A good suit makes a man appear trimmer, taller and stronger.
T o truly dress well, a man must pay attention to the details. Tailored, well-fitting jackets are one of those things. Reasonably so, these jackets are very similar in many ways. However, there are some noteworthy distinguishing details that should be learned.
Why you might ask? For starters, knowing the difference between these three classic menswear staples will save you from embarrassing wardrobe mishaps. Starting with the least formal of the three, a sports jacket a.
Decades ago, a sports jacket served a function precisely as its nomenclature implies—that is, it was what men wore specifically when they were participating in sporting activities such as hunting. Sports jackets were also what a man would wear in the mornings or when the season or occasion did not warrant something as formal as a suit.
Back in the day, sports jackets were considered a luxury item, as many men could only afford a traditional suit without any alternative options. Over time, as clothing became more abundant and affordable, the sports jacket lost its association with outdoor activities and grew instead to be a staple of casual yet sophisticated style.
Being the least formal of the three jacket varieties, the sports jacket should be your go-to when you want to elevate a pair of denim pants. Since a sports jacket is typically your most loose-fitting option, these pieces do well when layered over sweaters, turtlenecks, and other thick garments but they will also look sharp with any standard tee or button-up. Dressier than sports jackets but not as formal as a suit, the blazer serves as a nice middle ground piece that elevates outfits nicely without going overboard.
To his surprise, the queen liked them so much that their popularity surged and they became a standard uniform piece shortly thereafter. To dress a blazer down, feel free to pair yours with denim, colorful chinos, or khakis. For a more formal take, flannel trousers and tailored slacks look superb with blazers as well.
Though a blazer will look nice with anything from a t-shirt to a thin turtleneck, blazers look most classic with a crisp button-up shirt and a tie or bow tie. As far as shoes go, the versatility of blazers lend themselves to a wide variety of shoe pairings. Based on the formality of the pants you are wearing, choose shoes accordingly.
Flannel trousers will demand something like a double monk strap or oxford. Chinos and jeans, on the other hand, will pair nicely with loafers or any other dressy casual shoe. Last but not least, the dressiest of the three jacket types is the suit jacket.
Because it is so important that the jacket and the trousers match up, it is not recommended for one to wear the suit jacket as a sports jacket or a blazer as this may result in the jacket being washed more than the trousers.
Better options would be suits that are charcoal gray, navy blue, lighter gray and black for black tie events. However higher end suits may come with horn or mother-of-pearl buttons.
A suit jacket is made to fit slimmer. It should fit close to the body. It is also not meant to be worn with multiple layers underneath. Most fabrics used for suit jackets will be solid colors. However it is still possible to find pinstripe or checked suits. Suit jackets will usually come with notched lapels. Occasionally peak lapels are used in suits. As for black tie tuxedos, shawl and peak lapels are the most common. The blazer is a step lower than the suit jacket.
It is a hybrid of sorts because it is more formal than a sports jacket but unlike the suit jacket, a blazer is not made with a matching pair of trousers. Blazers have a looser fit compared to suit jackets. They are also not as structured especially in the shoulder area. Most blazers in the market are navy blue in color.
The most common fabrics used include blue worsted serge, flannel and hopsack. Of course there are always exceptions as there are green and red blazers out there. Take note that these are very rare and should not be taken as the norm. As such they are great to wear for sporting events and weekend events.
It is recommended that you wear a blazer any time a suit is not appropriate but you still need to dress up. Gray flannel trousers, chinos and even dark jeans are all great items to pair with a blazer. Covered twill and corduroy pants work beautifully as well.
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