13 November 2014

reading Rowing Blazers

Always stylish, rarely authentic, the Rowing Blazer. 
Countless designers have dressed their runway models in versions of it, in the States- Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger consider some form of it part of their trademark look. A new book devoted to the Rowing Blazer looks at the quintessential blazer, something every man, and woman should have at least one of in their closet-even if it's not the real thing.

Balenciaga's 2007 take on the Rowing Blazer

Author Jack Carlson is infinitely qualified to sort out the Rowing Blazer, its origins, its clubs, and its bold vibrant colors.  He  represented the United States at the World Rowing Championships, and raced in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Races-he an Oxford man. Winner of the Henley Royal Regatta, the Royal Canadian Henley Royal Regatta, and the Head of the Charles Regatta, Jack Carlson, along with fashion photographer F.E. Casteberry, captures the sport of rowing, its champions, and its essential wardrobe element- ROWING BLAZERS. 

Lady Margaret Boat Club, Cambridge
(the St. John's College rowing club)
The bright red flannels of Lady Margaret's were the very first rowing blazers, and the word "blazer" itself appears first in the description of the Lady Margaret uniform in the Cambridge University General Almanack and Register, 1852.

1829 Boat Club
or the Oxford Cambridge rowing club mash up.
Their blazers combine the dark blue of Oxford, and the light blue of Cambridge.

Sara Hendershot dons Princeton's black and orange.
Hendershot is captain of the Princeton women's crew, Olympian, & world champion in the women's four.

Geoff Roth in the Cambridge University Boat Club's famous shade of blue, adopted in 1836.

Harvard's Newell Boathouse

Yale's Taylor Ritzel, gold medal winner in the 2012 Olympics in the U.S women's eight.
Yale University Boat Club has been wearing blue since the 1850's.

Loud & Proud
Taurus Boat Club, Oxford England

Oliver Williams is Taurus' three piece version of the Taurus blazer in Baltic Blue, with narrow navy & red stripes.

Brianna Stubbs wearing the Wallingford Rowing Club blazer with the Wallingford town symbol-a portcullis.

 Die Hard
 D.S.R.V. "Laga"

In Delft, the Laga club blazer is past down from rower to rower. Laga members are responsible for stitching their own blazer badges onto the pockets, and blazers remain unwashed until its owner wins the Varsity, the Netherlands most prestigious regatta.

There are probably not a world of rowers reading little augury at the moment, but one doesn't have to row to read, or to soak up the brilliant colors swimming in the pages of Rowing Blazers.
It's glorious.

" On Sundays when decent people are either at Church or out walking, he lolls out of a friend's window in smoking cap and boating jacket. -Magdalen College School Journal, 1871.

-and really who could blame him.

on the cover: Kenny McMahon wearing the University of Wisconsin's Henley-style blazer marking the team's 2008 National Championship win.


  1. What an uplifting post. The red blazer, unwashed, is tailored to perfection and also the Geoff Roth's. How interesting, I did not know, that the blazer remained unwashed until one won the Netherland's regatta.
    Have a glorious weekend

    Helen x

  2. That Cambridge University Boat Club BLUE!!! If you head North, I'll show you the Newell Boat house. GREAT review!!

  3. Gaye the colorful palettes of these school's rowing jackets are a delight!

    The Arts by Karena

  4. Loved this post and will be giving this title to my son for Christmas - he will love it!

  5. These are gorgeous! Very well done PGT and I'll always like to welcome Miss Hendershot ashore.

  6. Love this post -thank you! A portcullis as symbol - how perfect on that stripey blazer. I have a rower niece and will forward this to her with pleasure.

  7. Glad to see that you are checking with your loyal crowd. I've been missing you.

    1. Hi Mary, I've posted 2 times this week, rare of late. hope you are getting them all. seems my blog is not always updating on other blogger's side bars! thanks for your Loyal readership! pgt



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