Buyers Guide to Men’s Sports Jackets
Where did the sports jacket originate?
Why should I wear a sports jacket?
How many vents should a sports jacket have?
- A sports jacket with a single vent should be worn for casual or informal events.
- A sports jacket with double vents should be worn for a more formal, elegant look.
How should a sports jacket fit?
How many sports jackets should you own?
What different styles of sports jacket are there?
Classic navy sports jacket
This is your ‘go to’ sports jacket. If you don’t already own one, this should be your first purchase as it will suit most occasions. Choose a mid-weight wool or flannel version for a classic look, or for a modern take try a hopsack or a mesh fabric which have quirky weaves that make the jacket a little more interesting.
Tweed sports jacket
A tweed jacket is a great choice if you live in the country or fancy a laid-back look for the weekend. There are hundreds of fabric choices for tweed jackets from a classic (but a little scratchy) Harris Tweed to lambs wool to smooth wools with a country style. Let your personality guide whether you choose a plain style or a bold check.
Cream or tan sports jacket
This style is more versatile than you think. It works well with either a crisp, white shirt or a blue shirt to give the jacket a lift. It can also be worn with neutral knitwear.
Check sports jacket
Checks are a great way to inject some personality into your look. If you’re the outgoing sort, try abold check in a contrasting colour, or go subtle with smaller, tonal checks like blue on blue. What type of fabric here? Flannel or wool?
This style harks back to the original Norfolk jacket and may still have a belt with box pleats and large pockets. Shooting jackets aren’t particularly popular now with the decline in hunting. They are often made in a heavier wool or tweed and are best suited to long country walks.
Similar in vein to a cream or tan jacket, sports jackets in lighter colours made with cotton/linen blends worn over a crisp white shirt are ideal for warmer evenings when on holiday. Avoid sweltering in your jacket by ensuring the lining is in a natural fabric as polyester will make you perspire.
While we don’t offer these, they have become popular again in recent years. You can avoid looking like a history professor by staying away from olive or brown tones and elbow patches and opt for rich reds, burgundy and even navy.
How should I wear a sports jacket?
- For a more formal look, pair a sports jacket with flannel trousers, a plain shirt and tie. If possible, match the fabric weight, or thickness, of the jacket with the weight of trousers.
- For laid-back cool, pair with knitwear (we love a fine Merino sweater) and dark jeans.
- For a quick dash to the pub or out and about on the weekend, pair a sports jacket with a crisp t-shirt and jeans.
- For an evening date or a trip to the theatre, a white shirt with colourful sports jacket and dark trousers is perfect.
What accessories should I wear with a sports jacket?
- Patch: This is literally a patch of the same fabric the jacket is constructed from is sewn on to the jacket. These are very simple and because they are so visual, they generally used on casual jackets. They can sag so it’s best not to put heavy items on them. Some have a flap over the top of the pocket.
- Flap: Slightly more formal than a patch pocket, the pouch of the pocket is inside the jacket while a flap sits over the top of the opening on the outside of the jacket. We prefer these and use them on our ready-to-wear sports jackets.
- Ticket pocket: This often takes the form of a third flap pocket above the pocket on the right-hand side of the jacket. It was originally created for men to store their train tickets and it was assumed that most men are right-handed, hence the location on the right side. You’ll find this style on our Tweed sports jackets.
- Slanted: This style is perfect if you need somewhere to rest your hands and can aid to visually slim down your waistline.
- Jetted/Welted: The most formal pocket style, the pouch sits inside the jacket while the opening is reinforced with a line of stitching (the welt). You’ll usually find Jetted pockets on formal suits and evening wear.
- Breast pocket: This is placed on the left-hand side and is nearly always welted for a clean and classy look. Occasionally patch pockets are used on the breast to give the jacket a preppy look.
- Softly structured: This style has shape but offers a slightly more comfortable look and feel which is ideal for sports jackets.
- Rope: ‘Roping’ indicates that the top of the sleeve is slightly raised so it sits above the shoulder and forms a ridge. It’s quite common on Savile Row designed jackets and gives the jacket a more formal appearance.
- Structured (English): This style is quite rigid and has significant canvassing and padding, which tends to be more ideal for business suits rather than sports jackets.
- Unstructured (Italian): This style uses minimal canvassing to create a softer, draped look with plenty of movement. It’s generally considered an informal style and works well with an unconstructed sports jacket.
- Neapolitan: This is similar to the Italian style, but it has slight puckering or shirring on the cap of the sleeve where it joins the shoulder. It’s generally considered elegant but relaxed.
Smooth, elegant fabrics include:
Flannel, cashmere, super 120’s or 130s+, wool or a linen/cotton mix.
Textured fabrics include:
Hopsack, mesh, wool/cotton mixes, seersucker, corduroy and tweed.