A Man's Guide to the Sports Jacket
Few garments in a wardrobe can transform a man like a handsome sports jacket. Slipping it on over a dress shirt instantly changes how strangers perceive you. It can provide the right balance of professionalism in an environment where a suit would be overkill, and depending on the fabric and style can adapt itself to multiple situations.
What Makes a Sports Jacket?
The Sport Jacket’s Fit
A sport jacket is more casual than a suit or even a blazer jacket and should fit on the body a bit looser (although the definition of looser is debatable). I personally like to have enough room so that I can wear layered clothing underneath and still drive my truck without feeling restricted in the back or having to remove the jacket. But fit is a very personal thing – in the end go with what suits your build and feels right when worn.
The Sports Jacket’s Fabric
Sports jacket fabrics can be made from wools and cottons of various weights and weaves. Typically we’ll see cotton fabric used in the summer and wools in the cooler months; blended fabrics can be used by those on a budget assuming the man-made fiber content is not more than 50%. Some of the most common weaves utilized in sports jackets are tweed, flannel, corduroy, camel hair, seersucker, and a wide range of worsted fabrics in patterns such as sharkskin, houndstooth, bird’s eye, and of course solid colors.
The Sports Jacket’s Style
A favorite aspect of a sports jacket, and what sets it apart clearly from a suit jacket, is the wide range of style options available. Many of these style options can be traced to the history of how the jacket was originally worn and used; first making its appearance in the hunting & shooting arenas one hundred years ago, it was designed with easily accessible patch pockets and leather patches on the shoulder and elbows to prevent wear. Other style options include ticket pockets, leather buttons, and building the sports coat to have expandable pleats on the back to give greater flexibility in movement.