Do you think that finding an outfit that’s functional, looks smart, and works casually, sounds like an impossibility? Gents, may we introduce you to the Sports Jacket and jeans combo: a style for the manly man…the man that moves.Read more Men's Style Guide features.
How to Wear a Blazer with Jeans
Men’s sports jackets have long been associated with the leisurely, well-dressed, and active man. In spite of its historical routes, it’s still a contemporary look, and when you couple it with a pair of jeans, you’re well on your way to achieving a look that’s both rugged and handsome. However, some have been less than supportive about this rustic blazer and jeans look. With its critics labelling the sports jacket and jeans pairing the equivalent of: 'The Business Mullet', (Dave Rosenburg for Matt Assay on the Register), it’s easy to wimp out and declare the look risky. But here at The Idle Man, we like a challenge, and to prove this look is definitely do-able, we’re pulling out all the stops and providing you with the ultimate guide to the sports coat and jeans style.
Sports Coats and Sports Jackets
If the term sport coat or sports jacket is alien to you, you’re not alone. Effectively, it’s a jacket – we hope you made it that far. And both sport coats and sports jackets are the same thing. The differing names simply depend on which side of the pond you’re sat on. Sport coat is the American term, and sports jacket is for the Brits, but shops may use either wordings to determine their products. It’s a ‘you say either, and I say either,’ kinda thing. Today’s sport coat and sports jackets have evolved historically from what was once a ‘rich man’s coat’. Originally worn for outdoor sporting events, the style was synonymous with the leisurely, well-to-do chap who perhaps enjoyed a spot of shooting after his afternoon tea.
Sport coats for men today have adapted perfectly into the smart-casual wear category, boasting massive versatility in colour and fabric choices. It’s a statement piece for the man who likes to dress sharp and not stand still.
How to Wear a Sports Coat or Sports Jacket
To make the sports jacket even simpler, this jacket is no nonsense. It’s designed to be worn as a solo piece, meaning you can wear it with little effort or planning. So, no need to go searching for matching trousers. Let the jacket take the limelight and find the most suitable jeans to complement it. The look is casual yet still retains a sophisticated element to it. The cut of the jacket is not dissimilar to a suit jacket, however, it is a lot more flexible, owing to its fit, patterns, and materials. You will usually find sport coats in fabrics such as tweed, corduroy or suede, or other hardy and more rugged materials, in line with its outdoor routes.
The two button, single breasted design is usually the most popular. However, if you’re opting for three buttons, it’s a good tip to ensure that you only ever fasten the middle button. As with any jacket, the sports jacket is designed to make your shoulders appear broader and your waistline appear slimmer. It will usually have a number of pockets (bonus!) and overall enhances your physique. Don’t get distracted by its similarities to the suit jacket though. Sport coats and sport jackets are decidedly informal and wearing one to a more formal event might affect any hosts decisions for future invites. Don’t be that guy.
Sport Jacket/Sport Coat vs. Blazer
For any Idle Man, all this talk of different formalities and ‘right and wrong’, jackets can be a little overwhelming. But you want to make sure you turn up in the right gear. And opting for the right style of jacket is pretty important when it comes to considering your wallet… and your pride. Don’t be out of pocket and find you stand out for all the wrong reasons. To aid your efforts, it helps to have some understanding of other jackets you might confuse the sports jacket with. Using your newfound fashion knowledge from our breakdown below, you’ll easily be able to match jacket to any occasion in no time.
The blazer jacket’s origins are found in the British Navy and Boating.
Unlike the sports jacket and sports coat, blazer jackets usually have patch pockets.
The buttons are often metal.
Blazer jackets usually come in striped or solid colour fabrics.
Originally, the colour of all blazers was navy.
Today the blazer is sometimes worn to show a belonging to a club, so can be found in variety of bright and alternative colours.
Materials used for blazers include: Cashmere, flannel, fresco, serge and worsted wool.
It is usually matched with a pair of trousers in the exact same material, colour and style as the jacket.
This style of jacket is usually designed to have a close formal fit with minimal layering.
The material choices are generally of a higher quality and are more lightweight (such as seersucker, linen or cashmere).
The colours used are usually muted (such as grey or black) and avoid anything too patterned. Block colours are more popular in this style.
Wearing the suit jacket separately to the trousers is usually discouraged. Wear and fading may occur leaving you with an uneven look in your suit when you come to pair it back up with the trousers. Not so suave.
The Sport Coat
Sports jackets and sport coats were originally worn by gentlemen attending outdoor sporting events. As they were not worn with matching trousers it was considered casual attire, not suitable for formal settings.
The fit is generally looser than other jacket styles. This provides the wearer with flexibility in their movements (for all those rough sports, right chaps?), or to give room for layers… if it’s a little bit chilly.
Design details include leather patches on the elbows and on the front shoulder (originally to protect from wear) and slits or pleats in the back.
In today’s fashion, materials use tend to be more lightweight, although historically they were made from (and are still often found with) heavier materials.
Pockets usually have more detail and visible or unique stitching is largely accepted as part of the casual flair.
Sports Jacket with Jeans
If you’re feeling brave and want to run (literally), with the jacket and jeans look, then the sport coat or sports jacket is your number one stop. It’s step one in achieving the jacket and jeans combination and a sports jacket and a pair of jeans work well together as companions. Fitted and formal suit jackets and blazers can sometimes look jarring when paired with jeans, but the sports jacket brings its own unique twist on casual style. Jeans and sports jackets were practically made for each other. The key to achieving this look successfully is getting the balance right. Try to keep your style consistent. When planning your outfit you want to ensure that nothing clashes and that all of your options complement each other. Consider patterns, materials and accessories when you begin to build your look. A tweed jacket and jeans combo is always a great place to start from.
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