The Best Men’s Travel Blazers

Shawn Forno

The best travel wardrobes hinge on a few pieces of gear that work everywhere for every occasion. When you’re ready to take your travel style to the next level, invest in a great travel blazer and you’ll be wearing it on adventures for years to come.

Every now and then you find a piece of travel gear  or clothing that’s so useful and versatile it can change the way you travel. A good belt, the right merino t-shirt, battery case for your phone, stretchy travel pants, and even a good pair of packable shoes are all straight up game changers once you cross the Rubicon and embrace something that might not be in your typical travel wheelhouse. Recently, a travel blazer has joined my list of oddly useful, good-for-every-trip, must-have packing items.

And I feel so dang mature (it’s pronounced mah-TOUR, you heathen).

Why You Should Pack a Travel Blazer

What a blazer does for your travel gear is weird. No really. When you first start backpacking it’s all about “performance” gear. Zipper toggles and pockets inside of other reinforced pockets. Goretex… everything. Then, a strange thing happens: you realize that you’re not spending that much time in the great outdoors.

Sure, you still take day hikes every now and then, but a large part of modern day travel is spent in cities (or on the beach if you’re lucky!). And you just don’t need survival style travel gear for that type of trip. So stop packing it.

Over the years, my wardrobe has gotten smaller while becoming (oddly) better for longer trips. And it’s largely due to getting better gear that just does more—like a travel blazer. When you embrace carry on packing you have to up your game with better quality fabrics (i.e. clothing that doesn’t stink or wrinkle after a few days) and outfits that look good in every setting from destination weddings, and co-working spaces, to pub crawls “walking” tours.

Fashionable travel isn’t just about looking cool when you’re on the road. It’s about feeling comfortable, traveling well, and getting stuff done—in a carry on bag. Bulky travel jackets can be tough to to pack. They take up a lot of space, wrinkle easily, and the worst part about most travel jackets is that unless there’s terrible weather (or it’s winter), you might go the entire trip without using one of the largest items in your backpack.

Travel blazers are different. They acts as an extra layer for chilly plane rides and windy walks to the coffee shop or that co-working space downtown. But what’s more, you free yourself up to enjoy your trip without a massive coat weighing you down or making you look like you just got back from Everest.

Here are some of the best travel blazers around, but first, let’s start with a quick sizing guide to help you pick the right travel blazer for you.

Travel Blazer Sizing Guide

The whole point of a travel blazer is to have a layer you can wear anytime, to any event. That means it has to fit well, and by that I mean snug where you want it, and comfy where you need it. A floppy mess will make you look like you borrowed your grandpa’s old coat and if it’s too tight… well you’ll look like an idiot.

How to determine your chest measurements

  1. Look in a blazer you already own.
  2. Have a professional measure you, such as a tailor or dry cleaner.
  3. Measure yourself using the instructions below:

Maintain the same height of the tape measure all the way around your body.

Make the tape measure snug, but not tight when you read the measurement.

Relax your arms (Natural arm stance is slightly bent, never straight)
Take measurement in 3 steps:

  1. Start at the bone at the top edge of your shoulders down to the elbow
  2. Land tape measure slightly back towards the elbow bone
  3. Continue down to below the wrist bone for final measurements

Every blazer is different but typically blazer sizing follows these general criteria:

  • Small: 35”-37”
  • Medium: 38”-40”
  • Large: 42”-44”
  • XL: 44”+
  • Slim Fit: Typically 1” slimmer than a regular cut blazer
  • Long: Typically 1” longer sleeve length than a regular cut blazer (for men over 6’0” tall)

Those aren’t hard fast rules, but they’re a great starting point. To make sure you have your measurements correct, use a cloth measuring tape (not that one in the tool box), and measure your chest at the largest point, or your midsection if that’s a little bigger, then use the largest number. No judgement if your belly is bigger than your chest, you just need to use that as your measurement so that the blazer fits.

To measure your sleeve length, start at the center back of your neck with your arm slightly bent and follow the tape measure around to your wrist bone. If that sounds weird, welcome to the world of tailoring.

I’m a relatively slim, tall guy so I always make sure to get a slim fit (I’ll drop an inch in a regular cut blazer), and get the long sleeve length. Play with your fit until you dial it in, but once you do write those numbers down. Your accurate measurements are your new social security number. Oh, and always go single breasted. This isn’t a suit jacket, you fancy bastard. Keep it stylish.

But enough about sizing. Here are some of my favorite travel blazers.

The Best Travel Blazers

Bluffworks Gramercy (Slim Fit) Travel Blazer ($295)

If you’ve read anything else I’ve written about travel clothing, it’s no secret that I’m a big Bluffworks fan. They make excellent, stylish travel clothing that not only takes an absolute ass kicking on the road, but looks great while it’s doing it. I get comments on my Bluffworks travel pants nearly every time I wear them, and the same holds true for the travel blazer.

This wrinkle-free travel blazer fits great, looks awesome, with all the right stretch and give to take everything from airport lounges to after hour raves. Machine washable (which is a surprisingly rare feature for travel blazers) and super comfortable, thanks to the stretchy polyester, the Bluffworks travel blazer features 10 pockets, many with zippered enclosures, to keep your stuff safe and organized while in transit.

Honestly, one of the best parts of a travel blazer is how it performs in airport security. No more dumping everything in that little tray. Put your phone, wallet, passport, boarding pass, headphones, and even a snack in the pockets and breezing through security looking dapper as heck.

Wear it with:  Give your travel wardrobe a versatile pop of color with the Bluffworks Harvest Gold tailored fit travel chino pants ($100) and you’ll always look great.

Orvis Traveler’s Hopsack Blazer ($329) 

The wool blend fabric makes it great for fighting wrinkles, hiding stains, and resisting odor from a few too many hours on the road. (I’m kind of a wool nerd). Like the Bluffworks blazer, the Hopsack travel blazer has the right amount of pockets (a button-tab pocket, zippered security pocket,“utility” pockets) making it a great jacket for keeping tickets, passports, and your phone organized, safe and still handy in transit.

The Orvis buttons are flashy as heck, it’s tailored to look like a “3-roll-2” jacket meaning it has a sweet deep V when you only button the middle button—which is the only way to wear a blazer.

Bonus Feature: The lapel button hole is actually really good for holding your headphone cable and keeping your earbuds organized if you haven’t gone for bluetooth headphones yet.

Alfani Tasso Elba Travel Blazer ($119) 

The Tasso Elba linen blazer from Alfani is a surprisingly lightweight travel blazer perfect for wearing as a pure fashion accessory. Think the Azores, or “lunching” on a sloop with a dude named Bryce. Linen doesn’t pack as well as polyester, wool, or cotton, but it looks great, and won’t weigh you down.

Wear it with: Bluffworks travel dress shirt ($125). This lightweight, breezy style blazer pairs well with the clean stylish look of the performance travel shirt from Bluffworks. If the blazer gets wrinkly, whip it over your shoulder and still look like a boss.

Territory Ahead Herringbone Travel Blazer ($199) 

If you want to trick people into thinking you’re a traveling archeology professor searching for a lost relic, ditch the whip and fedora and snag a travel blazer with style. The mid-weight poly-wool herringbone pattern gives this travel blazer a classic look that screams, “I know what I’m doing.”

It’s machine washable, making it ideal for travel. And, it’s packed with eight pockets—including, two flap pockets (with snazzy plaid lining inside), zip chest pockets, and even a rear hidden zip pocket. Fully lined in cotton plaid, this blazer even has freaking herringbone elbow patches.

The horn buttons and double back vents are all style, but the loop inside back neck means you don’t need a hanger to hang it. This stylish travel blazer is so slick it might just make you a better person. Maybe.

Wear it with: A travel hat.  If you thought about rocking a stylish travel hat, this is the blazer for you. It’s just so dang dapper. Get that cool hat you’ve always wanted to wear and put.it.on.your.head.

 

 

Orvis Traveler’s Hopsack Blazer ($329) 

The wool blend fabric makes it great for fighting wrinkles, hiding stains, and resisting odor from a few too many hours on the road. (I’m kind of a wool nerd). Like the Bluffworks blazer, the Hopsack travel blazer has the right amount of pockets (a button-tab pocket, zippered security pocket,“utility” pockets) making it a great jacket for keeping tickets, passports, and your phone organized, safe and still handy in transit.

The Orvis buttons are flashy as heck, it’s tailored to look like a “3-roll-2” jacket meaning it has a sweet deep V when you only button the middle button—which is the only way to wear a blazer.

Bonus Feature: The lapel button hole is actually really good for holding your headphone cable and keeping your earbuds organized if you haven’t gone for bluetooth headphones yet.

Wool & Prince Travel Blazer ($258) 

This might just be peak travel blazer. Wool & Prince hand-picked a blend of Italian merino wool and added 25% nylon for the right amount of stretch—which is perfect for the road. Then they added five pockets to keep your stuff handy without ruining the jacket’s lines.

If you’re looking to upgrade your style on the road (or even at the office), this travel blazer is designed for sleek, hassle free travel that will impress. And it comes in regular or long length so you can really dial in your fit.

Wear it with: Outlier slim dungarees ($198). This blazer is fashionable enough to wear with jeans or other non “slack” travel pants. I’m a big fan of a the darker Outlier dungarees or a darker wash jean for a rugged clean look.

Custom Made Suits and Travel Blazers 

Another great option is to get a travel blazer—or even an entire suit—made while you travel. I picked up a tailored three-piece suit in Vietnam for $150 a few years ago. Obviously prices vary based on the fabric you choose (wool is more pricey, but definitely worth it), but it can be a great way to see if a suit or blazer is right for you.

I’ve upgraded my suit and blazer since those early days, but I really did get a lot of mileage out of that custom suit. There’s really no substitute for a tailor fitted jacket, and it’s nice to get one at an affordable price when you’re traveling. Just make sure you leave a little room for growth—I was a tad underweight when I got the suit made and it didn’t age all that well.

Thailand, Vietnam, China, and India are all known for their inexpensive tailors.

How to Pack a Travel Blazer (aka how to fold a blazer) 

Packing a suit or a travel blazer isn’t hard. It’s just kind of weird. Here’s how you pack a suit jacket or blazer in a carry on bag:

  1. Reach in and pull one of the jacket sleeves inside out (the lining should be facing out—including the shoulder pad)
  2. Tuck the other shoulder pad (the normal one) into the pulled out shoulder pad sleeve
  3. You should only see the lining right now
  4. Lay it down flat in your bag. It’s ok that it drapes over the outside of your backpack
  5. Fold it in half
  6. You’re done

The best part about folding a suit jacket or blazer like this is that you can “army fold” a pair of pants in with it, and keep everything wrinkle-free. If you want to add a pair of trousers, just fold them in half, then in half again, and lay them down on the jacket before you fold it up to fit in your bag. You now have a bundle packed suit that won’t wrinkle—even in a carry on backpack.

TL;DR

The best travel wardrobes hinge on a few pieces of gear that work everywhere for every occasion. When you’re ready to take your travel style to the next level, invest in a great travel blazer and you’ll be wearing it on adventures for years to come.

  • Slim fit is awesome if you’re “slim”
  • Write down your measurements; they’re super useful to have
  • Machine-washable is super important for a travel blazer
  • Zippered pockets turn your blazer into a secret carry on bag

Don’t you dare button that bottom button. Stop it. Stop it, right now.

 

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