Sport coat basics

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by familyman, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. familyman

    familyman Senior member

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    Since we've covered starting a suit collection from scratch and a tie collection from scratch lets say we extend that to sport coats.
    Lets say that a person (like me) wears coats 3 days a week, always casually, through all seasons. How many does one need to avoid repetition? What are the basics that should form the backbone of a collection? Fabrics for winter? Summer?
    What I have now will all be replaced in time so assume that I'm starting with nothing and build a collection for me.
     


  2. artdeco73

    artdeco73 Well-Known Member

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    I love sportcoats, and wear them frequently, so I'll give it a shot. I'll assume that you live in an area with distinct seasons, where it gets reasonably cold in the winter, warm to hot in the summer, with temperate spring and fall. If you live in a warm climate, skip the tweed. If in Alaska, Northern Canada or Sweden, skip the linen. I would do this:

    1. Navy blazer. Technically, this is not a sportcoat, but essential in everyone's wardrobe, I think. Goes with everything except navy-blue pants.

    2. Basic medium-gray wool coat, either solid or very fine-grained pattern like a herringbone, nailshead or houndstooth. This will go with dark gray or black pants and black shoes, possibly navy-blue pants if the shades are right, as well as jeans. You should be able to wear this fall, winter and spring.

    3. Similar basic wool coat with brown the predominant color. This will go with tan, khaki, olive-green or navy-blue pants and brown shoes. It will also go with jeans provided you have jeans-appropriate brown shoes.

    4. Tan camel-hair coat. It's a classic, very warm, soft to the touch. Mostly for fall and winter, as well as cooler spring days. Goes with black, navy-blue, olive-green or darker brown pants.

    5. Corduroy coat in olive-green. This is just me. I love them; perfect balance of casual and elegant, works with or without a tie, perfect with khakis. This one is probably optional, depending on your taste for corduroy or lack thereof.

    6. Heavy tweed, such as Harris tweed, in some "tweedy" color -- usually grayish, brownish, or with a touch of green. Warm, versatile and indestructible, mostly for winter. Some have suggested that it's a bit of an old man's look, but I disagree. I don't own one currently, but would love to have one; will look for one next season.

    7. Unlined linen or linen/cotton blend coat for summer, probably in a dark tan or olive-green. Works great with off-white chinos when it's hot out but you need to look presentable.

    Between (2) and (3), you can probably choose one based on the predominant palette of the rest of your wardrobe, and worry about the other one later.

    I'm looking forward to others' responses.

    Regards,
    Tony
     


  3. BjornH

    BjornH Senior member

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    Oh - linen works here too, at least in Stockholm. I never appreciated linen before moving here.

    This is a good list to start out with. If you dislike the hard core blazer, go with a navy sportcoat (i.e. sans the metal buttons). I've worn them religiously for almost 20 years and for a long time it was my only one.

    Cord is also cool. Either in green or in tan or mustard.

    Lastly, concentrate on fit, rather than fabric or color if you have to compromise on any of those. I have a lot of sportcoat impulse-buys that I've given up on because of bad fit.

    Bjorn

    edited for spelling
     


  4. trogdor

    trogdor Senior member

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    I'd add a Glen plaid (sometimes called "Prince of Wales Check") in grey/black too. Maybe even one with a subtle blue or red overcheck. I bought one on sale recently, and was surprised at how versatile it has turned out to be in both causal and slightly more formal occasions. In addition, some of the trendy designers (esp. Lagerfeld and Dior) have done a few Glan plaid blazers recently, so you might even be able to pull off a "fashionable" look [​IMG]
     


  5. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    Tony came up with a nice list.  Of those choices, I would say that a basic collection would start with 1, 2, 3, and 5 (with the color of the corduroy jacket being your choice).  I would only add that I like my sports jackets to be on the bolder side, to make it clear that I am not wearing the top half of a suit.  As a result, I have a brown houndstooth jacket, a brown jacket with tan and light blue windowpane, and a gray glenplaid jacket with faint light blue windowpane.
     


  6. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Interesting that Tony mentioned the olive corduroy jacket as one of his recommendations. When I was a young fellow, this was a ubiquitous menswear staple, but I just never see them around any more. If I could find one that fit me well (a problem for some reason I have started having with most RTW jackets) and the price were right, I'd love to add one to my wardrobe...but they seem to have vanished from the stores I frequent, which includes a spectrum from high-end RTW (Barney's, Saks, Neiman, RLPL) down to medium-low establishments like Macy's or Robinsons-May. They just aren't to be found.
     


  7. skeptic

    skeptic Well-Known Member

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    Not to hijack the thread, but is glen plaid really considered appropriate for a sportcoat? I've been told that it is strictly a suiting fabric (as are pinstripes), but perhaps the proverbial "they" have relaxed the rules a bit?
     


  8. familyman

    familyman Senior member

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    Does olive really work that well? I've been tempted by a few on e-bay recently but I can't convince myself that it would go with that much.
    I really need to concentrate on some lighter weaves as summer in Texas is approaching. It seems that most cottons and linens are a solid light color. One can only own so many shades of tan before it gets repetitive I'd think.
    Thanks your for the suggestions, the insight will be quite helpful as I expand and replace.
     


  9. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    Saw them at Brooks Brothers this past weekend.  Go check it out if there is a BB in your area.
     


  10. dietcookie

    dietcookie Senior member

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    That would be cool if one day, we had pictures of members modeling the "essentials"..or maybe not..just an idea.
     


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