Show me your best Sport Jacket with blue jeans (and list the brand, model, and $) - Page 3
He was right about the denim too - which was the other problem. If you're going to match a exceptional quality tweed jacket with denim, why not pay the same attention to the fabric, colour and fit of the denim as you do to the jacket?
A sport coat, AKA odd jacket, is usually cut more softly than a suit jacket, with less padding in the shoulders (or even none, as in unconstructed jackets) - although you'll find strong shoulders on some sport coats too. The materials vary but generally sport coats tend to avoid worsted wool and the kinds of fabrics used for business suits - so moleskin, cotten twills and corduroy, tweed and other rough wools, wool-silk blends, linen (and linen blends). Colours and patterns can also be far more varied, but again sport coats tend to avoid some particular colours and patterns associated with either formalwear or business - black, or navy with pinstripes, for example. Finally, pockets are a clue. Blazers, a particular sub-set of sport coats, have patch pockets; sport coats can also have patch pckets but often have jetted pockets or flaps and sometimes with no pockets at all.
This is all complicated by two things:
1. the fact that manufacturers make jackets with more traditionally suit-like features and sell them as sport coats; and
2. the rise of the 'casual suit' (from Italian traditions, the revinvention of the English country suit and of course, the catwalk) - whose jackets tend to have a lot of features that a sport coat has. Incidentally, I don't see any problem with splitting such suits (i.e. using the jacket as a sport coat) if they look right as separates, but I would almost never split a traditional business suit; it tends to look obvious that you are wearing a suit jacket and this means either that you have no idea what you are doing or you know exactly what you are doing and how and why you are breaking the rules, and you have to be very good at it indeed (and the vast majority of people fall into the former category, whatever they think...).
Left to right: blazer, sport coat, suit jacket (according to Esquire). However the one in the centre could also be a suit jacket... and the one on the right could also be a sport coat depending on the fabric etc. etc.
Thanks a lot for the info. I hope that manufacturers know at least what they are doing...