Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Blazers for Fall and Winter

Editor’s note: For a plethora of Online Shopping Picks delving into accessories, footwear and knitwear, head right this way.

Ready to take on fall in this "old" photo circa 2014. Blazer & chambray shirt by J. Crew. Slim jeans by Scotch & Soda. Shawl cardigan by GAP. Knit tie by Frank & Oak. Brown wingtip boots by JC Penney. Photo credit: Khoa Nguyen.

Ready to take on fall in this “old” photo circa 2014. Tan herringbone blazer & chambray shirt by J. Crew. Pocket square by Banana Republic. Slim jeans by Scotch & Soda. Shawl cardigan by GAP. Knit tie by Frank & Oak. Brown wingtip boots by JC Penney. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Glasses by Burberry. Photo credit: Khoa Nguyen.

As is often the case in the world of men’s style, it seems that sometimes the seasons change too quickly — on the writing front, that is. Last week, we tackled excellent henleys to transition into fall weather in earnest (for most of us, at least), and now your humble author will gladly take a stab at the best cold-weather blazers out there on the market — because those things have been on shelves far too long now for you not to buy one, right? Keep in mind that a great lighter weight blazer (one from this list) could definitely transition into the slight chill of fall when layered appropriately. Heck, I even have an unconstructed blazer I’ve worn in the Michigan winter, layered up with a V-neck sweater (of course). But let’s say you want something thicker to stand up to chilly weather — a la the trusty J. Crew blazer (sadly, long gone from shelves) at the top of the page. That’s what this edition of Online Shopping Picks will cover — but you’ll have to foot the rest of the bill for a new jacket. [Editor’s note: Some might take issue with the definition of a blazer here — these styles are sometimes called sportcoats — but we’ll stick with blazer terminology for now. To clear up any confusion, head here].

#1. Uniqlo Wool Blended Comfort Jacket — $99.90

As previously seen on this site's Fall Style Wish List, Uniqlo delivers on another great fall & winter blazer.

As previously seen on this site’s Fall Style Wish List, Uniqlo delivers on another great fall & winter blazer.

Does this jacket look familiar at all? Of course it does (at least if you caught it at the top of my Fall Style Wish List). Some might have issues with Uniqlo’s fit, as the tail of its jackets and its sleeves generally run a little shorter and slimmer than most, but the brand does make an outstanding jacket (is it a blazer? a sportcoat) for the price. These jackets certainly lean casual given the lack of construction, but in a deeper, saturated shade like the Grey Plaid on the far left or even the Dark Green option as seen on the site, it’s a jacket that could absolutely be paired with dress trousers and some sharp black shoes for the office.

#2. J. Crew Factory Thompson Elbow-patch Sportcoat in Tweed — $168

A four-season shade of navy merged with suede elbow patches for fall and winter.

A four-season shade of navy merged with suede elbow patches for fall and winter.

Rustic, slightly throwback-focused details like suede elbow patches have been making a comeback in clothing items for the past couple years now, and designers aren’t pulling the plug on this added touch just yet. In the case of this blazer, it works quite well, calling to mind old hunting jackets. And this piece has some other things going for it, too — namely, you get J. Crew-like quality at a lower price than some similar models at the big brother retailer. The slightly flashier touch of those elbow patches is grounded by a nice shade of navy, which should work well over dark denim or grey wool trousers. The patches make it more casual and thus a little less versatile — thus dropping it to spot no. 2 here. Still, it’s a jacket that could see a lot of use in the coming months.  If you’ve got some bulk to you and want a jacket that ditches the elbow patches, the mainline brand is making a blazer in a similar shade in its roomier, more athletic Crosby fit.

#3. Apolis Indigo Wool Blazer — $388

The ideal balance of tradition and modern style, done up in an on-trend color and luxurious fabric.

The ideal balance of tradition and modern style, done up in an on-trend color and luxurious fabric.

Whoa, now. Almost $400 for a blazer? In spot #3? Yes, yes indeed — and here’s why. The argument can definitely be made here for investing in quality pieces that provide a long-term benefit; a terrific wool blazer, sure to be warm, well-made and endlessly versatile, can serve you well for seasons and years to come. And the way Apolis makes ’em, you know you’re getting a quality product. Not everyone has the kind of, er, capital to invest in such a piece, but this option has all the makings of a classic jacket if you do take the plunge. The double vents and deep indigo color make it the closest to a traditional blazer of any of the bunch seen here, yet it leans modern thanks to the slim fit. Wear it with some broken-in denim,  wear it with black corduroy pants for some edge — heck, wear it over a T-shirt.

#4. GAP Herringbone Blazer — $89.95

A nice color combo and casual patch pockets make this one blazer to take business-casual ... or just casual.

A nice color combo and casual patch pockets make this one blazer to take business-casual … or just casual.

Now, that’s more like it. We turn to a reliable standby at an affordable price for option #4. It’s somewhat concerning that the fit looks a bit … off in these photos, so this might be a good pick to try on in store. The price is not so expensive that it’d be too much of a pain to tailor. But note that the sleeves feature functioning cuffs, which can be an absolute mess to get tailored. However, the fabric blend, cool grey color and patch pockets make this an ideal blazer to throw on over, say, a white Oxford, red V-neck and dark jeans in a business casual setting — if the fit is on-point. Since the patch pockets do push it into casual territory, you could even mix it up and toss it over a long-sleeve henley. A word to the wise — keep your eyes open for the launch of The Hill-side’s capsule collection for GAP very soon; there’s likely to be a great blazer or two in there (Editor’s note: Check out the full rundown via GQ as of 9/23). 

#5. Everlane Luxe Sweater Blazer — $165

Part blazer, part sweater and all casual style in one high-quality Everlane piece.

Part blazer, part sweater and all casual style in one high-quality Everlane piece.

Is this a sweater? A blazer? A swacket? Whatever you call it, the Luxe Sweater Blazer definitely walks the line between casual and crisp style — exactly the type of versatility a nice blazer (or swacket) should provide in the colder months. It should almost wear like the Uniqlo wool blend jacket seen at the top of the page — easygoing enough over a crewneck sweatshirt (for both warmth and casual style), and high-quality enough to pair with a chambray dress shirt. From personal experience with Everlane, its products fit slim, and jackets like these often feature a nice hint of stretch — key when you still need mobility underneath a topcoat. This is one blazer in particular that would pair especially well with high-low combos — think slim chinos  plus vintage-inspired runners.

The competition across the board as this post was assembled was pretty cutthroat (or as cutthroat as writing about blazers can be). Brands like Bonobos, with its Italian Knit Blazer, are giving more established brethren like J. Crew a run for their money in the looks (and price) department. As was previously alluded to, The Hill-side is also quickly establishing itself as a player in the splurge blazer game — this Selvedge Mini-Houndstooth Tailored Jacket in Indigo has a great workwear vibe to it, not to mention a high price. Stick to affordable (or at the very least, classic) and versatile options when picking up a great blazer or two this season though, and you’ll reap those rewards as soon as the leaves start to turn.
Ben Sherman US
What’s your go-to fall and winter blazer? Are you planning on refreshing your closet with any of the picks here?

Ernest Alexander

Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Blazers

Want wear more blazers, especially this spring and summer? Start here. Blazer by J. Crew. Blue dress shirt & floral pocket square by J. Crew Factory.  (Old) glasses by Burberry.

Want to wear more blazers, especially this spring and summer? Start here. Blazer by J. Crew. Blue dress shirt & floral pocket square by J. Crew Factory. (Old) glasses by Burberry.

I received a question from a reader last week who had a New Year’s resolution to start wearing more blazers (way to stick to your guns!), but was having difficulty finding options to beat the Texas heat. This brought to mind two things: #1: Nice! Wearing more blazers is an easy way to add some polish to a look and even bring more variety to outfits you normally wear. And the #2 was this: Wearing a blazer, especially in the heat, is a somewhat tall order — so I rounded up some great warm-weather options (these could also feasibly work in slightly chillier weather with heavier layers, too). Read on and let’s get blaze — blazer-ed? Yep.

#1. J. Crew Factory Thompson Unconstructed Sportcoat in Twill — $118

A lighter blue that's no less versatile than its darker counterparts.

A lighter blue that’s no less versatile than its darker counterparts.

This blazer (or is it a sportcoat?) tops the list by a good amount. The lack of construction and a partial lining makes it breathable & lightweight, for starters. And the color is a unique, more washed-out blue that seems to be all the rage in the sportcoat game. Last year’s version got big ups from my pals over at Dappered, and if this version is just as good, it should be very wearable with everything from grey chinos to dark (and light) denim. The price here is very achievable and could drop even lower on-sale.

#2. Uniqlo Men’s Light Cotton Jacket in Navy or Blue Plaid — $69.90

Either a more striking plaid or a regular navy, take your pick.

Either a more striking plaid or a regular navy, take your pick.

Uniqlo’s blazers seem to stir up some divisiveness as far as fit & quality — some like the lightweight feel, slimmer fit and shorter tail (making them more casual), and others prefer something a little sturdier and with a classic cut. While the plaid option adds a great shot of pattern over a neutral base, the deep navy alternative is about as classic as it gets for a blazer. The price on either of these isn’t too high, so it could be worth taking the plunge on the plaid blazer if you want to throw some variety into a standard white OCBD— dark denim look.

#3. Target Merona Cotton Blazer in Grey— $29.98

Super affordable and super lightweight.

Super affordable and super lightweight.

To start, the price here is eye-poppingly low. Target’s been doing a lot when it comes to men’s style over the past year or so, and the Merona line has been a nice catalyst for that. This all-cotton blazer is unlined and actually fits pretty trim off the rack based on an in-store try-on. It’s available in four color options, but the light grey version could be the most versatile. If you want a blue option with a more workwear-type look, this navy jacket just went up on the site last week. Again, quality won’t be insanely high for a $30 piece, so this is a jacket that can get beat up a bit with little worries.

#4. Combatant Gent Travel Blazer in Khaki — $70

A warm-weather staple from a relatively new online retailer.

A warm-weather staple from a relatively new online retailer.

This blazer first made an appearance on this blog’s Spring Style Wish List, and were it not for an opportunely-priced alternative from H&M, it would likely be in the closet at the moment. Although this is a “travel blazer,” no word on the specific functionality of this particular piece (hopefully, an in-person with one of their jackets is coming soon). The patch pockets and khaki color make this decidedly more casual than any of the blue or grey options above

#5. Banana Republic Tailored Fit Cotton-Linen Blazer — $230

Sharp peak lapels & a ticket pocket on a cotton-linen blazer.

Sharp peak lapels & a ticket pocket on a cotton-linen blazer.

The reason this piece gets bumped so far down this list is the price — that’s a bit spendy, especially when considering the cotton-linen blend doesn’t really work in this. BR’s outerwear and blazers seem to be the brand’s strong points though, especially as of late. This jacket’s got a couple neat features — peak lapels and a ticket pocket, along with some nice depth to the fabric. You could definitely wear this with dark denim, lightwash jeans and olive or khaki chinos. BR is also offering a khaki twill blazer that would presumably be the higher-quality counterpart to option #4 here.

Note: Other options that didn’t quite make the cut here include this cotton chambray blazer from Express and this olive twill number.

What’s your take on the above options? Any additions? And how you would style these pieces?