Sports Jackets, Blazers and Suit Jackets these terms are used synonymously by many men and many retailers but each one is unique and different from one another.
Let’s start off by discussing the Sports Jacket. The sports jacket comes in a variety of colors and patterns. These jackets have a looser fit that allows you to layer in a sweater and provides ease of movement. In some cases sports jackets have elbow patches on the arms. This design detail once had a purpose of protecting the elbows from wearing out while men ventured through the countryside. Today, these patches are simply there for style.
The above sports jacket is a 2-button single-breasted sport lapel flap with flap pockets. The material is linen with a grey color pattern. Notice, when buttoned that there still is an opening near the waist/crotch area. This design choice allows ease of movement and the choice to sit down with one to two buttons buttoned.
A sports jacket can be worn with just about any type of casual wear. You can wear it with jeans or trousers.
Next is the blazer jacket. This style of jacket originates from the British Navy in the early nineteenth century. At that time the jacket came only in Navy color and was double-breasted with 6 buttons. This style of jacket is easily confused with the sports jacket but the blazer has some key differences.
First of all the blazer jacket comes in a limited amount of colors. A blazer comes in navy, blue, black, red, and green.
In the above image this man is wearing a standard navy blazer. He is wearing a 2-button single-breasted notched lapel with flap pockets style of blazer. Note the much tighter fit especially around the waist area.
Blazers are not as casual as a sports jacket so it is recommended to wear these jackets when looking for a more business or dressier attire. You can pair a standard navy blazer with grey flannel trousers. In terms of shoes wear darker dressier shoes either black or a dark brown.
Last but certainly not least is the suit jacket. The rule for a suit jacket and this is very important, a suit jacket is defined as being such only if it is matched with the trousers made from the same exact swatch of fabric. These jackets come in over twenty different fabric types. The most common fabrics used for suit jackets are wool, cashmere, linen, silk and tweed.
The above image is a navy suit jacket that has a notch lapel and two-button closure. Note that suit jackets are the tightest fit. Underneath a suit jacket should be just a dress shirt and a thin vest at the most.
Remember to pair a suit jacket with dress pants that are the same material as the jacket. The shoes worn with a suit jacket should also be formal and complementary to the jacket and pant color.