The Sport Jacket – Why Wear It
It seems that fewer and fewer men wear suits to work, but everyone still judges you by your appearance. In a business casual office, the sport coat will give you a dignified, trustworthy look without appearing out of place. You can even hang it on your chair for most of the day, donning it to attend a meeting or go out to lunch. Self-employed men know especially how important it is to make a good first impression, and the sport coat is a sure way to do that. Whether you are an accountant, IT technician, or piano tuner, this brilliantly versatile jacket will elevate you in your clients’ eyes whatever you wear it with (well, almost). If you’re not going to wear a suit, there’s simply no better way to dress respectably.
Thanks to both its stylish and practical versatility, the sportcoat is the uniform of choice for men whose jobs take them from office to construction site, loading dock, or factory floor. While the hallowed suit-and-tie look can appear out of place outside the business district these days, the sport coat can go anywhere. Teachers, independent retailers, and professional counselors find it a boon to the friendly, while distinguished presentation their vocations invite.
For play clothes, the rules are a little different but the basic idea is the same: you want to look good without standing out. The omnipresence of the jacket with collar and lapels across all sorts of men’s clothing is no accident: this configuration is aesthetically pleasing whether in a tailcoat or a safari jacket. The sport coat brings the concept to a garment that’s comfortable and easy going, perfect for the weekend.
In the United States, comfort reigns tyrannically over leisure clothing, and some men worry about looking sufficiently relaxed wearing a jacket when off duty. Social concerns aside, a man is simply more attractive in a sport coat than in a sweatshirt, and this fact should encourage those who fear drawing accusations of looking “uptight” if they wear anything they can’t play basketball in. The sheer beauty of tailored clothing transcends this country’s present obsession with being laid back. There are many who take pride in their appearance at all times, and these will have a closet full of carefully chosen jackets in a variety of fabrics and colors. Wearing sport coats, however, does not necessarily mean owning a large wardrobe. With a blue blazer alone, you can create a huge variety of outfits for all manner of occasions. Add jackets of Harris tweed and herringbone, and you could be ready for just about anything.
If you’re on the go a lot, your jacket can be a virtual bat-belt, holding papers, pens, phone, PDA, keys, cigarettes, wallet, and loose cash all secure and readily accessible. Almost all sport coats have the standard two inside pockets; many have additional ones for pens or cash. A custom made coat can have whatever pocket configuration its wearer desires, such as special pockets for a security badge, pocket watch, or cigar. Men have even had their jackets made with an iPod pocket, complete with a port for the headphone wire. While some claim that putting anything in a jacket’s outside pockets throws its drape askew and should be avoided, this can usually be remedied by load-balancing: keys on the right, phone on the left, etc. The inside pockets can hold significant weight without affecting how the fabric hangs, but whatever you put in them will be right against your chest with the jacket closed, so it’s not the best place for a bulky key-chain.
The sport coat is a remarkably versatile garment. It is the working man’s suit and the thinking man’s pullover. In this twenty-first century, it guarantees its wearer a sharp, handsome look wherever he goes.