What is the difference between suit jackets, sports coats and blazers? Please Help!!?

suit coat
by CeBIT Australia

Question by ky bride 2 B: What is the difference between suit jackets, sports coats and blazers? Please Help!!?
We are having an outdoor wedding and I want it to be comfortable and different. I like the look of tan pants and a brown jacket instead of tuxedos or entire suits. I just don’t know what type of jacket to have the guys wear, I am getting very frustrated and having a hard time finding what I think I want. I hope it will look good but I’m not sure. Do I just chuck my idea and go with suits or what?????
What would be appropriate for a semi formal outdoor wedding? Which do you think would look best? I need to make sure they aren’t too expensive, I hate to ask guys to fork over a ton of cash.

Best answer:

Answer by moomy
suit jackets are usually straight cut and are formal, with one or two buttons. normally they cost a little more and only have one or two styles.


blazers are like school uniform, but what with the nautical trend emerging, new styles of blazer are emerging with more buttons and a new fitted cut. unlike suit jackets, they are patterns and generally cost less. they look smart but still casual.


sports coats are what all the rockstars wear..kinda. like a suit jacket but in a softer cut. looks better with just a t0-shirt or open collar shirt beneath. cost medium.


forgive me if i made little sense =)

good luck and congratulations on your wedding x

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Typically, I would say a blazer and a sport coat are the same thing. The difference in a suit jacket is that it comes with a matching pair of slacks. As for fit, there’s really not a difference there.

Today the terms are pretty much interchangeable –any jacket worn with pants other than jeans or khakis is considered dressed up –although anything with two rows of buttons tends to be called “blazer” The entire story of why a garment that looks pretty much the same no matter what the name now has three different names dates back to the early 20th century and the rise of men’s sportswear suits. Yes, at one time suits were considered sportswear.

The suit jacket should always come with a matching pair of pants, its what makes a suit a suit. Two piece suits were once considered casual sportswear, suitable for walking, shopping, visiting, boating golfing, in the 1920’s they were commonly called “dittos” the pants and jacket matched. They were made from a wide variety of fabrics and colours. There are usually two or three buttons in a single row on the front. These became so popular that they supplanted the rigid three piece grey wool business suit and went from sportswear to dress wear. In conclusion, a suit jacket is one that come with a matching pair of pants, the jacket having anywhere from two to four buttons on the front, three the most common.

A sport coat looks like a suit jacket, and indeed it is constructed along the same methods. It is made as a stand alone garment, they aren’t sold with matching pants. They are meant to co-ordinate and not match the rest of the outfit. They were also for sportswear such as golfing, hiking, boating, etc. They have a single row of buttons on the front and the buttons can number anywhere from three to six, depending on the style. With the changes in Men’s fashions a sportcoat became dressier, and it became an option for dressy day wear, such as afternoon weddings, everyday business wear, or as a method of dressing up casual clothes. A modern sports coat is a slightly below hip length jacket sold without matching pants, having a minimum of three buttons in the front and three buttons on the sleeve. It’s considered a bit more casual, although with the way most people dress today in jeans, t’s and sweats, that’s debatable.

A Blazer was once a jacket emblazoned with the crest of a private school, fraternal organization, private service club, sports club, or other group. These jackets had two rows of metal buttons on the front, denoting that they were more formal than the sportier jackets with only one row of buttons. The metal buttons would also be stamped with the crest of the group. A crest on the chest was what turned an ordinary jacket into a blazer. As fashions shifted, a blazer became any solid coloured jacket usually with two rows of buttons, usually metal. (double breasted is the correct term) and in a solid colour such as blue, grey, black or brown. It’s considered dressier than a sportscoat and not as dressed up a suit jacket. Again, with the way people dress today, that’s quite open to interpretation.

Tan pants and a brown jacket sounds quite nice, will you be pairing it with a simple tie also in brown? Perhaps something in a textured weave? That sounds sort of earthy and outdoors-y. If you are looking for groom’s attendants, then simple dress pants with a coordinating jacket (no matter what the name) will be what you want. Don’t worry too much about the name of the jacket, just go with what you think looks best. Use your eyeballs and your impeccible sense of good taste. Try to take the guys with you. If everyone decides a suit is best, then go with that.

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