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Choosing a Jacket

Jacket type can be very confusing for most people. There are three jackets that are typically worn: the suit jacket, sport jacket and the blazer. It helps to understand where each type of jacket originated so that you can see the minor differences that exist today. Most of the differences have blended together, especially between a sport-jacket and a blazer. Many people use the two terms interchangeably.

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Suit Jacket

A suit jacket is meant to be worn with matching pants. Suit jackets are never meant to be worn on their own. They are often made of wool, mohair, or cashmere fabric. Traditional suit jackets will have some length to them and have matching buttons. Suit jackets should always be worn with suit pants so that the fabric fades at the same rate. The point of a suit is for the jacket and pants to match. If they no longer match, then you no longer have a suit.

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Sport Jacket

Sport jackets were the original man’s athletic gear. They were made of sturdier flannel or tweed fabric, tailored to allow range of movement and meant to be worn on their own. A traditional sport jacket would look strange if it were worn with matching pants. Today’s sport jackets are much less distinct, but there are still slight differences you can spot. Sport jackets are shorter than suit jackets, usually have two vents, and contrasting buttons. Popular sport jacket buttons include: metal, mother of pearl, and horn.

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Blazer

A blazer, historically, refers to a very particular type of jacket popularized by nautical areas. Traditionally blazers are made of navy blue wool with peak lapels, patch pockets, and gold shank buttons. Blazers and sport jackets have evolved and blended over the years, so it is generally acceptable to use the two terms interchangeably.