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Blazer vs. sport coat vs. suit

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I'm only 18 now and haven't had the need to wear more formal clothes, so I need some help and advice.  I will be starting internships in a year or so, and will probabily need to look presentable.  I'm not sure what the difference is between a sport coat or blazer, if there even is a difference.  I know that suits are the most formal out of the three, but I also think that they look the best.  For some reason, I just think that a blazer/different color trousers looks mismatched, and if I was to pair a dark blazer with khaki pants, I think it would look too preppy.  Anyways, any suggestions for good combinations of colors as far as blazers?  And which suit styles/colors are good starters?  I have two pieces which I purchased recently, (if you have the recent Sak's Men's catalog, the ones that I have are the Burberry suit on page 11, and the Canali coat on 8th page of the insert).  These are a taupe (hard to describe the color, kind of a solid mix of tan and olive) Burberry 2-button single breasted suit, and a Canali 2-button SB jacket in a tan and blue micro-check pattern (almost a houndstooth, and from a distance it looks dark gray).  Any suggestions would be great.
post #2 of 6
If *you* think it looks "mismatched" or "too preppy", then DO NOT WEAR IT, regardless of what the dress code or conventional wisdom is. It will show in how you carry yourself and you won't feel your best. I don't care much for the business casual dress codes adopted by much of the corporate world during the past decade (can it be called the "Clintonization" of corporate dress?). Some people love it. I prefer the suit and tie look myself and think that you can never go wrong with it in a "skyscraper" environment. You can, however, go wrong with it if you will be working in a factory floor or industrial environment and you need help or participation from workers there. They tend to distrust those in suits. It sounds to me like you have made some good investments in suits so far. Wish I made such wise choices in clothing at 18 years of age...
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
vero_group, I'm going into Business, so I think the dress code will be business casual or something along the same lines. I love suits, but since I am younger I don't want to come across as snooty or anything (if I am in a suit and everyone else is in a shirt/tie/dress pants). I think a suit is very versatile though, but for my age group it might appear to be over-dressed. Would I be wrong to say that in Europe, it seems like people are dressed more formally, even in casual atire? I'm sure it depends on location and economic bracket of the individuals, but it just seems to me that Europeans; especially the Italians, English, and French, dress much better than Americans. I chose the suits/coats that I did because I wanted something that was stylish, yet not too trendy. I figured something that is stylish will be 'in' for a long time to come, and something that is 'trendy' will fade away soon. I like how three-button suits look, especially on a slimmer young man, but I remember hearing that two-button suits are always popular. I got extremely good deals on the two items, and plan on keeping them for a long time. Is a tan-ish/olive suit appropriate for the business dress? (I always associate business men with wearing dark gray, black, or navy suits) What would you reccomend color-wise and stylewise (i.e. number of buttons, DB vs. SB, etc) for my next suit? Eric
post #4 of 6
I see that your internships are 1-year away at this point. When I landed my first job out of college I went out and purchased 5 suits to wear to work. When I got to work I noticed that I was extremely overdressed for work. The dress code was business casual, and polo shirts and khakis were what everyone was wearing. I looked out of place even with a dress shirt and tie. Since then, I have worked at 2 other firms where I noticed the same situation. So I never really had a chance to wear any of my suits. Personally, I think that it is a lot easier to look professional in a nice suit as opposed to looking for casual wear that is professional, yet different from what everyone else is wearing. In that regard I wish companies would go back to a regular dress code with perhaps only friday being the dress down day. Now I have chosen a career in medicine, so I won't have any use for those suits for 8-10 years, by which time I will have to get new ones anyway. So, I think it nice that you have made investments in 2 very nice pieces, but I would avoid making anymore investments until you are sure you need more suits. I would save resources for a good business casual wardrobe (which can actually get more expensive than buying suits - if you choose pieces that are distinctive) in case you find that business casual is what you are expected to wear. You will know this only next year.
post #5 of 6
 I'm not sure what the difference is between a sport coat or blazer, if there even is a difference.  I know that suits are the most formal out of the three, but I also think that they look the best.  
The difference between a blazer and a sport coat is the buttons. On a blazer the buttons will not match, but rather contrast the color of the coat. Think of a traditional navy blazer with gold buttons. A sport coat will have buttons that blend in with the coat. A suit includes matching pants.
post #6 of 6
The best is that you can always look a hell of a lot more stylish in a suit than in a sports coat or blazer, as the suit has far more accesories and other changeable features- just think about the differences in style a skinny black tie vs. an hermes makes. EI
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