As college students prepared to go back to class this week, many of them had just one question on their minds: "What am I going to wear?"
Students' fashion choices often can make a statement at school. If you belong to a fraternity at an elite college, where your dressier choices consist of not much more than blue blazers and more blue blazers, how do you make sure your style makes a statement?
Well, Scott Heath thinks he has the answer. The New Canaan-based clothing designer, an entrepreneur who last year launched his new business, Blaze-in Sportswear, has given an edgy new look to the everyday blue blazer. By adding customized linings to the inside of the classic blazer, the wearer is able to display logos, designs and just about any kind of individualization.
"I wanted to come up with a fun product," Heath said. "All these guys can wear the blazer inside out and have some fun with it. Or they can wear it the proper way at the office. It's very versatile."
Heath, a New Canaan native who has been designing clothes since he was a 16-year-old boy helping his father in the business, said he wanted to create a line of blazers that would remain timeless. Because it's a blue blazer, the piece never goes out of style, unlike trends that come and go. In addition, he wanted the buyer to custom design it to meet his own needs. Most of the interest in the blazers have come from private schools and colleges, which require a blazer as part of a uniform, or from fraternities, golf clubs and other organizations that host social events at which a blazer is a must.
The American Blazer, which debuted the new line last fall, features a polyester lining of red-and-white stripes beneath a blue field of white stars reminiscent of the American flag. Each blazer is made of 100 percent wool and features gold buttons.
"The American Blazer we came up with to have fun because the elections are coming up," he said. "It has been well received because it is so generic. It would have been great to have it for the Olympics. We are going to do more generic designs that the public can wear."
Other ideas envisioned for the blazers include college and fraternity crests, company logos, the Union Jack design of the British flag and a generic paisley design. The customized lining is stitched into the pocket, allowing it to be pulled out like a pocket square, and continued into the sleeve of the garment. This allows the blazer to be worn inside out as a fashion statement, such as at a college football game. Perhaps the best part of the blazer, Heath said, is the price. Because the blazer is sold straight from the manufacturer, rather than at a store, he is able to offer the blazer at half-price. In a store, the garment would fetch almost $600, but he sells them at $259 apiece.
"This blazer could be worn for 500 years because of what it is," he said. "The game plan is to keep an upscale product, and I don't have a middleman to go through."
Heath's line of sportswear also includes microfiber, water-resistant shorts that have a waterproof cellphone pocket sewn into the lining, belts, Oxford cloth shirts and cashmere sweaters.
For more information, call 203-594-9666 or visit www.blaze-insportswear.com.
John H. Palmer is a freelance writer.