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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).
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.