Every dude needs an APJ (All Purpose Jacket). Period. We don’t care if you never dress up; you should, and a blue blazer can be like a second skin. We promise you will stand taller once you button that middle blazer button and give yourself a good look in the mirror.
At last season’s New York Fashion Week: Men’s, we met Jacob Harrison Long. We talked for so long that we missed some shows. Hearing all about American Woolen Company and how he has brought it back appealed more to us than most of what we saw the entire week.
We asked Jacob to give us a little background on this iconic brand and, more importantly, his five reasons on why we all need a blue blazer from his brand:
Although you may not be familiar with the American Woolen Company name, in the early part of the 20th century, it was a household name. Employing over 41,000epople, the Company’s 58 wool mills dotted the northeast landscape and provided 20 percent of all wool apparel fabrics. As a sign of its prominence, it hired famed architect Robert Henderson Robertson to build its New York headquarters. Completed in 1909 at 221-227 Fourth Avenue (in the 1960s, the address was changed to 225 Park Avenue South), the American Woolen Company building is still a New York architectural landmark.
In 2013, serial entrepreneur Jacob Harrison Long saw an opportunity to reintroduce the craft of fine worsted cloth manufacturing in America through the rebirth of American Woolen Company. After purchasing the American Woolen trademark, Long assembled a team of industry veterans, purchased the famed Warren Mill from Italian luxury goods manufacturer Loro Piana, and set his sights on reinvigorating America’s moribund apparel textile industry.
Today, American Woolen Company is a Stafford Springs, Connecticut, designer and manufacturer of fine worsted and luxurious woolen fabrics, as well as an exclusive line of suiting and jacketing. As America’s only vertical worsted/woolen textile mill, American Woolen is dedicated to preserving the art and craft of quality textile manufacturing in America. A purveyor of fine fabrics to select retailers including J.Crew, Hickey Freeman and Bonobos, American Woolen’s fabrics tell the American story.
We caught up with Jacob to hear why every American gent needs a classic blue blazer:
- A classic blue blazer is the most versatile piece in a man’s wardrobe– While Americans cannot take credit for inventing the blazer, we can take credit for popularizing it, particularly among college men between the World Wars. The quintessential blue blazer works for any occasion that calls for a smart-casual or elevated look. The go-to item in a man’s wardrobe, if you only have one blazer, this should be the one.
- Wool is the miracle fiber– It has been known through the ages that wool is the planet’s most versatile fiber. Not only is the fiber soft and luxurious, it is both durable and comfortable, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Spun into a yarn that is woven into a fabric, wool also resists wrinkling and possesses natural stain resistant qualities. In today’s synthetic world, it is nice that certain things are better left to mother nature.
Related: How to Choose the Perfect Blazer
- Blue is the new Black – Blue is traditionally the color of trust, honesty and loyalty. The color has direction and provides an aura of calmness to the most stressful situations. It is no wonder that the mere thought of a bright blue cloudless sky evokes feelings of peace and freedom. In today’s chaotic world, it seems that we can all do with a little more blue.
- Handcrafted in New England– It is not enough to be Made in America, but woven in Connecticut’s very own American Woolen Company and handcrafted in Brooklyn this blue blazer screams authentic American heritage. As the domestic maker movement gets more sophisticated, watch for the locally produced apparel and footwear brands that put craftsmanship back into the craft.
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- You can both wear it and drink it – Not to be outdone by its better known sibling, the Manhattan, the Blue Blazer gives whisky lovers a good reason to look forward to cool fall weather. As described by Jerry Thomas in his 1862 best seller, How to Mix Drinks, the Blue Blazer was known as the world’s first flaming cocktail. Could there be a better way to usher in the fall season than turning your favorite Scotch into a “blazing stream of liquid fire”?