Tailoring 101: Sports Coat or Blazer?

Tailoring 101: Sports Coat or Blazer?

It’s a common misconception that sports coats and blazers are the same things. And it’s easy to see why given that they look so similar. But they are two different garments with differing characteristics, and it’s important to know the difference. Get it right and you nail the look. Get it wrong and it’ll be obvious you’ve had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction even if people can’t quite put their finger on exactly where you have gone wrong. So, let’s have a look at each:

Sports coat

The sports coat is the least formal of the two and is less structured. The garment, and its name, comes from the days when men would wear a jacket while participating in sports such as hunting. It had to be comfortable and allow a gentleman to move easily so it wasn’t fitted. As time moved on and clothing became more universally affordable, the sports coat ceased to be purely functional and became a staple part of many men’s casual attire. These days the fact that the jacket is not fitted serves to make it a good option for layering when the weather is changeable. It looks great over the top of a turtle-neck or sweater but can easily work with a shirt too. In springtime, a sports coat is stylish over the top of a t-shirt and as it’s lose it helps to keep you cool when the first heat of the summer starts to creep through. This is the go-to jacket for dressing up a pair of jeans but will go well with any trousers just so long as you select that contrast and complement each other.


The blazer is the middle ground between the casual sports coat and the formal suit jacket. This garment actually stems from a British naval ship of the 1800s, HMS Blazer. The captain ordered them for his crew to wear when Queen Victoria visited and her majesty liked them so much they became a successful and popular piece first in Europe and then in the US. It’s a versatile number and can dress an outfit up or down. Available in 2-button or 3-button single-breasted and 6-button double-breasted, the blazer is more structured than the sports coat and, although it comes in a variety of colors, navy is the most common and should be your choice if you only own one. A blazer can be dressed down by pairing it with jeans or chinos and the shoes you wear should match the formality of the pants rather than the blazer.

Every man should have at least one blazer and one sports coat in his armory and know when to wear each. Check out our range of sports coats and blazers by visiting our website. Ordering is simple and if you place an order today you could have your very own bespoke-made sports coat or blazer delivered to your door within weeks.