All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
The best blazers for men are—actually, screw it. By now you’re on board with the spiel. (Or should be!) All you really need to know is that in 2023, the right blazer will pull your wildest fits together as effortlessly as Steph pulling up from three. Which means you needn’t wear one with a dress shirt—least of all those highly-starched, wildly uncomfortable joints hanging limply in the back of your closet.
Sorry, GQ, you might be thinking to yourself. My schedule is (obviously) packed with extremely cool, very happening events, but I’m struggling to figure out when wearing a blazer is appropriate. Congrats, bud—your social calendar is as jammed as we’d expect. But an occasion isn’t a prerequisite to bust out the sharpest blazer in your closet. Simply think of it as another jacket in your seasonal repertoire, and style your blazers (yes, that’s blazers, plural) accordingly.
Accessorize freely: kooky jewelry is cool; a tie is even cooler. A trucker hat is kosher; ditto a ribbed beanie. Pair your blazer of choice with everything from knit polos to vintage tees (or go full Richard Gere and buy one just a smidge oversized) and no one will mistake you for a business casual dress code made horrifyingly sentient.
The Best Blazers Shopping Guide
- The Best All-Around Blazer: Sid Mashburn Kincaid No. 3 jacket, $1,450
- The Best Budget Blazer: Uniqlo AirSense jacket, $80
- The Best Standard-Setting Blazer: J.Crew Kenmare suit jacket $398
- The Best Skate-Ready Blazer: Noah oversized double-breasted jacket, $998
- The Best Double-Breasted Blazer: Polo Ralph Lauren “Doeskin” jacket, $1198
- The Best “Actually, It’s a Sport Coat” Blazer: Todd Snyder “Madison” suit jacket, $
- The Best Blazer for WFH Life: Homme Plissé Issey Miyake pleated suit jacket, $575
- The Best Blazer for a Big Night Out: Gucci “Horsebit” blazer, $3,900
- The Best Blazer That Feels More Like a Chore Coat: Alex Mill “Mill” blazer, $225
Hold Up—What’s the Difference Between a Blazer, a Sport Coat, and a Suit Jacket?
Glad you asked. If you posed the question above to five different people, you’d probably walk away with just as many definitions—none of them all that helpful. The terms tend to be used interchangeably, but, as any forum-lurking sartorialist would be quick to point out, they’re not quite the same. Here’s the breakdown.
Blazers: Menswear purists will insist that a blazer should be cut from solid navy wool with gold or silver buttons—y’know, the type of shamelessly blue-blooded joint your boat shoe-wearing cousin rocked to his high school graduation. These days, though, a blazer is often used to refer to any piece of tailoring that’s not a suit jacket, purists be damned.
Sport Coats: For simplicity’s sake, let’s say that sport coats are just like blazers, but patterned. They also skew a bit more casual, so they’re particularly well-suited (sorry) to wearing with jeans, chinos, or your flashiest pair of trackpants, Richie Tenenbaum style.
Suit Jackets: You know what a suit is, right? Suit jackets are the part of the set you don’t put your legs through. They’re also the most formal of the tailoring options here, and the hardest to wear as separates for that reason.
Got the jargon down? Let’s go shopping. Below you’ll find the absolute best blazers for men on the market right now, from capital-D designer versions courtesy of the biggest names in the biz to achingly hip options from smaller, but no less beloved, menswear upstarts. [Inserts Canadian maple leaf emoji] It’s time to blaze up, baby.
The Best All-Around Blazer
We’ve extolled the virtues of Sid Mashburn’s tailoring at length before, so we might as well make it official: the Atlanta haberdasher’s signature Kincaid blazer is one of the best on the market. The brand’s Kincaid No. 3 jacket is a perennial GQ favorite for a few reasons. Visually speaking, there’s little in the way of splashy design flourishes or distracting aesthetic tics. Instead, it comes kitted out with the type of sartorial minutiae—full canvassing, pick stitching, spalla camicia sleeves—hardcore menswear enthusiasts lose their minds over. (And that’s not even getting into the fabric’s Italian origins!) It’s also slightly less structured than the other jackets in the brand’s repertoire, so it naturally lends itself towards easy mixing and matching—layered over a fuzzy shetland sweater, for example, or paired with a striped Oxford-cloth shirt and a repp tie. Most importantly, its timeless design and quality construction means it’ll look just as good tomorrow as it will ten years from now—and ten years from then, too.
The Best Budget Blazer
You’re in a pinch. You’ve got a wedding coming up and, thankfully, the dress code is fairly lax—but not, like, hoodie and jeans lax. When you’re low on time and have approximately zero friends willing to lend you a suit, you could spend a ton of money on a sport coat you’ll only wear once or twice, especially if it doesn’t quite fit. Or you could just waltz over to the closet Uniqlo and relieve yourself of the headache in, like, twenty minutes, max. The Japanese retailer’s sport coat, cut from a lightweight wool-like fabric that looks way more expensive than it is, comes in a classic fit that doesn’t look frumpy, a useful tidbit you’ll appreciate when you don’t have time to hit the tailor. And at a meager $80, it’s far and way the best bargain on this list—and that’s saying something.
The Best Standard-Setting Blazer
For well over a decade, J.Crew’s Ludlow suit held down the affordable suiting throne, a high-quality, approachable riff on the type of slim tailoring sent down the runway by the brand’s designer counterparts. For much of the 2010s, the Ludlow reigned supreme; if you wanted an affordable suit cut the GQ way you knew exactly where to get it. But as tailoring proportions gradually swung in the opposite direction, the Ludlow lost a bit of its luster. So earlier this year, J.Crew quietly introduced the Kenmare, a looser and altogether more relaxed silhouette designed to appeal to dudes who want to wear a suit for the sheer thrill of it—not because their 9 to 5 requires them to. The cut is still classic enough to sync up with an Oxford-cloth shirt and brogues, but its relaxed vibe naturally lends itself to wearing as separates, with a faded pair of jeans and cowboy boots or a scuzzy mohair cardigan and derbies. And for the price, there are scant other options made with the same quality or panache.
The Best Skate-Ready Blazer
An odd thing happened over the last few years: a handful of the most influential brands in the streetwear universe started making suits. Good suits. Great ones, even. Noah’s gently-tailored sack jacket falls firmly into the latter camp, a testament to just how meaningless the gnomic “streetwear” moniker has become. Is a graphic tee streetwear? A hoodie? What about an Italian-made notch lapel blazer that’s cut soft and slightly oversized like the archetypal American suit that inspired it? This is a blazer meant to pair seamlessly with cropped jeans and loafers—and your baggiest chinos and scruffiest Vans. If you dig your tailoring injected with a healthy dose of irreverent downtown spunk, this is the jacket for you.
The Best Double-Breasted Blazer
In the finger-wagging parlance of classic menswear, a blazer is typically defined by two distinguishing details: a solid-colored cloth, often in navy, and contrasting metal buttons, often in brass. Ralph Lauren’s expertly-crafted wool jacket checks both boxes, sure, but that’s where its adherence to convention ends. Cut with soft shoulders and brash peak lapels, the brand’s double-breasted blazer also features a lower button stance that makes for a universally flattering shape, no matter your build. It’s a high-quality riff on an enduring American silhouette that’ll anchor your most formal fits just as ably as it’ll elevate your most casual ones: in other words, it’s quintessential Ralph.
The Best “Actually, It’s a Sport Coat” Blazer
If the Ralph Lauren blazer above represents the ne plus ultra of the form, Todd Snyder’s epitomizes the sport coat at its best—a patterned jacket specifically designed for solo wear. Cut from a rich wool glen plaid sourced from Italy’s Pantex Mill, it’s the type of layer you should throw on with abandon this spring—over a lightweight knit and faded jeans on the weekend or a button-down and crisply-pleated khakis during the middle of the week. At just under 700 bucks (and less than $500 on sale!) it’s the rare value proposition actually worth every cent.
The Best Blazer for WFH Life
What more is there to say about Issey Miyake’s signature pleated sets that hasn’t already been said—in glowing, superlative form—on this very site? In February, we called the brand’s instantly identifiable pleated jersey “as resilient and wrinkle-averse as your hardest Carhartt gear, but also more graceful and effortlessly polished than a Charlie Parker solo.” At the height of the pandemic, we praised the brand’s pants for their comfort and endless versatility, to say nothing of their ability to make everything else you’re wearing look a little more considered. In blazer form, it’s a sentiment that rings doubly true. With return-to-office plans still in flux, this is the jacket to reach for when slogging through the same exact Zoom meetings with the same exact people starts to feel preposterously tedious. We didn’t know WFH salvation would arrive in the form of an impossibly lightweight polyester layer, but we’re sure glad it did.
The Best Blazer for a Big Night Out
It’s a brisk evening in March, and you’re staring at a closet jammed haphazardly with the clothes that helped you survive winter. The Aperol’s flowing freely, Robyn’s wailing balefully about her ex on the speaker, and the air is pregnant with opportunity…to get a really big fit off. When that time comes, dear reader, skip the denim trucker or the leather blouson and reach for a velvet blazer instead. More specifically, reach for Gucci’s, a tour de force of sexed-up tailoring doused in the brand’s signature ‘70s glamour. The petrol-blue velvet is wildly luxurious and slightly iridescent, the cut is true to its source material (big brash lapels and all), and the interlocking horsebit pattern—a nod to the brand’s legendary loafers—and gold-tone buttons help crank the volume up to 11. Pull on some flared trousers and sleek boots, finish your spritz, and then waltz out into the unknown: it’s going to be a great night.
The Best Blazer That Feels More Like a Chore Coat
Okay, you might be thinking to yourself. I get it. I need a blazer I can wear with more than just dizzying geometric ties and pebble-grain brogues. But I’m still struggling to wrap my head around this whole casual tailoring thing. We hear you and we see you, friend—and that’s exactly where Alex Mill’s rough-and-tumble riff on the genre comes in. Its silhouette skews closer to a chore coat than a tux, it’s cut from the same garment-dyed cotton the brand uses to make its famous chinos, and it’s an easy entry point into the world of casual tailoring that won’t invite jeers from the lads at the bar. Plus, the fabric is crisp and soft, the fit is structured but not stuffy, and it comes in a duo of easy-wearing colors should you decide you need a full on casual tailoring rotation—and trust us, you just might.