What is the Difference Between a Blazer and a Sportscoat?

What is the Difference Between a Blazer and a Sportscoat?

Traditionally, a blazer is a solid blue or black color wool jacket with gold or silver metal buttons and patch pockets. Its early origins. Its early origins began as uniforms for the British Royal Navy and later as jackets worn by boating club members. A sportscoat 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 sportcoats 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 sportcoats but not as formal as suit jackets. Nowadays, that distinction is less significant.

Blue Wool Blazer
A blue wool single breasted blazer with gold tone buttons.

Sportscoats are historically old tweed coats 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, sportcoats can be worn with jeans, khakis, and other slacks in contrasting colors (also true of blazers).

A plaid pattern sportscoat

Nowadays, blazers and sportcoats are worn in any setting that does not require a formal or full suit, This includes business casual or informal social events.

Houndstooth Wool Sportscoat
A Houndstooth Tweed Wool Sportscoat

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