Many men have a sports jacket, blazer and suit in their closet but may not know the major differences between them. To some, these classic menswear pieces seem alike but the fit, fabric, and fuction of each varies. Take a look at the guidelines below to better understand each piece so you can make informed decisions about your wardrobe.
- The suit jacket. As part of a suit, this jacket has a matching set of trousers. They are designed from the exact same fabric and shouldn't be worn separately. A difference in color can develop if one piece is worn and cleaned more frequently than the other. The suit jacket is considered the most formal among the three pieces. A suit jacket is made to fit slimmer and close to the body and usually has notched lapels. Most fabrics used for suit jackets will be solid colors, pinstripe or checked.
- The blazer jacket. A blazer is still formal but it is not made with a matching set of trousers. Blazers have a looser fit and are less structured than suit jackets. They also have different buttons which may be gold, silver or mother of pearl. Although you can find other colors, most blazers are navy blue and pair well with grey trousers, chinos and jeans. You should wear a blazer any time you need to dress up when a suit is not appropriate.
- The sports jacket. This jacket should allow enough room for layering underneath. Sports jackets are meant to look more rugged than suits and blazers. Tweeds and houndstooth are popular fabric choices due to their rough texture. Sports jackets usually come in shades of browns, greens, greys and blue. The sports jacket is the most casual of the three pieces and lends itself to a number of slightly dressy occassions.
Of the three classic pieces, the suit is the most important to have in your wardrobe, followed by the sports jacket then the blazer. You will get a lot more use out of the sports jacket versus the blazer, as it can be worn on more occasions. Remember to pair your suit or blazer with a SkinnyTie for a stylish look that sets you apart from the rest.