The sport coat seems to have taken the spotlight in recent years. The reason I wanted to devote an entire blog post to sport coats, is because I believe they are the most versatile garment in a men’s wardrobe. With fashion becoming more casual, the suit has almost been replaced by the sport coat. The sport coat is the perfect business casual garment.
Business casual, usually means business up top and party on the bottom. And by party, we just mean a casual pair of chinos. But a pair of chinos, make the world of a difference in comfort.
The sport coat can make any casual outfit appropriate for almost every occasion. Let’s say you just feel like wearing jeans that day, that’s a casual pant, but if you throw on a sport coat with it, you’re all of the sudden looking put together, and appropriate for whatever business you have going on that day.
Especially us Cincinnati men, blue jeans are a staple for us in the midwest.
Origins of the Modern Suit
The suit was first invented for the purpose of sporting activities. They were sporting jackets with matching trousers.
The suit became more structured and with less durable fabrics, therefor not being suitable for sporting activities anymore, which is where the sport coat originated as an individual piece.
Sport Coat vs. Suit Jacket
What is the difference between a sport coat and a suit jacket? First and foremost, a suit jacket will always be more formal than a sport coat. A suit jacket also comes with a matching pair of pants.
The fit between a sport coat and suit is different as well. The fit of a suit jacket should be a slimmer fit. Since the suit jacket is more formal, it is not meant to be worn with multiple layers underneath. It should fit perfectly over top of a dress shirt, that’s why the fit of a dress shirt is important when it comes to fitting a suit jacket.
The suit jacket will also always come with notched lapels.
Since I just mentioned how the suit jacket will be the slimmest fit, it’s understood that the sport coat is going to be a looser fit. This doesn’t mean that the sport coat is a one size fits all kinda deal, but when finding the right sport coat, there should be more room for layering underneath.
Anything that is a looser fit, gives off a more casual appearance. Like jeans for example, a baggy pair of jeans compared to a slim and tailored pair of denim makes the world of a difference.
Another difference between the sport coat and the suit jacket is the length. The sport coat could be about two inches shorter in length than the suit jacket. The reason behind this is that because the suit fabrics match with the pants and jacket it creates one long line. Where as the sport coat doesn’t do that, the sport coat is shorter to make it seem like the men’s legs are longer. If the sport coat was as long as the suit jacket, it would make your legs appear a good amount shorter.
Since the sport coats are supposed to be more rugged than the blazer and suit jacket, they are commonly made with more durable fabrics such as tweed. Depending on the season and weather, the fabric will alter between a lighter fabric and a heavier one.
For the summer time, you’ll want to stick to cotton, linen and sometimes a wool blend. Cotton is great choice because it is very breathable, and easy to clean. However, the most breathable is without a doubt, linen. Linen is known to be the fabric of summer time. People occasionally worry about it wrinkling easier, but nothing a quick steam can’t get out.
Sometime’s the sport coat can even be a mix between wool and linen and that will help it wrinkle less, but help the wool allow more air through.
A summer sport coat you would prefer to be unconstructed and lightweight, which means there isn’t as much internal lining, you don’t need that extra layer during the summer!
In the winter, you’re going to want to go with a fully lined sport coat preferably made out of wool. However, if you naturally sweat a lot no matter if it’s 10 degrees outside, you can stick to a partial lining.
Sport Coat Summary
I hope you learned some things about the purpose of a sport coat and what to look for when you purchase your next sport jacket. You specifically know the origin of a sport coat (whether you were curious or not), the difference between a sport coat and a suit jacket, and what types of fabrics you should be buying depending on the season.
Now that it’s August, if you needed a sport coat like yesterday, come on in and get one of our summer blended jackets, or if you’re thinking ahead for fall and winter, we have great new fall product coming in as well. You know where to find us, right in downtown, Montgomery.