Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I don't believe that a classic wardrobe requires many odd jackets. They are very useful when you need something to throw on above a pair of cords, but a flannel, tweed or linen suit looks as good or better at other times.
That doesn't mean odd jackets are not perfectly acceptable for lunch at the club, Sunday worship and any business trip where you'll arrive too late for a meeting. It just means that they are a discretionary purchase once you have a few of them. I think four or five cover the basics, with several pairs of trousers that you can wear with each jacket.
For spring and summer, it makes sense to have a navy blazer of 10 oz. fresco. Tan linen for a second coat is a good change of pace. Complementary trousers could include cream linen, light gray fresco, and khaki cotton drill.
For fall and winter have another blazer, this one of blue flannel or serge, and one or two tweed jackets. Medium and dark gray flannel trousers go with almost any jacketing. Tan cavalry twill is also a classic with the navy jacket and corduroy looks great with tweed.
A great feature of odd jackets is that they give you quite a bit of room to exercise your creativity in the details while remaining appropriately dressed. A belted safari jacket, or safariana, can be a different look in warm weather. Patch and bellows pockets on a tweed coat, developed to hold shotgun shells, are a good place to put your iPhone.
That flexibility is probably enough reason to have more than four or five of them.