In the past, there were times when a blazer in dark green was a secondary alternative to the standard navy. I stress the word "secondary". The dark green blazer is not for the faint of heart, and it's a tough nut to crack. I've always wanted one, and I've experimented over the years, but never with complete success. Until today, I think.
Before we continue, a qualifier on color and photography is in order. All colors have variation of tone and temperature within a family. Green can be brown, or blue, or even yellow. One shade can look good on a guy, and the next can make him look like he's got a skin condition. Additionally, it's hard to photograph; additionally I'm no photographer, and my camera is cheap; additionally, every computer makes things look different. So bear with me and trust my descriptions of the photos that follow.
I always figured the green blazer would be nice in the Fall, given that it's an earth-tone. Yesterday, I tried one with a simple blue pinpoint shirt, stripes bow tie and paisley square. The blue shirt keeps things just conservative enough, but the bits of gold in the tie and square give life to a drab color....maybe.
Since we are in the midst of the "in between" , and it was bright and warm that day, I kept it fresh with some crisp khakis and some pale yellow cotton socks, picking up on the gold up top.
Not bad, but not all there. Swap the green jacket for navy and the whole thing would have been downright classic. So any problems I have with this are in the jacket. For one, the tone is way too brown, too dreary. Also, this jacket is actually the top half of a suit, one that I could never really pull off, either. That's not altogether impossible to do, but in this case, the cloth is all wrong, and I really think a brass buttoned blazer is best with patch and flap pockets. You don't have to tell me, I should have known better. Still, I'd love to find the perfect green blazer.
So today, I find this jacket. A proper green blazer, in a brighter shade more in the blue family, for $6.99. It needs some minor alteration, and clearly a cleaning and pressing are in order. I estimate the final cost of this one to be about $25.
Brooks Brothers "346", early seventies vintage by my guess. Which means this is way before the "346" label was a strictly made for the outlet affair. Inside one of the pockets is a tag stating that it came from a Brooks Brothers factory. You see, once upon a time a brand name was more than just a tag in the neck.
Rendered in thick, but soft flannel. All the details are there: patch and flap pockets, undarted front, 3/2/ roll, but the corker is the open patch breast pocket. Bonus points! I fully expect to get a lot of Master's Tournament and pool table cracks over this one. Can't wait! It's going to be perfect with grey flannels or cavalry twills, under a camel coat.
As though all this weren't enough, the thing is fitted with a full set of real bone scrimshaw buttons. Why anyone would put something as Summery as scallop shells on a green flannel coat is beyond me, but once again we score bonus points. Those buttons will eventually find their proper home on some seersucker, hopefully by next Summer. Until then, I think I'll stash them.
As luck would have it, just two weeks ago my father saw this set of brass buttons in a knick knack shop, and picked them up for me. He said he thought of me when he saw them, and he knew I'd find a good jacket for the to live on. Right away, I was on a mission to find the perfect green coat. Boy, that didn't take long at all. Interestingly, these buttons have the same crest on them as the buttons on my J.Press hopsack blazer, the one I wear every other day until the cold weather comes, when I retire it in favor of one in flannel.
And while we're on the topic, remember this one? I was determined to prove you all wrong, but you were right. This thing is just wrong. I wore it once, but the minute I got to work I took it off. I thought a change of buttons would do this one good, but there's no saving it. I guess I'll just donate it back to charity, but really no one should wear this jacket, unless they're dressing as an S.S. waiter at a Nazi charity ball for Halloween. Even then you could do better. Oh well, we all have our moments, I guess.
Green jackets are tough, but not impossible. If you're feeling bold, give one a try, but be careful. It's important here to be extra picky. Don't buy until you find the right one. I tried to talk myself into the wrong one twice, with various results, all some degree of negative. But I'm sure I've got the right one now.