The Heritage of the Blazer
The blazer has been an iconic sartorial statement piece for over two centuries with a heritage encapsulating the epitome of smart-casual. The jacket has evolved in to an essential item that has been redefined, reworked and can now be found in everyone’s wardrobe.
The term ‘blazer’ was first coined around 1825 when a journalist described the ‘blazing red’ jackets of the members of The Lady Margaret Boat Club. The term became commonplace in 1845, used in reference to the H.M.S ‘Blazer’. Describing the durable, yet smart, sports jacket the naval crews wore in an attempt to impress the Queen on her impending inspection.
The blazer remained an item common with naval crews and boating clubs and this is still evident in a lot of the examples you’ll find on the high street today. Naval style buttons, smart tailoring and durable fabrics continue to reflect the heritage of the jacket.
The blazer’s adaptability is a major factor in its enduring success. It continues to provide endless combinations to create outfits that require an element of refinement without the formality. It first introduced versatility to formal attire in the 19th century but has been continually reinterpreted and has been a classic for both men and women ever since.
The evolution of the blazer in menswear is pretty clear, but it was Christian Dior’s famous New Look in 1947 that truly revolutionised the way women wore the blazer. Dior brought back a light-hearted sexuality to fashion that had been sorely missed due to the austerity of war. The signature look of fitted blazers worn over full-length maxi skirts firmly established the blazer as a women’s staple creating a relaxed approach to clothing that has subsequently continued to influence women’s fashion.
Despite the fact that the blazer has been central to many iconic fashion movements and subcultures, from the double-breasted naval ‘reefers’ to the striped blazers of the Mods in the 60s, it has always been synonymous with sport and leisure. Beginning in boating then advancing in to hunting, cycling, cricket and tennis, the well-heeled sportsman has often donned a blazer. The durable but flexible design establishes the blazer as the original sartorial active wear essential.
Understanding this history, MEAME took inspiration from traditional shooting blazers, incorporating similar shoulder-blade pleating into their approach to designing the Alpha and Maia blazers. The style has then been brought up to date with reinforced elastics, allowing freedom of movement whilst keeping its slim fit shape. Suedette shoulder panels feature to further mirror this reference; protecting against your bag strap (instead of your gun).
The Exclusive Reflective MEAME Herringbone Tweed that forms these jackets is sympathetic to the traditional heritage, resulting in a garment that will always look timeless. MEAME has updated the functionality of the blazer with the incorporation of water-repellent finishes; ensuring that it will truly blaze once again.
Written by: Joanne Toner