is possible to find both function and fashion without the fuss.
Most men want fall clothes that can provide comfort, warmth, and durability long before they focus on wearing something that will credit them as a trendsetter. But what happens in those moments when you need or just want to spruce up your look and your trusty old North Face just won’t cut it? Enter the tweed blazer.
Pulling off a tweed blazer is much easier than it seems. By following a few simple guidelines, you can squash any preconceived fears of resembling Sherlock Holmes and be confident that the only thing you (and everyone else) will be detecting is your effortless style.
Since tweed is a woven wool fabric, its durability and moisture-resistant quality provides both warmth and function, and it is a perfect staple for any man’s fall wardrobe. In the past, tweed blazers have had limited acceptance or purpose for the everyday man. Whether as the staple uniform for college professors or simply an old item hanging in your grandfather’s closet, the tweed blazer has not been given a fair chance. But the past is in the past, and nowadays tweed blazers can be seen everywhere. From brunches to bars and everything else in between, the tweed blazer is a definite go-to for today’s man.
The Color: Tweed comes in a variety of colors, and these ‘major’ colors as seen from afar will have ‘minor’ colors woven into their pattern as well. When choosing a jacket, most men like to choose a pattern and color that is very versatile, such as tan with a herringbone pattern or dark grey with a large check pattern. Stay close to the colors and patterns that are similar to those found in your wardrobe. The blazer will be statement enough, no need to go crazy with the color or pattern.
The Fit: The first step to wearing your tweed blazer well is to ensure that it has the proper fit. Anything too big will look unkempt, and the over-sized proportions will be quite apparent. To avoid this, make sure the blazer has a slim fit. However, be careful that going slim doesn’t mean going snug. You should be able to button the blazer while wearing a sweater. Another test: After buttoning the blazer over a sweater, take a seat and make sure the buttons don’t pull. The correct fit should allow you to extend your arms in front without the shoulders pulling or feeling too tight.
The Shirt: Your shirt or sweater should not distract from your blazer, so stick to solid colors, especially colors that can be found in the ‘minor’ colors of the pattern. A white or blue button down is always a good look with tweed, and should be worn tucked in with an appropriately matching belt. For a more casual look, a crew neck or v-neck sweater will complement, just as long as it follows with like-colors of the pattern. The sweater can be worn over a collared shirt or simply over a t-shirt. T-shirts generally do not work when worn alone with a tweed blazer; they both may be puzzle pieces, but they are from two completely different puzzles.
The Pants: Jeans, khakis, and corduroys. These three choices are going to be your best bet when pairing together with your blazer. A darker jean is a wiser choice because it is less casual, which is a vibe already given by the tweed. Jeans give a comfortable look and will eliminate any chance of looking or feeling too stuffy. When it comes to khakis, you can stick to the usual tan khaki or explore the grey and green families if you’d like (think charcoal and olive). When pairing the color, again make sure that the color of the pants is relevant to the minor colors of the blazer. Trying to match your pants with the major color will most likely result in a miss-matched mess; there is a reason these blazers are sold as separates. Also, keep in mind to stick with a solid or mostly solid pattern when it comes to pants. These same guidelines apply when choosing cords as well. In terms of the fit, if you’re comfortable with it, opt for a slimmer fit pant. It will give a more polished, together look.
The Shoes: To finish off your look, it is important to wear shoes that stay within the theme of your outfit. To keep with the polished, together look, you will want to opt for shoes along the lines of wingtips or loafers. Chuck Taylors are also a possibility, but only if you are going for a very relaxed look. Your dress shoes can stay in the closet for this one because they won’t fit with the flow of the style. Wingtips or loafers will present a sophisticated, easy-going image that will complete this simple yet smashing look.