Blazers: Patterns and Colors


Figure 2.--This boy in 1960 wears a print blazer. The ad reads "Learning to look at art ia an exciting passtime. Young visitors to an exhibition wear prints with an old fashioned falvor. ... His paisley print corduroy blazer weaves olive and gold against red." Size 3 to 7.

The initial blazer jacket was a falmboyant garment. Many were striped in bright colors, and included a patch pocket where the school shield appeared. One fashion columnist wrote in the The Lady's World (1887), "The stripped flannel jackets, under the familiar name "blazer" brilliant in coloring, created for the river and the cricket field are worn on nearly all occasions now by girls and boys." Most blazers are solid colors, but stripped blazers were popular school uniforms in England. Blazers were also made in other patterns--but this was not common. Solid colors were much more prevalent, in part because the stripped ones were more expensive. Many boys also preferred the less flamboyant solid colors. Today the great majority of balzers are solid colors, especially navy blue.

Chronology

The initial blazer jacket was a falmboyant garment. HBC at this time has little information on early blazers. Some limited inforamtion suggests that stripes in bright colors were commom. HBC wants addotional inforamtion to form anu comclisions on the subject. After the 1950s, stripped blazers declined, inj part bexcause of the greater costs of the srripped blazers. Bright colors are also now less common. It is the dark navy blue blazer that is now the standard in boys' clothing.

Patterns

Many early blazers were striped in bright colors, and included a patch pocket where the school shield appeared. One fashion columnist wrote in the The Lady's World (1887), "The stripped flannel jackets, under the familiar name "blazer" brilliant in coloring, created for the river and the cricket field are worn on nearly all occasions now by girls and boys." HBC has even noted adverstisements for paisley print blazers. These blazers begib to look more like sports jackets.

Colors

Most blazers are solid colors, but stripped blazers were popular school uniforms in England. Blazers were also made in other patterns--but this was not common. Solid colors were much more prevalent, in part because the stripped ones were more expensive. Many boys also preferred the less flamboyant solid colors. Today the great majority of balzers are solid colors, especially navy blue.

Blazer Styling

Some reaers have questioned if the garment shown here is really a blazer or would be better described as a sports jacket. We have used it here as the ad copy described it as a blazer. We noted that it has brass buttons--which is an important element of a blazer, although not always used. HBC was bothered by the material--described as a paisley print. HBC ha thought of the blazer as either a solid-colored garment or a strippe garment.

Other elements of the blazer are not easy to make out. According to one English reader, "A blazer has a pocket sewn on (patch pocket) and no cover (flap) to it whilst in a jacket the pocket is part of the garment and has a flap of about two inches over the entrance to the pocket." Presumably the reader if referring to the side pockets because few sports jackets had flaps on breast pockets--perhaps some Norfolk suits. HBC notes that existing images are not clear enough to determine if flaps are on any school blazers. Many blazers, however, appear to be made with regular sewn in rather than patch pckets--suggesting that the actual definition of a blazer is rather flexible.






Christopher Wagner






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Created: March 21, 2001
Last update: March 21, 2001