Blazer Vs. Sport Coat - What is the Difference?
Many men stumble upon a few dilemmas in the very beginning of the process of trying to level up their formalwear game. We don’t blame them. The “rules” on menswear styles have changed over the course of time, which blurred the line between formal and casual. If you are uncertain about which one you should buy – blazer vs sport coat, we’ll break down the differences and help you figure out which option would suit your style better.
Less formal than a suit, more formal than a sport coat, a blazer comes in the middle. If you don’t want to go overboard but still want to look dressed up, opt for this piece.
The history of this classic item takes us almost 200 years back – in the early 1800s. In 1837, Queen Victoria was visiting the warship, HMS Blazer. The captain of the ship wanted himself and the crew to be as presentable as possible for this occasion, and came up with an outfit idea – double-breasted jackets perfected with brass buttons.
The queen liked these navy jackets so much the whole navy started wearing them as a standard uniform. Shortly after, their popularity surged the continent that everybody wore blazers – either for leisure or work purposes.
Blazer is a highly versatile piece of clothing. Initially made navy blue, blazers today come in a wide range of colors. You can find 2, 3, and 6-button silver, gold, and mother of pearl double-breasted models.
More tailored and less rugged than sport coats, blazers still add more structure around the shoulders. Cashmere, flannel, serge, fresco, and worsted wool are mostly used fabrics for making blazers.
How to Style?
Just like we said, blazers are highly versatile. Even though it appears most classic when paired with a fancy button-up and a tie, you can lend it with numerous pieces. Pair a blazer with flannel trousers, colorful chinos, denim, even khakis.
Note that you should be careful about potentially clashing shades when wearing a navy blazer with a pair of jeans. However, if you want to play safe, combine it with a pair of tan pants.
Speaking about the upper part, go for thin turtlenecks or t-shirts. Based on the formality, blazers go down well with dressy casual shoes (loafers), oxford, or double monk straps.
The Sport Coat
Less formal, a sport coat or a sports jacket is a piece of clothing that goes well with men who prefer the casual, yet sophisticated style. Decades ago, the main function of a sport coat was mainly tied to those who were participating in hunting or similar sporting and outdoor activities (just as its nomenclature implies). Back then, only a few people could afford buying a sports jacket. It was considered to be a luxury add on to a traditional suit.
Over time, a sport coat became a perfect alternative to a suit – affordable and abundant. It also lost a connection with sporting activities and grew into a statement piece.
Nowadays, sport coats are less fitted (which provides a wide range of motion), less structured, and come in a wide variety of patterns and colors. Some models boast ticket pockets, pleats, or elbow patches. Flannel, herringbone, tweed, and houndstooth are the key fabrics when it comes to sports jackets.
Even though these materials tend to wrinkle less, check our tips on how to travel with a suit and make sure you always look crisp, no matter the occasion.
Can I Wear Sport Coat with Jeans?
A sport coat will compliment your on-the-go outfit. It goes well with any pair of trousers and top-shelf jeans. Just make sure you pick a pair that doesn’t boast the same texture as your sport coat and you are good to go.
How to Style?
Being the less formal option, a sports jacket does well with loose-fitting options. You can style it with turtlenecks, sweaters (basically any thick garment). However, a button-up or a standard tee can look sleek when paired with a sports jacket as well.
Nowadays, many brands and retailers mislabel blazers as sport coats. Men who have an untrained eye, wouldn’t even make a difference between these two classic staples.
No doubt both items can be worn interchangeably, and they can complement any gentleman’s wardrobe, but it is still important to spot these key differences we talked about today. After reading our guide, we hope you know which one – blazer vs sport coat would fit better into your cabinet, even though you can go for both, when knowing their styling potentials.