The Origin of the Blazer (The blazer was born in the sport of rowing)

The Origin of the Blazer (The blazer was born in the sport of rowing)

There is no article of clothing that can quite match the blazer in both pedigree and street cred. The now-ubiquitous dark blue blazer is inexorably British but has become a permanent icon of American style. The blazer is both ineffably cool and deeply traditional, equally at ease on a boat or in the board- room, in the classroom or the club. A blazer is almost always the “right” thing to wear.

Nearly everyone owns a blazer. But few realize that the blazer has its roots in the sport of rowing. The original blazers were warmup jackets worn by oarsmen at Oxford or Cambridge - the hoodies of their time. These sportsmen began wearing the jackets at social events too, where they were rebelliously casual status symbols.


There were several distinct features which set them apart from other jackets: they didn't have darts, vents, shoulder pads, or lining in the back. And they were always finished with hidden-stitch patch pockets and pioneered the flattering three-roll-two button stance and silhouette (a three-button jacket that rolls open to hide, or nearly hide, the top button). The original blazers were deceptively simple, but many of these details can only be achieved with the most skillful tailoring. 

 Some were made in bright colors or with contrast grosgrain trim. It was one of these early jackets - the "blazing red" coats of Lady Margaret Boat Club, Cambridge - that gave us the name "blazer." 

We believe that the blazer should be fun, not stuffy, and we believe that the details are important.  Rowing Blazers is proud to be the blazer supplier to many of the world's leading rowing, rugby, and social clubs - including Lady Margaret Boat Club, Cambridge, where the blazer began.


Shop our blazers here.