How, where and when did it go this far? When did men say to themselves, "You know what...I'm going to wear this suit jacket as a sport coat with a pair of jeans!" This is by far my biggest "pet-peeve" and someone needs to explain this faulty mindset.
Growing up, I obsessively watched the show Frasier. I was constantly flabbergasted by the idea that men, "real men", wore beautifully tailored clothing and literally knew everything about the items that they were wearing. From the Spanish shoes to the Italian suits, Frasier Crane was the epitome of what to wear and how to wear it. To me, it was interesting for a man to actually care about how they presented himself. In my hometown, there were plenty of men that dressed up for Sunday Church, but that was about it. Rarely, if ever, did you see a man dressed in clothing that he had picked for himself or that he even knew how to wear.
Fast forward to 2019, where now many men have no idea how to wear a sport coat or even what you should wear to "go out." Pick any restaurant in Lynchburg and you will see a handful of young executives wearing a suit jacket with a pair of dark denim pants and they seem to have no issue with it or even knowledge about the fact that this is a fashion nightmare. So, with this blog post, I am going to guide this generation, and hopefully a few others, about the sartorial elegance of wearing a sport coat.
Sport coats are an interesting piece of fashion. For years, the idea of a sport coat was built around the idea of sporting. I know, that's pretty obvious given the name. However, you'd be surprised to know that most people do not grasp that concept. For example, during the 1950s-1970s, the idea of wearing a sport coat instead of a suit to work was something that was frowned upon. Most men wore a sport coat only on the weekends to the country club or a barbecue or something of that nature. Now, the idea of a true, fun, elegant, bold sport coat is lost. Sport coats are meant to show your fun side, not show that you took a dark blue suit jacket and tried to turn it into a sport coat with jeans.
First, the main difference in a sport coat and suit coat is usually the fabric. Suits are usually a worsted wool and can either be a year around weight or a weight that is subject to one's climate (I obviously know that there are other fabrics for suiting, but for this blog just indulge my layman's explanation). Now, a sport coat is usually made from a blend of fabrics or even a straight forward fabric like linen, flannel wool, cashmere and so forth depending on the season. Another difference is the fit of a suit jacket as opposed to a sport coat. A suit jacket with usually have more of a padded shoulder and more structure to appear more professional.This then leads to the pockets of a suit jacket as opposed to a sport coat. Most suit jackets will have flap pockets, while a sport coat will have patch pockets or flap pockets if the coat is more dressy in nature.
Second, wearing a sport coat is something that should be enjoyed and should be fun. That means a sport coat will usually have more of a fun color, texture or print as opposed to a straightforward suit. With that in mind, a sport coat is one of the best places to display your personality. If you're bold, go with a BIG PLAID. If you're more conservative, go with a solid color that has a texture to it. This leads me to the main issue that so many men have with sport coats.
Wear them, do not be afraid of standing out. Do not be afraid of not matching. At the end of the day, everyone has a blue blazer. Everyone can figure out what to wear with that. However, a sport coat takes practice. It takes dedication to hone in the art of being a better man. At the end of the day, you are the only person that can stand out and be you, so why not be the best version you can be.
If this blog post still leaves you confused on what to wear with a sport coat and why you shouldn't wear a suit jacket as one, you know where to find me... R. Coffee Ltd.
-James R. Bower Jr.