Hello, guys. I just bought my first navy blazer and I have a few questions:
1) How tacky/outdated are the brass buttons and how intent should I be on replacing them?
2) I know the rules of a blazer and sport shirt with khaki pants of maybe grey slacks, etc. I know not to wear navy pants with it, but is there any other color I shouldn't wear? For example, would a green checked sport shirt look bad with a navy blazer and khaki pants?
On the buttons front, a lot of modern navy sports jackets go with light brown/caramel buttons...it's like a statement that "this jacket is not and never was part of a suit", I quite like them.
Others simply go with navy buttons, but if it's a patch pocket model, once again, the jacket won't look like an "orphan" that's lost it's trousers.
My understanding is that the metal/non-plastic buttons is one of the attributes that makes a blazer different.
My wedding band is a shiny tungsten carbide so it has a polished steel look. All my metals (watch, cuff links, belt buckles) match so I kind of want the buttons to match as well - or at least not be such a stark contrast as polished brass.
Good to see you're still working on your wardrobe. I probably wouldn't recommend going with the green shirt (what exactly do you mean by 'sport shirt'?), but it depends on the shirt. A green detail could go right, but if most of it is green, you shouldn't mix. Keep whatever shirt you are wearing underneath a bit toned down, as blues and khaki's make a very nice mix for themselves. If you're wearing grey slacks, you could play a little more.
Agree with Steve on the buttons, although the brass things could be really nice. Brass buttons on a blazer this time of fashion are a bit 'cocky'. Definitely not subdued.
By "sport shirt" I mean the traditional button-up shirt with a button-down collar and a casual, higher-contrast pattern.
My in-laws have a fancy lunch at a country club on holidays and my wife and I get invited. It's a tie and jacket sort of thing so I've had fun using it as an excuse to upgrade my wardrobe. Today I work my new navy blazer, some dark khaki Docker D3's, cordovan belt and shoes, a light blue shirt and a dark burgundy tie with a subtle blue pattern. I got a few compliments on how sharp I looked and it felt good.
The brass Buttons make the Navy Blazer. You need a good counter color with flare. If you ware it with silver fittings most of the time you may want to change over to silver but that is about it.
As to the rules you really need to put it on and see if it feels "off" that will let you know if the color or that particular color does not work with it.
Remember to add pocket square to the mix to finish the look.
1. It depends on your taste. The bright brass buttons are a classic look, but replacing them with something else is also classic. Your options include a duller metal look, or perhaps something with enamel. Metal, mineral, glass, etc... are all still classic options for blazers, while the plastic and horn of suits and sport coats aren't. I'm not sure about smoked mother of pearl, probably not.
A navy blazer is the foundation of any dressy wardrobe. Good to have at least two; one in a summer weight or all season fabric of hopsack, and a winter version with thicker wool.
Nothing wrong with the brass buttons; they are part of the look. If they really look cheap and plastic-ey see a tailor and have nicer buttons put on.
For pant combinations I would stay away from brown and blue. For shirts you have freer reign; most any colors will go with the blazer, just remember they need to go with the pants too.
If you want to play it safe go to any online purveyor of conservative/preppy clothes and see what they offer in shirt colors and patterns.
Garrett, you don't say whether your blazer is single or double breasted. A double breasted blazer always looks best with brass or silver buttons. Also, is the jacket a "proper blazer" with patch pockets or is it what is often being marketed and sold as a blazer these days? Many of the blazers I've seen for sale recently are not blazers at all but orphan suit jackets that have lost their accompanying trousers -- at least this is the case in the UK but I'm not sure if it is typical in America. The only reason brass or silvered buttons are regarded as "tacky" or "dated" is because they are incorrectly attached to what I'd describe as "mock blazers" in an effort to make them "trendy" -- a marketing strategy which has failed miserably, evidenced by your own incertitude as to whether they are acceptable or appropriate today. Personally, I find brass or silver buttons bring a touch of class to a blazer; and a blazer without them just does not look the same. But there again, I've been told I'm an old codger living in the styles of the past.