Men’s clothing options are typically very straightforward and simple. At times, the options are so simple that it is difficult to identify the subtle differences between certain articles of clothing. For example, many men are not aware that there are a few minor differences between a sports jacket and a suit coat. Each has its own place in the latest fashion trends. While changing trends have tended to blur the lines a little, it still helps to be able to tell the difference.
Choice of Material
The material used to create the garment is one of the more common differences between a suit coat and a sports jacket. A suit, including the coat, is normally constructed using some sort of a softer and finer blend of fabric. Worsted wool is one of the fabric options that are often used for suits. For summer wear, the suit coat is likely to be made with some sort of brushed cotton. The general idea is that since a suit is often worn in an indoor business environment or at a semi formal event, the suit coat must be durable enough to keep wrinkling at a minimum. At the same time, the coat must be light and airy enough to allow the wearer to remain comfortable for longer periods of time.
By contrast, a sports jacket is often made of material that is a little heavier and not as fine. The jacket is crafted more for spending some time out of doors. For example, the jacket would be a better choice for spending the day at the tracks, watching a tennis match or attending an outdoor concert. Tweed is a long time favorite for a jacket, owing to the thickness of the material.
A suit coat is intended to be somewhat more formal. This means that the lapels are usually a little narrower than the average sports jacket. In addition, the front pockets typically do not have flaps. This is because the pockets are designed more for style and not as much for actual use. The cut of the suit coat is also more likely to be tailored around the waist.
The sports jacket is a less formal garment and is designed to provide practical uses. The side pockets are more likely to feature flaps that help to effectively seal the pockets. Since the lapels are sometimes turned up during a brisk wind, they are more likely to be a little wider than the lapels on suit coats. Even the ticket pocket, which is located over the right breast, is likely to have a small flap.
In general, the sports jacket is intended to present a more casual appearance. Jackets of this type work very well with jeans as well as with khakis. For the man who wants to look put together without necessarily looking like he is about to attend a business meeting, this option is the better choice.