A blazer is a type of jacket, worn as smart casual dress. The term blazer occasionally is synonymous with boating jacket and sports jacket, two different garments. A blazer resembles a suit coat cut more casually — sometimes with flap-less patch pockets and metal buttons. A blazer's cloth is usually durable (14oz.), because it is an outdoor sports jacket. Stylistically, blazers often are uniform garments, i.e. airline, school, and yachting, and rowing clubs.
The term blazer identifies two distinct jackets; the first, original blazer, was a single-breasted boat club jacket, worn for rowing, of brightly-coloured, often striped cloth, with contrasting piping; essentially an early sports jacket. The second blazer is a fitted, classically-cut, double-breasted navy blue jacket, originally called reefer jacket, now an occasional usage. As men discontinued wearing the original boat-club blazer, the term then applied solely to the double-breasted naval version dressed with metal buttons; the military originals were black.
'Reefer' blazers are worn with wide variety of other clothes, ranging from a shirt and tie, to an open-necked polo shirt. They are seen with trousers of all colours, from the classic white cotton or linen, to grey flannel, to brown or beige chinos as well as jeans.
Particularly in America, the reefer jacket style is now very common, where it forms a major part of business casual and business informal wear, and is seen as appropriate for nearly all situations in some parts of America.
Blazers are worn as part of school uniform by many schools across the Commonwealth, and in a wide range of colours is still daily wear for most uniformed pupils in Britain and Australia. These are blazers in the traditional sense, single breasted often of bright colours or with piping. This style is also worn by some boat clubs, such as those in Cambridge or Oxford, with the piped version only on special occasions such as a boat club dinner. In this case, the piping is in college colours, and college buttons are worn. This traditional style can be seen in many films set in the Edwardian era, such as Kind Hearts and Coronets.
Where the blazer is part of the dress of a school, college, sports club, or armed service veterans' association, it is normal for a badge to be sewn to the breast pocket. In schools, this may vary according to the student's standing in the school; whether a member of the junior or senior school, being a prefect or having been awarded colours, in recognition of particular achievement in some academic or sporting field. In the Commonwealth, many regimental associations (veterans' organisations) wear 'regimental blazers' which also sport a similar badge on the breast pocket, usually in the form of a wire badge, and sometimes also regimental blazer buttons. In the British army officers do not normally wear badges on their blazers (or boating jackets). Any two regimental blazers will very rarely be the same, as they are made up from different civilian sources and are not issued by any authority. This has come to be representative of the fact that the members of the association are now civilians, but retain the bond that the badge represents. The standard colour is navy blue, although in some associations different colours are worn, such as rifle green for the associations of rifle regiments.
Blazers, once commonly worn playing or attending traditional 'gentlemen's sports', persist in only some games now, such as occasional use by tennis players, or cricket, where in professional matches, such as international test matches, it is considered customary for the captain to wear a blazer with the team's logo or national coat of arms on the breast pocket, at least during the coin toss at the beginning of the match.
The sartorial term blazer originated with the red 'blazers' of the Lady Margaret Boat Club (1825), the rowing club of St. John's College, Cambridge. The Lady Margaret club jackets were termed blazers because of the bright red cloth; the term survived the original red coat. These early blazers were like later sports jackets, but this term has never referred to blazers, instead describing jackets derived from the later innovation of wearing odd jackets for land-based sports. Assertions that the name is derived from HMS Blazer are not borne out by contemporary sources, although it is reported that before the standardisation of uniform in the Royal Navy, the crew of HMS Blazer wore "striped blue and white jackets", apparently in response to the sailors of HMS Harlequin being turned out in harlequin suits. . As late as 1845 the gig's crew of HMS Blazer were dressed by their Captain in jackets of blue and white stripes and it is from this that the word "Blazer", meaning a striped jacket, has crept into the language.
The reefer jacket was of naval origin, and described the short double breasted jacket worn by sailors in harsh weather, when they perform duties such as reefing the sails. It is descendants of this which are now commonly described by the term blazer. Originally with black horn buttons, these jackets evolved to the modern dark blazer, now single as well as double breasted, and with metallic buttons.
Striped blazers became popular among British Mods in the early 1960s, and again during the Mod revival of the late 1970s — particularly in three-colour thick/thin stripe combinations, with three-button single breasted front, five or six inch side or centre vents and sleeve-cuffs with multi-buttons. Various photos from 1964 and 1965 show London mods in boating blazers. Photos of mod icons The Who from 1964 (as the High Numbers) variously show Pete Townshend, Keith Moon and John Entwistle wearing boating blazers. Another mod band, Small Faces, and other bands liked by mods — such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Kinks, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, The Animals, The Yardbirds, The Moody Blues and The Troggs — had band members wearing striped blazers/boating jackets or later, brightly-coloured blazers with wide white or other light edging. Buttons on these later blazers often became non-metal, sometimes in the same colour as the edging. The earlier style of striped blazers can be seen in the film Quadrophenia. The later bright style of blazer was affectionately adopted by Austin Powers as part of his Swinging London look.
Blazer is a shooter arcade game that uses an isometric perspective. It was released by Namco in 1987 only in Japan, runs on Namco System 1 hardware, and is the first 16-bit game to use such a perspective. It was also the first game from Namco to feature a "legal notice" saying that the game was for use in Japan only.
In Blazer, the player must alternate between a tank and a helicopter (and for the final mission, a boat), to destroy enemies both on land and in the air.