Blazers – Traditional, practical and stylish jackets for all ages.

Blazers are a type of jacket that are commonly used for school uniforms. They are like a suit jacket but have patch pockets and metal shank buttons.

Blazers are usually tough and are found in a wide variety of colours. They are often a uniform item, for airlines, security, sports clubs and famously the traditional English school uniform. They have a history of use in sports, particularly rowing, which is one explanation of where they came from. The Cambridge University team reputedly used red jackets on their oarsmen, making them seem ‘ablaze’ on the water. Another nautical explanation is that the name comes from the captain of the ship HMS Blazer making his crew wear simple jackets in order to look smart for a visit from the Queen. He arranged short jackets with brass buttons, probably in navy blue although this is argues by historians. Some simply feel that the name comes from the practise of emblazoning a coat of arms or logo onto the breast of the jacket, especially in the case of schools or rowing clubs. The types of badges sewn to the jacket traditionally denote standing; a different colour or style for junior students, senior students, prefects, etc.

The blazer is still in use and enjoyed a brief revival recently. Primarily teenage alternative fashion embraced the blazer because of a mixture of retro, smart/casual and cheapness. Easy and cheap to find and buy, the blazer is durable and can be affixed with badges and sewn patches. The mixture of smart and casual makes them a popular choice for any age group, resulting in a more expensive brand of top quality blazers being available. A further reason for their longevity in the clothing market is fancy dress; as they are the staple of old fashioned schoolboy outfits commonly used in school themed clubs and parties.

by: John Gibb

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