Sports Coat Vs. Blazer
We all think that we don’t need evening wear in our wardrobe, but you never know when an event will come up and surprise us. It doesn’t matter what kind of formalwear you’re looking for – a dress or pants suit- it’s essential to have at least one option on hand because life can throw curveballs your way unexpectedly. It is important to have options for formal jackets, like sports coats and blazers.
A blazer is often made of wool, whereas sports coats can be either cotton or wool. Blazers are typically single-breasted and fastened with buttons; more casual jackets open at the front and have a zipper instead. Jerseys usually feature stripes on their shoulders, while traditional blazers do not have any banding along the top seam. Lastly, it’s important to note that one should never wear a tracksuit as an official jacket because it just doesn’t look right!
What is a sports coat?
A sports coat is a jacket considered the least formal for dressing for an event, and ironically, they were once considered a luxury item. Sports coats can now be worn in a traditional costume coat and are often patterned but can also be available in various solid colors.
Historically, men wore sports coats when they hunted or engaged in other sporting activities as sports coats are less structured to move around freely than traditional overcoats. A sports coat will not only streamline your figure by making your shoulders appear a little wider and your waist smaller, but it will also keep you warm. Plus, if you’re heading to a casual business event on a freezing day, you can layer a long-sleeved sweater and button underneath and not feel like you’re suffocating.
What is a blazer?
A blazer is dressier than a sports coat, but can still be dressed up or down. Depending on what you’re wearing it with and the type of event you’re going to.
Typically, blazers are solid in color – the most popular being navy blue – however, these days you can find blazers in all kinds of different colors to suit your personal style and aesthetic.
Blazers usually come in 2 or 3 single-breasted buttons or 6 double-breasted buttons and almost always feature metal buttons in silver, gold, or brass.
What are the main differences between a sports coat and a blazer?
There are a few key differences between a sports coat and a blazer,
- The most important of which is that a sports coat is not as formal as a blazer: you shouldn’t wear a sports coat over a black tie or jacket for a formal event.
- But if you’re going to a casual business event, getting together with your partner’s family for the holidays, or going out to a good, trendy restaurant on a date, you’ll want to get yourself a fun patterned sports coat.
Sports coats often feature funky elements or design details, such as leather elbows, bill pockets, or pleats, and are available in a range of light and heavy fabrics, like houndstooth, houndstooth, tweed, wool, cotton, linen, etc.
Blazers can be worn for a black tie or formal events. Unlike athletic coats, blazers are usually solid in color; however, patterned blazers are increasingly common and acceptable as formal wear. A navy blue or black blazer is a staple in every man’s closet, and blazers are usually made from wool, cotton, or poly-blend. Blazers are also a bit more structured than athletic coats – the sleeve hem should hit around the thumb joint and cover your butt – and you definitely need to customize it to make sure it fits properly.
Let’s not confuse any of these with the most formal jacket you can wear: a suit coat. Suit coats differ from blazers and sports coats in that they have a pair of matching pants and pants – the entire costume is made of the same material. And if you pair a suit coat with a pair of pants or random jeans that you have lying around in your closet, then you’ll look sloppy and out of touch at any event.
How to wear a sports coat
The best thing about sports coats is that you can really pair them with anything and still look like a classy, sophisticated guy.
A patterned sports coat will always look great with trousers, chinos, or solid trousers. Depending on the colors of the pattern, you can either play up your look with a bold color like salmon, red, oxblood, or cerulean blue or keep your more classic look with a neutral-colored background.
Sports coats can also be worn with denim, and if you think you can pull it off (or if you’re planning on going to the Kentucky Derby), fitted shorts that hit just above the knee. If you have a crisp white t-shirt made from quality materials, you can totally get away with wearing it under a sports coat – as long as the event you’re going to be more casual; otherwise, stick with a button-down shirt in your choice of color or pattern.
And while we’ve made it clear that sports coats can be dressed up or down, your best bet when choosing a pair of shoes to wear with your ensemble is to avoid your everyday sneakers and super casual shoes. – opt for leather moccasins, oxfords, or even dessert boots for a hipster look.
How to wear a blazer
Tip: Every man should have at least one blazer hanging in his closet, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one formal coat. Start building your blazer collection by investing in a must-have piece of clothing that will pair well with multiple items in your closet and work across multiple seasons. Then slowly add blazers in a variety of colors and patterns and blazers made from different fabrics.
Like sports coats, blazers can be dressed up or down. You can usually wear anything from a nice white t-shirt to a sweater under a solid blazer. However, you can never go wrong with a classic button-down shirt in a fun pattern or color to give your formal outfit a subtle touch of flavor.
As for the stockings, you can wear fitted denim, slacks, slacks, or chinos, and add a pair of leather briefs, moccasins, oxfords, or boots to give your look a sophisticated and elegant finish. It is important to note that what you wear with a blazer depends on the formality of the event you are attending, as it can be worn both in casual events and in black ties.