16 February 2011

The Maroon Blazer "Front!"

(Photo filched from Flickr)

A reader asked how I felt about the maroon blazer.

Early on in my sales career I had a manager who smoked, chewed gum and talked at 140 mph. All at the same time. Will was rail thin with coke bottle glasses and curly hair wound as tight as his disposition during a sales call. I didn't think he could sell a golf ball in a pro shop but success was built on his mantra, "If you don't ask for the order at least three times you'll never be successful." He didn't sell as much as he just wore you down.

One day he wore a full length fur coat and asked everyone, "This doesn't make me look gay does it?" And one day he wore a polyester maroon blazer. I assume it was polyester because I don't think a wool maroon blazer has ever been made. Will stood at my cubicle (which I was planning to line in a Pierre Deux toile) when another employee walked by and chimed, "Ding, ding...Front!"

Remember, you really don't need a name tag to look like you work behind a hotel desk. The maroon blazer can do it for you.

17 comments:

Foster Huntington said...

all at the same time.

OldSchool said...

Probably a budget chain hotel, at that.

David said...

Haven't you ever met a used car salesman?

Anonymous said...

"Excuse me! Sir! Is this property a 3/2 or 4/3?"

-DB

Anonymous said...

The ushers at the Kennedy Center wear awful maroon blazers. At the Lincoln Center they wear a nice tasteful blue.

Unclelooney said...

Wear some yellow pants and you can attend the Gopher homecoming at the new stadium

Oyster Guy said...

Now just wait a caawtin' pickin' minute y'all...
Tintin, put you Canadian Airborne Regiment blazer crest on a maroon jacket (preferably cashmere for the smooth posh types) and some caramel or charcoal trousers and you might just fit in...
www.airborneassociation.com/cgi/function/2006-wegner/Phil-N_0027.JPG

tintin said...

Oyster Guy- I was afraid someone would mention that.

Brummagem Joe said...

All too true of course Tintin. Having said that shouldn't we bemoan the pariah like fate of that other front desk uniform...the stroller (ie. black jacket) with striped pants. This is a very flattering look done properly (since it's a spin off from the morning tailcoat) but no longer available to the more natty man about town because of the ding...ding...connotations.

Alice Olive said...

It's the gold buttons that do the damage. Every. Single. Time.

those tricks said...

haha.
I also associate maroon and mustard blazers with Real Estate agents.
The cult-ish kind.

Oyster Guy said...

"afraid someone would mention that"

I am sorry Tintin, I don't comprehend that phrase...is it English? Perhaps some regional dialect of American English peculiar to NYC? :)

Okay, I will defend the maroon blazer. I wouldn't want Jan De Vries to start feeling awkward in public...

Now it was always my understanding that the maroon blazer when paired with caramel trousers was emblematic of very old money Boston Brahmin types in the US North-East but you really had to be older than God or Vincent Price to pull it off right. There might be a reference to this in John Molloy's 1975 "Dress for Success."

Now I do not disagree that today's rendition leaves something to be desired from a sartorial perspective but as executed by Airborne Association types and others who are not exactly rolling in money, it does have an "it is what it is" quality about it which I think is a very Trad ethic and a cousin of the better known "go to hell" ethic in trad wear.

I have a similar problem with my plaid flannel shirts appropriated by hipsters. I cringe at little at the thought they might think I am one of them. However, just because hotel workers and real estate agents have taken the maroon blazer as "theirs" doesn't mean we should abandon and shame those who wore it with some dignity and pride.

tintin said...

Oyster G - Don't forget law enforcement agencies.

Anonymous said...

look a t this:

http://www.google.de/imgres?imgurl=http://img493.imageshack.us/img493/2373/redjacket1zd.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php%3F108229-Everyday-use-is-a-blazer-too-much&usg=___nLZ8qjVy406gRJgslHLIjg9rBc=&h=591&w=391&sz=293&hl=de&start=41&sig2=Et4XWd24hdealojU6Wmg4A&zoom=1&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=NIpWFl8diHO08M:&tbnh=135&tbnw=89&prev=/images%3Fq%3DMaroon%2BBlazer%26start%3D40%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dde%26sa%3DN%26ndsp%3D20%26tbs%3Disch:1&ei=JVdcTbqHJomWOo6VoKgL

Main Line Sportsman said...

2 security guys in an art museum in recent movie...I forget the title, are wearing the dreaded Maroon Blazer

My Affair with Michael Bastian said...

Kind of Gucci, non?!

Johnny said...

http://www.whitehousemuseum.org/special/1oc/index.htm