This post was written by Lindy Dandy.
Fortunately for men, it’s relatively easy to put together a versatile wardrobe. Once you own several pairs well-fitting “basics,” you can mix and match shirts, pants, jackets and accessories into numerous permutations of outfits/looks.
A great, navy sportcoat or blazer (or jacket from a navy suit) is the Swiss Army knife of your wardrobe; it goes with everything. Wear it with pressed dress pants and a crisp dress shirt (tie or not) and you’re clear for dinner at a nice restaurant. It goes great with jeans on a night out in town. Basically, it will elevate most any outfit you can throw at it. Needless to say, this is an invaluable attribute when you’re short on space, packing for a weekend of dancing.
You’ve got lots of choices here:
- the gilt buttons of a blazer or the dark buttons of a sportcoat
- center vent or side-vented (i.e. single or double)
- hacking (angled) and/or a ticket pocket (the small pocket above the right one).
- Darted or undarted
- pick stitching or not
I recommend a solid, Navy jacket, but some striped jackets can work if the stripes are are thin or more subdued. Here’s an excellent example (click the photo for the auction):
This jacket would typically start at several hundreds of dollars. Why? In general, it’s made in a better way (which often means more difficult and more expensive). It’s made with high quality fabrics (Super 150’s wool). It’s probably a fully canvassed jacket (vs. fused). Plus, Purple Label is Ralph Lauren’s premier brand.
(Do yourself a favor and only button the top button of a 2-button jacket, never the bottom button If you’re wearing a 3-button jacket, button either the middle or the middle and top buttons. Again, never button the bottom button).
4 thoughts on “Your Wardrobe’s MVP: The Blue Sportcoat”
A couple more things to think about when shopping for a sport coat:
-Side vents look more mid-20th C. than a CB vent – no vent is correct for 30’s/40’s, but hard to find in modern clothes.
-Low armholes are the tragedy of our generation, and will completely kill your movement for dancing. Avoid stores like Men’s Warehouse or even department stores, and instead shop for Italian sportcoats if you hope to find even a moderately high armhole. Low armholes are a pain, because they can’t really be altered.
– I will never understand that “never button the bottom button” rule, but my husband insists it’s the truth.
Snookie, your comment about the arm holes explains a lot. I’m an attorney, so I wear suits very often and have wondered why, while even sitting at my desk, the jacket felt more like a straight jacket in the arms, inhibiting my movement. The mission for high armholes has begun!
Is it just my eyes, or does that image look more like an ‘orphaned’ blue suit jacket rather than a blazer?
As I understand it, on single breasted jackets, buttoning the bottom button ruins the hang of the jacket by drawing it in too much, when it should hang naturally. Of course every jacket is cut different but 99% or more of jackets are cut this way. On Double breasted jackets, I believe you do button the bottom button,though typically not the top, as in the standard 6×2 arrangement.