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Robb Recommends: This Lightweight Summer Jacket Is Both Comfortable and Polished

Private White V.C.'s cross between a chore coat and a blue blazer manages to be both casual and refined.

Two models with two different takes on the Franglais blazer. Private White V.C.

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Summer is when two of my primary fashion neuroses—feeling comfortable and looking polished—are at their peak. Heat complicates everything. While fresco wool and linen sport coats go a long way toward making more formal dressing easy, what layer can spiff up a jeans-and-tee ensemble without A) getting swampy or B) looking overdressed? I’ve found a winning solution in Private White V.C.’s Franglais blazer: a lightweight jacket that’s smart, but not too smart.

As the name implies, the blazer draws inspiration from traditional French and British workwear. But unlike the classic bleu de travail­—the godfather of all modern chore coats—the Franglais blazer has a distinctly more refined look. That’s largely thanks to its notch lapel, which sets this jacket apart from the abundance of chore coats dominating the casual menswear market (and my closet).

A model wears Private White V.C.'s Franglais blazer.

Private White V.C.

The elevated finishing is a testament to Private White’s obsession with quality (the brand offers a lifetime guarantee for all its products). Crafted from a smooth, not at all stiff cotton drill, the blazer is half-lined and completed with bound internal seams. Even its most utilitarian detail—a trio of diminutive brass press-studs—recalls the classic look of a brass-buttoned navy blazer, but without a whiff of country club stuffiness.

The Franglais’ hybrid status has proven to be particularly handy in my wardrobe. I can toss it over a T-shirt and cream-colored jeans for a relaxed dinner, or team it with a long-sleeved polo and navy trousers for a casual un-suit. Looking polished in a proper suit is easy, but the Franglais blazer’s balance of rugged and refined has made it a new staple in my summer rotation. And I have a feeling that, paired with a sweater, it’ll get just as much action well into fall.


Buy Now (Private White VC): $525 $365

Buy Now (The Rake): €488

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