As we go into the theme of masculine dress-codes and concentrate on the more traditional rules of the tailored man, I realized it was important to master the lexicon of words that are necessary to make the right decisions. Of course, there are a great number of words that are applicable, and so I have decided to very specifically address types of clothing in this piece. In the upcoming months, I will continue this subject, addressing fabrics, shoes, accessories, etc.
In this article, we will discuss the differences between a sport coat and a blazer, two types of suit jackets that are often confused and interchanged. Their individuality; however, does require precision in their terminology.
Sport Coat or Sport Jacket
As there are many different types of suit jackets, it's imperative to know the names of each different type as it can also have utility in where you can wear it, how you can wear it, and what you can wear it with. A sport coat, for example, was originally made for sports (such as fishing and hunting) and therefore is more ample, and may sometimes include parts (suede patches) that prevent the fabric from wearing. A sport coat is usually a patterned jacket and is considered the most casual option among suit jackets. Unless it is an odd sport coat (which means sold without matching trousers), it is usually sold with coordinated trousers. Sport coats come in all different types of fabrics for the four seasons. In it's casualness, adaptability for different weather, and more ample fit, it tends to be the jacket that people wear the most. When they came into fashion, they were considered to only be for the wealthy man, as the typical man could only afford a suit for his proffession, and did not practice sport.
The blazer was originally used as a type of jacket for events that were more focused on maritime or academic activities. The most famous being, of course, the rowing blazer. These jackets were often striped, with metalic buttons, and adorned with crests to indicate teams and universities. The other type of blazer, which has seemed to stand the test of the time better than the rowing blazer, is the navy blue blazer. It can come single or double breasted, and with or without crests. Apparently, the blazer was born in 1837, when the Captain of the British ship HMS Blazer, on the occasion of the visit of Queen Victoria, decided to dress his crew with a new uniform: a blue navy outerwear of heavy fabric, double-breasted with gold buttons. The second theory; however, situates the creation of the blazer in the world of Oxford and Cambridge Colleges - the word blazer would derive from the English noun "ablaze" which means "on fire" and indicated the bright red outerwear worn by the students of the clubs. And finally, the third theory comes from the world of cricket, where jackets would be "emblazoned" with the signs of one’s club or university. The small pocket is adorned with victory and membership medals. As it is often associated with teams, or bodies of government, the underlying tone of a blazer is belonging. A single breasted blazer should always be buttoned from the top. Second, and third buttons, if present, should be left open.
Written by James V. Thomas,