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Suit jacket as a blazer?

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    Suit jacket as a blazer?

    Why is that bad? Especially with standard colors like Navy.

    #2
    Because suit jackets are often styled with subtle -- but noticeable, even at a subconscious level -- differences. Suit jackets are usually made with very slick wool with a slight sheen. Usually they have bigger shoulder pads. They have formal-looking lapels and pockets. If you wear one of these with cords or jeans or chinos, it looks off (a mismatch of formal and informal.) Sportcoats are made of rougher and less shiny fabric, they are usually less structured, and they are often made with patterns (herringbone, etc.) that make it clear that it's not supposed to be matching.

    That said, today I'm wearing a suit jacket with chinos. But it's a linen-cotton suit with soft shoulders and patch pockets, so it looks less formal than a worsted wool suit, and the slightly rough fabric helps. I wouldn't wear a worsted wool suit jacket as a separate. But summer suits (linen, cotton, etc) I usually do wear as separates.

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      #3
      Basically, the smoothness of suit jackets can often look off when combined with other pants. See more here.

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        #4
        Originally posted by bjmcgeever View Post
        Basically, the smoothness of suit jackets can often look off when combined with other pants. See more here.
        I agree with all of this, but the J Crew Ludlow Blazers (both in navy and in charcoal), are both pretty smooth and have a slight sheen. The only subtle differences may be that they're a tad more cropped than a suit jacket, and the buttons are horn (just slightly though, still a dark color with some gray swirls). It doesn't look off with jeans or anything, but they don't meet these characteristics you're naming of a blazer.

        That said, I am still confused by suit jacket vs blazer. Rougher fabrics are obvious, but when you're talking about more formal blazers (i.e. say, a navy blazer worn with off trousers at the workplace, not jeans or chinos), I still find it hard to distinguish. And don't say the gold buttons... no one has those anymore.

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          #5
          Originally posted by dapperedcpa View Post
          I agree with all of this, but the J Crew Ludlow Blazers (both in navy and in charcoal), are both pretty smooth and have a slight sheen. The only subtle differences may be that they're a tad more cropped than a suit jacket, and the buttons are horn (just slightly though, still a dark color with some gray swirls). It doesn't look off with jeans or anything, but they don't meet these characteristics you're naming of a blazer.

          That said, I am still confused by suit jacket vs blazer. Rougher fabrics are obvious, but when you're talking about more formal blazers (i.e. say, a navy blazer worn with off trousers at the workplace, not jeans or chinos), I still find it hard to distinguish. And don't say the gold buttons... no one has those anymore.
          I have gold buttons. They're real. And they're spectacular.
          Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~Twain

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            #6
            Originally posted by DXLi View Post
            I have gold buttons. They're real. And they're spectacular.
            Lulz. Thanks for the insight guys.

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              #7
              It really depends on the jacket, which is kinda what everyone has said in a different way. I think if I was going to look at the suits in my closet, the more formal they are, the less likely it would work. The more character they have, the more likely it would work. The more casual they are, the more likely it would work. This lines up with the idea that a sport jacket or blazer is more casual than a full suit.

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                #8
                What do you mean " the more character it has?"

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by dapperedcpa View Post
                  I agree with all of this, but the J Crew Ludlow Blazers (both in navy and in charcoal), are both pretty smooth and have a slight sheen. The only subtle differences may be that they're a tad more cropped than a suit jacket, and the buttons are horn (just slightly though, still a dark color with some gray swirls). It doesn't look off with jeans or anything, but they don't meet these characteristics you're naming of a blazer.

                  That said, I am still confused by suit jacket vs blazer. Rougher fabrics are obvious, but when you're talking about more formal blazers (i.e. say, a navy blazer worn with off trousers at the workplace, not jeans or chinos), I still find it hard to distinguish. And don't say the gold buttons... no one has those anymore.
                  Ah -- rough fabric, patterns, and so on aren't necessarily characteristics of a blazer. A blazer can often look a lot like a suit jacket. It's often made of worsted wool, though sometimes you can find a hopsack or other rougher weave in a blazer, and I would prefer the rougher fabric blazers for that very reason. The gold buttons are useful because they distinguish it as a blazer, not a suit jacket. But in any event, I wouldn't wear those Ludlow blazers. I know Joe likes them, but, well... they seem too much like a suit jacket for my taste. I much prefer to either just wear a suit, or wear a sportcoat with a rough texture. I do have a blazer with gold buttons that I thrifted, but I don't wear it very much. Not because of the gold buttons -- because I always prefer a cotton or linen jacket in the spring and summer, and I always prefer a tweed or camel jacket in the fall and winter. My workplace (I'm a professor) probably really influences my choices here, too.

                  It's about your own aesthetic, of course. If you look like those J Crew models and you hang out at a upscale, young, cool-but-not-hipster bar, you may be able to pull off a slick, worsted jacket and jeans. I know that I'd look like a reject from the cast of the Jersey Shore if I wore it -- my body type and overall appearance would make it look cheesy.

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                    #10
                    Cool-but-not-hipster bars? Do those exist?

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by BB View Post
                      I know that I'd look like a reject from the cast of the Jersey Shore if I wore it -- my body type and overall appearance would make it look cheesy.
                      Hey, don't yous be talkin' bout my boy BB that way, you hear?

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by zcm View Post
                        What do you mean " the more character it has?"
                        Just that there is more to a suit than "casual" or "formal", and a huge variety in between the opposite ends of the spectrum. For example, I have a 3 piece tweed suit that is far from casual, but the jacket works by itself.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by zcm View Post
                          Cool-but-not-hipster bars? Do those exist?
                          Think nice restaurants with good bars where young professionals hang out and no one drinks PBR. I think wearing a suit jacket to hang out at a hipster bar (my favorite local spots all pretty much fall into this category) looks out of place. But if you go to the upscale part of town, or wherever your financial district is, and you wear a Ludlow blazer and nice jeans to a bar, you'll look appropriate, I think. It all depends on who you are and what you're doing, of course. I mean, think of it this way: if you're in Washington DC, you look out of place if you wear a blazer around Adams Morgan, and you also look out of place if you wear skinny jeans and ironic t-shirt to meet someone at an upscale bar in a boutique hotel. San Francisco, you look off wearing a shiny blazer to hang out in the Mission. But you might not look so out of place in a tweed herringbone sport coat and jeans, which is interesting. (I know this from personal experience: when in SF on a work trip, I went out in the Mission in a tweed jacket one night and fit in just fine. Another night I went over there right after a meeting while I was wearing a suit. I got some unwanted attention that night. In Atlanta, however, you would be just fine wearing the Ludlow blazer at a bar in Buckhead. It's all contextual.

                          This of course is advice that makes sense to people who like to wear clothes that seem appropriate -- that is, that fit somewhere within the conventions of your surroundings. If you don't care about that, and you would wear a tux to McDonalds because you don't care what other people think, and you just dress "for yourself," then this advice is not helpful. I'm a little more self-conscious, I suppose.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by bruschetta View Post
                            Hey, don't yous be talkin' bout my boy BB that way, you hear?
                            Oh, don't start. It brings back a flood of memories. *shudder*

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