Many clients ask “what should I have in my wardrobe to dress ‘up’ a bit?”
Clothing is a communication tool and if used wisely and strategically, helps you convey whatever message you want to put out in the world. People make a decision about you within 3-5 seconds through visual perception, so make that message powerful and effective.
Here I will breakdown the difference between blazers, suits and sports jackets and which you need for what occasions.
Blazers were created for members only sporting clubs and then gradually got adopted into the mainstream because they allowed a man to appear more dressed but not quite suited up. Blazers are typically not as structured as a suit jacket especially in the shoulders. They are made as a single item not to match with any specific pant.
Blazers can be two button or double-breasted with peak lapel depending on desired look. Peak lapel or notch lapel, they are best worn if you want to appear a bit formal but without a full suit. Details; such as jetted pockets instead of more traditional flaps adds a different flare. They can be worn with ties, bow ties or open collared shirt all depending on the look you are going for.
Blazers are ideal for dinner dates, Saturday nights out on the town, parties etc.
The blazer is an absolutely essential part of a man’s wardrobe and a few styles and colors are a good investment.
The name says it all; these jackets were created for the sporting inclined man. They are not a replacement for a suit jacket. They are the most casual of all jackets and therefore are not good for formal/ dressy situations.
A sport jacket should have a looser fit (not baggy) as layering is ideal with this piece. They can be paired with a light sweater, turtle necks, polo shirt or collared shirt and cardigans. Pair them with fitted jeans, chinos or casual trousers.
Sport jackets are usually made with heavier fabrics, like tweed & flannel, that are more rugged, again a throw back to their origin of being for the sporting man. They can come with extra details like ticket pockets, pleats and arm patches.
They are great for business casual, informal social events, dinner parties and first dates.
The most classic jacket is the suit jacket which is always made with matching pants from the exact same fabric. If you are going for a formal or professional look a suit is best. This is where FIT is critical in making your look clean and professional.
Your first suits should be less flashy and not cluttered with too much detail. A charcoal grey or navy blue is ideal for your first couple suits because of their versatility. You can add pop to these with your shirt, tie and pocket square choices depending on situation.
After you have the basics you can start getting more creative with stripe, glen check and other patterns and add more details to make your suit more personal. For these you ideally want to go for a custom suit.
Some guys think they can kill two birds with one stone by using their suit jacket like a blazer, no bueno! You run the risk of your suit jacket looking more worn out than the original matching pants. You CAN definitely mix and match your suit pants and jackets with matching fabrics especially if solid colors or a solid jacket with patterned pant or the reverse.
PLEASE for the love of Will Smith, never pair your suit jacket with jeans, NEVER.
Adding these key pieces to your wardrobe will have you well on your way to Elevating your lifestyle.