The Difference Between A Blazer, Suit Jacket and Sports Coat
I got a call the other day from a client of mine, he said he just got a new job as a business consultant and would need new sets of chinos, dress shirts, and blazers about ten (10) pieces each.
When I asked him if he would love to do a mix of sports coats and blazers instead of just blazers, he said he really didn’t know the difference and that I should send some pictures. I did send some pictures but much more than that I decided it’s important to educate men on the difference between these menswear pieces.
Blazers. Suit jackets. Sport Coats
It’s very common to see people use the term “blazer” when referring to sports coats or suit jackets. To some people, these three menswear pieces are all the same. Most men’s clothing retailers do not help in explaining the key difference to their customers and would often use these terms interchangeably.
Today, we will be listing the key difference between these three jacket types, but first, you must know that none of the jackets is better than the other; The choice of which one to buy or wear, entirely depends on your need and the occasion.
#1: THE SUIT JACKET
Suit jackets are the most formal and simplest of all three menswear pieces.
- Intended to be worn with matching trousers (made from same exact fabric).
- With respect to fabrics, a suit jacket is usually finer and smoother when compared to sports coats. The common fabrics used include Worsted Wool and Cashmere.
- With respect to fit, a suit jacket should be a closer and tighter fit than blazers/sports coats.
- Featured in solid colors, primarily in Navy Blue (most common), Charcoal Gray, Light Gray, and Black.
- Front and cuff buttons are usually lower contrast, made of horn or plastic.
- A suit jacket is technically supposed to be worn exclusively with the matching dress pants. The only time you could break this rule is if you are wearing a more casual suit jackets such as corduroys or tweeds, in this case, you can pair it with slacks but make sure you choose a dark and well-fitted one and never wear this to a formal event.
- Single Breasted Suit Jackets usually come with Flap Pockets while the double-breasted suit jacket sometimes does come with jetted pockets.
- You should not wear suit jackets with jeans.
- You should not pair a Pinstripe or Chalkstripe Suit Jacket with Plain Suit Pants.
#2: THE BLAZER
Dressier than a sports coat, but more casual than a suit jacket.
- Unlike the suit jacket, a blazer is not made with a matching pair of trousers.
- Originally worn by members of boating clubs.
- Blazers are versatile and easy to mix and match with any outfit.
- It is featured in solid colors, primarily in navy blue and black – although it can come in other colors. Traditionally made from wool. Has no Pattern.
- Front and cuff buttons are usually brass/metal (though not always), often with embossing.
- It can be paired with or without a tie, depending on how formal you want to look. There are casual blazers and blazers that look more formal.
- A blazer provides a classic, tailored look and can be paired with suit pants or chinos.
- Single Breasted Blazer Jacket usually come with Flap Pockets while the double-breasted Blazer Jacket usually comes with jetted pockets.
- Wearing it with jeans could look good especially when paired with casual blazers.
#3: THE SPORTS COAT/JACKET
- Originally worn by classy gentlemen during “sporting” activities (polo, hunting, shooting etc.)
- The sports coat is the blazer’s hip younger brother. Variations in color, pattern, and fabric distinguish it from its formal counterpart, and it’s a great way to elevate a pair of jeans or casual pants.
- When compared to a suit jacket, a sports coat always has a looser fit. This is to allow for layering underneath.
- It is not recommended to wear a sports coat when a suit is required (such as in a formal occasion).
- A sports coat is meant to have a more rugged look than the suit jacket or blazer. The fabrics usually used are tweed, cotton or linen. It most times has a pattern.
- An elevated accent when paired with jeans, chinos, and other less formal pants.
- Sports Jackets can come with either ticket flap pocket, normal flap pocket or patch pockets while the button can be leather button style or horn buttons.
- It has more unique and modern details. Perfect for transitioning from office hours to after hours and the weekend.
- It is a standout item that adds style to any look.
There you have it – the key differences between Blazers, Suit Jackets, and Sports coats.
Ready to upgrade your wardrobe and learn how to dress like a stylish gentleman? Click [MEN’S STYLING SERVICES]. Let’s start with a free Style Consultation.
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Yours in Style,
Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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