We at Bespoke Unit are proud and excited to have an enthusiastic ongoing relationship with Benson & Clegg. For this installment of #TheEnsemble, I decided to focus on the classic navy blazer that Tony Martin, B&C’s head cutter, gave to me as what is perhaps the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever received! If you play your cards right, one of a man’s best friends can be his tailor. The lining and buttons on this one really struck a chord with me and I’m excited to share this garment with you all.
I love this particular jacket because it’s a creative take on a classic menswear garment that’s been around for centuries. That it’s one half of the classic navy blazer and grey flannels combination makes it even more attractive.
A Brief History Of The Blazer
Contrary to popular confusion, the single-breasted blazer did not get its name from the Royal Navy. It was, in fact, the chosen jacket of many English cricket clubs dating as far back as the 1880’s. They were originally made in striped patterns like the one in this article in the given club’s colors, and the term refers to the bright “blaze” of color. These became very popular in Edwardian England and were joined by solid-colored versions based off of the Royal Navy’s reefer jacket. That is the dressier double-breasted version we’re all familiar with.
In any case, the term “blazer” nowadays refers to any jacket, single- or double-breasted, with metallic buttons, and we see them mainly in dark blue. Ranking between a suit and a sport coat in terms of dressiness, they can be paired with grey flannels like I’ve done here, or even with white trousers or colored chinos in the summertime.
As with every #TheEnsemble post, you’ll see pictures of every piece of the ensemble and my reasoning for putting them together the way I did. Enjoy!
#TheEnsemble – Blue Blazer
Note the turn-back cuff on each sleeve. this is a Benson & Clegg signature and a detail rarely seen. It’s perfect when paired with a simple trouser like the grey flannels here. The navy blazer with grey flannels is Benson & Clegg’s house look.
A ticket pocket adds style and a bit of functionality to any jacket.
This lining is possibly my favorite part of the whole blazer. Tons of different street signs from my hometown, the City of London. My photographer is a big Beatles fan and loved seeing the Abbey Road sign! Also, note the polka dot braces that sync with the dotted tie.
Another one of Benson & Clegg’s claims to fame is their button collection. They’re all hand-struck in England, including this one of the Latin motto of the City of London: “Lord, guide us.” To its left is the Union League member’s rosette.
Accent On Accessories
Despite this ensemble’s simplicity, there’s actually a lot going on. The accessories are what allow that to happen. In fact, a good rule of thumb is as follows:
If you want to bust out all manner of funky accessories, you need a simple background on which to do so. A navy blazer with white shirt and grey flannels is perfect in this regard.
There are some coordination notes here that may be helpful for those looking to construct outfits. Here’s a quick list:
- Ties and braces share the same visual plane. I paired them here with complementary colors and variations on a dotted theme. Again, they’re both against a white background, so nothing competes with the dots for attention.
- Color of the gore on the boots syncs with that of the braces.
- All the buttons on the jacket are the same, including the one on the lapel.
- Turnups on the trousers sync with the turn-back cuff on the blazer.
- The green of the tie picks up on the green flowers in the pocket square. The blazer and shirt serve as the perfect backdrop to mix two unlike patterns such as dots and flowers.
- The tie clip and buttons are all in the same silver/pewter color family.
- The cufflinks, watch strap, and boot gore all have a reddish color that coordinates nicely.
- Blazer: Benson & Clegg
- Trousers: Benson & Clegg
- Shirt: Benson & Clegg
- Chelsea Boots: John Cheaney & Sons
- Tie: Dapper Lapel
- Tie Clip: Dapper Lapel
- Braces: Bretelle And Braces
- Pocket Square: Kaye H Textiles
- Lapel Pins: Benson & Clegg button, Union League Member Rosette
- Cufflinks: Benson & Clegg
- Watch: Vintage Omega Seamaster on Hadley Roma strap
As always, we welcome your questions and feedback in the comments section below. Looking forward to sharing the next #TheEnsemble with you all!