The Ultimate Lightweight Blazer

The Ultimate Lightweight Blazer
This time of year, look great without overheating.

There’s no time of year better for men’s style than when the mercury starts to drop. Long pants mean we can finally bust our boots back out. Add some more layers for some inspired outfits. And throw on a blazer in the evening without everyone asking, “aren’t you super hot?”

But, we’re not quite there yet. And if you’re a gent in one of the country’s stubbornly warmer areas, the notion of wearing a traditional blazer isn’t just out of the question, it’s offensive.

Even in Southern California, our temperatures this time of year are unbelievably erratic. Last week it was 109 degrees. No joke. This week it’s been down in the 60s in the mornings and evenings. There’s a name for this: Shoulder seasons. That time when it’s not one season but it’s not fully another yet.

I love wearing blazers. It makes a statement without being distracting. It’s an easy way to balance wearing a good pair of nice boots, if you’re going somewhere like a cocktail bar. Specifically, I have a deep affinity for tweed, thick wool, and other textured options – they pair well with dark denim and are easier to wear casually than, say, a traditional smooth wool blazer.

This time of year, however, I’m left opting for a denim jacket due to its light weight, a 100% great and Primer Approved look for sure, but certainly different than what a blazer provides. And if you’re wearing a raw denim jacket like the one I have from Levi’s, you can forget about wearing your favorite selvedge denim. The “Canadian Tuxedo” and all that.

That’s why I was surprised and excited to find this incredibly thin blazer at Uniqlo that still maintains the silohuette and sleek look of a thicker jacket, but is so lightweight. It’s way less than even a denim jacket.

Uniqlo Comfort Jacket

Completely unlined, this blazer is a part of Uniqlo’s “Dry” line, meaning it is equal parts performance gear and smart casual. It’s cut just right to wear with a pair of jeans, or dressed up like with these textured gray chinos, that it stops just being a band-aid for those frustrating temperatures but a legit option whenever you want to rock a blazer.

That also means it’s a 70-30 polyester/cotton blend, as a lot of performance gear is, but don’t think that means this jacket swishes and wrinkles and doesn’t lay right. It feels somewhere between a traditional blazer and a nice sweatshirt, though its awesome appearance and drape isn’t compromised.

The small fit great right off the rack, no tailoring required for me. I’m usually a 38R jacket, hopefully that will help you narrow down which size you need.

If you’ve been searching for a casual blazer option that you can wear comfortably when it’s still a smidge warm, you’d be hard pressed to find a better or more affordable option. It comes in 4 colors – charcoal, black, navy, and gray. Ringing up at only $60, it’s a no-brainer.

Check out the Uniqlo Comfort Jacket.

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • Mike Wargo

    The issue I’ve had with Uniqlo is they don’t have tall sizes in their blazers. Anywhere you’d recommend for that?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Have you tried sizing up and getting it tailored (assuming it fits in the shoulders)? At this price it would probably be cheaper than any alternatives.

      • Joey Lenz

        Uniqlo jackets are too short in the tail for this to work IMO, I am not tall and wear the XL and only shortened the sleeves and brought in the sides a pinch.

  • Daniel

    Not digging the shirt tucking into jeans.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      It’s not tucked it, it’s just bunched up because I’m sitting. I would never tuck a tshirt. 🙂

  • Zac Silk

    Love the first look. I’m a big fan of Uniqlo and Gap. Do you mind the zip fly with the Gap jeans Andrew? I’m more of a button fly guy but how’s the zipper on the Gap jeans?

    Are they worth making a daily pair?
    Also how’s the Gap Henley I’ve been longing for a good one for a while now.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Hey Zac! Is there a specific problem you find with zip flies? I’d say most of jeans are zipper and I don’t have any issue. I think button flies are more common on thicker, more casual denim but that’s just s guess based on the pairs I’ve had.

      • Zac Silk

        Actually I haven’t had a problem with zipper flies. I guess it’s just from watching there’s something about Mary.

        • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

          haha!

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      I have a few short and long sleeve henleys from Gap, I really like them.

      • Zac Silk

        I’ll give them a go as they always have discount codes here in the U.K

        Have you got the marled Henley’:KS they look very good.

        • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

          I have a similar short sleeve marled one from Gap and love it. I’m a big fan of Gap in general. They fit me off the rack most times, and if you know what you’re looking for you can find good items. I think people have an issue with them because their in-store experience is rather bland.

          • Zac Silk

            I’m with you on Gap. They’re stuff fits me off the rack.

            I go for pretty much everything and I really like their marled henley’s as well as their denim.

            They’re Oxford’s are really good value. I can’t say enough good things about them. I’d actually like to work for them.

  • Zac Silk

    For all you Americans the Gap slim jeans are on sale and so is the Henley. But the XS size is out of stock.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Nice!! Thanks!

  • SalPic

    How are those gap high-stretches? I just got another pair of BR Travelers in grey (I had gift cards) but if the Gap versions are where it’s at and a lower price point…

    • Zac Silk

      I’ve got a pair and used them a few times. They fit really well for me and have enough stretch to move around in.

      And at the price point they’re reasonable, like you say. I’m just not the biggest fan of the zipper fly.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      I’ve been digging the stretch jeans, especially if you’re going for a slimmer / tapered cut. Nothing I hate more than being able to feel my pulse because my pants don’t give at all. The only thing different about stretch denim, is it’s usually thinner with a sleeker less rugged look, however that’s what we’re going for with these outfits.

  • Aaron

    That jacket reminded me of the Wool-blend Blazer that’s a part of the H&M David Beckham Modern Essentials collection. Any thoughts on that one, if you’ve tried it?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      I haven’t! Maybe someone else has and can chime in.

  • Drew

    Sweet! I just came back from the East Coast and immediately thought, I need to get my blazer game on check. My only issue with Gap jeans is the butt sag. Any recs on that?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Squats! kidding kidding! I know some people have issue with Gap fits, my buddy can’t wear their jeans, but for me most of their stuff fits great off the rack. If you have extra room in the seat, you could try a different fit / smaller size, and go for the Stretch or High Stretch options and see if that fixes the problem while remaining comfortable.

  • Joey Lenz

    I wear these year round (Florida) for a few years now and would add that these are fantastic for travel (doesn’t hold wrinkles, packs very small) and are really helpful if you are carrying a good amount of muscle because of the stretch factor and the zero jacket structure or lining. They can be had for $30-$40 on sale which comes out to a crazy price even after alterations. It’s not shiny, and it doesn’t look like one of those sweatshirt jackets either (totally passable).

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      That’s awesome!! Thank you!

  • Jason

    Been looking for one of these for a year now and finally found a great deal on one at Banana Republic. Problem is: functioning buttonholes. I’m a 40S, and always have to get the sleeves taken up on anything, but the buttons pose an issue. What about the buttons on these?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Fixed buttons on this one!

      • Jason

        Awesome, thanks! I’ll be picking one up to at least try!

  • Joshua Weiner

    Are they any other options? I sweat ALL of the time and really struggle in jackets and suits. I often work in India and Hong Kong and really really struggle with heat, even in ACed environments.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      What are you looking for in additional options? I can see if I can find any.

      • Joshua Weiner

        Thanks for your response. Price is not an issue. I just want a suit and or blazer that is incredibly lightweight. Currently I wear 85 g/m^2 weight custom dress shirts if that is any indication of how sensitive I am to heat. I want a jacket that I can comfortably wear at all times even in 100+ degree F weather. If this is the best option, than I will buy this one, but normally you offer a range of priced options and I tend to go for the nicer, more expensive ones. I want a nice looking, professional but incredibly lightweight (as light as possible) blazer and or suits.

  • Carlo

    Hi sir Andrew
    Is it possible if I replace the shoes on the first picture with the shoes on the 2nd one… I only have a shoe similar to the second one and I’d like to pull off the 1st outfit
    Thank you! 😃

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Absolutely! It would be less dressy than it is with the Allen Edmonds, however.

  • Thomas

    Hey Andrew, I was wondering how you like the lenght of this particulair jacket? The whole world of ‘#menswear always seem to complain about the short tails of high-street sportscoats… It makes me always a bit uncertain when I’m trying on sportscoats in shops like Uniqlo, not sure if I either look ‘ok’ – ‘strange’ or ‘Totally out of porportion’

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      The length is perfect for this kind of casual jacket. To clarify, you’re saying that people complain casual sportcoats are too short? If so, I have the complete opposite opinion – when wearing a sportcoat with jeans or casually, when the tail covers your bottom completely it makes you look like a middle aged guy wearing a suit jacket with jeans. The key to the casual blazer is a slim fit and proper (short) length.