Sport Coat vs. Blazer vs. Suit Jacket: All You Need to Know

sport coat vs. blazer vs. suit jacket

Do you know the difference between a Sport Coat vs. Blazer vs. Suit Jacket? Each jacket promotes a certain look and style that can be worn for specific occasions. Many people confuse one over the other because they are not familiar with the intended purpose of wearing them.

As a mature and sophisticated woman, it would be helpful to know how each one would fit your body.

In this article, you will learn what each jacket represents in style, how to wear them properly, how each one is different from the other, how to care for them, and more!

Blazers

The first dress coat I’ll discuss is the blazer. Blazers are more formal in style and look than the other two jackets.

Many women who want to present a sophisticated and mature appearance are drawn to this type of wear. It is designed to fit a certain way that is both appealing and comfortable.

What is a blazer?

A blazer is a casually cut suit jacket that is generally tailored from solid color fabrics. The cloth is often durable and is specifically made for outdoor wear. It is lightweight and it’s typically worn as a uniform for members of a sports team, social club, or school.

woman wearing a red blazer

The term blazer originated from the Lady Margaret Boat Club back in 1825. It was a rowing club at St. John’s College at the University of Cambridge. They were called blazers because the color of the cloth was bright red.

A new color for the blazer was introduced by the sailing crew of HMS Blazer around 1837. They wore striped blue and white jackets in response to the harlequin jackets the HMS Harlequin sailors adorned at the time.

After the captain and his crew of the HMS Blazer appeared wearing these new multi-color jackets, the word blazer became synonymous with striped jacket.

Another term used to define a specific type of blazer in the past was called reefer jacket. It was described as a short double-breasted jacket that was also worn by sailors.

In this situation, the sailors had to perform a duty called “reefing the sails” (reducing the area around a sail by rolling one edge or folding it) during harsh weather. A distinctive design for these jackets were their big black horn buttons.

These particular blazers have evolved to be darker, made as either single or double-breasted design, and including metallic buttons.

woman wearing a white blazer
Photo by Bruno Emmanuelle

Now that you have a better understanding of what a blazer is, let me explain how to wear one.

How to wear a blazer?

There is a specific process involved when wearing a blazer. As a sophisticated woman, you want to know the right pairing of tops and bottoms to go with the colorful and stylish blazer you have sitting in your closet. Keep reading to learn more.

Blazer Outfit Ideas | How To Style Blazers 👟 1 BLAZER, 9 OUTFITS!
by Emily Elizabeth May

Here are three simple examples you can use to style your outfits.

Blazer Over A Dress

A fitted or flowing dress would go well with a blazer that matches its color and material. You can grab a black blazer and wear it over a red fitted dress with black heels. This is a classic look that allows you to shine.

Monochromatic Color Blazer With Matching Top And Bottom

Any solid color shirt will show off nicely with a similar color blazer. A white button-down shirt with light-gray tailored pants and some heels would fit well with a gray blazer. Using simple shades of color can make an outfit look stylish.

Button-Down Top With A Pair Of Jeans

This ensemble creates a casual look when you find the right colors to match. You can create a feminine outfit using a pink blazer with a white and gray stripe button-down top and a pair of washed-out jeans. There are days when you want to appear relaxed, adding a pair of jeans to a solid color blazer will usually do the trick.

How should a blazer fit?

The one size fits all is a myth when it comes to wearing a blazer. Every woman’s body is shaped differently, and special attention needs to be addressed when choosing the right kind of jacket for them.

woman wearing a blazer fit

There are four steps you should follow to get the right feel and look to ensure comfortability:

1. Selecting The Right Fit

Try the blazer out to get the right fit in your shoulders, its hem, your sleeve length, and buttons. Also, make sure to have on a shirt or other clothing material to know how it would feel with multiple layers.

2. Check That The Shoulder Seams Come To Your Shoulders

The seams should come right where your shoulders end. If it is too large, it will fall off of them. If it is too small, then it is not reaching your shoulders properly. Wearing shoulder pads would require you to check under the blazer to see where the seam ends around them.

3. Button Up To Ensure It Does Not Pull

If the blazer is pulling in an “X” shape after you have buttoned it up, then it is too tight. The fabric should remain smooth, and your arms should move freely. As long as you do not feel constricted, it is OK for your arms to feel a little snug.

4. Sleeve Length Hits Right Below Your Wrist

A classic blazer has sleeves that either reach your wrists or right below them. Hold your arms to the side and then out in front of you to see where they land on your arm.


All four of these steps are essential when getting the right fit for your blazer. Take some time to go through each one to build a wardrobe of comfortable clothes you can wear at any time.

Types of blazers

There are various types of blazers you can fill your closet with for almost every occasion. Some are made for formal events, while others are more casual.

man and woman wearing red blazers

The single-breasted jacket and tuxedo/blazer dress are classy wears that would be standard on any woman’s hanger. On the other hand, there are the denim and printed blazers that allow you to have a little fun after hours with your overall look.

These are just a sample of what you can expect when deciding what kind of blazer to buy.

In the next section, you will learn more about the most common types of blazers you can wear.

Blazer jacket

As mentioned before, the blazer jacket is made of lightweight material that can be worn with just about any top, bottom, or dress combination. There are endless possibilities of what you can wear to the point that you could have a different outfit for any occasion throughout the year.

The blazer jacket is known for its classy design and is usually worn in professional settings. That means you would feel confident and comfortable at work, a business meeting, or at a luncheon.

woman wearing a blazer jacket

Both men and women have a few options to choose from when building their wardrobe. But, it is helpful to get a solid understanding of the common types that are out there.

Women’s blazer jacket

There are four particular women’s blazer jackets that you may want to have in your closet:

Fitted Blazer

This blazer comes in a tailored design that will do well in a formal setting. It has a snug, yet comfortable fit that will liven up the rest of your outfit.

One Button Blazer

A one button blazer is very polished and presents a relaxed feel when paired with the right top and bottom.

Long Line Blazer

Displaying an elegant flow, this blazer can reach just above your knees. It has a very bold style that shows off a silhouette in the back.

Cape Blazer

The cut in the sleeves of this blazer makes it appear to hang over your shoulders like a coat. You will feel classy and elegant wearing it at any special event.

Men’s blazer jacket

The style and quality of a blazer jacket for men requires the same high standards as women. However, the design is adjusted to fit them in a more masculine way.

man adjusting his shirt and blazer

Here are three examples:

2 Button Single-Breasted Blazer

It has a notched lapel (the folded flaps on the front of a jacket), with flap pockets and two holes to button the jacket.

3 Button Single-Breasted Blazer

This is similar to the two-button blazer, but it has three buttons.

6 Button Double-Breasted Blazer

Very stylish and formal wear, this blazer has six buttons, a peaked lapel (pointed flap), and jetted pockets (the pouch sits inside of the jacket).

Casual blazer

A casual blazer is a more relaxed and flexible version of the standard blazer jacket. The material, color, and structure make it more suitable for after office parties and get-togethers.

The standard blazer material is usually made out of navy serge, flannel, and hopsack. Casual blazers tend to come in wool, denim, knit, and other fabrics.

Because of the playfulness this type of blazer presents, it can come in different colors, prints, textures, and shades. There is an endless amount of styles and designs you can find with this particular blazer.

woman wearing a casual blazer
Photo by Alireza Esmaeeli

There are contrasting differences to the type of casual blazer a woman and man can wear. The following sections will go further into detail.

Women’s casual blazer

The creative and stylish designs for a woman’s casual blazer are endless. Here are four types you could place in your wardrobe:

Denim Blazer

The denim blazer comes typically in shades of blue but can be made out of many other colors. Some designs are simplistic, with just a couple of buttons in the front. Others could have ruffles at the bottom, stop just above the waist or hang below your hips.

Deep Lapel Blazer

This cute blazer can have different floral patterns and no buttons. It is made to drape down your body loosely.

Leather Blazer

Classic and versatile, the leather blazer is edgy and displays power with any outfit arrangement you choose.

Lace Blazer

A blazer made with lace material; this blazer provides comfort and a feminine elegance that can be eye-catching.

Men’s casual blazer

Men’s casual blazers are very sharp and sophisticated in design, color, and style. Below are four examples that might be the right choice for any man you may know.

man wearing a casual blazer
Casual Wool Blazer

Wool blazers have taken over sweaters when it comes to fashion and comfortability. A trench coat design, for example, brings forth a slim look and could have three or more buttons to cover up a man when it gets cold.

Slim-Fit Casual Blazer

A combination of a formal suit to a casual cardigan, the slim-fit blazer gently hugs men’s arms while allowing them to pull up their sleeves to relax. They come in various colors and have jetted pockets.

Casual Summer Blazer

A summer blazer can be solid or striped and has a slim fit. The fabric is made out of poly-cotton, and the bottom of the blazer curves up on both sides.

Casual Cotton Blazer

Cotton blazers can keep men warm and cozy during the colder seasons. Their buttons tend to be large to help close the blazer. Besides, casual cotton blazers have deep pockets and a notch lapel.

Long blazer

Long blazers have been gaining popularity within the last few years. They have a sleek design that would look great on any woman’s body. The fabrics used for these blazers are usually made in velvet, silk, cotton, polyester, or linen.

Some options come in single or double-breasted, various colors, stripes and can be worn for both business and evening settings. Some designs’ creativeness could allow you to purchase one that looks like a gown with a wide collar.

woman wearing a black long blazer

Reaching just past your hips or below your knees, these blazers give you a new look and feel with any ensemble you choose.

How long should a blazer be?

The length of a blazer is dependent on the kind of look you feel like wearing for the day or night. Whether you are going to a party or heading towards a formal event, having various options reduces the time you will spend in front of a mirror.

A classic blazer ends around your hips, allowing you to pull off a professional or casual look regardless of the style. However, cape and asymmetric blazers, for example, could reach towards your feet, making you look both classy and elegant.

Fashion designers think out of the box daily when it comes to creating something new. They take in information from their clients, bosses, and teachers to figure out what might look good on a woman’s body. Since casual blazers are outside the norm, no rules are requiring a blazer to be a certain length.

So with that in mind, the question you have to ask yourself is, how long do you want your blazer to be when you step out of your home?

Oversized blazer

Oversized blazers have become an additional option for women who want to feel relaxed and stylish with their outfit. They are specifically made to look more significant than what you would typically wear. This is a vast difference than just buying a larger size.

Some tailored designs present a flowing dress silhouette, causing you to feel free and comfortable. With the right pairing of top and bottom, you can create a myriad of styling options.

woman wearing a black oversized blazer
Photo by Мария Волк

They come in numerous materials, including tartan, leather, wool, and denim, just to name a few. The length tends to reach the middle of your thigh but could be longer depending on the style and design.

Plaid blazer

Plaid blazers are considered the go-to jacket when figuring out what to wear. They are stylish, cozy, and come in varying patterns. There is practically no limit to how many outfits you can put together with this type of blazer.

The Classic Plaid Blazer is made out of wool, comes with three buttons on each side, and has flap pockets. It can be worn with a simple red t-shirt that is tucked into a black pair of pants.

A pair of jeans would go well with just about any plaid blazer in your closet. Just add a simple white t-shirt and a couple of sneakers, and you are ready to head out for the day or evening.

Blazer dress

What is a blazer dress?

The blazer dress is a sexy and sharp outfit that you can wear at a special event or for a night out on the town. It is sometimes made from either a single or double-breasted blazer and could be extended into an alluring dress.

You can add a belt around your waist to create an hourglass shape or let it hang off your body. If you choose not to wear a top underneath, you could reveal a plunging neckline that catches everyone’s attention.

black blazer dress

Some designs may have puffed shoulders, flared sleeves, made out of leather, or have no sleeves. There is no limitation on what style you could wear.

Blazer outfits

Throughout this chapter, you have read about some simple and creative outfits that pair well with varying types of blazers. You can create countless styles as long as you know how to coordinate colors and match materials together.

Before sharing the list of possible outfits, you can create, think about the type of clothes you have in your wardrobe. Each one could fit well with a specific blazer of your choosing.

As you read about the following blazers, envision them with the numerous outfits you have been wearing. This will be your guide towards having a new set of clothes to wear, such as:

  • A Leopard Print Blazer with Blue Jeans and Black Top with Heels.
  • A Black Blazer with Matching Black Pants.
  • A Velvet Blazer with a Free-Flowing Skirt.
  • A Pink Blazer with a Black Shirt and Black Matching Pants.
  • A Maxi Dress with a Solid Color Blazer.

Blazer with jeans

Adding a pair of jeans with a blazer is an everyday outfit that most women love to wear. There is an unlimited amount of ways you can pair these two, along with the type of tops and shoes to go along with them.

An example would be a fitted blazer with a white shirt, dark jeans, and a pair of high heels. This creates a polished look that works well in an office setting.

blazer and jeans outfit

Plaid blazers and jeans are a staple when it comes to fashion. Combining pointed-toe black boots with a red sweater is a great look for the winter season.

You can go with a simple look by wearing a black blazer with a white t-shirt, washed-out jeans, and beige high heel boots.

If you are looking for a chic appearance, pair a beige one-button blazer with a low-cut black blouse and long jeans that can be folded up. Add some black two-strap heels to finish up this look.

Oversized blazers create a very relaxed look. Grab a dark gray blazer with a red top, some dark blue jeans, and some white high heel boots.

A final example you can wear is to match a light-green plaid blazer with a simple black top and low gold heels.

What to wear under a blazer?

There are numerous shirts, pants, and dresses you can choose from to wear under a blazer. The type of outfit you adorn determines how you feel at that moment. Do you want to feel elegant and professional? Or do you feel carefree and relaxed at the moment? Think about this as you select your outfits.

If you are struggling to figure out what to wear with your blazer, take a look at the color and fabric of your blouses, sweaters, and shirts and compare them to the blazers you have or intend to purchase. Are the patterns, hues, and texture similar? When you put them on, do they seem to pair well with one another? This is the process you should go through when deciding what top to wear.

black blazer

As far as your bottom wear, use the same strategy. Your skirts, pants, and/or shorts should match your blazer and top. The material and style will coordinate well with the rest of your outfit.

Blazer tips

After purchasing your blazers, you want to make sure they last a long time. Here are a few tips you can follow to make them last for a long time.

Wooden Hangers

Wire hangers will ruffle the fabric of your blazer. Your jacket will last longer if you use wood.

Less Trips To Dry Cleaners

Dry cleaners use a lot of harsh chemicals that may deteriorate the material and fabric of your blazer. Try to use soft cleansers at home, especially if the stain is small, to keep your blazer clean and only send it to the dry cleaner for essential events.

Steam Iron

A safe way to iron out the wrinkles on your blazer is to use a steam iron. A regular iron might destroy the fibers of your jacket. You can also use a cloth towel to cover your blazer as you iron out the wrinkles if you do not have one.

Over Using Inner Pockets

The material used for the pockets is not as strong as the ones used for the rest of the blazer. Placing heavy items, like keys or wallets, would eventually pull the pockets down. Try to place more delicate items like a handkerchief in them.

How to pack a blazer?

Getting your blazer inside of your suitcase without causing any wrinkles takes careful precision. There are a few methods you can use to make sure it comes out as smooth as possible.

One method is to place it inside a garment bag. You can buy numerous versions to easily pack your blazer without it getting bunched up or wrinkled. Some have an area where you can hang your jacket, easily fold and place it within a suitcase.

Another method is to leave your blazer in a plastic dry-cleaning bag. Similar to some garment bags, you can easily fold it in half while it sits inside of the plastic and lay it inside of your suitcase.

The last option requires a few steps before you can pack a blazer comfortably. Here are the steps:

  1. Lay the blazer face down and pull the left sleeve towards the back.
  2. Grab the shoulder and pull it inside out.
  3. Fold the left side of the blazer over so it is on top of the back.
  4. Next, fold the right sleeve to the back of the blazer.
  5. Tuck the right sleeve and shoulder inside of the left side pocket.
  6. With everything aligned, fold the blazer in half and then place it inside a suitcase or drawer.

How to fold a blazer?

Nothing is worse than pulling out your nice blazer on a business trip and seeing that is wrinkled from top to bottom. Learning how to fold a blazer properly will save you a lot of time from standing in front of an ironing board.

man wearing a classic blazer
Photo by Henor Teneqja

Below there is a simple example of how to fold your blazer:

1. Place The Blazer On A Flat Surface

Take your blazer and lay it face down on a flat surface. Position it so that the collar is folded down, and the sleeves are stretched naturally.

2. Fold The Right Sleeve And Shoulder

Grab the right sleeve and shoulder and fold them onto the back of the blazer. Make sure to stop the fold based on the shoulder pad’s width, and the alignment of the two is vertical.

3. Fold The Left Sleeve And Shoulder

Mimicking the right side, fold the left shoulder and sleeve onto the back of the blazer, making sure to lay it on top of the right shoulder and sleeve.

4. Fold In Half

Lift the bottom of the jacket and fold it in half. Turn it over, and you have a nicely folded blazer to place in your drawer or suitcase.

Sport coats

The second jacket I’ll deal with is sport coats. They are designed for a more casual look than the blazer and suit jacket.

Just like men, women want to have clothing that they can relax in and still look fashionable. Even though a sport coat is not structured to wear as a suit, it can be stylish when adding the right top, bottom, or dress to go with it.

After completing this chapter, you will know what a sport coat is, how to wear one, and everything you need to know about various sport coats. I will also share some valuable tips on how to take care of your sport coats.

What is a sport coat?

A sport coat is a casual lounge jacket that can be worn without matching it with pants, a skirt, a dress, or shorts. It comes in various styles, colors, patterns, and fabrics. They are more sturdy, thick, and commonly come in suede, denim, tweed, corduroy, checked, herringbone woolen cloth, and leather.

man wearing a sport coat

Sport coats were indoctrinated in the 1860s by the Duke of Norfolk. The jacket was buttoned all the way to the neck, had a box pleat centered on the back (explained below), and included two box pleats in the front.

Pleats consisted of two or more parallel creases that face in the opposite direction of one another. They formed a raised section in between.

Some designs may have also included elbow patches, sleeve cuffs, wind tabs, and flapped breast pockets.

It was ideal for shooting, horseback riding, and fox hunting. They had flapped pockets to store ammunition and other provisions. The coat also had a belted waist that created full mobility for hunters’ arms as they aimed with their guns.

Some of the well-known clothing worn with this coat were deerstalker hats, knickerbockers, and sometimes, bowler hats. They were historically made of tweed and had a looser fit. This allowed them to lay over sweaters for comfortability.

Originally, the sport coat was made for the rich and located in the countryside of England. A suit, however, was seen more in the city.

sport coat

Over time, the coats were adorned by those who attended hunting events and, eventually, for formal occasions. In some instances, they were used as school uniforms.

Even though they are intended for casual wear, they are more durable than suit jackets and blazers.

How to wear a sport coat?

The design of a sport coat limits the number of places you would generally want to wear it. If you are heading to a business meeting, it would not be the first thing to grab after looking inside of your closet. They are more fitting at weddings or an office that has a business casual dress code.

Since it comes in sturdier material, it is quite useful to wear in the fall and winter months. There are dozens of ways you can pair it with your wardrobe regardless of the temperature outside. Here are three ideas:

Navy Blue Sport Coat And A Dress

A navy blue sport coat with brown patches would go well with a light-colored, flowing dress. Just add a pair of high heels, and you will look stylish for the rest of the day.

Twill Sport Coat With White Top And Dark Pants

A sophisticated look you can pull off is a twill sport coat with a white, button-down shirt and dark color pants. This is an overall casual look that you can highlight with a pair of dress shoes.

Plaid Sport Coat With A Solid Color Top And Bottom

Plaid and wool go hand-in-hand when it comes to comfortability. If you can combine a plaid sport coat with a solid color top and bottom with some boots, you will create an overall fashionable outfit.

How should a sport coat fit?

The process used to fit a blazer on your body is similar to a sport coat. One woman may be able to pick one off the rack, and it will fit her just fine. But another woman might need some alterations. Keep reading.

women sport coat

However, getting a sport coat bespoke or tailor-made could be costly. An alternative would be to try on different sizes from different brands. There are numerous styles that you can choose from to get the right look and comfort.

In the meantime, here are three ideas on how to fit a sport coat for your body:

The “X” Factor

After putting on a coat, button the top or middle button, depending on how many there are in the front. If the middle of your body makes an “X” shape, then it is too small. You want to have some room to move around, and if it makes that shape, it will be noticeable to others that it does not conform to your body.

The Shoulder Divots

A sport coat is supposed to fit you like a glove around your shoulders. It should look smooth and give you enough space around your upper arms. If there is a dent or divot in the shoulder area, it may be a bit too big for you.

The Sleeve Wrinkles

There will be some level of wrinkling when you move your arms in your sport coat. But if it begins to do this when you are not swinging them, then your sleeve pitch is off. Sleeve pitch is the neutral position your arms are in when they are at your side. This would require you to look at other brands or styles to find the right fit.

Types of sport coats

There is an endless amount of sport coat designs you can add to your wardrobe. Some are specifically made for the colder months, while others can be worn during the warmer seasons. Then there are the universal types that can be enjoyed throughout the year and for specific activities.

smiling woman with a sport coat
Photo by Christina

If you are into horse riding, you might fancy a hacking jacket. It is mostly made out of wool or tweed and traditionally has three buttons with a single vent (pocket).

Unlike its original creation, the shooting jacket has leather patches on the shoulders to prevent fabric deterioration from the consistent use of the butt of a rifle.

In the following sections, you will learn more about the various types of sport coats, which include:

  • Tweed.
  • Corduroy.
  • Linen.
  • Casual.
  • Camel Hair.

Tweed sport coat

When you think of a sport coat, the image of tweed may come to mind. It is a rough woolen fabric that is flexible in its texture but it’s actually woven. This type of coat is typically worn during the fall and winter months, but you could wear it whenever you want depending on its thickness and the temperature.

tweed sport coat
Photo by Andrew Neel

There are three types of tweed:

Harris Tweed

Known to be handwoven by islanders living in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. They produce the woven in their homes with pure virgin wool that is dyed and spun on those same islands.

Donegal Tweed

Comes from Donegal, Ireland, and it’s woven in a plain weave with dots of color. These dots can be placed on plain backgrounds, checks, herringbones, and other textures and patterns.

Silk Tweed

It is made of what is referred to as raw silk. The flecks of color are quite similar to Donegal tweed but are technically not woolen.

Corduroy sport coat

A corduroy sport coat has a distinct pattern called a cord or wale (number of ridges per inch). They are commonly composed of tufted cords (a thread that is inserted on a primary base).

If you look closely, multiple cords are laying parallel and stitched to one another. The cloth is extremely durable because it is weaved with extra fiber sets into the basic fabric to produce vertical ridges.

corduroy sport coat

There are three types of corduroy styles:

  • Standard Wale: Comes in 11 wales per inch and is available in multiple colors.
  • Pincord/Needlecord/Pinwale: Finest level of cord.
  • Printed Corduroy/Pigment Dyed: Taken through the process of printing or coloring the corduroy fabric with pigment dyes. It is applied to the surface of the fabric, cut, sewn and then washed. While being washed, the dye rinses out in an irregular way that creates a vintage look.

Linen sport coat

The word linen is synonymous with summer. The fabric is cool to the touch and feels good on your skin in hot temperatures. It is woven in Italy and Ireland, and the fibers come from the flax plant.

Linen fabric wrinkles easily because it lacks elasticity in the fibers. It famously comes in plain weave but can also be woven as a twill weave.

Irish linen is known to be darker and a little coarse. The Italian version is the opposite but presents more crease when you wear it.

Because the fabric is soft, it would pair well with a flowing dress or a blouse and skirt.

Casual sport coat

Sport coats naturally fall into the category of casual attire. But some designs go a step further.

These types of coats are light-weight, have open weave cotton, or some form of cotton blends. Linen and seersucker are good examples. You would look for half-lined jackets, which provides a silky inside lining for maximum breathability.

casual sport coat

A rumpled cotton sport coat, for example, has minimal lining and is made out of cotton twill. It will display wrinkles before putting it on, but it has a soft touch to it to make you feel comfortable throughout the day.

The design of this coat would be less structured with bolder and brighter colors and patterns.

Camel Hair sport coat

A camel hair sport coat is composed of the fur from the body of a camel. It is mainly referred to as the cloth and fiber made with a blend of camel hair and another fiber or pure camel hair.

There are two components to camel hair: Guard Hair and Undercoat.

Guard Hair is the outer protective fur of a camel. It is very coarse, inflexible, and can be woven into haircloth. When blended with another fiber, such as wool, it can be softer and plusher.

camelhair sport coat

Undercoats are shorter, more delicate, and less protective. However, they provide additional insulation and are softer. They are more frequently used as a textile for coats.

Sport coat outfits

There is an endless amount of outfits you can create with a sport coat. The pattern, texture, and design might differ from the blouses, skirts, and dresses you have in your wardrobe. There is a strategy you can use to figure out what to wear with it.

Color Contrast

As you look through your wardrobe, think about your jacket’s differing colors versus the colors in your closet. Decide how well they would match the sport coats you have or intend to buy.

You can also use this technique for the contrasting patterns in the jacket. In this case, use solid colors for your pants, skirts, or dresses.


Now that you have a better understanding of how to match a sport coat with other clothing you have hanging in your wardrobe, you can figure out what kind of outfits to wear, such as:

  • Corduroy Sport Coat With Jeans.
  • Linen Sport Coat With A Skirt.
  • Tweed Sport Coat With A Flowing Dress.

Sport coat with jeans

A sport coat and a pair of jeans are the epitome of comfort. Choosing the right jacket, top and jeans will make the entire ensemble work well with one another.

sport coat and jeans outfit

As mentioned earlier, using the color and pattern contrasting technique will guide you towards a well-structured outfit. Take a look in your closet and look for solid color tops that match your sport coat’s patterns. Pick the best one and then determine what type of jeans you want to wear with the ensemble.

There are different types of jeans that you could wear with your sport jacket, but some thought is needed to make sure you are wearing the right pair. The idea is for you to look sophisticated while being casual.

Your jeans should fit comfortably and look appropriate. Baggy or ripped jeans might be overly casual but done correctly, you could pull it off.

Jackets & Jeans: Menswear Combinations for Blazers, Sport Coats & Denim
by Gentleman’s Gazette

The shade of your jeans is also a factor in how your outfit would work. Light jeans are suitable to wear during the spring and summer days. You could pair them with a linen or seersucker coat and light top.

Grey denim jeans contrast well with a navy sport coat and any solid color top. Dark denim jeans add a polished look to your overall wear. Add a nice blouse with some heels, and you’ll have a sophisticated outfit.

Sport coat tips

Sport coats are made to be durable regardless of the weather, but some care is needed to help them last a long time. All jackets are not made the same, so some special treatment is necessary when you wash or store them.

Dry Clean Only

Most sport coats can only be cleaned when sent to a dry cleaner. If you toss it into the washer and dryer, the fabric might ravel. Check the label to make sure you use the right cleaning method.

Brush Your Coat

After wearing your sport coat, use a brush to get any hair or lint off of it. There are four types of brushes you can purchase:

  • A roller that has sticky sheets for pet hair and lint.
  • Nylon or other types of bristles for deep cleaning.
  • Wire bristle for additional deep cleaning.
  • A raised fabric brush that creates static electricity that picks up lint.

Wooden Or Plastic Hangers

Wire hangers are not sturdy enough to retain the shape of your sport coat. Using wooden or plastic hangers will work better. You may want to add a cloth cover to keep dust off of it as well. 

woman sport coat wooden hangers
Photo by Petr Sidorov

Make sure that you give the jacket enough room to breathe. If possible, hang it in a temperature-controlled area.

How to pack a sport coat?

Buying a garment bag would be the best way to fold a sport coat so that it will not wrinkle. You would simply hang it inside, zip, and fold it in half. This will protect your coat from the other clothes in the suitcase.

If you do not have a garment bag, then you can follow these steps to fold and pack it carefully:

Step 1: Place On A Flat Surface

Lay the coat facing up with the arms stretched out on each side.

Step 2: Fold Without Buttoning

Fold the front of the coat towards one side as if you are about to button it. Make sure the lapels meet one another.

Step 3: Fold The Sleeves

Fold each sleeve up so that they are parallel with their respective shoulder.

Step 4: Fold The Jacket – Part I

Observing the center of the jacket, fold it in half (vertically). Each half should be even with one another. Keep the sleeves folded.

Step 5: Fold The Jacket – Part II

Fold the jacket one more time but from the bottom up.

After this last step, you can gently place your sport coat in a suitcase. Make sure not to place any heavy items on top of it.

How to fold a sport coat?

Folding a sport coat is different than folding a t-shirt. There are a few steps to follow to fold it properly. The goal is to make sure you do not create any wrinkles or damage the fabric in the process.

Here are the three steps to folding a sport coat:

Step 1: Lay It Face Down

Take your sport coat and lay it face down on a flat surface. Keep it unbuttoned and spread the arms out. If you need to, turn it face up to get it in the right position and gently flip it over.

Step 2: Folding The Shoulders

Take the left shoulder and fold it back. Next, grab the right shoulder and turn it inside out. Keep the sleeves from wrinkling during these steps.

As you are folding the right shoulder back, keep the entire inside-out panel of the coat flat. When tucking the left shoulder under the right, make sure the collar is not creasing.

Step 3: Flip Then Fold

Flip the coat over and fold it in half horizontally from the bottom to the top. With all the steps completed, you can now pack your sport coat or place it in a drawer. It would help if you stored them like this for a short period.

Suit jackets

The last of the coats discussed in this chapter is a suit jacket. It is the only one out of all three that is specifically made to pair itself with matching pants.

Since women can wear suit jackets, you are also able to find skirts to go with them. This outfit might reduce the amount of time spent searching for bottom wears that share the same color, pattern, or fabric.

In this chapter, you will learn what a suit jacket is and how to wear one. I’ll talk about the different types of suit jackets, outfits, and I’ll share some tips on how to take care of them.

What is a suit jacket?

A suit jacket is a lounge jacket that is part of a formal suit. The color, fabric, and pattern of it will have a matching bottom. It is known to be single-breasted with two or three buttons, but one or more buttons are unusual in its design. Double-breasted creations, however, have some buttons that are only for display purposes.

woman wearing a black suit jacket

This jacket’s structure and shape originated in the Middle Ages, where the jerkin (a fitted coat-like silhouette) was formed. It was further developed when the button and button-hole came about in the 13th century.

Many jerkins did not have sleeves, but its shape and cut gave way for a new style: the coat. It was called this because its purpose was to protect the person wearing it from the elements. This, in turn, created the term overcoat.

There were constant revisions to the overcoat that eventually led to the frock coat. This had a collarless neck and a straight cut design. The style was popular among the French and soon crossed over to the English.

Over time, the coat expanded its look to have a tapered form with a collar and lapels added to it. The lounge suit, smoking jacket, and tuxedo became fashionable and casual alternatives to evening wear.

woman wearing a red suit jacket

The jacket suit has evolved to being a symbol of a well-educated and well-dressed person. This is the design we are accustomed to today.

The suit jacket is identified by four parts:

  • Lapel (folded flaps of cloth).
  • Sleeves.
  • Pockets.
  • Vent (the slit at the bottom of the coat in the back).

How to wear a suit jacket?

The styling process for wearing a suit jacket is not as tedious or complicated as the other two previously mentioned coats. When picking out what to wear, you simply have to grab the matching jacket and bottom and choose a blouse or shirt.

However, you can switch things up a bit. The following are three outfits that you could wear with a suit jacket.

Classic Black Jacket With Black Skirt

One of the most common outfits you can wear is an all black suit and skirt. It is formal and can be worn for just about any occasion. The reason for wearing a skirt instead of pants is because trends tend to change a lot when it comes to pants whereas a skirt is long lasting. You can add any light color top with this ensemble and put on some high heels to complete the look.

black suit jacket with black skirt outfit

Gray Jacket With Matching Pants

Light or dark gray suits are also staples in any woman’s wardrobe. Adding a monochromatic blouse with a pair of low or high heels will make you look stylish.

Mix Matching Jacket And Bottom

You can always break the rules when it comes to suit jackets. There are plenty of options where you can pair it with a different bottom. The only thing to remember is that the bottom fabric should match the top, even if it is a different color. An idea would be to take a beige jacket and match it with white pants. Using a white button-down shirt will work well.

How should a suit jacket fit?

There are a few methods for figuring out how to fit a suit jacket on a woman’s body. Here are three that you can try.

mens suit jacket
Cupping Fingers

This process requires you to stand with your arms to the side and curve your fingers up. The idea is to see if the tips of your fingers will touch the end of the jacket. If they meet, then you have the right fit. If not, then you may have to get another size. However, if having an oversized suit is to your liking, there may be no need to change.

Cover Your Rear End

This process is quite simple. Grab the end of your jacket from the back and check to see if it covers your rear end. If it goes that far, then you have the right size.

Halfway Between The Base Of Your Neck And The Ground

Using a measuring tape, check to see if the bottom of the jacket is halfway between the base of your neck and to the floor. This determines as to whether your body is proportioned correctly or not.


These three methods are fairly simple to follow and should give you the right results.

How long should a suit jacket be?

A suit jacket is known for its professional look and style. It is commonly structured to fit halfway down your body, making it look proportioned. Many of the suits you see professional women wear follow this trend.

In the previous section, you read that the bottom of the jacket should have the same distance from the base of your neck and to the ground. But that does not always have to be the case.

man wearing a blue suit jacket

Men follow the standards for a suit jacket because it was originally made for them. As a woman, however, you can redesign what you wear to fit your needs and wants.

Like the blazer and sport coat, you can have a suit jacket that fits a little looser and still appears professional and classy. There are numerous designs in the market that provide “non-standard” outfits that you can buy.

If you want to stick with the status quo, keep the length of your jacket just under your rear end. But if you want something a little different, then either search for designers who step outside the boundaries or find a tailor that can create a look that fits your personality.

Suit jacket size

The size of a suit jacket will vary from one woman to another. Some women have a lean and longer frame, while others may have a short torso.

There are a host of factors involved in how to fit a jacket for a woman properly. Some of them include:

  • Bust Size.
  • Arm Length.
  • Waist Area.
  • Shoulder Width.

This is the reason why some people spend their earnings on a tailor to prevent trying on different outfits before finding the right one. No one size fits all women when it comes to their measurements.

taylor measuring a womans suit jacket

The process should not be rushed. You want to be certain that you have the right size for your body.

Size chart

A size chart can be followed to help you figure out the measurements for a particular suit. Since each woman’s body will differ in more than one area, you will have to make adjustments where necessary.

Here is a woman’s jacket size chart.

the extreme collection womans jacket size chart
How to measure for a suit jacket

The best way to get a suit that fits is to take proper measurements of your body. You can pay a professional or take the time to do it yourself. Below are the steps to follow to do this on your own.

Step 1: Your Height And Weight

Standing up against a wall, use a pencil to mark your height. Grab a tape measure to see how tall you are. After that, get on a scale, check your weight, and mark both results on a paper sheet.

Step 2: Wear A Dress Shirt Or Top

You will be wearing a blouse, button-down shirt or some other kind of top with your suit jacket. The best way to know if it will fit is to wear one of these as you take your measurements.

Step 3: Shoulder-To-Shoulder

The overarm measurement determines the width of the entire jacket. To perform this task, take the tape measure and wrap it across your shoulders from the back. Hold it at the starting point with one hand and use your finger to stop at a certain spot on the other end. Let it go from the left side to see where your right hand is positioned.

Step 4: Bust Measurement

Your bust size is one of the most determining factors on how well your suit jacket will fit. This is something you want to get right, or your jacket might end up feeling too tight. Wearing a bra, take the tape measure and wrap it around your chest. Be certain to get the tape underneath your armpits and then lower your arms. The tape measure should overlap, and you can get your readings from it.

Step 5: Shoulder To Wrist

The way your sleeves fit around your shoulders and arms is essential to get the appropriate fit of a jacket. Hold down the tape measure on your opposite shoulder and grab the rest of it with your other hand. Measure where your wrist ends.

Step 6: Neck To Thumb

To get the length of your jacket, start by relaxing your arms on both sides. Lifting one of them up, place the tape measure near your neck, and let it fall down in front of you. Using your other hand, grab the measuring tape and read the number right where your thumb begins.

Step 7: Neck Measurement

A fitted suit tends to hug every part of your body without causing any constriction. This also goes for the area around your neck. Take the measuring tape and wrap it around your neck. Make sure it is tight but not to a point where you are uncomfortable.

Women’s suit jackets

Women have multiple options when it comes to wearing a suit jacket. There are more styles, colors and designs you can choose from to look stylish and professional. Here are some considerations you can follow to build your wardrobe.

Styles

The type of suit jacket and bottom you choose is dependent on your body type. If you are tall, try a suit set with a pencil skirt or an A-line (an outfit that is fitted from your shoulders to your hips and then widens around the hem).

HOW TO WEAR A SUIT | STYLE IDEAS AND ACCESSORIES
by Inthefrow

If you are a pear-shaped woman, find a pantsuit where the legs are flared to balance your silhouette. A fitted, classic suit will go well for a woman with a curvier build.

Skirt suits are conservative in nature and should fall as close to your knees as possible. Your pairing jacket should be well-fitted, hitting your waistline.

Colors

Black, navy blue and charcoal grey are traditional suit colors that you can rely on as staples for your wardrobe. You can mix and match these pieces to create a new outfit for the week.

There are numerous colors you can find for your closet besides the standard three mentioned. You will have to take time to find what you like and slowly build up your clothing wear.

Materials

The type of fabric you choose will be based on the particular season and how much care they will need. Some materials are more suited for the colder months, while others are more comfortable during warmer weather.

Seersucker and linen are wonderful for spring and summer because they are light and breathe better. Cotton and wool provide more comfort during the winter months.

Other fabrics, like polyester, are more resistant to wrinkling.

classic woman suit jacket

You can mix and match things as you like. As long as the outfit works well and you feel comfortable, then you will have a great set of clothes for your wardrobe.

Patterns

Women who work in the professional environment or plan on going to a job interview tend to stick with solid-colored suits. But if you are interested in attending formal events, an elegant pattern will be suitable.

Floral designs are very sophisticated, but you will have to make sure that the pattern lines up correctly and is symmetrical across the lapels of your jacket. This would be appropriate for banquets and weddings.

Men’s suit jackets

Men also have varying styles of suit jackets they can wear. They range from the casual to the most formal designs. There are three options they can wear, and you can familiarize yourself with them below.

Basic Suit Jacket

A man can wear a two-piece or three-piece suit with his jacket. The best quality design is made out of wool or wool blends and is considered more casual. Thus, it does not have to follow a lot of rules when it comes to pairing the rest of the outfit.

man wearng a dark suit jacket
Photo by Jeff Tumale

This jacket tends to have notched lapels that are usually peaked and come in single- and double-breasted designs. They will commonly have flap pockets, a thin ticket pocket on the right side, and the sleeves have a plain cuff or hem.

The shirts that he can wear should have complementary colors such as blue, gray, and white. His matching trousers would have a pleated front or he could wear dark jeans.

Dinner Suit Jacket

A dinner suit jacket is synonymous with the word tuxedo. An adequately designed tuxedo is always made in black or navy. However, some brands provide different colors if you request them.

The top of the lapel is made of grosgrain or satin with either a peak or shawl (rounded) shape. Its pockets are usually jetted but can come with flaps, which should be tucked in. All of the buttons on the jacket should come in the same fabric material as the lapel.

A tuxedo should be worn with matching trousers. They are cuffed and have a satin strip running down the outer part of the leg.

You will usually find a man wearing a cummerbund (broad waist sash) with the same color as the lapel to hold his pants up. A belt is not an option for this attire.

Men’s dress shirt should be pleated or textured, and they should wear either a black or white bow tie. And dress shoes should always be polished.

Tails

The last suit jacket is usually worn during white tie events. It is called tails because the back is long and rounded. Outside of that, it has similar qualities to the dinner suit jacket.

A white bow tie is typically worn, and the trousers are either grey or black with pleats and are cuffed. You also might see men wearing a white top hat and matching dress shoes.

Suit jacket outfits

There are many combinations of tops, bottoms, and dresses you can wear with your suit jackets. The colors, fabrics, and patterns available will provide you with countless outfits to last throughout the year.

man wearing his suit jacket
Photo by Zahir Namane

Matching solid color jackets and bottoms create a professional look that many women wear for business events. Approved pattern designs can also be worn at work but are more commonly seen at social gatherings.

After reading the previous sections on the types of suits you can wear, you should now be able to figure out how to mix and match your clothes and create your own designs such as:

  • A Suit Jacket With Jeans.
  • A Half Belt Suit Jacket With Matching Pants.
  • A Checkered Suiting Jacket With Matching Shorts.

Suit jacket with jeans

You might think that wearing jeans with a suit jacket may not be the right matching pair. But if you can find the right jacket, top, and type of jeans, you can create a fashionable look.

There are some rules to follow to get the appropriate look with this outfit. Here are three of them:

Rule 1: Find Another Suit Jacket

If you only have one suit jacket, buy another one that can be used with your jeans. When you wear a jacket with your jeans and work really well, you may want to wear it repeatedly.

The more you wear the jacket, the more often it will have to be cleaned. This will eventually break down its fabric, and the one good suit jacket you had will be of no use with its matching bottom.

Rule 2: Does The Suit Jacket Fabric Match Your Jeans?

The varying patterns and materials that suit jackets are made of may not work well with any shade of jeans. Here is a short list of options that will:

  • Light Gray.
  • Navy Blue.
  • Tweed.
  • Flannel.
  • Medium Grey.
Rule 3: The Right Type Of Jeans

Dark jeans tend to be a better choice than stonewashed or baggy types of denim. However, there are new designs of jackets that might work with various shades and styles of jeans. You have to be the judge of what might work.

Suit jacket tips

Suit jackets are just as vulnerable to wear and tear as other clothes. If not taken care of properly, the fabric could deteriorate over time.

happy woman suit jacket business

There are a few tips you could use to make your jackets last longer.

Quality Hangers

Wire hangers are not useful in keeping the right shape of your suit jacket. They can easily bend from the weight of your coat and eventually lose its form.

Wooden or plastic hangers that match your coat’s width, protect its shoulders, and allow the jacket to drape correctly.

Give Them Some Space

Since you are using bigger hangers, your jackets need more room to breathe. They also require space, so they do not wrinkle up while rubbing up against one another.

Also, hanging them inside of garment bags will protect them from moths and dust. These bags should be made of breathable material so your coat can get some air.

Shavings And Cedar Blocks

Moths love to eat various fabrics. Just one can lay over 100 eggs, and if you have a large wardrobe, they can feast on your clothes for hours.

Keeping them in breathable garment bags is one way to protect your clothes. However, if you want to repel them, purchase some cedar blocks or shavings.

They are natural moth repellents, absorb moisture, and produce a pleasant scent.

cedar blocks

If you have a large moth problem, you could clean your clothes or freeze them for a few days. This will kill the larvae that may have planted themselves inside your wardrobe.

Clean often and lay moth traps if necessary.

How to pack a suit jacket?

There are a few options you can do to pack a suit jacket properly.

Use A Garment Bag

As mentioned earlier, always hang your jacket on a wooden or plastic hanger. There is a hook inside of the bag for the hanger to rest on and once inside, you can zip, fold and place it inside of your suitcase.

Folding Your Jacket

Similar to a dress, there is a certain way to fold your suit jacket so that it will not get wrinkled or have its fabric roughed up while traveling. Follow these steps before adding it to your suitcase.

  1. Using a flat surface, lay your suit jacket with its back facing you. Keep it unbuttoned.
  2. Starting on the right side, flip the shoulder inside out. Take the rest of the right side and fold it so that it sits on top of the back.
  3. Moving to the left side of the jacket, flip its shoulder so that it is inside out. Take the rest of the left side and fold it into the right shoulder pocket.
  4. You can now roll or fold the jacket and place it on top of the other clothes in your suitcase. This is to prevent the material from getting wrinkled or frayed.

How to fold a suit jacket?

There are a few ways you can fold a suit jacket without causing any wrinkles. The process is simple, but it is not the same as folding a shirt, blouse, or skirt. Follow the steps below to learn how to fold your jacket best.

Step 1: Get Into A Standing Position

The first thing you want to do is to be standing before holding your jacket. This will make it easy as you get further into the steps below. After you have done this a few times, you can try doing it while sitting down.

Step 2: Fold Your Jacket Inside Out

Grab your jacket and make sure to have the front side facing you and keep it unbuttoned. Turn each shoulder inside out and fold the collar towards the back.

Step 3: Fold Lengthwise

Take one side of the jacket and fold it over itself, making sure that the lining inside is facing outside and it’s done lengthwise.

Step 4: Fold From The Bottom Up

Hold the jacket against your chest with one hand. Take the other one and grab the bottom of the jacket. Fold it halfway up and hold on to it.

Step 5: Fold Down From The Top

While holding the jacket in the middle of your body, fold the top part over the bottom half.

How to iron a suit jacket?

Ironing a suit jacket takes some delicate steps. You could damage the fabric if you place direct heat on it or move the iron around too much.

If you follow these steps, you will decrease the chances of having to replace your jacket.

young man ironing
Check The Fabric

Certain fabrics can handle specific heat. Synthetic material (polyester, silk, nylon, and acrylic) can only deal with cool temperatures. Polyester blends and wools work well with warm heat. And cotton and linen fabrics can stand hotter levels.

Use A Cloth

Even at the coolest setting, you are better off using a cloth to iron over your jacket. A thin cloth or cotton towel will work. A specific type of cloth called Muslin has the right amount of thickness and material that is more appropriate for ironing if you can find it.

Minimal Movement

The techniques used to iron a blouse are different from those you need to iron a suit jacket. You want to move your iron as little as possible. The excessive movement, even with a towel on top, can fray the fabric. Simply leave the iron on one area for a few seconds, lift it up, and place it on another spot.


Now that you know how to avoid damaging your suit jacket, here are the steps to ironing it:

  1. Lay your jacket on a flat surface with the back facing you.
  2. Use your hand to smooth out any wrinkles.
  3. Lightly spray some water on the jacket before placing the towel on top and start ironing.
  4. After completing the back, flip it over and repeat the process for the front of the jacket. Do one side on the front at a time.
  5. Try not to press over any shoulder padding to prevent ruining its shape.
  6. Glide over the lapels gently and avoid pressing on the pockets, leaving an imprint by pulling them out.
  7. To get the best results for your sleeves, use a sleeve board or place a rolled-up towel inside of each arm to maintain their shape. Use your hands to smooth out any wrinkles and start ironing in the center.
  8. When done, let your suit cool by hanging it.

How to clean a suit jacket?

There are a few ways you can clean your suit jacket. Some options help your coat last longer, while others may need to be done sparingly.

Dry Cleaning

Taking your suit jacket to the cleaners saves you some time, and you can be assured that it is cleaned professionally.

dry cleaning

However, dry cleaners use harsh chemicals that could weaken the fabric in your outfit over time. If you have to use them, do it only a couple of times a year.

Horse Hair Brush

At the end of the day, take a minute to gently brush away any lint or any other items out of the fibers. This will make your coat last longer.

Brushing regularly will remove any material that may attract moths to it.

Garment Steamer Or Iron

Wrinkles can often occur in your suit jacket. A good way of getting rid of them is to use a steamer or iron.

Spending five minutes steaming your jacket will remove the wrinkles that have piled up throughout the day.

You could also hang your suit in the bathroom as you take a hot shower. It will relax the fibers and remove any particle-based stains. This technique is helpful if you are traveling.

Sport coat vs. blazer

There are occasions when people will refer to a blazer when they mean to say a sport coat. After reading the previous chapters, you have a better understanding and you now know that the two jackets are very different in fabric and style but do share some qualities.

However, it will help to grasp more knowledge regarding the two by analyzing their usefulness side-by-side. After reading this chapter, you will learn the similarities between sport coats and blazers and their significant differences. I’ll also talk about how and when to wear them, what fabrics are used for each one, and how similar their pairings and combinations are.

Sport coat and blazer main similarities

You might think that a sport coat and blazer would have very little in common based on their reputations. One is often used for casual occasions, while the other is for formal settings. But in the next three sections, you will see how they favor one another in very subtle ways.

sport coats and blazers

Paired With Jeans

Blazers are made for professional occasions, but few designs are specifically created for after office parties and other casual events. Some of the styles you can wear include: Denim, Leather, Oversized, and Lace. Each of these jackets is suitable for a pair of jeans and either boots or heels.

Jeans tend to be a staple when wearing a sport coat. Fabrics like corduroy, tweed, and camel hair work well with dark shaded jeans. Like the example above, you can complete the outfit by adding black or white heels or black boots.

Semi-Formal Events

The fabric and structure of sports coats automatically make them suitable for casual wear. But certain jackets can be worn for semi-formal events. An example would be a plaid sport coat with a solid color top and matching bottom. When adding high heels, you have an appropriate semi-formal outfit.

semi formal blazer

There are numerous blazers you can choose from to wear at any semi-formal event. Whether it is a solid color, fitted or deep lapel blazer, you can easily pair it with other clothing to get the right look for a special occasion. An option you can work with is a solid color blazer that includes a monochromatic top and bottom.

Light Materials And Colors

Blazers are known to have light fabrics and colors, while sport coats are heavier and darker. These two features alone explain how different they are, but more modern designs have allowed each one to cross over to what the other side uses.

Linen and seersucker materials are light in both color and material and are generally used for sport coats. Some blazers are made with cotton and wool and may have a dark color to them. If you want to switch things up, you can have both jackets made out of these colors and materials to have something that is specifically your own.

Sport coat and blazer main differences

There are numerous differences between a sport coat and a blazer. They each have their own characteristics that distinguish one from the other. Let’s look at what each one offers in contrast.

sport coat woman

Blazer Qualities

The style of a blazer is very sharp and sophisticated. It is generally designed as single- and double-breasted with buttons made out of gold, silver, and metal.

Long Line and Cape blazers tend to reach your knees or your feet. They are elegant and are great examples of why blazers are appropriate for formal situations. There are some designs where the blazer alone works as a standalone dress.

Blazers are typically made with solid colors and can have ruffles at the base of the jacket. They can be form-fitting, designed as a dress, and can have an asymmetric look.

Sport Coat Qualities

As previously mentioned, sport coats are made to look casual and are known to be worn during non-work-related events. They do not have matching bottoms made of the same material but can be paired with items that work well with it.

Sport coats specifically have patterns in their designs with multiple colors, and their fabric is more durable. Since there is no pairing bottom wear for this coat, you would have to use color and pattern contrasting to produce an alluring outfit.

Uses and function

The usefulness and functionality of each jacket are quite distinct. If you look back in history for each one, they have evolved to become something significantly different.

formal mens blazer

Blazers were once worn for sailors and people who were in boating clubs. They are now used for workwear and professional settings. There are many pairings you can do to make your blazer function well in various events.

Sport coats, at one time, were used for those who liked to hunt. We now see them as casual wear for weddings and other informal occasions. The combinations of blouses, skirts and/or dresses can make your attire very relaxed.

You can get more use out of each coat with some creative thought and ingenuity. These two jackets are extremely functional in various situations.

Fabric

The fabrics for both coats can sometimes cross over with one another. But some materials specifically represent a blazer and a sport coat.

Blazer Fabrics

Blazers have an elegant and sophisticated look, and the material used to make them creates that stylish appearance. Here is a shortlist of fabrics used for this classy jacket:

  • Wool and Wool Blends.
  • Polyester and Polyester Rayon.
  • Velvet.
  • Jacquard.
  • Silk.

Sport Coat Fabrics

The materials used to make a sport coat are very distinct. Even though they can produce a slightly rugged feel, you can feminize it with the rest of your clothing attire. Here are some of its most common materials:

  • Tweed.
  • Corduroy.
  • Linen.
  • Camel Hair.
  • Wool.
  • Cotton.

Common pairings and combinations

As a woman, you have the option to pair a blazer and sport coat with pants, dresses, skirts, and shorts. This gives you the ability to criss-cross many of your clothes, with each jacket creating a different outfit for every day of the week.

woman sport coat

Fortunately, there are some everyday pairings and combinations that you can create for both coats. Here are two examples of their shared outfits:

Flowing Dresses

Blazers are known to have jackets that are made explicitly into dresses. These blazer dresses are made for after-parties and special events. You could purchase one with a low neckline that comes above your knees or form-fitting with long sleeves.

However, you could use a blazer and pair it with any dress you may have in your closet. You will be able to create a lot of outfits using just a few jackets instead of using one particular blazer dress that is specifically used for a night out on the town.

Sport coats do not have the option of becoming a dress, so you would have to find one to go with it. Using the color and pattern contrasting technique, you will easily match a dress with the various sport coats in your wardrobe.

Shades Of Jeans

Jeans can produce a casual or chic look if you have the right kind of top and jacket to go with. Both coats have certain designs that will allow you to create a sophisticated and relaxed look.

As mentioned earlier, blazers come in leather and denim, and they match well with various types of jeans. The only thing you will have to figure out is what color jacket would work well with the shade of jeans you own and which top would go with the rest of the look.

women white blazer and jeans

Sport coats tend to come in dark colors and patterns, and they specifically work well with darker shade jeans. Observing the colors in your jacket, you will know which pair of jeans to wear.

How to choose between a sport coat and a blazer?

Deciding which coat to purchase might be a bit daunting. Since many people switch one word with the other, you might feel that it doesn’t matter which style to get as long as you have one. But a sport coat and blazer are worn for particular situations.

Choosing A Blazer

Professional women are more inclined to purchase a blazer and other accompanying clothes for work and business-related events. These jackets’ design and style make them more appealing to women who are CEOs, lawyers, executives, judges, and other high-end positions.

You can, however, wear a blazer regardless of your job title and position. The point is that if you want to look and feel sophisticated, a blazer is a great choice.

Choosing A Sport Coat

When you are the owner of a business, you set the tone as to what to wear before you step into your office. Since sport coats are for casual settings, you might decide to promote this kind of wear for your office.

red sport coat woman

If you work in an environment where you have to wear professional attire, a sport jacket will not be appropriate. You will most likely want to purchase one for personal events such as an after-hours party or a wedding.

Both jackets are great choices to add to your wardrobe. Spending time understanding how each one will work with the setting you plan on attending is important. There might be occasions when you can switch up the use of one for the other, but you have to make certain it will work in your favor.

Blazer vs. suit jacket

The sophistication and appearance of a blazer and suit jacket cause people to mix the two quite often. They both are stylish and are mainly worn in office settings. However, they each can be adjusted to be worn in non-formal settings to a certain degree.

Since they are easily confused, it is essential to understand how they will be useful when you attend specific outings. In this chapter, you will learn the numerous similarities between the two jackets, their differences, and their functionality and usefulness. I’ll also talk about the kind of fabrics used for each one, their common pairings and clothing combinations, and how to choose between a blazer and a suit jacket.

Blazer and suit jacket main similarities

The blazer is just one step below the suit jacket in quality and style. They both produce a professional appearance and give the impression of sophistication. Here are some of the many similarities they each represent:

Matching Bottoms

A suit jacket is explicitly made to have a matching set of pants, skirts or shorts. It is a complete suit from top to bottom that prevents you from searching for a similarly designed piece to wear.

man wearing a matching suit jacket and patns

A blazer technically does not automatically come with a lookalike set of pants, skirts, or shorts. But, many designers have created bottom wears of the same material that you can purchase. It is now easier to find similar fabric, color, and pattern wear for your blazer.

Similar Fabrics

The type of fabrics used for both jackets might be one of the many reasons why people confuse the two. They each are made out of similar materials that are of high quality, which includes Velvet, Silk, Wool, and Polyester.

Single And Double Breasted

One particular characteristic that a blazer and suit jacket have in common and that a sport coat does not is that they are made to be single- and double-breasted. You can find either coat made with one of these styles, whereas a sport coat is only made to be single-breasted.

Blazer and suit jacket main differences

Even though there are some commonalities between the two jackets, there are quite a few differences. They are subtle, but once you understand how they differ, you will have an easier time choosing the right one for your needs.

Incomplete vs. Complete Suit

As mentioned in the previous section, the pants and/or skirt that can be worn with a suit jacket should be made from the same material. They are structured specifically for that particular coat, making it a complete suit.

man wearing a complete suit

A blazer, however, does not always come with a matching pair of bottom wear. There is still an option to find similarly made pants, shorts, and skirts. But generally, it is an incomplete suit.

Casual vs. Formal

Both jackets are considered formal wear. Each one can be worn in an office setting or a professional event. However, a blazer is often worn in casual situations. Some of these blazers come in denim, leather, and lace material suitable for after hour occasions. The structure and design of a suit jacket are so high-end that it can be a little challenging to transform it into a casual outfit.

Fitted vs. Loose

When fitted for a suit jacket, your shoulders, neck, sleeves, and chest are measured with great precision to ensure that it works your body correctly. A suit is intended to hug your body but fit comfortably.

The procedure used to fit a blazer is slightly different. You will still have your sleeves, shoulders, and other parts of your body measured, but it does not have to be a snug fit. Blazers can be worn loosely and still make you look stylish.

Uses and function

The suit jacket and blazer had different functionalities and usefulness when they were first created. Their history is fascinating, and over time, they have developed into the classy outfits many women enjoy today.

The suit jacket went through multiple stages during its development. It transformed from a coat to an overcoat with buttons and now the lounge jacket with matching pants, skirts, and shorts you can wear today. This coat is exceptionally formal based on its fabric, design, and cut. It is the complete suit you would wear to the office without worrying if the overall look is appropriate.

business woman wearing black blazer

Sailors and members of boat clubs wore blazers originally. Some of these sailors wore them during harsh weather to complete specific tasks, and it was specifically made for men. Now, there is a multitude of designs for women to wear during office and after hour occasions. The varying styles available make it a simple task to create a professional outfit and casual wear for weekend events.

There is a limit to what you can pair with a suit jacket since it already comes with a matching bottom. Its functionality is mainly for a work office setting and other professional situations. The blazer, however, will give you a more creative expression. You can find a pair of pants or skirt made out of the same fabric as this coat, but you can find an article of clothing that seems to fit well with it.

Fabric

The fabric used for both jackets is very similar. They each use high-end quality material, and based on each coat’s cut, it is easier to tell the difference between the two.

Blazer Fabrics

Many professional women enjoy wearing blazers since the material used allows them to feel confident in a professional environment. They also enjoy wearing casual blazers since various patterns, colors, and materials can be used to develop a different outfit for every day of the week. Here is a shortlist of the various fabrics used:

  • Velvet.
  • Wool and Wool Blends.
  • Silk.
  • Jacquard.
  • Polyester and Polyester Rayon.

Suit Jacket

The material used for a suit jacket is too high class. There are minimal patterns used when it comes to its design, which is why you look very sophisticated and professional. The following is a list of standard fabrics you will see in this jacket:

  • Wool.
  • Worsted.
  • Cashmere.
  • Cotton.
  • Linen.
  • Polyester.
  • Silk.
  • Velvet.

The rules regarding the material needed for each jacket have been set, but there are times when you can bend them if you have a specific need. Until then, it is good to understand the basics regarding the usefulness of certain fabrics.

Common pairings and combinations

The differences between a blazer and a suit jacket are quite subtle. They have their styles and utilize different fabrics that distinguish them from one another. But there are some pairings and combinations that they share.

sitting woman wearing suit pants and suit jacket

Pant Suit

As you know, the suit jacket has a pair of pants that are made out of the same material, and they’re cut precisely for it. Unless you buy the same kind of suit, you would not need or want to switch the bottom to wear with another coat.

Blazers, on the other hand, do not have matching pants. However, depending on the color and fabric, you can easily find a pair of pants that would create a complete suit.

Skirt Suit

What everyday staple a woman will have in her wardrobe is a professional suit that includes a skirt. Whether you are going to an interview or heading to work, you will have no problems getting dressed and ready for the day with this combination.

The Classic Black Skirt Suit is something you can have in your wardrobe, whether paired with a suit jacket or blazer. You can easily find a matching black skirt for either one.

Jeans Suit

Combining jeans with a blazer is a simple task. Because blazers can come in varying colors, patterns, designs, and fabrics, you have an easier time finding a coat that will work well with a pair of jeans. The type of jeans you wear may not be a huge factor for some blazer creations because of their casual makeup, but you will still want to make sure it is suitable.

It is possible to wear jeans with a suit jacket, but choosing a pair will take a few steps.

First, buy a jacket that is specifically for those jeans. You do not want the fabric of that coat to wear out by using it for more than one pair of pants. Second, the fabric of the jeans should match. All of the different styles and designs in a jacket may not go well with just any jeans pair.

woman in a bike wearing suit jacket and jeans

And lastly, the darker the jeans, the better chance it will match your suit jacket. These rules will give you the ability to create a casual outfit with this sophisticated and stylish coat.

How to choose between a blazer and suit jacket?

Deciding which jacket to buy might still be confusing after absorbing the information above. But the following sections should clear things right up.

Women who work in a professional environment may want to have a full, matching suit. If you are a CEO or lawyer, for example, you want to present the most sophisticated and stylish attire possible to show that you are confident and know your self-worth.

The suit jacket comes in various fashionable designs with matching pairs of pants and/or skirts. If you want a suit that comfortably fits you, this coat will be a great choice.

classy woman with blazer and white pants

There may be times when you want to go from work to a party right afterward without having to change outfits. A blazer, with either a pair of pants, skirt or dress, will be the right decision for you. You can create a professional outfit for work that is also suitable for a casual night out on the town.

A blazer can be matched with just about any style of bottom wear you choose. And some designs can even come as their own dress. You can create multiple outfits with just a few jackets. So if you want some versatility, a blazer will be right for you.

Suit jacket vs. sport coat

A suit jacket and a sport coat are complete opposites from one another. Their design, material, and style are incredibly different. Yet, many people mix the two when deciding what outfit to wear for work or a party.

The purpose of wearing them varies depending on the occasion you plan on attending. And you need to understand their usability before purchasing either one. In this chapter, you will learn their similarities and what differences they have. I’ll also mention what common pairings and combinations they share and how to choose between one over the other.

Suit jacket and sport coat main similarities

The list of similarities each coat has with one another is a bit short. Many people indeed confuse them because they are part of a suit, but they are unique in how they are used. Here are a couple of similar qualities the two share.

people wearing suit jackets and sport coats

Work Wear

The way a suit jacket is designed makes it more acceptable to wear it at a professional setting, such as your job or business meeting. Most office buildings have a strict dress code where you have to look presentable, and wearing a formal suit is the best option of the two.

A sport coat with the right contrast of colors and patterns can be suitable for a work environment. Most times, however, the rules will have to be lax to wear this coat, but it is possible.

Attending Parties

The type of parties you attend would determine the type of coat you should wear. Just like each jacket is different, so are the requirements for going to a particular gathering.

Art galleries, galas, and charities are formal events, and a suit jacket will be the best attire to wear. The classy and elegant look you present with this suit is befitting to parties of this nature.

shinny red suit woman

Sport coats can also be worn after more informal office events. Going to a dinner or an after-wedding party is a good example of where you can put on this type of suit.

Suit jacket and sport coat main differences

There is quite a bit of difference between a suit jacket and a sport coat. They each have unique qualities that distinguish them from one another. In the following sections, I’ll expand on just a couple of them.

Formal vs Informal

When wearing a suit jacket and its matching bottom, you are presenting yourself as a well-dressed and educated woman. It is a classy and sophisticated outfit that can be worn in formal settings such as your work office or business engagements, as well as charities, galas, and other special occasions.

Sport coats have a casual feel to them and tend to be worn for informal events. You can have an attractive appeal, but you will present a relaxed look with your attire.

Full vs Half Suit

Sport coats are generally not made with a pairing bottom. It is designed to be a standalone jacket where you have to find a pair of pants, shorts, dresses, or skirts. When shopping, you will most likely find this coat by itself and have to search for something to go with it in another department or area.

woman wearing black and white suit

On the opposite end, a suit jacket comes with other clothing that forms a complete suit. This is a unique aspect that the other coat does not possess. A full suit makes your decision for what to wear easier because the only thing left to do is to pick a top that completes the ensemble.

Uses and function

Each article of clothing you wear was created for a specific purpose. The suit jacket and sport coat have individual histories of how they were developed. Here is a brief rundown of their backgrounds, functionality, and usefulness.

Back in its heyday, a sport coat was worn by hunters. They needed something that allowed them to comfortably shoot their rifles and easily carry any accessories for that purpose. Some coats had patches on their elbows and around their shoulders to prevent the material from withering away as they held the butt of their guns against them. And their pockets were deep with flaps to protect their bullets from falling out as they hunted.

Today, they are used for casual wear that can be worn at an office (if they have a non-restrictive dress code) or at outings with friends. You will find some designs matching what was worn in the past: patches around the elbows and flaps for the pockets. It can now be worn by men and women and used for social related activities.

The suit jacket had always been designed to be a formal coat. As it developed into an overcoat to protect people from the elements, its popularity traveled from France to England. Eventually, it became the lounge jacket we see today.

woman on the phone with a suit jacket

It continues to be worn by people who want to present themselves as proper and elegant individuals. You can wear this full suit to many extravagant events, as well as to your job if you are required to wear a professional outfit.

Fabric

Both jackets utilize specific materials to create their personalized look. A couple of fabrics might cross over, but the majority are specific for that particular coat.

Sport Coat

It is very easy to tell that a person is wearing a sport coat based on its material. The fabric tends to have a rough look, but you can make the entire outfit have a feminine appearance by choosing appropriate patterns and colors. Take a moment and review the various materials used for this coat:

  • Corduroy.
  • Camel Hair.
  • Wool.
  • Tweed.
  • Linen.
  • Cotton.

Suit Jacket

The high-end fabrics used to create a suit jacket are very distinguishable. The patterns are subtle, and the look and feel of it produces a professional appearance. Any bottom wear that goes with this jacket will also be made out of the same materials. Here is a list of them:

  • Cashmere.
  • Silk.
  • Velvet.
  • Polyester.
  • Worsted.
  • Wool.
  • Cotton.
  • Linen.

As you can see, a couple of fabrics cross over from one jacket to the other. The specific features of each coat, along with the material, is what makes them unique. You can design your full or partial suits using any fabric you desire.

Common pairings and combinations

The common pairings and combinations for these two jackets are slightly limited. The suit jacket presents a specific look where you cannot just throw on any bottom wear and think it will look good. A sport coat is a little more flexible, but you would still need to know how to pair other clothing with it.

man wearing blue sport coat

As long as you follow specific guidelines made for each jacket, you will see some similarities.

Jeans

Pairing your sport coat with a set of jeans is quite simple. The darker the shade, the better suited it will be for your coat. Since your sport coat is made for casual wear and tends to have dark colors and patterns, putting on a dark shade of jeans will give you the right attire to wear.

Adding jeans to your suit jacket requires a little more thought. You will have to ask yourself:

Are the jeans made out of the same material as the jacket?

Suit jackets must have matching bottoms for it to be a suit. So your jeans must be made with the same fabric and color.

Do you have another jacket to wear with it?

If you only have one suit, you will wear out the coat by using it more often than the one pair of jeans.

Do you have the right type of jeans?

Not only do the jeans have to match the material of the jacket, but they should have a similar shade.

Skirts

Wearing a skirt is a great look regardless of which jacket you wear. A pinpoint skirt works well with a suit jacket. A flowing skirt with the right color contrast will suit a sport coat.

sport coat with skirt woman

Knowing the right guidelines to follow for each jacket will make the pairing a lot easier.

How to choose between a suit jacket and a sport coat

The process for choosing either a suit jacket or a sport coat is simple once you know exactly what you want in an outfit. The following sections provide explanations of how each jacket will fit within certain situations. You will have a better understanding of which coat to purchase afterward.

Professional workspaces like a law office or an executive boardroom would require you to wear a complete suit. The top and bottom would have the same material, color, and design. Skirts tend to be a more favorable choice than pants because they can stand the test of time regarding fashion trends. But as long as they create a formal suit, you can wear either one.

The example above describes wearing a suit jacket. You would have an easier time fitting in and feeling comfortable with this particular coat and the rest of its outfit.

black sport coat woman

Attending a wedding, going out for dinner, or heading to a club are situations where the environment is very casual. You are expected to dress up a little, but nothing that is too formal. The people and the atmosphere you are surrounded by should be calm and relaxing.

The above description is a great example of places you can wear your sport coat. You will look comfortable but still present an appropriate look. Whether you have on a skirt, pair of pants, or dress, you can pull your sport coat off and get even more comfortable without worrying how you look without it on.

Conclusion

This chapter series aims to provide great detail on the differences between a sport coat, blazer, and suit jacket. Each coat is different from one other, but they share some similar attributes.

The blazer is a classy and professional jacket that evolved from only being worn by sailors to being adorned by professional women, such as yourself, for work and after-hour events. It has designs for formal and informal occasions, and some can be worn for both without changing.

A sport coat is the most casual jacket out of the three mentioned. The fabrics used makes it durable for outside weather and events where you do not have to wear formal attire. You can pair clothing that will make it comfortable for professional and casual situations, but it is generally made for relaxing environments.

The suit jacket is the most formal outfit you can wear out of all three. It is a step above the blazer in that it comes as a complete suit. The materials and designs used to make it are of high quality. Work offices, galas and charity events are appropriate places you can wear your suit.

If you want to learn how to dress correctly for every event and occasion, please go ahead and take a look at our complete dress code and attire guide. There I talk about different dress codes such as casual, cocktail, business, etc. Also, I give some tips on dressing for a wedding, an interview, or a funeral, for example.

We appreciate you taking the time to read this series and I hope you understand each coat better. You should feel more comfortable heading to a shopping center or going online to pick out the right jacket for work or play. Your wardrobe will have an abundance of clothing that you can mix and match with one another for months on end.

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Post any questions or concerns you have about this article in the space below. I will be more than happy to answer them.

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