Grail Blazer

This week I received an email from a young guy just discovering traditional American style. He was in need of a blazer and wanted to know all the proper Ivy details and then where to get one. I offered up the usual suspects, but told him there are many variables, price being the first one. Then there are all the differences in fit, shoulder construction, a two-button undarted from The Andover Shop versus 3/2 darted from Ralph Lauren, et cetera. Oh, and must you have a hook vent?

I told him all I can merely do is be a kind of counselor who helps him arrive at what he wants, which is ultimately something only he can decide. He’s the one with the priorities and dealbreakers. He responded by writing, “I guess I’m after the Holy Grail of blazers.”

So he wasn’t exactly sure what an Ivy blazer was, but whatever it was it had to be perfect.

Now Holy Grails, as you’ve probably heard, are notoriously difficult to find. When it comes to grail clothing items, you need to go custom if you want everything on your wish list. And guys who’ve been getting their clothes custom for decades will tell you that things never turn out 100% as you’d hoped.

Recently I became fortunate enough to get pretty much my grail blazer. I’d been without a navy blazer for a long time, unsure exactly how I’d wear it. Then Jay Walter, head of J. Press’ custom program, kindly offered to make one for me, and it was finished just recently. Here are some photos (excuse the mediocre selfies made with my camera’s self-timer).

I opted to go with a doeskin fabric, flap but not patch pockets, two button cuffs with working buttonholes, lapped seams and swelled edges, and an 8.5-inch hook vent. Jay chose the bright blue lining. The shoulders came back from the New York tailoring house a bit too structured, so I had Jay’s finishing man alter them, which he did superbly. The buttons Jay said are some classic J. Press buttons he had lying around.

I’ve used the blazer here in a kind of dressy outfit I’d wear to a concert or something, with a French cuff, spread-collar shirt and cashmere tie from Ralph Lauren, custom tapered trousers from Brooks Brothers, and cracked shoes by Peal for Brooks. Look closely, you’ll see why that’s the last cashmere tie I ever buy.

So what’s your Holy Grail navy blazer? Have you already found it or are you still searching and saving your pennies? — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

86 Comments on "Grail Blazer"

  1. I donated all of my expensive blazers with gold buttons to Goodwill a few years ago. The people I deal with, the conferences I go to – nobody wears blazers with gold buttons.

  2. Right now it’s a ’70s Polo navy flannel blazer that I scored on eBay. It’s more British in style, only has two buttons and is darted with a somewhat low button stance. But it has lapped seams on the sleeves and down the back which I like. One day, I want a navy blazer with patch pockets, 3/2 roll, lapped seams and edges, gold coat-of-arms buttons and possibly surgeon/working cuffs.

  3. Southwick Made to Measure. Fresco fabric. All the Ivy details:

    -Three/two button stance
    -Flap and Patch pockets
    -Hook vent
    -Lapped Seams
    -Patch Breast pocket

    Mine is the Douglas model. Next time I will try the Cambridge.

  4. ZJP, what is Fresco fabric?

  5. I’ve always held that the BB sack was the gold standard for off the rack. What is it missing?,default,pd.html

  6. MacMcConnell | March 29, 2017 at 5:12 pm |

    “Fresco is generally made of multiple yarn, high twisted wool and has a plain weave. The high twist allows for an open weave, which makes the fabric very airy in the sense that you can feel any breeze.Aug 16, 2011”

    Think tropical weight worsted or hop sack.

    Trick is to have a doeskin for the cold months and a trop wt one for the warmer months. Corbin once made some very affordable blazers as did Polo University.

  7. Thanks, Mac, that makes sense seeing as “fresco” means “fresh” in one of the Romantic languages. Ideally, I’d like to have a hopsack blazer for the spring and summer and flannel for the fall and winter. My school uniform blazer was hopsack, funny thing is it was part of our winter uniform.

  8. Polo RL doeskin fall and winter.
    Southwick hopsack spring and summer.

  9. Michael Brady | March 29, 2017 at 6:07 pm |

    Fred (initial commenter): No one wears any of the stuff you see here any longer. We are living life as it appears in our rear view mirror. Don’t be too thin-skinned about what others may think. It only has to be right in your frame of reference.

    My ultimate navy blazer is a PRL doeskin flannel, with the crossed-mallet brass buttons, much like GS mentions above. The low button stance is very flattering and in my opinion, no other even comes close.

  10. Michael, mine has the same buttons they still use them on their current blazers. I agree the low button stance is flattering, especially since I am 6 ft 2. It evens out my legs and torso in appearance.

  11. @JDD The 1818 sack should be about three inches longer. Just my opinion.

    My new (to me) BB sack blazer with replaced buttons from BB and fresh from the cleaners is my grail coat. Sixty degrees here in Virginia so ideal for a blazer. Paired with green and white university stripe RL OCBD, red with blue bar stripe 346 tie and RL khakis and loafers. Received complement from customer’s secretary on first day worn.

    @Fred Find better conferences to attend. ;0P


  12. Chewco L.P. (Offshore) | March 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm |

    What’s wrong with the tie? I can’t see anything wrong with it.

    THE grail blazer is RLPL’s cashmere blazer (Drake model). It’s definitely not ‘trad’ (has side vents, darts, ticket pockets, 2 buttons) BUT their jackets are the only things I’ve ever bought that requires ab-so-lute-ly no alterations off the rack.


  13. John Carlos | March 29, 2017 at 7:01 pm |

    I agree with JDD. I’ve worn a BB Sack for over thirty years. Seems to touch all the trad bases.

  14. Chewco L.P. (Offshore) | March 29, 2017 at 7:18 pm |

    Furthermore, I am sorry… I cannot endorse BB blazers. I have spent too much money there to know.

    If this bans me from ivy-style… so be it.

  15. I chose fresco over hopsack due to the fact that it wears a bit harder and is naturally wrinkle resistant(for the most part). If you go to any store with a Southwick account, they can get the fresco. I had it made with half lining to make it even more suitable for the heat.

    I would like a doeskin for the colder months.

  16. My grail blazer is from Sid Mashburn. This is the best blazer I’ve ever owned. It looks and feels incredible.

  17. @CC. Killer outfit. Really well put together. The white pocket square with the blue trim is a classic touch. It really brings the whole outfit together. It just shows how one item can make or break an outfit.

  18. I may be wrong; but I think there is a “snag” across CC’S tie about two inches down from the knot. Unfortunately, this can happen with any tie regardless of the material — cashmere, silk or any other material. I think it adds to the out fit in my humble opinion.

  19. @Michael Brady – got your point. thx

  20. What’s the deal with Southwick? I’ve heard much about them but where are they available for purchase? Doesn’t Brooks own, or simply use, them?

  21. Fred: Expanding on what Michael said; the fact that “… nobody wears blazers with gold buttons” is to me all the more reason to wear one.

    I personally take gold a step further: I have a double-breasted navy blazer with gold buttons that I occasionally throw on for swank affairs and accessorize with a gold watch. Then I walk into the room like a boss.

    Two weeks ago I ordered a custom ultra-lightweight blazer for summer. Basically navy with a subtle plaid that is unnoticeable more than ten feet away. It’s my own blend of Ivy and generic Early 1960s styling. Two-button, quarter lining, natural shoulders, three-inch notched lapels, slanted pockets with two-inch flaps, ticket pocket, 7.5-inch rear center vent, two (widely-spaced, like Christian’s) button cuffs. Medium grey mother-of-pearl buttons.

  22. What a timely post: I’ve recently wanted to inquire of the group about where to get a navy hopsack blazer for warmer weather. It sounds like Southwick is the place to go? I recently saw a charming ad of theirs in Garden & Gun. I too (like GS) need to find a retailer.

  23. I have two, both MTO and both with the same detailing. Hickey doeskin for fall in their natural shoulder model and some kind of springy, high-twist Loro Piana cloth from Samuelsohn for spring in their shirtsleeve shoulder model. Three-on-two tip-over, undarted, hook vent, welted all over, patch-and-flap and crest pockets. Doeskin is fully lined (Hickey may have made that decision for me, I don’t recall, but I usually minimize linings) while the spring weight is 3/8 lined. Hickey’s standard innocuous brass buttons (dagger and key motif?). Brass buttons on the Sammy are crown and knot design that I saw in Ben Silver, but I ordered them for a fraction of the price directly from England.

    A navy blazer must have brass buttons.

  24. Christian, your blazer was the first item I noticed on my first visit to Jay’s office, just minutes before you arrived to pick it up. It inspired me to ask Jay for a similar one in hopsack. For better or for worse, the lapped seams, swelled edges, hook vent, and two-button sleeves are now personal must-haves, and I intend to replace both my old tropical worsted blazer and doeskin blazer with Jay Walter for J.Press models.

  25. Archivist Trad | March 29, 2017 at 11:19 pm |

    If a French cuff, spread collar shirt counts as “Ivy”, I would argue that it’s quite normal that there are so many differing notions regarding details:

    brass buttons yes/no
    patch pockets yes/no
    working cuff buttons yes/no
    number of button holes on the cuffs
    3/2 roll vs. 2 buttons
    lapped seams, swelled edges yes/no
    single/double vent vs. no vent
    undarted vs. darted
    fully vs. partially lined
    ticket pocket yes/no
    plus other details not mentioned.

    Is there any one detail upon which we all agree?

  26. Apollo seems to be more interested in the radiator.

  27. Archivist Trad,
    I believe there is unanimity on color.

  28. Archivist Trad | March 30, 2017 at 1:23 am |


    I seem to have been blind to the forest for the trees.

  29. I’ve found two. One made of substantial English flannel, 2 button 3 patch with a hook vent and narrow lapels. Longer than would be stylish now. Made in Canada by “Laurentides” – early 1960’s would be my guess. The other one is an ideal 3/2 roll flapped pocket single vent with 3″ lapels made of Loro Piana Cashmere. Sold by a local Men’s shop that is now out of business. I don’t think I paid maore than $50 for the pair, alterations on sleeves included. I do keep another Phillipine made hopsack one around for good weather, the bonus is that it has zippered inside “Travel” pockets, about 6 of them. All used with flannels or khakis, OCBD’s and old ties. I think everyone’s “grail” blazer is one they can wear with whatever they have and things play nice together.

  30. Archivist, a spread collared shirt with French cuffs is more trad than Ivy.

  31. I live in the tropics, so my details would be(In descending order of Priorities):

    Patch & Flap/Flap
    Lightweight wool (One of the most important parts, though as long as it’s not ridiculously thick it’s fine)
    3″ Lapels (Anything larger or smaller are a deal-breaker, want to keep it classic.)
    3/2 Roll
    2 Brass Buttons on the Sleeve
    Partially Lined
    Lapped Seams/Swelled Edges
    Single/Double Vent

    However, a great stand-in I have right now’s a 6×2 Double Breasted hopsack. It does the job, I got it on the cheap and it fit well right out the gate. If only I had more reasons to wear it…

  32. I’ve been wearing navy blazers for the last 50 years. I currently own four. My favorite is a Jack Nicklaus Tournament Series that I bought a few years ago at Goodwill for $6. Literally new, when I bought it, I deduct that it is a conservative mid 1980’s vintage. Extremely lightweight, a perfect coat for hot summer wear. Brass buttons with what is probably Jack’s coat of arms, or his idea of coat of arms, with crossed golf clubs and a golden bear.

    A couple years ago, I came across a nice barely worn Augusta green “Bobby Jones” model blazer at Goodwill. Trying it on, it was a bit snug, and I passed on buying it for $5. The coat looked like it had been some kind of tournament giveaway, and sat in a closet for years.

    I went back a day or two later to find the coat gone. Oh well.


  33. Southwick’s website has the answer as to where one can find a dealer. O’Connells and J Press carry a range of sacks made by Southwick.

    Brooks does own them and uses them for certain lines. They may make the Golden Fleece stuff these days.

    If you have classic tastes, they are a great option. Their made to measure program is good, but it really depends on who is measuring.

    I know S.E. uses them quite a bit. Perhaps he could provide more detail?

  34. My grail blazer would feature oversized specs in terms of lap seams, hook vent, patch pockets, and top stitching. Topcoat dimensions, but on a blazer.

    I remain intrigued by Press’ reefer twill. Surely something similar has been woven. Like this?

  35. Chewco……I have that RLPL blazer as well and completely agree on the fit……absolutely perfect (for me at least). One of my sleeve buttons came off and I brought it by the RL mansion hoping to find a replacement and was told they didn’t have an exact match but had a similar button in a more muted bronze tone which I actually preferred. They replaced all of the buttons at no charge while I waited which I thought was a remarkable level of customer care.

  36. @Archivist Trad

    The editor of Ivy Style knows full well what is canononical Ivy and what is not. He owns one spread-collar, French-cuff shirt and opted to wear it here, pointing out that this is a “dressy” outfit, and figuring you’ve seen a blazer paired with khakis, blue OCBD and rep tie enough already.

  37. First, if the coat doesn’t have metal buttons it’s a sportcoat not a blazer.

    Secondly, for off the rack holy grails of blazers I’ve owned over my life were a late 70s Polo doeskin, a late 70s unconstructed Polo cotton drill, late 80s a worsted Southwick and a 90s Hickey trop wt gaberdine DB. The Hickey is the only one I still own. Lots of Corbin and Polo University blazers peppered throughout which I still wear.

    Thirdly, I agree with Christian’s “dressy” argument. I never wear a BD with a DB when wearing a tie, it’s alway a spread or most likely a tab collar.

  38. Preppy SJW | March 30, 2017 at 9:49 am |

    I think the contrast collar might be a little too much with the spread collar and cuff links. Just feels like too much of a suit shirt to me.

    As for double-breasted blazers and suits, I am a fan of a snap-tab collar or a pinned straight collar to add a little formality. Feels much less stiff than a spread collar.

    The only spread collar I have is on my tuxedo shirt.

  39. Preppy SJW | March 30, 2017 at 9:51 am |

    Also, for the record, I don’t think I would ever wear black captoe bals with a blazer. Also feels too “suit-ish.”

  40. Dutch Uncle | March 30, 2017 at 10:08 am |

    For the youngsters among us:

  41. Yes, of course the shirt is meant for suits. I thought it rather Roger Moore to wear with a blazer.

    And I was going to put on my usual tassels but thought I’d wear the cracked rain shoes to balance the spanking newness of the blazer.

    Doing it wrong on purpose,


  42. Charlottesville | March 30, 2017 at 10:54 am |

    Good topic. I have a several blazers in different weights and styles: a 25-year old Brooks 3/2 sack in flannel; a similar sack from J. Press, but in lighter weight flannel that I bought on e-bay; a tropical-weight 3/2 sack from Press for summer; and a non-Ivy, but I think elegant, darted 6/2 DB in flannel with side vents that I had custom made about 10 years ago. The Press versions have hook vents, and the Brooks blazer does not. I think the Polo 2-button, darted doeskin version from a few years ago, when it was a bit longer, is a great looking blazer, as are the 3/2 sacks I prefer. It’s largely a matter of personal taste. The absolute requirements for a blazer are that it be navy, have gold buttons and fit well. I might make allowances for other colors, provided one has won a major golf tournament, is rowing for his university, or is visiting Palm Beach.

  43. Charlottesville
    I’ve won many best ball golf tourneys with my drunken frat brothers over the decades. So do I get special dispensation to wear my old Polo University hunter green flannel blazer? 😉

  44. The Loafer Lawyer | March 30, 2017 at 11:09 am |

    @JDD & @ Sacksuit – Pretty much agree. The 1818 is my standard bearer. Being only 5’9″, with a tailored 43R version, the length works out fine. At 53 degrees right now in Central VA, the weight is just about perfect.

  45. Christian, I have to say I do like this ensemble. In better light, I imagine the contrasts in shade and texture would be even more pronounced.

    In my neck of the woods, the darted, 2-button, double-vented, flap-pocketed jacket is ubiquitous. But last summer I picked up a great find; perhaps not “grail” status but close.

    It is a half-lined, soft-shouldered, patch-pocketed solid navy jacket in a lightweight wool with a subtle dobby weave. It was on the sale rack at 60% off, perhaps because it was labelled as a 50L and prospective customers didn’t realize that the sizing was European (which makes sense, since it was made by Zegna).

    It may be a bit more Amalfi Coast than New England Yacht Club, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing to me.

  46. Charlottesville | March 30, 2017 at 1:13 pm |

    Mac — I can think of no better qualification to entitle you to wear the sacred green blazer. Not having triumphed on the links myself, I am restricted to regulation navy blue, but I admire your accomplishment. I also confess to having a soft spot for the lighter blue hopsack blazers that I see around this part of the country in the summer, but I was thinking more of the Grail blazer if one were to have only one. As one who owns a darted, dual-vented DB, I cannot afford to cast Ivy purist stones.

  47. It’s (still) interesting how roots in sport, (English) country wear, campus (understood as an extension of country), and the military merge to create what we here think of as Ivy style. While it’s true the blazer is of naval origin and frequently accessorized for the sort of dressy/dressed-up look that Christian has favored, it can benefit from a more rustic country interpretation. This would mean a heathered navy shetland hopsack tweed instead of the ubiquitous serge, a higher vent, lap(ped) seams everywhere (shoulder, back, arms, pockets), swelled edges, a looser fit, big patch pockets, soft, rounded shoulders, and, below, bellows patch pockets. This sort of styling won’t benefit from the shiny (and cheap looking) gold-toned buttons one sees all the time. Antique brass buttons are key.

  48. This post prompted me to review my own decades long accumulation of blazers. I believe each (all Brooks or J Press) was purchased on sale. My favorites are two Press all-cashmere numbers, three button flap pockets — the only ones without patch pockets- bought very reasonable over three years and no longer available.
    A Social Primer version from Brooks likely provided the deepest discount.
    There is also at least one Brooks summer weight that is indispensable. As with the cashmeres it suits seasonable weather quite well.
    A year-round Brooks hangs behind my office door for sudden jacket requirements.
    Finally, I reject the theory that the brass buttons are an issue as they quickly lose that shiny new clothes look.

  49. seasonal

  50. While gilt or brass buttons are without doubt the (pardon the pun) “gold” standard for blazer buttons, I personally feel that antique bronze, silver, enamel or a select few other buttons can be acceptable as long as they provide enough contrast to express the fact that the garment in question is not in fact a blue suit jacket.

    Even white mother-of-pearl buttons on a navy blazer look good worn aboard one’s yacht or anywhere within around a kilometre of the Mediterranean coast. Certainly not Trad however.

    The only buttons I dislike are shiny brass flat buttons. Because of their single-plane surface, they either reflect light like a tiny golden mirror; or they reflect none at all, making it often appear that a button has gone missing.

  51. What the Brooks Brothers blazer is missing right now is sizes. For the past several months it has not been available in common sizes, like 40R. I hope they aren’t phasing it out as I was planning to buy a replacement this summer.

    For a ‘holy grail’, I’d like to have a hopsack blazer, 3/2, partially lined, with patch/flap pockets and a patch pocket at the chest. This last detail seems entirely unavailable RTW nowadays, so I guess some day I’ll have to have one made.

  52. Preppy SJW | March 30, 2017 at 3:07 pm |


    I get that you know better. I just don’t think it works. I think you can dress down a jacket, but you can’t dress it up. It would be like wearing a tuxedo shirt with a charcoal grey suit, worsted slacks with a corduroy jacket, or a black satin bowtie with a seersucker suit. Even if you know clearly better, there is no way to make that not look weird.

    The converse works – OCBD with a tux, loafers with a suit, beat up reds with a blazer, etc. I think this is because the suit or jacket is the dominant or framework garment and things like shirts, pants, shoes, etc. are essentially there to complement the jacket or suit. An overly formal shirt competes with the blazer for primacy. GTH pants might draw attention away from the blazer, but the blazer is still the most formal piece in the outfit and remains the focal point.

    Just my two morally relativistic cents,


  53. Interesting stuff. I’ve written about this kind of stuff before using an arrow analogy and whether it’s pointed up for formality or down toward casual. Virtually all trads like the arrow pointed towards the casual (hence loafers with suits).

    If you’d like to think about this a bit more and pen a few more paragraphs, it would make for an interesting post.

  54. CC’s overall vibe is haute updated traditional. Very Paul Stuart.

  55. MacMcConnell | March 30, 2017 at 4:45 pm |

    The holy grail of green blazers would be a membership or championship at Augusta National Golf Club, but I don’t have the class, finances or skills to get one. The “green jacket” was made by Brooks till 1967. An interesting fact is that owners of these blazers aren’t allowed to take them off the grounds of the club.

  56. One day a co-worker showed up wearing a green blazer. As soon as the office wag caught site of him, he called out; “Hey Ed, where’s your saxophone?”

  57. MacMcConnell | March 30, 2017 at 6:39 pm |

    James Kraus

    White bucks are more likely to get the sax comment. Always remember, bad sax is better than no sax at all.

  58. Brown shoes, baby, need brown shoes.

  59. Vern Trotter | March 30, 2017 at 7:32 pm |

    I believe the green Blazers at Augusta can now leave the club when the golfer retires but not before of course. I may be wrong. I also read they are now made by a company in Cincinnati but I do not remember the name.

    Those of us of a certain age and from the environs of Boston remember when Brooks Brothers sent everything after their sales to Filene’s Basement. What an event that was. Lines around the block. I bought a cashmere navy blazer there and replaced the “brass” buttons with scrimshaw buttons. I wore this for many, many years before it went to the Thrift shop. Sadly, I forgot to keep the scrimshaw buttons.

  60. My grail blazer would be a soft-shouldered doeskin in a slightly, yet noticeably, lighter color than the navy they usually are. Basically I want some differentiation from the others I and everyone else already have.

    The color of the jacket I’m wearing in my avatar picture is perfect, but it’s missing a few of the other key features.

  61. I too would like to see an article by this supposedly preppy SJW, if such a creature exists.

  62. Michael Brady | March 31, 2017 at 11:02 am |

    CC, very tasty ensemble, sir! I would venture a question about favorite shoes with a blazer. The black laced shoes certainly aren’t wrong, but I find them less than ideal with the blazer. The only laced shoe I would wear with the blazer would be dark brown suede. To me the ideal shoe for the blazer would be the classic tassel slip-on, particularly with the look you have put together. When I wore dress wear daily, I generally saved black tie-shoes for very dressy occasions, and with suits only. Double breasted blazers sometimes could work for dressier day or evening, and that is where I would go to the black slip-on.

  63. GS,

    Why wouldn’t I exist? Are you a solipsist?


  64. Because SJWs are against anything normal and/or traditional and would find Ivy Style, or even preppy style, too masculine or too white.

  65. Chewco L.P. (Offshore) | March 31, 2017 at 4:28 pm |

    I almost forgot to mention that I also own this blazer by Brooks Brothers Own Make:

    It ticks all the boxes that many of you consider a “grail” trad blazer:

    – 3/2 roll
    – Single hooked vent
    – Hop-sack wool (cashmere)
    – No darts
    – Sack coat model
    – Half-lined
    – Soft shoulders
    – Flap pockets
    – Bronze metal buttons
    – 2 button jacket sleeve
    – Color = deep “boardroom” navy

    But, I still stand by my initial comment as to what I think is THE grail blazer.

  66. Cashmere hopsack seems odd, hopsack, in my experience is like burlap.

  67. I had a hopsack from Norman Hilton and man I really didn’t like that fabric.

  68. As I said, my school’s “winter” blazer was hopsack and it was not a nice fabric. Granted, it was a wool/polyester blend. Brooks made one too and called it “Brooks Blend.” You can put a fancy name on it but it’s still inferior.

  69. Chewco L.P. (Offshore) | March 31, 2017 at 9:35 pm |

    GS, its much more subtle than that. Hardly noticeable (maybe because the cashmere fibers “fill in the gaps”). It almost looks like twill.

    Looks more like this:

    less like this:

    And the dark navy makes it even more subtle.

    No experience with Norman Hilton. But more importantly, you still haven’t given us any clues about what’s wrong with the tie. I’m going to guess the white streak running from right to left is not part of the paisley pattern but an imperfection:×703.jpg

    I thought that: worn in, holes, imperfections, faded dyes, missing buttons, etc. were all part of “the look.”

  70. The tie is Purple Label and original retail price was a small fortune. After one wearing it developed the run that you can see right below the knotting area. I appreciate broken-in clothes as much as the next guy but this is a manufacturing blemish and an annoyance.

  71. There’s a simple way to reconcile the incongruities Preppy SJW and some of the other contributors have pointed out in CC’s choice shirt, tie, shoes, etc., to accompany his new blazer. Replace the blazer’s metal buttons with dark horn.

  72. Dutch Uncle | April 1, 2017 at 1:49 am |


    Check the sheet music on Our Mentor’s piano:

  73. Uncle, didn’t realize that you were referring to that. I stand by my link, still a damn fine song.

  74. Chewco, that still looks like hopsack, is it very soft?

  75. For the proper blazer details, you need go no further than the collection of Norman Hilton advertisements on this site.

    Scroll down to the photo of a man on a dock with a figure in the background in the scull. The text reads, “Details include patch and flap pockets, welted edges and seams, hooked center vent, antiqued brass buttons”. Additionally, it had a “Glenurquhart plaid lining” and the photograph shows a crest pocket.

    The ad may be more than a half-century old. But what worked then works now.

  76. Preppy SJW | April 4, 2017 at 9:43 am |


    I see you prefer to argue with straw men. Sad.


  77. james dalessandro | April 13, 2017 at 5:07 pm |

    I started in thei business long time ago. Ralph was selling in specialty stores. We carried His Polo I blazer and Polo 4 blazer. The number one was bluffed edge, two button, center vent, double bessom pocket. Good for OCBD and Polo Kennedy collar shirts. Polo 4 was bluffed edge lapels, two button, side vents, ticket pocket, double bessom pockets. This more for spread collar shirts, contrast collar and cuff, dressier looks. I know rules are only guide lines but your clothing is beautiful and well fitting. However, welt seem, 3 button jacket is too casual a look for the very dressy shirt. If you are worried about rules. If not, what the heck, you looked great.

  78. james dalessandro | April 13, 2017 at 5:09 pm |

    Sorry, besom.

  79. Michael Brady | April 13, 2017 at 8:44 pm |

    Jim Dalessandro… I remember you and Harvey from Knickerbockers in Cleveland. It was one of the great stores, and much of my Polo came from you. For the most part, men don’t have that kind of relationship with a clothier; if they even know what a clothier is! Thanks for the memories.

  80. Contrary Flâneur | April 26, 2017 at 6:34 pm |

    I like all sorts of fabrics and styles so have at least a dozen… But, if limited to one, would choose trad. sack with 3 open patch pockets & hook vent. No idea where one might buy today, but Press offered sometime in the last decade or so for one or two seasons.

  81. Contrary Flâneur | April 26, 2017 at 7:14 pm |

    Ivy + Style = CC.

    I’d cast you as United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s…

  82. Too kind, sir! And nice to welcome aboard a new username, and with a Gravatar! And “flaneur” suggests you’re familiar with dandy history?

  83. Irving G. Steinberg | May 31, 2018 at 10:01 pm |

    I have been looking for a 1960s style classic trad blazer for a long time and finally found one with all the right details: a “Oxford Ltd” (Stony Brook, L.I.) Flannel Navy Blue with a 3/2 roll button sack cut, 7 in center hooked vent, very light shoulder padding and natural shoulder, narrow 2 5/8 in lapels, 2 button cuffs (though one is missing), swelled edges, lapped seams, 1/2 lined, 3 patch pockets with flaps on 2 main pockets, brass buttons, 2 inside pockets, and a 1962-68 Union Label.

    Just one problem: I wear a 40 Long. The blazer measures like a big 44 Long and is 33 inches from the bottom of the collar to rear hem. I can maybe get it slimmed up and use it in cold weather with a sweater to fill out thec19 inch shoulders but short of gaining a size or two, I hold out hope a good tailor can split the difference size wise so I can wear it year round. Need a time machineto Get the right size. These 60s trad survivors were slightly more common on eBay a few years back but have all bit dissapeard save for the poly darted wise lapel 70s examples or as I found, the “unusual” sized specimen. Fingers crossed for my tailor.

  84. Vern Trotter | June 1, 2018 at 12:54 pm |

    I recall that the distaff CEO that was brought in by Marks and Spencer to run Brooks wanted to drop brass blazer buttons. Many years later she is forgotten and the brass buttons are still there even if attached to much inferior blazers.

  85. Evan Everhart | July 28, 2018 at 9:08 pm |

    I already have my ideal blazer; Brooks Bros. navy blue, hopsack, 3/2, patch & flap hip pockets and patch breast pocket, lapped seams bellied lapels, gilt BB buttons, beyond soft shouldered with relatively high arm holes. I have 2 others in bottle green hopsack with brass buttons and avocado green Palm Beach cloth with mother of pearl buttons, all are sack coats.

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