Nestled between the full-on suit jacket and the shorter, unconstructed blazer is the now iconic sports jacket, and it’s the one indispensable piece of clothing that every man should own. A great sports jacket will instantly pull together any look. Pair a grey toned sports jacket with a blue dress shirt, tie, slacks and shoes and you are ready for the office or a nice dinner with your girl. Ditch the tie, swap out the pants for khakis or jeans, and wear it over a nice polo or even a clean white tee and you are ready for more casual events.
Selecting the Material and Colour for Your Sports Jacket
Sports jackets come in a variety of materials and colours, and unlike a true suit, are made to complement, rather than outright match, your slacks. Consider complementary, contrasting colours rather than similar shades when selecting your sports jacket and corresponding shirts and pants. Shades of grey, as well as navy, and tan tend to be the most flattering colours to choose for your sports jacket since they will generally work well with the rest of most men’s existing wardrobes. While many men choose to go with a solid colour for their sports jacket, patterns such as stripes, and checks such as herringbone, tweed, seersucker, or plaid are also popular.
Wool is possibly the most popular fibre used to make the sports jacket, in keeping with the jacket’s history as outerwear worn in the British countryside during hunting and similar sporting events. Other materials that are popular in warm climates are linen, cotton, corduroy, and poly-wool blends. All of these materials wear well and will last a long time. In fact, a well-made sports jacket will stand up to quite a bit of abuse and neglect that other articles of clothing will not.
Sports jackets that are made of delicate materials such as silk blends or camel hair will require more care. Sports jackets made entirely of polyester and other synthetic materials do exist, but they tend to develop an unattractive shiny patina as they age and the polyester fibres begin to show wear. They also restrict air flow, unlike more natural fibres, and can be uncomfortable to wear in warm weather or close quarters.
The Fit is Critical in Your Decision Making Process – Nothing Looks Worse than a Poor Cut and Fit
Once you have an idea of your colour and materials preferences, you are ready to start your search. You will want to try on several sports jackets before you make your purchase, as the fit and cut of the sports jacket are the critical elements.
1. Make certain that the collar of the jacket follows the shirt collar perfectly, there should be no bunching,crinkling or rolling of excess material here.
2. The material over the shoulders should form a crisp, straight line and angle which follows the lines of the body to the waist without bunching bulging or creasing, especially in the back area.
3. When open, the jacket should come past the waist and buttocks, and the cut of the jacket should gently curve inwards at the upper thigh and hip.
4. When standing, with arms at the side, the jacket sleeve should come to the middle of the hand and you should be able to put your fist between your chest and the buttons to ensure that the jacket is not too tight.
5. Sports jackets can come with a single row of one or two buttons or they can be double breasted. In general, go for the simpler design, as it will be more comfortable and will allow you to wear your sports jacket to a wider variety of events.
Following these simple steps, you can ensure that you will select a sports jacket that both fits and feels great and will help you to look pulled together and polished, regardless of the occasion.
Men’s Sports Jacket Inspiration
Sally McKinnon is an experienced personal stylist. Based in Melbourne, Australia she is a leader in her field. Sally is renowned for helping every kind of person dress with style, confidence and success so they look and feel great every day.