Sport coat vs. Blazer vs. Suit jacket – when to wear what?

man fashion jacket

Some dress codes require a blazer, other need a suit jacket and sometimes a sports coat is called for but what exactly is the difference between these three and when is it appropriate to wear each of them, after all wearing the wrong one could end up being quite embarrassing.

But with our quick guide to which is which, you don’t need to worry about ever getting it wrong again so here is our explanation for the difference between the three items and when to wear which one.

The Sports Coat

This is the least formal of the jackets and is normally not so structured. It used to be worn by men taking part in sports, hence the name.

They used to be seen as a luxury because men would wear them when a suit wasn’t required, whereas most men couldn’t afford anything more than one suit.

However nowadays these jackets are not associated with sport any longer and are simply seen as a more casual but sophisticated option, when suit jackets or blazers are not required. A sports jacket could be worn for a casual or smart casual event.

So a sports coat normally come in a variety of colours and the fabrics include tweed, herringbone and flannel. They are fitted and can often feature elbow patches, pleats and fake pockets. That’s how you can tell them apart from suit jackets.

They can be worn with jeans or with any pair of non-matching trousers. They are also great to wear in the winter as the loose fit will go well over jumpers and other thicker tops, unlike a very fitted suit jacket.

The Blazer

When it comes to men’s formalwear the blazer is halfway between the suit and sports jackets and is popular smart wear for leisure and work purposes.

Generally they are navy with brass buttons, but there are other varieties and styles available nowadays.

They are highly flexible, coming in single breasted and double-breasted options and are a bit more tailored than a sports jacket. They have feature buttons which make them stand out and bring a sense of sophistication to any outfit.

They come in a variety of fabrics including flannel, cashmere and wool and can be paired with jeans and chinos for a casual look, or with tailored trousers to look smarter…
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