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Navy Blazer vs Suit Jacket

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    Navy Blazer vs Suit Jacket


    I know this had been answered before but I need some help. I've had success thirfting sport coats and suits. I'm on the hunt for a navy blazer and can't seem to pull the trigger because every time I find something that fits, I have this suspicion I'm walking out with a suit jacket and not a blazer. Here's how I understand the differences:

    Navy Suit Jacket:

    * Comes w/ matching pants, and/or

    * Fabric may have pinstripes, and/or

    * Fabric may have more shine

    Navy Blazer:

    * May have non-black buttons (traditionally brass, or marbled), and/or

    * May be less structured than a suit jacket (or may not be?)

    Navy Sport Coat:

    * More than two flap pockets and a breast pocket in the front, and/or

    * Heavily textured fabric (worsted wool, tweed, etc), and/or

    * Heavily patterned fabric or casual (chino, corduroy) fabric, and/or

    * Elbow patches

    I have seen cashmere and wool blazers that (to me) are indistinguishable from a suit jacket. I don't think I could wear those with jeans or chinos. Is that the point; a blazer is for pairing with dress slacks only? \I have sport coats to wear with jeans/chinos.

    I guess the real question is: Can I pair a navy suit jacket (no pin stripes) with khaki-colored dress slacks? What else do you pair a cashmere/wool navy blazer with?

    My Measurements: 6' 1" height, 35" sleeves, 41-42" chest/jacket, 35" waist, 34" inseam, 11.5D/EEE shoes, 200 lbs


    I have a Navy Cashmere Blazer.

    I have paired it with: White Chino's, Jeans, Grey Chino's, and for work related purposes I've paired it with grey trousers. This is all so far. But my cashmere blazer is 2 button, very very light structure, and it doesn't feel like you're wearing a jacket at all. So it feels natural to wear with a lot of different options.

    In my opinion my blazer represents a tradition blazer jacket. Normal notch lapels, two button, two front flap pockets, 1 breast pocket with lapel stitch whole. Theres no elbow patches, or patch pockets, its very very sheik. And even though I pair it with jeans or chinos, I keep it professional and classy.



      Thanks Tat. I think that light structure may be key. I may inadvertently end up with a suit jacket but I don't want it to be obvious.

      My Measurements: 6' 1" height, 35" sleeves, 41-42" chest/jacket, 35" waist, 34" inseam, 11.5D/EEE shoes, 200 lbs



        suit jackets are cut differently than blazers/sport coats. more structured generally as well. also double vent = suit coat in my mind, blazers/sportcoats should have a center vent



          To be honest, I don't see that there is as much of a difference as Joe's post makes it sound. I am personally going to be wearing a gray, chalk stripe, wool, double vented, suit jacket with jeans this winter. Leave the big shoulder-paddy ones to go with suit pants. As long as it isn't much longer than your butt, the button stance isn't extremely low, and the shoulder pads aren't too big, I don't see a lot of suit jackets that I don't think would work with a pair of jeans.



            pairing a suit jacket with jeans is fine; but, you are really veering into stormy seas to try and match an odd suit jacket with trousers. In general, suit jackets are made of a finer material than blazers/sport coats and also have a different cut. Pin stripes on a suit jack are almost always thin pinstripes which do not work without the matching pants. I would steer clear, unless the suit jacket is a tweed suit jacket, a thicker Prince of Wales check, or something similar...



              Thanks guys. I think my problem is when the jacket is a solid navy wool / cashmere blend, notched lapel, standard pockets, and no pattern/pinstripes. I can't tell if it's a suit jacket or blazer. I have plenty of more casual sport coats to wear with jeans. I'm looking for something to pack on business trip that goes with most dress slacks so I can take my look up a notch from business casual (dress slacks and dress shirt). This doesn't happen often, so I would rather thrift a jacket than spend $200 on something I wear once a year.

              For example, these are typical of what I run into while thrifting:




              Only in the stores I shop at, they don't come paired with pants. So based on those pictures, can I wear any of those jackets with khaki or gray trousers, or do they scream suit jacket (and why?).

              Ben: Agree with the venting - two is more formal. Unfortunately I usually need two vents in all my jackets (sport coats and suit jackets). I have a relatively large rear end and one vent pulls too much (and wants to stay open). I mitigate this some by moving my phone and wallet to my jacket pocket. This weekend I went to the tailor to take in the waist for some sport coats. After bringing in the waist, the single vent splayed out and there wasn't enough fabric to close it all up.

              My Measurements: 6' 1" height, 35" sleeves, 41-42" chest/jacket, 35" waist, 34" inseam, 11.5D/EEE shoes, 200 lbs



                I think any of those could be used as a navy blazer, BUT... right now they come off as suit coats. The reason is the buttons. Navy blazers have contrast buttons in either brass (traditional) or lighter colored bone, etc.

                Also, side vents vs. center vent isn't formal vs. casual, it's Italian vs. British. Italian styling is more fashion-forward and includes soft natural shoulders and side vents. British styling is more conservative and includes built up shoulders and center vent.



                  @ Jason Carreira - Hmm, that's funny. I'd heard of side vents referred to as English, center vents referred to as American, and ventless jackets as Italian.




                    I think the ventless are a vintage style that's not done much any more, but you could be right on the center vs. side... My point was that it's a stylistic choice and doesn't necessarily make one more formal than the other.



                      I have blazers that are both side-vented and them both...blazers are inherently more casual than suits..not sure if the vent contributes either way.

                      I also agree with Jason that the easiest strategy is to look for metal buttons...while not 100% reliable, it is probably the best way to make sure you are getting a blazer.

                      Another thing you might want to try is either Joseph A Bank or Lands End...both have serviceable blazers on sale for around $140...



                        Definitely look for ones with metal buttons as helpful indicators. Also, suit jackets tend to have more shoulder padding.

                        Of the ones you posted, the second and third could be used as blazers. Now, blazers usually have brass or at least metal buttons. However, a lot of the time brass can make the blazer look like it came straight off an 80 year old man. Depending on what you wear with the blazer, you can use darker buttons that don't stand out. For example, I often wear a navy blazer (that has dark marble buttons), with jeans and a button down. Looks perfectly fine.

                        As for your question, yea I think you can wear a navy jacket with khaki pants. Although IMO an overused style, it's hard to go wrong with it.



                          Thanks everyone. I ordered some casual LEC chino blazers in khaki and navy, and I will go thrift for a nicer navy wool/cashmere this weekend.

                          My Measurements: 6' 1" height, 35" sleeves, 41-42" chest/jacket, 35" waist, 34" inseam, 11.5D/EEE shoes, 200 lbs