Tafadzwa Zimoyo Fashion 263
I was walking along George Silundika Avenue in the central business district (CBD)and I noticed one guy who was wearing a grey blazer with matching grey chino pants and I admired the combination.
I then passed through a male fashion store — Hibre Fashions and met up with fashion stylist and owner of the store, Linda Rukuni, as we discussed the rules of the blazer, how men and women should dress.
“The key is to have your own point of view attached to it,” she said. “Personally, I love cropped pants in vegan leather, a great fitted blazer, and a button-down.”
A lot of people have queries over the blazer, like how long should a blazer be on a man, how do you wear a blazer casually, how tight should a blazer be and what colour the blazer should be.
In fact, the traditional rule says the hem of your jacket should hit around the thumb knuckle, the one between the end of your thumb and where the joint meets the palm.
That is the basic knowledge we grew up having.
Some even questioned about the button issue, if one has to button all the buttons or what?
Rukuni, who specialises too in blazer wear, said the rule of never closing the bottom button may be founded in etiquette and tradition, but really, it is about practicality more than style.
“Leaving your blazer buttoned when you sit down can pull the fabric and exacerbate the effects of any weight you may have in the middle, while buttoning the jacket when you stand up pulls in your silhouette and makes you look leaner,” she said.
Rukuni said blazers depended on occasion, just like suits, and some might wear them to feel warm, while others wear them as fashion statements, but the bottom line is you still need to distinguish casual from corporate wear.
“For instance, when you decide to wear your blazer at a casual event, you need to understand that doing up a blazer’s top button is obviously more structured,” she explained.
“This is the best way to wear one as it shows off the fit and shape of the jacket. If you are wearing a suit or blazer to a wedding or formal event, you should never leave your jacket open, but if you are wearing a blazer casually with chinos or jeans, you can keep it relaxed and open, as this gives you a cool comfortable look.”
Rukuni hinted that if you cannot find the right size of your blazer, best advice is to buy a bigger size and get it tailored to fit.
She said that you will look odd if you wear your blazer with an untucked shirt.
“This is what most drunkards do and I am sure you do not want to be mistaken for a drunkard,” said Rukuni. “It is uncool to wear your blazer like that unless you are a fashion model and your stylist told you to do so, you can get away with that but your blazer has to be colourful.”
Here is a quick guide when going buttoned up and here is how you do it:
For a one-button blazer: “Button when standing and undo when sitting.”
For a two-button blazer: “When you are standing, the top button should always be done up; the bottom one never.”
For a three-button blazer: “This one is slightly more nuanced. The bottom button should never be done up; the middle button should always be; and, again, when you sit, everything should be undone.
“The top button is optional, depending on the height of the button, the formality of the occasion and your body type.
Leave the top button undone if your jacket is slightly too small for you, if the button is higher than mid-chest and or if the event is quite casual.
If you are going somewhere formal and your jacket fits well, do up the top button as it will help your suit look sharper.
For a waistcoat: “Follow the blazer rules; never close the bottom button, but never ever leave a waistcoat completely open; it just does not work.”