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Sport jackets, blazers and what they go with

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by alaaro, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. alaaro

    alaaro Senior member

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    First of all, can someone explain the difference between a sport jacket and a blazer? Is there one?

    Also, what's the consensus on wearing a sport jacket/blazer with something other than a dress shirt? What about plain t-shirts? polos?
     
  2. acole

    acole Senior member

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    I think "sports jacket" is a broad term for any casual 'odd jacket', as opposed to a suit or dinner jacket. And doesn't "blazer" typically denote a solid color? Â Most of the things I see called blazers are all one color and have metallic buttons. Â
    Seems to me that a basic navy/black/neutral blazer is one of the most versatile items of clothing you could have...apart from the standard dress shirt and tie combo, you could wear it with a t-shirt, a polo shirt, a thin crewneck sweater, a v-neck with tee or collared shirt beneath, a turtleneck, an open-collar button-down, etc. Â I would think you could apply these rules judiciously to almost any sports jacket as long as you match colors/patterns/etc. I have a recent case in point: Took my wife to a 'rustic chic' sort of restaurant on Friday. I wore a charcoal 3-button blazer over a beige B-D oxford w/ camel+grey stripes, with an Italian silk scarf (mostly light steel blue w/ grey & beige designs) tied in a loose four-in-hand and tucked inside the open collar and shirt. Â This was over camel jeans and brown monk-straps. Â This drew several compliments, so I must have been doing something right. (Full disclosure: scarf borrowed from my wife's collection--guess that technically makes me a 'cross-dresser') [​IMG]
     
  3. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    That sounds very sharp, acole. I am pretty sure that blazers typically have metal buttons, and are navy, black or dark green (like you mentioned). That isn't to say that they don't come otherwise, but those seem to be very common solid colors. A sport coat is any coat that doesn't come with matching pants, if my memory doesn't deceive me. I don't think anyone's going to sue you if you call a sport coat a blazer, or a blazer a sport coat. I agree with acole that the sport coat is the most versatile item .. in my closet it is at least. You can wear it with nearly anything you can think of. I've found that some things tend to look good that I never would have imagined. My favorite pseudo-dressy look is a black turtleneck underneath a black sport coat with regular fit jeans. Gets kind of hot though [​IMG]
     
  4. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    The name 'blazer' comes from the uniforms of the HMS Blazer which were double-breasted navy blue jackets with gold colored buttons. I won't do the whole history lesson but anyway that's the story. If you refer to a blazer in everyday life people will probably assume you mean a jacket but to clothing fanatics or in stores it refers to a class of jackets which are now usually single-breasted, dark navy or black worsted wool, and typically with metal buttons. They are associated with the preppy look because the prep schools use them as a uniform.

    A 'sport coat' is, as mentioned above, an odd jacket which originally would have been used for sporting or outdoor events in the country. A typical sport coat would be a Harris Tweed jacket with or without the leather elbow patches, or a corduroy, etc.

    And the usage guidelines above are absolutely correct. A jacket of either type is very versatile. Many guides for casual dressing say a black or dark navy blazer is the most versatile possible garment, for example when packing light for a trip, as with various different pants it takes on a very different role.

    The main rule is never try to match pants to the jacket unless they are really from the same cloth. Always use pants that are somewhat different in color at least. Nothing looks worse (well, within reason) than a very slightly mismatched "suit" made up of a navy blazer and almost-the-same-color (or worse, black) pants.
     
  5. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

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    Navy blazer with black pants is a no no? I gotta redo the focus of my wardrobe now [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    I very much agree with his definition.

    I personally prefer blazers to sport coats, because I find blazers very sharp. I tend to dislike sport coats sporting rough fabrics, although silk and fine wool ones are nice.

    Is it a mistake to have a navy blazer made with black/navy/grey buttons instead of metal ones?
     
  7. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    I don't think it's necessarily a mistake, but a plain jacket with plain buttons might look like you are missing the pants to your funeral suit. I have two blazers, one that fits and one that has dark metal buttons that are not so obvious (I don't like the shiny metal buttons myself) and I am considering just switching the buttons so I can use the jacket with jeans and whatever else without people reffering to me as "Cap'n".
     
  8. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    My high school uniform consisted of a white shirt, white trousers, navy blazer, light blue-white repp tie and black shoes. Extremely sharp .... always better dressed than our competitors from other schools.

    I know that blazers pair well with white, tan and grey colored trousers? But do they work well (or as well) with other colors?
     
  9. simeonstylites

    simeonstylites New Member

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    Mar 29, 2004
    The sport jacket is indeed versatile, but I find that they don't really work with very slim fitting trousers or jeans (such as Diesel Fanker jeans). The jacket looks quite large in comparison to the jeans, making your whole upper body look bigger than your lower part. What do people suggest? Are shorter sport jackets an option or perhaps no vents?
     
  10. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    I wear a 3 button brownish Canali sportcoat with jeans all the time. It's just a question of finding a designer that fits you well and getting it tailored properly. As for the really slim pants/jacket look, I guess maybe you'd go with a lightweight fabric cut close?
     
  11. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I'll wear a tight, short sports jacket (usually moleskin or some sort of twill) with looser bootcut jeans (like the Paper Denim GTO), or the same with loose cut jeans like Paper Denim Icons or Rogan. A looser sportsjacket with tighter, straight leg or tapered jeans is just too German businessman (never a look to aspire to) for me.
     
  12. General Koskov

    General Koskov Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Winnipeg
    From what I have heard, and now believe, a blazer refers to either the reefer-style jacket (double-breasted, navy blue coat) with brass buttons for navy and Royal Yacht Squadron members and black horn for everyone else.

    The other blazer is the colourful, striped, single-breasted coat worn by rowing teams.

    Everything else, including those silver-buttoned navy-blue coats is a 'sport coat.'
     

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