A suit jacket, blazer or sports coat is a classic wardrobe piece for a reason. A well-fitted jacket can add inches to your perceived height and take weight off your midsection instantly making you look more muscular. The coat is one piece of clothing that has stood the test of time again and again. It is a trend that has managed to stay in fashion throughout history. Even today, coats of various types are worn at different occasions and events. Tuxedos and suits are mostly used for formal occasions while blazers and sports coats are useful for both formal as well as informal events. In fact, wearing sports coats and fashion blazers in casual wear is quite the trend nowadays. So, what exactly are fashion blazers and sports coats? Where and how should you wear them? And is there a difference between the two? Let’s find out!
What is a Blazer?
The blazer or fashion blazer is a type of jacket used for formal as well as casual occasions. It is considered slightly less formal than a suit jacket. In the early nineteenth century, blazers were the jacket of choice of the British Navy. After the British Royalty gave their approval to this garment in 1837, they became quite the trend in fashion. Fashion Blazers are very often considered a hybrid as its design is more formal than a sports coat but it does not have a matching pair of trousers unlike the suit jacket. When compared to suit jackets, blazers have a looser fit and are also less structured in the shoulder area. The main fabrics used for blazers are worsted wool, serge, cashmere, flannel, and fresco. They are traditionally navy blue in color. However, there are other colors of blazers like red and green available in the market these days.
What is a Sports Coat?
Sports Coats are loosely fit jackets which have evolved over the years in terms of design and function. Specifically designed in the olden times for men who engaged in sporting activities, these coats had a distinct fabric and build compared to suit jackets. Termed the Norfolk jacket, they were made of thicker material and often had belt buckles, elbow patches, and pleats to raise the comfort level and ease of movement. The sports jacket we now know first came to the scene in 1920s. They were similar to the Norfolk jackets but without the belt and buckles around the waist. The main fabrics used for sports coats are herringbone, tweed, flannel, houndstooth, shepherd’s check, etc. They come in a variety of colors and are less structured than blazers and suit jackets with a looser fit. You can pair them with any trousers or jeans and shoes. They are a very versatile piece of clothing which can be worn with almost anything from trousers to jeans and corduroy to flannel!
The Difference between the Two
The main difference in the blazer and the sports coat is in the fit, fabric, and function. The blazers are comparatively more structures especially in the shoulders. The sports coat has a looser fit and is more generally structured. Fabric can also play a big role in differentiating the two. While blazers are made of comfortable and firm fabrics like worsted wool and cashmere, the sports coats are made of tougher fabrics like herringbone and tweed. We can argue navy blue is the color of choice for blazers while sports jackets come in variety of colors. However, these lines have blurred a lot these days with blazers coming in other vibrant colors like red and green. However, blazers are still used for formal occasions. They are great to wear to a sporting or social event. In simple words, you should wear a blazer when you think a suit is not appropriate but you still need to dress up. In contrast, the sports coats are casual wear but can also be worn to some slightly dressy occasions. However, it is never acceptable to wear a sports jacket when a suit is required. The sports coat can be paired with both trousers and jeans and go well with almost all fabrics. However, they both certainly make for a good investment!