Originally Posted by JLibourel
I thought the FNB/Manton exchange was fascinating and informative, nothwithstanding the well-known tension between the two principals.
Amid these musings about the decline of the suit, the rise of business casual, etc., I am left wondering where the odd jacket (e.g., the tailored sport coat or blazer) fits in. Personally, I typically wear a sport coat and tie to my casual office. Yes, it is still overdressed and eccentric, but less so, I think, than the routine wearing of a suit to the office would be. The odd jacket can be rendered more casual by not wearing a tie. At least in the States, an odd jacket with an open collar is an acceptable look, certainly less "daring" or "edgy" than the suit with an open-collared shirt. There is also the option of the ascot, for those who choose it (admittedly at grave risk of looking eccentric and costume-y).
Here in California (home of the notorious "California tux"), the odd jacket seems to be all but interchangeable with the suit. At almost any "dressy" event I have attended in recent years--weddings, funerals, banquets--a fair percentage of the men have been wearing odd jackets in lieu of suits.
So, the question I will toss out to the heavy hitters is, will the versatile odd jacket survive and to a large extent displace the suit as dress wear, or will it be perceived as merely the "Lite" alternative to the suit and go down along with the suit?
For whatever reason, based on my limited observation, odd jackets seem more popular with older men. Younger men either seem to perfer a suit or go directly to the dismal expedient of shirt and tie sans coat when they wish to dress down from the suit.
If it's any indication, young people will often remark to me when I am wearing an odd jacket and slacks "nice suit, sir!"
I agree that older men will more often rock the odd jacket -- as I get older I tend to wear them more often than suits. In fact, I don't expect to be ordering very many more custom-tailored suits, but will be adding more custom-tailored odd jackets.