August 20, 2012  ·  style

The Knit Blazer Refined

Unrefinery's readership includes a few vocal opponents of the knit blazer, and it's understandable that the somewhat shapeless sweater hybrids of the past might not be for everyone. Fortunately the trend is towards a more traditional blazer style, and the best examples currently on the market feature all of the traits you look for in a casual sport coat—a conventional button point, patch pockets, a high lapel notch, and typically some sort of partial lining. (Any day now we'll expect to see one of these things with pick stitching, right?)

Besides being a reasonable stand-in for a conventional woven blazer, a knit allows you to bring a more tailored appearance where you might otherwise sacrifice some finish for comfort. Air travel comes to mind. A few favourites from left to right: Uniqlo's "Comfort Jacket" [$60] has the highest cotton content and looks the most blazer-like, other than a lack of vents. Comes in brown, grey, black and navy. Muji's knit blazer [$125] has a great texture; it's cut a little shorter. The Varvatos Star USA piece [$395] is ostensibly more modern with a standard chest pocket and narrower lapels, but is completely synthetic and considerably more expensive. Brooks Brothers used to make a comparable piece at a similar price in 100% merino. Here's hoping they bring that back.

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