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Style February 26th, 2024

5 Very Good Reasons To Own A Houndstooth Sport Coat

Style February 26th, 2024
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A houndstooth sport coat is an exceptionally versatile garment that deserves a place in every well-dressed man’s wardrobe.

The houndstooth pattern, with its intricate design and rich history, has long been a staple in the world of men’s style. Despite its vintage origins, it’s a timeless pattern that continues to be as relevant today as it was when it first emerged from the Scottish lowlands.

In this post, we delve into the history of the houndstooth pattern, its journey into mainstream men’s style, and why a houndstooth sport coat is an essential addition to a well-dressed man’s wardrobe. We’ll also explore the versatility, adaptability, and enduring appeal of this unique pattern and give you five compelling reasons as to why you should own a houndstooth sport coat.

Let’s get to it.

What Is Houndstooth?

The houndstooth pattern is characterized by its distinctive broken checks and holds a significant place in the history of menswear. Originating in Scotland during the 1800s, it was initially used in woven wool cloth designed for shepherds. The pattern’s complex weave and visually appealing design quickly garnered attention, catapulting houndstooth from the Scottish lowlands into the mainstream fashion and style conversation.

The upper classes were very attracted by houndstooth’s sophisticated weaving pattern and adopted it into their own circles, marking it as a symbol of wealth and status. This intricate design, which required skill and precision to create, became associated with high-quality craftsmanship and luxury, further elevating its status among the elite.

Fast forward several decades. In the 1920s and 1930s, the houndstooth pattern became a prominent feature in men’s suiting. The Duke of Windsor, known for his sense of style, frequently wore houndstooth suits, further bolstering its reputation in menswear. His endorsement of the pattern made it synonymous with elegance, style, and sophistication, cementing its status as something to be desired.

As the 20th century progressed, houndstooth remained a reliable choice in men’s style. Despite the introduction of new styles and trends, the pattern retained its timeless appeal. It demonstrated adaptability too, featuring not just in suits, but also making its way into hats, scarves, and other accessories — even umbrellas.

Today, despite its vintage origins, the popularity of the houndstooth pattern endures. The pattern has managed to walk the line between tradition and modernity. This enduring appeal is a testament to the houndstooth pattern’s unique blend of history, sophistication, and style. In other words, why wouldn’t a garment with this pattern and pedigree deserve a place in your wardrobe?

Reasons To Own A Houndstooth Sport Coat

Knowing and understanding the history of houndstooth is one thing, but its heritage alone isn’t reason enough to consider adding a sport coat sporting the pattern to one’s wardrobe. So, let’s take a look at five very good reasons you should own a houndstooth sport coat.

Timeless & Classic. As we’ve established above, the houndstooth pattern is a classic design that has stood the test of time and earned it a permanent place in the menswear world. It endures because of its sophisticated and unique design, which is both sporty and elegant.

Versatile. A houndstooth sport coat is an exceptionally versatile garment and can easily be dressed up or down. Whenever you’re considering adding a new garment to your wardrobe, checking the versatility box is one of the most important considerations. You always want to get the maximum return on your investment.

Easy To Pair. Despite its bold pattern, a houndstooth sport coat is surprisingly easy to pair, especially in a neutral color palette, such as our brown and gray houndstooth sport coat. This makes it compatible with a wide range of colors and styles, and can work with dress trousers, cotton trouser (as shown in this post), and even jeans.

Suitable For Various Occasions. Whether in a professional setting, smart (or sharp) casual, a houndstooth sport coat can be styled to fit into a variety or situations or occasions. When considering a houndstooth sport coat, you should also consider your use case for the garment when deciding on the color of the pattern. A brown and gray, like I’m wearing in this post is a great every day option. However, you can also wear a houndstooth sport coat more formally if you were to choose one in black and white.

Statement Piece. While a houndstooth sport coat is versatile, easy to pair with many other garments from dress pants to jeans, and easy to wear in a variety of situations, at its core it is a statement piece. An understated statement piece, but a statement piece nonetheless. With its distinct and eye-catching pattern, a houndstooth sport coat adds a significant element of interest to an otherwise simple outfit, instantly transforming it into an understated sartorial statement.

The Jacket: Details & Styling

Now that we’ve gotten a houndstooth history lesson and gone over five very good reasons for adding a houndstooth sport coat to your wardrobe, let’s take a look at the specific sport coat I’m wearing in this post, which we consider to be one of the best bets for anyone considering the style.

First things first, let’s talk about one of the most important things — the fabric. Our brown and gray houndstooth sport coat is cut from a Reda Super 130s traceable wool from their Contemporary Classic collection. I would categorize it as flannel-esque because it looks and feels like a flannel but doesn’t quite have the weight of what we might consider an “true” flannel. The result is a fabric with a lovely hand that is quite supple, making it extremely comfortable and a joy to wear. The lighter weight also makes it a perfect winter to spring transitional sport coat.

On to jacket styling. As usual, I’ve styled this sport coat with maximum versatility in mind — two-button, notch lapel, double vent, and patch pockets. In my opinion, there really is no other way to style a sport coat like this.

And finally, the outfit. While I’ve typically been dressing this sport coat up a bit more, for the purposes of this post and positioning the jacket as a “must-have,” I’ve decided to drive things straight down the smart (or sharp) casual fairway. A denim shirt helps to enhance the sport quality of the houndstooth pattern, dressing the look down a bit, while the navy blue cotton trousers add just a touch of formality. A simple pocket square with navy dots pulls in the outfit’s foundation and the brown derbies tease out the brown of the jacket.

The Bottom Line

A houndstooth sport coat is an essential garment that deserves a place in every well-dressed man’s wardrobe. With its timeless appeal, versatility, and ability to elevate any outfit, it truly is a statement piece — an understated statement piece. Whether dressed up or down, for work or leisure, a houndstooth sport coat is a stylish testament to the rich history and enduring appeal of this classic pattern. A true menswear classic.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Today.com, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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Edited by Rachel Butler

Photography by Rob McIver

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