How To Buy A Sport Coat
Just as with any suit or sportcoat, your first order of business is to decide on how casual or formal this jacket will be. When will you wear it most? And for what type of occasion? Since sportcoats are inherently sporty (i.e. somewhat casual), a better question may be how casual or sophisticated you want your jacket to be.
how to buy a sport coat
Before you delve into this guide, be sure to check out my guide to buying used suits online for buying tips that apply both to suits and sport coats. By the way, the sharp wool & cashmere sport coat shown above cost me only $11.00 second-hand on eBay. So, how do you thrift shop for sport coats and where?
The best place to find the widest selection of used sport coats is on eBay. You can shop from your device or computer and have an amazing range of colors and styles at your fingertips. Generally, I find it more difficult to locate better quality sport coats at my local thrift shops. Many sellers (including thrift shops) now list their better second-hand clothing on eBay or other online merchants.
You can find an excellent range of gently used second-hand sport coats online for well under $50.00 that would retail when new for $400.00 and higher. Each of the sport coats featured on this page cost me less than $30.00 second-hand on eBay in excellent condition. I hope this guide helps you to find some great used sport coats to add to your wardrobe at bargain prices!
This is not really a sport coat, it is the jacket to a stylish double-breasted wool suit by Bachrach. I purchased the used suit at Savers Thrift Shop for $12.00 and discovered that the pants could not be altered properly to fit me. Not a problem! The jacket can stand on its own as a sport coat. The chalk-striped pattern works well with a pair of white slacks in a combination reminiscent of the 1930s. The washable polyester pants were also purchased at Savers Thrift for $3.00. It makes a great outfit for the fall.
The sport coat above, by Baroni Couture, uses Lanificio Di Pray silk and wool fabric and would retail for $600 if new. I purchased this beautifully tailored garment in like-new condition for the rock-bottom price of $6.00 (yes, $6.00) on Poshmark. Learning to research and identify better menswear labels can help you to discover hidden gems when thrift shopping! This is the cheapest sport coat I have ever purchased and one of the finest!
What is more luxurious for the fall and winter than a cashmere and silk sport coat in a beautiful windowpane pattern? This is one of my top thrifting finds of the year (only $36.00 on eBay). I go into detail about all of the virtues of this handsome sport coat in this post. It was a bit more than I usually pay for a sport coat but so worth it!
The sports jacket was actually first viewed as a luxurious item, as most men could only afford a traditional suit, rather than one that had to be worn with different colored trousers. Over time, as clothing became more affordable, the sports jacket became known less as a jacket for shooting and more as a staple of sharp, casual style.
Sports jackets can most easily be identified by their use of thicker fabrics when compared to the suit jacket or blazer (although many sports jackets use lightweight fabric as well). The thicker fabric traditionally protected the wearer from the elements when these jackets were worn by gentlemen who were hunting or shooting.
Fabrics used for the sports coat can overlap the blazer and suit jacket. However, there are many that are unique and have distinctive patterns (click here for a quick infographic tutorial on fabric patterns). The most common fabrics are:
The good news is that you can still find a lot of variation in basic colors. In the photo above, you can see how grey expresses itself in different materials. From top to bottom, we have cavalry twill, tropical wool, fine worsted, and linen. Cavalry twill does well with fall and winter sport coats in hopsack, serge, and tweed. On the other hand, tropical wool trousers should be paired with summer jackets in open wools, linen, and cotton.
You can see this solution implemented in the various outfits above. With lighter grey checked sport coats, Greg Lellouche and Andreas Weinås wear darker grey pants. With similar cream/ brown houndstooth sport coats, Andreas Weinås and Yukio Akamine went with either cream flannels or dark brown moleskins. When the jacket and pants are in the same color family, you have harmony. When you vary the shades and materials, you get contrast. These are the only two dimensions you need to make a sport coat and trouser combination work.
Since they originated, they have been considered somewhat secondary to full suits especially on the scale of formality because they are inherently more casual. They originally appeared in the latter half of the 19th century to be worn for outdoor sporting events such as hunting, fishing, or horseback riding. So, definitely not for business wear.
More specifically, they started with the Norfolk jacket which was designed for shooting parties. The origins of this jacket style are a bit more muddied. This style was later adapted into a slightly shorter jacket with fewer buttons and this was the beginning of the modern sport coat.
As it can be difficult to tell it apart from other outerwear, our guide to the differences between suit jackets, sport coats, and blazers defines each type of jacket to clear up the thin line of confusion between their somewhat similar characteristics.
On the other hand, when you think of conventional sport coat fabrics, the first one to come to mind is probably going to be tweed, which is much thicker. In fact, there is even a so-called thorn-proof tweed which was designed to stand up to potential rips and tears from thorns and brambles in the countryside. Other hard-wearing fabrics typical to sport coats are things like corduroy in the winter months and to a lesser extent seersucker and linen in the summer.
Given the wide variety of options that it allows, a sport coat can often be the preferred choice for experienced dressers. Speaking for myself, I do find that the combination of a sports coat or blazer with odd trousers is more versatile and can be more creative than a full suit often would be.
Yes, I agree!For most occasions, unless business attire is required, a sport coat, or blazer, is my preference! My blazer of choice is a traditional navy blue, double breasted, brass buttoned blazer, over a white pinpoint oxford cloth, buttoned down collared shirt, with an ascot, instead of a necktie, and khaki dress trousers, worn with either highly polished black dress shoes or black ankle dress boots.
Sneakers with a sport coat must be a crime somewhere under Federal law. The red pants with those rather significant cuffs?No doubt a violation of international law. Or at least a violation of the laws of the land of Dandy. Please, take a bite out of crime.
Completely unlined jackets are very rare, because it means that not even the sleeves have any form of lining. While it maximizes the air flow, the jacket fabric will often catch the shirt, which makes it prone to not-so-attractive bumps and wrinkles. Generally, unlined jackets are only worn in the hottest climates and only available bespoke because it is actually more time consuming to tailor an unlined jacket. A lining also serves to hide seams and hems, so an unlined coat must be very neatly finished relative to its covered counterpart.
Now, even if you go with a full canvas construction, not all canvasses are alike. Some are stiffer with more horsehair, while others are softer. For a summer jacket I recommend a full canvas or at least a half canvas construction with as little interlining as possible. You want a lightweight, airy coat and so you should add as few additional layers to reduce insulation.
Gagliardi uses a half canvas construction and a soft canvas, but the coat is crisper than the fine blue jacket I reviewed a few months ago, and very similar to the linen blazer I discussed over a year ago. For the money, you get a great value because full canvas is usually only reserved for top quality garments with a higher price tag.
For summer coats, a pattern serves a functional as well as a stylistic purpose. Because of the open weave of the jacket, a pattern will help mask the transparency which would otherwise reveal the color differences underneath. Some great pattern options include checks, seersucker, or a go really bold and choose a rowing blazer. Windowpanes work especially well when they are bold and glen plaids are perfect. Avoid other stripes, including pinstripes, as well as solids because they look too much like suit jackets. Gagliardi opted for a glencheck inspired pattern that is ideal for a summer sport coat.
Unlike for a more muted winter wardrobe, your summer wardrobe is the perfect place to choose vivid hues of blue, green or red. Skip grey or dark navy and go with white, ivory, orange or yellow accents instead. Brown can work too. At the end of the day it all depends on the combination. The Gagliardi coat is a perfect example for summer colors. The base pattern consists of white and mid-blue, making it look light airy and summery. The orange overplaid makes it unique and interesting. Simply perfect.
Personally, I am a huge fan of double breasted jackets but if you want to stay cool in the summer, single breasted coats are definitely the way to go because a DB jacket adds another layer of fabric that makes you feel warmer, not cooler.
Finding the right summer sport coat for you is easy if you pay attention to 8 key features: weight, weave, texture, lining, interlining, pattern, color, and cut. If you are into custom clothing, make sure to order your coats when it is still cold so they arrive before it is too late to wear them. Luckily, you can always rely on ready to wear and Gagliardi is specialized in spring summer menswear at an affordable price with Mediterranean flair. Click here to take a look at their collection.
Once again, great piece, and great timing for such advices. I was planning to order at least one bespoke sport coat for the summer and will keep every single bits of this article very preciously. Thanks a lot, Sven. 041b061a72