I talk a lot about the importance of considering the versatility of a suit as well as being creative when it comes to breaking it into separates. If you’re going to invest in something, you should get more than your money’s worth. However, there are times when no matter how creative you are, a suit jacket as a separate just doesn’t quite hit the mark. It could be that the fabric won’t blend with more casual fabrics like cotton or denim, or that it’s simply too formal looking to be dressed down. Enter the sport coat.
Also known as an ‘odd jacket,’ a sport coat wasn’t just called that because it lacked a matching pair of pants. In the beginning, at least, a sport coat was defined by small details that distinguished it from a regular suit coat. These details included pleats on the back of the jacket—these coats were called fancy-backs—as well as any number of unique, and sometimes fairly odd, pocket treatments. Of course, a third characteristic that could establish a jacket as a sport coat is what we commonly think of when we hear the term today—a bold pattern.
Not nearly as formal as a suit, and slightly less dressy than a blazer, a sport coat looks great paired with items that have a bit of a ruggedness to them. Wear it with some worn in denim, a crisp but casual button-up, and a pair of dress boots for a classic casual, but stylish look.