How To Buy The Blazer You Will Wear Forever
There’s nothing that screams “investment piece” more than a blazer: on formal or informal occasions, on a cold day or with sunny weather, on your leisure time or at the office, a blazer always got your back.
We have an absolute excellence to be proud of, here in London: Bozena Jankowska is classic, timeless, personalized blazers. On top of that, they’re impeccably sustainable. Bozena’s team is also excited to have been chosen as a finalist in the Fashion Brand category by the Sustainable Lifestyle Awards! We met up and found out how they create their magic, and how you can preserve this timeless little masterpiece.
After creating small collections of womenswear, why did you choose to concentrate on blazers?
When we first launched the label, our goal was to use fashion to tell the narrative of critical environmental and social issues by incorporating elements of these issues into our collection designs, whilst also donating proceeds to charities championing the issues. By doing this we wanted our customers to be inspired in a creative and beautiful way to think about sustainability whilst also making a positive contribution through their purchasing decision.
Our first two collections were inspired by the plight of the honey bee and so we named both collections ‘Ode to the Bee’, and introduced elements of the bee world into our designs through colours (oranges, yellows, blacks, greens – reflecting the colours of different speices), in-house fabric prints (our best- selling Manuka Trouser suit – orange feather print on navy), garment details such as stitching (gold buttons and top stitching), placement of darts and seams and using end of roll fabrics and sustainable fabrics such as peace silk. We also decided to make to order as we did not want to create things for the sake of it.
Our customers loved our collections but the made to order model was a recurring sticking point: we had to rethink our model. Our Manuka Trouser Suit turned out to be one of our best-selling pieces and against a backdrop of the on-going and ever-growing movement of women’s rights, equality and empowerment, we recognized that women’s tailoring was making a strong come back and was no longer associated with masculine or Dynasty 1980’s inspired power suits! We also noticed that there were very few women led businesses that offered tailoring for women.
We therefore decided to rework our business model to a leaner, more transparent and personable offering by focusing on doing one thing and doing it exceptionally well, with sustainability continuing to be at the core of all. Earlier this year, we have decided to explicitly focus on women’s blazers, beautifully tailored, made in London, made to order and critically brining an experience and meaning to the customer. We continue to source end of roll, limited edition and vintage fabrics (and now buttons).
How do you suggest clients go about choosing the style to suit them?
I would discuss with the client their lifestyle, what they do, do they travel a lot, where and when they are most likely to wear the blazer i.e. work, leisure, both or if they are looking to get it for a special occasion. I would take into consideration their body shape. For example I would suggest a single breasted blazer if a customer has a larger bust. I would ask what the customer has in their wardrobe, what they tend to wear normally, whether they already have blazers in their wardrobe and what do they team them up with. This then starts to give me a good indication of whether to suggest a single or a double breasted blazer, fabric option and buttons, and also what sleeve length and pocket style would work for what they are aiming for.
What makes your blazers special?
Each blazer is unique by virtue of the choice that the customer makes with their combination choice of fabrics, buttons and lining (and sleeve and pocket style). Often, we have only enough fabric or buttons just for the one blazer, so our pieces are truly unique. We do not create demand for new production of materials using up what is already available: we only make what is wanted, do not create excess stock and therefore do not use resources unnecessarily. The customer has a personal connection to the blazer: it becomes a true investment piece and in time a vintage piece.
All production and sourcing is based in London so we maintain a low carbon footprint. We use DHL Go Green courier services for shipping to our customers.
What tips do you have for choosing a timeless blazer?
Don’t try to follow this season’s fashion trends. Choose blazer options that would work with clothes you already have in your wardrobe and which you know you will you feel comfortable and confident wearing over and over again. So don’t go for crazy colours or patterns if your style is minimalist and you don’t have a single printed piece of clothing in your wardrobe. If you like to make a statement with your clothes then choose something more daring like a bold print or unusual buttons.
How do you like to style a blazer?
My default is to wear my blazers with cigarette trousers or jeans and a white shirt (I tend to wear slim fit men’s shirts) or t-shirt. I also like to team up my blazer with leather trousers or culottes if say I am going out for the evening. I am to keep it simple to allow the blazer to stand out if for example, it is a statement piece. If I am wearing a day blazer I tend to maybe team it up with a colourful scarf or a statement pair of earrings or just keep it plain by wearing red lipstick!
How should people take care
of their blazers?
1) Make sure you have the right hanger.
2) Don’t hang it in your wardrobe so it is crushed with everything else as it will crease it.
3) Hang it out to air on a regular basis.
4) Use a lint brush or roller to remove any bits of fluff.
5) If you have any small stains, spot clean them gently with a damp cloth and allow the blazer to dry.
6) Dry clean only if really necessary but aim to choose environmentally friendly dry cleaners such as Johnsons GreenEarth Dry cleaning process or Blanc dry cleaners who use a wet dry cleaning process.
How are your blazers crafted?
All our blazers are manufactured on a made to order basis in London by a specialised manufacturing studio specialising in Saville Row tailoring with a lead time of 4-5 weeks. After all, craftmanship cannot be rushed!
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