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Ask a Stylist: Blazers Are Not Sports Coats

The Unspoken Rules of Menswear

The Rules:

A blazer is not a sports coat.
A suit jacket is not a blazer.
A dinner jacket is as it sounds...a jacket for dinner.

How do you tell these apart and what occasions are they suitable for?

These days the lines for occasion-specific lapeled jackets are blurred. Thanks to confusing marketing language across the tailoring industry, many people find it hard to know what jacket type will help them make the most appropriate style decision for important events.

An easy breakdown:

What - A navy double-breasted lapeled jacket with 6 golden buttons and flap pockets.
When - Blazers can be worn in a semi-formal or casual manner.
Where - Acceptable in most instances except for black tie events.
How - Mismatched trousers (in khaki, or grey), or with jeans.
Why - Blazers are a staple with those who are affiliated with maritime events and occupations (Navy officer, boating club members).

Sports Coat:
What - Derived from mid-century needs of an outdoor sporting garment, sports coats (or sports jackets) are the more functional, sporty alternative to your suit coat.
When - There's no better time than right now.
Where - Any semi-formal event, job interview, dinner soiree, or grocery shopping.
How - Pair with your favorite chinos, jeans, or trousers (sport coats are usually not sold with matching trousers.)
Why - Easy option when you need to dress up a casual look and provides an alternative to wearing a full suit.

Suit Jacket:
What - A lapeled jacket that has a matching pair of trousers.
When - Anytime but especially in spaces where traditional standards of dress are required.
Where - The sky is the limit (just not in space...we have "space suits" for that).
How - You should only wear your suit jacket with its matching trousers to keep cleaning times consistent (and avoid discoloration).
Why - Presentation is key in all aspects of life and there is a suit for every occasion.

Dinner Jacket:
What - A more formal jacket than your sports coat yet slightly less formal than a full tuxedo. Dinner jackets can be constructed in superfine wool, velvet, or mohair and may be printed, embroidered, and or garnished with satin lapels.
When - Best for a semi-formal, or formal dinner party, gala, or various black-tie affairs.
Where - Ballrooms are its favorite habitat but its not afraid of a nice steak meal.
How - The easiest way to wear a dinner jacket is similar to how you'd wear a tuxedo: black trousers, black formal oxfords or loafers, white shirt, and a black bowtie.
Why - This jacket style provides a more expressive look in a sea of expected black tuxedos.


At Original Stitch, we offer a collection of 30 Easy Care fabrics that are notable for their wrinkle-resistant weaving technology. Our high-quality yarns were hand-selected from Japan to be extra resistant to wear and tear while maintaining a softer feel than regular button-up shirts. 

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