Do you know the difference between a suit jacket, blazer, and coat? All these can look pretty much the same to a layman. Even the sales staff at retail shops will find it hard to understand the difference.
Let's read about the basic features that can help you differentiate between a blazer and a suit jacket:
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Although suit jackets and blazer tend to look similar with their notched lapels, double or single-breasted designs as well as three or six buttons placement. But they greatly differ in their fitting. Suit jackets give a slimmer fit but they can also be roomier for additional layering. Whereas, blazers tend to give a more relaxed look. That is why suit jackets are preferred in professional settings and blazers can work well in semi-professional environments.
Blazers can be identified with the type of material they are made with. Common fabrics include hopsack, cashmere, linen, worsted wool, flannel, fresco, and serge.
Whereas, suit jackets are most stitched in fabrics like flannel, corduroy, bird’s eye, worsted wool, tweed, seersucker, linen, cashmere, gabardine, twill, chalk stripe, pinstripe, fresco, silk, sharkskin, windowpane, herringbone, barleycorn, nailshead and glen check.
If you do not have much knowledge about the different kinds of fabrics, inquire the retailer about it or check the label to see what it is made of.
Common Color Palette and Patterns
Blazers have a very limited pattern of colors like navy blue, blue, bottle green and also red. They may be patterned rather gaudily, but male blazers mostly tend to be basic.
Suits, on the other hand, are available in black, olive, brown, blue, ochre, medium gray, navy blue, charcoal, white and taupe color. Some festive suits also have bold colors like red and purple – together with patterned prints.
Suit jackets paired with matching pants are essential for conservative professional environments. Moreover, these are traditionally worn at wedding ceremonies, celebrity events, formal charity events, interviews, and business meetings. They have a clean-cut style and make you look sophisticated and well put together.
Whereas, blazers are a more casual piece of clothing. They are usually preferred by golf players or at semi-formal events. Mostly since they have a roomier fit and do not require one to wear a tie or matching pants. If you are looking for something that is not as conservative as a suit nor as laid back as a mere polo shirt, then blazers should be your go-to clothing items.
Can I Wear a Suit Jacket as a Blazer?
Few ground rules must be followed carefully if you are planning on wearing your suit jacket as a blazer, without making a fool out of yourself.
As a general rule of thumb solid, textured suit jackets made of corduroy, linen, cashmere or flannel fabric can be worn as blazers. Whereas suit jackets with pinstripes or chalk stripes patterns should strictly be worn with their matching pants – especially since one should not look completely out of the place. Most stylist still coax people to wear their suit jackets with their respective pants since frequent washes can fade the colors over time. This might end up making your suit jacket look lighter than your pants – giving a mismatched look.
Finally, blazers are usually devoid of the detailing that is the padding, the lining and the basic structuring that adds to the stiffness of a suit jacket. That is why when pairing a suit jacket with semi-formal pants make sure that its general cut does not make it look completely out of the place. Safer options would be pairing a suit jacket with contrasting buttons on blue jeans. Colors like green, grey, blue and ocher work well. Make sure that your inner ensemble is rather uniform so that the suit jacket does not look completely out of the place – absolutely avoid tri-colored pairing that will only make one look like a jester who picked out several different things to wear, without any planning.
What is the difference between Blazer and Coat?
The key difference between a blazer and coat is that the former is a casual clothing item whereas a coat is an overall mostly worn to keep one warm. Blazers usually lack the thicker fabrics and the lining required to keep one warm.
Sport coats are the most versatile of the three garments. Even though blazers tend to have more relaxed rules than suit jackets; sport coats can be casually worn over most outfits. The ground rule is that contrasting colors should be paired and if you are going for loud colors make sure that only one clothing item is instead of picking an entire outfit of blazing hues.
Whereas, overcoats and pea-coats can be worn over the combination of waistcoat, shirt and suit pants or even on casual clothing like a sweater and jeans. Unlike blazers coats are available in several different lengths; anywhere from knee-length to just above your hips.
On the other hand, blazers work well in casual settings, but coats tend to give a trendier look too – depending on the cuts and styles that you are opting for. They can be worn in winter seasons for formal events, but make sure that you do not end up looking too overdressed – on the contrary, a blazer is a no-go area is strictly formal settings.
In conclusion, being a little experimental with your fashion choices and styling can be a rewarding experience – especially if it is done right and you end up receiving many compliments. But basic know-how about the fabrics, cuts, and designs can save you from social suicide. Moreover, be more mindful about what works with your body type, skin tone and also your personality so that your dress does not wear you – instead, you own your clothing and look confident, sophisticated and dapper in it.