If your work requires you to regularly attend business conferences or corporate events, your wardrobe collection won’t be complete without at least 2 or 3 jackets.
You may have the sharpest and dapperest dress shirt, but wearing it under a fine suit takes your ensemble to the next level.
Nothing speaks formal and professional like a suit can. Once you put one over your dress shirt, your appearance goes from good to great. Your respectability goes up a notch higher. No amount of accessorizing can make you ensemble look as formal as when donning a suit.
Suit, Blazer or Jacket?
The differences among these three, aside from their spelling, can actually be confusing to some. There are those who even use the terms interchangeably, and nobody bothers.
Some say a suit is an ensemble which includes the trousers. Hence, when you’re describing a suit, you’re actually talking about both the upper and lower garments of a man. It’s also considered the most formal among the three. If you’re referring solely to the upper garment, the more specific term to use is ‘suit jacket.’
Next on the list when it comes to degree of formality is the blazer (or ‘blazer jacket’). Compared to a suit jacket, a blazer isn’t made with a pair of trousers to match it. This is your safe choice if you don’t want to go overboard with your getup but still want to exude professionalism and class. It’s more versatile compared to suits.
Finally, the least formal of them all: the jacket (also called a ‘sports jacket’). It’s also called a sports jacket because it was what men used in times gone by when participating in sports activities such as hunting. It’s offered in a plethora of patterns and colors and can also feature elbow patches and slits.
The takeaway? All of these three are simply jackets. The difference is their degree of formality.
Choosing the Right Jacket
Now that we know how the three differ, it’s time to know which type to pick from your closet to suit the occasion (didn’t intend the pun there, seriously).
Let’s keep it really simple (that’s the way we want to do things around here anyway). For black tie events such as weddings and other formal gatherings with a strict dress code, a suit jacket is your go-to garment of choice. If the occasion is not too formal but still requires a formal or semi-formal attire, you’re better off with a blazer jacket. If you want to be more flexible with your ensemble and want to mix and match your pieces without adhering to strict rules, a sports jacket is your best choice.
If your budget doesn’t allow you to buy more than a dozen jackets, choose those that can go well with any color in your closet. Aside from black, the most neutral of them all, gray and dark shades of blue would go well with many colors. Avoid those with patterns as much as you can because you might you find it hard to match them with your dress shirts.
Bottom line: Don’t just pick anything that suits your fancy.
If choosing the right suit is not your (get ready for another pun) strong suit, we hope you find the tips here helpful.