Received this question today from ajamison, who asked:
I need a navy blazer - painfully overdue for one. Any suggestions on where to find a halfway decent one for <$200? I live in LA, so I can go with something a bit lighter weight as well. Really appreciate any guidance. Thanks!
The first thing I’d caution is to expect spending an additional $50-100 in tailoring to the final cost of the blazer. While you’ll be looking for a good fit in terms of the jacket’s length and fit in the shoulders, you’ll probably have to cinch the waist and adjust the cuff to your body. You also might opt to narrow the sleeves, too. Depending on what your tailor charges, this could add up to the amount above.
With that in mind, and knowing you will definitely have to spend that money no matter what you buy, you may want to first check out your local thrift stores and eBay first. I haven’t been to a thrift store that doesn’t have a plethora of navy jackets sitting on the rack (along with a lot of tweed coats, too). You’ll want to look for a jacket made of 100% wool (it should say on the label) and make sure it doesn’t have stains, holes, tears, etc. in addition to a good fit in the shoulders and length. If it’s a solid jacket that’s missing buttons, don’t fret. You can go to buttonsandtrim and get a set of new buttons to your liking. I’ve done this with a few jackets myself. Heck, you might want to do this with whatever jacket you end up getting, too.
But let’s say you don’t want to spend the time hunting through thrift-store jungles and need/prefer something off-the-rack and new. You have a few options for navy blazers and sport coats.
First off, Lands’ End is having their friends-and-family sale right now (code: FAMILYSHARE with PIN 6319, ends Monday), which gives you free shipping and 30% off your entire order. I have a few of their suits and if the quality carries over to their blazers, then these could be a good deal for the money.
You have their tailored fit blazer, $139.65 with discount, which looks perfectly fine and traditional with the brass buttons.
If you’re looking for something lighter, then you might consider their sailcloth blazer, $104.65 with discount, which actually looks more like a sport coat, made from lightweight cotton. Just know it’s probably cut in a fuller cut than Lands’ End’s “tailored fit” line.
If you’re looking for a patterned navy sport coat for summer, their linen sport coats have a windowpane and pinstripe options, $104.65 with discount. Again, a fuller cut.
Moving to the somewhat more modern-cut Lands’ End Canvas line, you have a few more options, however, the discount code doesn’t apply to these items. One more thing I’d like to note about these jackets in LEC line is that they have functional surgeon’s cuffs. You’ll want to talk to the LEC customer service about the sleeve lengths of the size you want to see if these will work for you. Otherwise, your tailor will have to cut the sleeves off at the armhole and shorten them that way — and they probably won’t be able to let out the sleeves at all. Either way, it’s an additional expense.
The heritage blazer has black metal buttons instead of the traditional brass and is 100% wool, priced at $179.
There is also the chino sport coat, $89.50, that I’ve seen givemeindiana and suitsandboots wear quite often. If you’re looking for something a bit more casual, this looks like a good, low-priced option.
Moving outside of LE/LEC’s offerings, you could try hitting up your local Macy’s and tracking down this blazer from Tommy Hilfiger’s “slim fit” line, which is on sale right now for $199.99, plus you can get an additional 15% off using promo code FAVES.
Moving to L.L.Bean Signature’s line, you have quite a few options, ranging from casual to more formal. Annoyingly, all of these also come with functional surgeon’s cuffs, so you’ll also want to talk to their customer service about sleeve lengths. The nice thing though is that you can get matching pants and make a suit out of any of these. Granted, I would recommend giving the pants and jacket equal amounts of wear if you’re going to split them up, but it’s a good option to have.
On the formal end, their tropical-weight jacket for $195 looks really nice.
For $155, they have a cotton, plain-weave jacket, which is slightly less formal, but still avoids looking too casual.
And for $135, their stonewashed cotton twill jacket is perhaps the most casual option they have, with patch pockets and a faded look.
Additionally, J.Crew has some cotton-jacket options in that price range. You can also get an additional 20% off with promo code SUNNY, however you have to spend $150. Just buy a watchstrap or pair of socks to put you over the threshold if you’re under.
The stripe-twill Ludlow sport coat is a cotton jacket that will run you $126.40 with the discount. Available sizes are limited though.
J.Crew also has a cavalry-twill cotton sport coat that’s on sale for about $120 if you buy another item to get over the discount threshold. It’s definitely a more casual choice with the patch pockets.
Finally, there’s the Rugby cotton-twill sack jacket, priced at $148.50 when you use promo code GIVE2011 (sale ends April 14). The jacket’s cut a bit shorter and trimmer and has a 3/2 roll.
UPDATED: One more addition: this Brooks Brothers vintage chino jacket is on sale right now for $99.
That’s a lot of options to choose from. Hopefully you find something that you like and works for you. Good luck!