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Suit Jackets vs. Blazers vs. Sportcoats: What You Need To Know

Can I wear my suit jacket with jeans? Wait, how did that TED Talk dude look so fly? What the heck is a “sports jacket” anyhow? The truth, uncovered. 

 

Suit Jackets

What is it? Let’s start with the obvious: suit jackets are the ones that come with pants. Made exclusively for formal events, suit jackets are traditionally made of wool or cotton. But every now and then, you’ll run into linen, cashmere, and even silk suits. Suit jackets tend to run slim because they’re not intended to be layering pieces

What do I wear it with? The pants they came with, a nice button-up, a tie, a nice pair of black or brown dress shoes.

Where do I wear it to? Exclusively formal events. Weddings, proms, cocktail parties at an art gallery where you’re secretly trying to uncover a sinister plot.

 

Blazers

What is it? Blazers are more relaxed and loose-fitting jackets than suits. Most tend to come with contrasting button colors that are often made of mother of pearl, silver, or gold.

What do I wear it with? Blazers are made to rock with contrasting pants for a look that sits between formal and casual. You can wear them with dark jeans, colored chinos, and khakis. You can also be flexible with your ties as they look great with regular ties, bow ties, or no ties.

Where do I wear it to? Business casual offices, fancy-but-not-too-fancy dinner dates, anywhere the attire is “smart casual”.

 

Sportcoat

What is it? The most casual of the three. They’re usually looser-fitting than even traditional blazers and come in a wide swath of colors and fabrics (though usually it’s tweed, flannel, or Houndstooth). Sometimes, for an enhanced look, they even come with elbow patches. Dapper!

What do I wear it with? Sportcoats are extremely flexible and loose-fitting. So in terms of layers, you can run the gamut from collared shirts, to tank tops, to fun graphic tees. For shoes, casual sneakers are usually a safe bet. For pants, a good go-to are slim-fit, dark jeans. They look great with almost everything! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try out colored trousers! Sportcoats are your canvas.

Where do I wear it to? Sportcoats may be flexible but they’re not considered formal. You can rock your look at the office, a party, basically anywhere that doesn’t require the clean-cut look of a suit.


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