What is the Difference Between a Blazer and a Sport Coat?
Traditionally, a blazer is a solid blue or black color wool jacket with gold or silver metal buttons and patch pockets. Its early origins began as uniforms for the British Royal Navy and later as jackets worn by boating club members. A sport coat is a jacket made in just about any color and pattern that is not solid blue or black. It can be made in a wide variety of patterns and fabrics and is meant to be worn with contrasting slacks. Blazers and sport coats can be either single or double-breasted.
The photo above shows a vintage blue wool double-breasted blazer made by Hart Schaffner & Marx. It has subtle gold-toned horn buttons instead of the traditional gold metal buttons. Blazers are traditionally considered ‘dressier’ than sport coats but not as formal as suit jackets. Nowadays, that distinction is less significant.
Sport coats are historically tweed jackets that were traditionally worn when hunting or participating in other “sporting” activities. As time and fashion progressed, the range of colors, patterns, and fabrics expanded greatly. While suit jackets must be worn with matching slacks, sport coats can be worn with jeans, khakis, and other slacks in contrasting colors (also true of blazers).
Nowadays, blazers and sport coats are worn in any setting that does not require a formal or full suit, This includes business casual or informal social events.
The blazers and sportcoats featured on this page were purchased second-hand. This is a great way to build a quality wardrobe inexpensively. Check out this post to learn how to find quality used sportcoats on eBay and at local thrift shops. -SplurgeFrugal