This story originally appeared on the Gents Cafe Newsletter. You can subscribe here.
Four years ago, I was having a bad day. (While I won’t go into details, the fact that I can remember the circumstances many years later is an indication of just how bad.) I’m not sure how I decided this – maybe I had something to return? – but I found myself at Suitsupply.
A heavy-shopping bag later, I was in possession of two things: first, a firm belief in the substantive emotional benefits of retail therapy, and, second, a blue windowpane summer-weight blazer that remains, to this day, one of my favorite pieces in my entire wardrobe.
It has all the essentials of a go-to seasonal blazer. Its eye-catching and attention-getting blue is certainly not navy, not quite cerulean but definitely something that feels born in the Mediterranean. Its layered windowpane pattern is something that at once is familiar and yet distinct at the same time. It has an ever-surprising versatility (given said color and pattern) and edgy-yet-appropriate tailoring (as is Suitsupply’s sweet-spot) with confident notch lapels, narrow but not-too-slim armholes and nearly indistinguishable patch pockets. And, most important in this case, it’s the perfect weight for the season thanks to an unlined lower with a well-constructed upper that make the jacket weight feel inverse, lighter than weightless so it’s breezy to wear and yet I still feel put together thanks to the well-cut tailoring.
Rarely do I wear this gem and not receive a number of compliments – from the barista or a co-worker or the bartender, this is a jacket that gets noticed – and rarely do I wear this and not feel my absolute best (both regarding temperature and dress-code). This blazer and a crisp white button down and white pocket square are what my summer-nights-in-the-city dreams are made of. I’ve worn it dressed up as a three-piece with a white linen waistcoat and navy-and-white knitted necktie (this was for a big horse race in Lexington, Kentucky) as well as dressed-down with light-washed Levi’s and Chuck Taylors when I’m feeling more laid back.
We all know the feeling when something from our wardrobe loses its luster – no longer does it give us the same excitement or confidence we felt putting it on for the first time. Thankfully, this is a blazer that – as if in defiance of the laws of nature – has only become more appealing to me four years after living in my closet (like I said, frequent compliments sure help). And its slim-fit tailoring is like a built-in-weight-loss motivator – as I creep closer toward 40 with a waistline increasingly curious of expanding, the desire to still fit into this jacket is sometimes the most persuasive motivator for me to burn some calories.
So while I don’t wish bad days on anyone, I am a passionate convert and advocate of the holistic emotional benefits of retail therapy – and, of course, the beauty of a go-to summer-weight blazer that helps you standout, gets you noticed and feel your best, even in the dog-days of summer.
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