Henley Royal Regatta is upon us. With it comes wave upon wave of kaleidoscopic pomp and circumstance, encircled by the traditions and peculiar habits that have raised this regatta into the upper echelons of British summer society.
Blazers are an integral part of this celebration and here at Square Blades, we consider ourselves at least partially versed on what good, bad and mad looks like in the context of fashion.
Ahead of the 2023 edition of Henley Royal Regatta, we thought we'd dive in and explore a few of the most prominent - and proud - blazers that might be on show this week...
The Dutch are renowned for their rowing-related traditions - not least swimming to greet the winners of various races down the years - and their blazers are no different. At Nereus, Dutch graduates pass their blazers on to younger members of the rowing club. The more famous the donor, the more coveted the blazer, and, the older the blazer, the more precious. That is why the blazers often look tattered and forlorn. It's due to inevitable wear-and-tear plus the weight of history.
It's hard to pull off a yellow blazer at the best of times but when you add black stripes, you quickly start to resemble creatures that are usually found in country parks. For some crews - usually those who achieved great success for the boat club - blazers are cut from old curtains on school site. Watch out for either of the Searle brothers strolling around Henley in similar garms.
Staying on the theme of stripes, Abingdon's pink-and-cream concoction evokes summery sensations. Strawberries and cream, ice lollies and picnic blankets all share the colour scheme and Abingdon's legions of supporters - famed for their vocal support from the banks - are resplendent in their coordinated outfits.
For sheer status, Harvard's crimson creation is something special. It doesn't necessarily fit into the wacky-go-lucky category that the others on this list represent, but it's a knock-out addition to any Henley outfit. The kudos of actually attending Harvard paired with the fact that dark red goes with basically anything means the Boston-based institution always looks the part both on and off the water.
Tideway Scullers School
When we first saw the TSS racing colours - white, yellow and red - we knew this blazer would be something breathtaking to behold. Sticking within that colour scheme, there's variation to be enjoyed - members can customise across stripes, lapels and trims. Hard to know where else you'd be able to pull off a mustard and ketchup-coloured blazer but at Henley Royal Regatta, all are welcome.
Orange. That's it really. The sheer vivacity of the shade could punch a hole in the time-space continuum or just be really painful to style on a hangover. Syracuse don't often make the trip to Henley Royal Regatta (incidentally they are here in force for the 2023 rendition) but their alumni can be seen right across the Stewards' Enclosure, at night, from space etc.
The duck-egg blue that Cambridge have come to represent is prevalent in late March and late June for two specific reasons - the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race and Henley Royal Regatta. Complete with cap and neckerchief, it does a pretty good job of reminding you the owner went to Cambridge. Or is adept at petty crime. Perhaps both. These are amongst the smartest folk going, after all.
Think we've missed one out? Let us know on social media!