‘Tis the season to be thinking about how to dress for either the Henley Regatta, Royal Ascot, Wimbledon, a plethora of weddings or any combination of those occasions. No wonder so many men choose to bolster their sartorial repertoires in early summer.
A garment that’s certain to boost your ensemble options is the new Rannoch blazer from Jermyn Street mainstay New & Lingwood (£595, www.newandlingwood.com). Inspired by the traditions of river regattas and tailored in a lightweight, Yorkshire-woven gabardine, the jacket’s single-breasted, semi-canvassed construction gives it a relaxed silhouette which is complemented commendably by patch pockets, two side vents and black gloss buttons (Savile Row spacing, naturally). Moreover, this is a garment that doesn’t just look more relaxed – you’ll be grateful for that half lining when the mercury soars.
Blazers bearing vertical stripes straddle the line between military and sporting tradition: the Royal Navy crew of HMS Blazer wore blue and white striped jackets, although others insist the word ‘blazer’ was actually born at the Lady Margaret Boat Club in the early 19th Century. What we do know is that rowing blazers went on to enter the annals of Oxford/Cambridge rowing folklore, and traditionally kept wearers warm during chilly training sessions and early morning race meets, as well as allowing spectators on distant shores to identify which crew was which.
Whatever its origins, the vertically-striped blazer today is a core ingredient of rowing’s sartorial pageantry, and is equally in situ on the grassy banks of Henley as it is on the water. Those sporting one on the stands of Centre Court at Wimbledon, on the Iron Stand at Ascot or in the hallowed marquee of a genteel garden party will also feel they’ve hit the right note of measured flamboyance (perhaps keep the pocket square plain, if you opt for one).
The bespoke option, meanwhile, allows the client to choose their own cloth, emblems and buttons.