Sport Coats vs. Blazers vs. Suit Jackets

The differences between sport coats and blazers and even suit jackets for that matter are subtle but important for a gentleman to understand. By knowing the difference one can be sure he is not using any of the 3 garments inappropriately for the situation.

The suit jacket is the most formal of the 3 coats and is always cut from the same fabric as the trousers for a matching suit.

A quality suit jacket will be made of a finer fabric than the sport coat/blazer and should be visibly smoother and physically softer to the touch. Worsted wool is a common example of a suit jacket fabric.

The Blazer is next in line in terms of formality between the 3 coats. The Blazer is typically solid color coat similar in structure as the suit jacket and made from similar or less fine wool fabric and/or other fabrics alltogether. Blazers have always been popular with metallic buttons but are also found now with regular buttons.

The blazer is intended to be worn with non-matching trousers or slacks. When you think of the standard traditional blazer you might envision the blue blazer with gold buttons worn with natural color slacks and/or grey slacks. Sport Coats

The sports coats are the least formal and is typically characterized by more casual fabrics such as tweed, corduroy, houndstooth, linens etc.

Fabrics will often have patterns or texture that make them an excellent coat to dress up jeans or dress down a pair of color coordinating slacks. Also common among this category will be elbow patches and/or leather shoulder patches.

The difference between blazers and coats these days has become somewhat less distinct and the lines between them have considerably blurred (mostly due to misuse of the terms). As a result, the above distinctions are more traditional and may not hold true in contemporary references.

The suit jacket however remains firmly apart from the sport coat and blazers and should not be attempted to be worn with non-matching trousers.

The suit jacket continues to meet men's informal dress needs and holds a high standard as the mens business suit. It unfortunately becomes fairly obvious when a suit jacket is worn with non-matching trousers and gentlemen of good fashion frown upon such a calamity.

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