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Learn the Difference Between a Blazer and a Suit Jacket

sport coat vs blazer

Sportcoat vs Blazer: The Easy Answer

The style debate for the modern man – sport coats vs blazers, is there even a difference? This common menswear question has, and will, continue to be asked, so we thought we’d provide a simple answer. So, continue on to learn the real difference between a sportcoat(suit jacket) and a blazer.

Q: “What’s the difference between a Black Lapel blazer and a sport coat (suit jacket?)” – James D.

blazer vs sport coat

A: Not all things in menswear are clean-cut, and the difference between a suit jacket (sport coat) and a blazer is a prime example of this. Traditionally, a blazer meant a jacket of a solid color (usually navy or black) with gold or silver metal buttons, patch pockets and a softer construction.

Think nautical, as the blazer really took off in the 19th century when the british royal navy changed their uniforms to something that closely resembled the modern-day blazer. A suit jacket, on the other hand, has always meant the jacket of a suit with matching pants.

Easy, right?

Not so much…These days things the line has become a little more hazy, especially in the States. In fact, to put it simply–there really is no difference these days between a suit jacket and a blazer except that one comes with matching dress pants and the other doesn’t. This answer might be a bit underwhelming to some, but at least you can now provide a proper retort to your snappy coworker when he comments on your “blazer” merely being a suit jacket.

This also means you can now get a little more casual mileage out of a leaner wardrobe by dressing down your suit jackets as a blazer. Just don’t try pulling off those pinstripes suit jackets as blazers–as we’ve advised before, some suit jackets are meant to be worn as suit jackets, with matching pants!

Have any further questions about the blazer vs. sport coat debate? Leave a comment below!

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104 thoughts on “Learn the Difference Between a Blazer and a Suit Jacket”

  1. Piyath says:

    Can you wear something like a fancy cravat styled bow tie for a suit? The bow tie is more like ribbon folded with a shiny rhinestone in the middle….it’s bigger than a bow tie and is also longer. It’s not like a typical bow tie even though I keep calling it that…..? This is the link -https://m.ebay.com/itm/Mens-Bow-Tie-Pre-Tied-Rhinestone-Solid-Multi-layer-Necktie-Wedding-Party-Show/152654344906?hash=item238ae872ca:m:mRjlxciS-Ws40DrbOTEHv_A

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’d only ever recommend wearing something like that to a costume party. It’s too flashy for our taste. When you aren’t sure in situations like this, always remember: less is more.

  2. Kshitij Kadiya says:

    I have a whiteshirt with a few thin, regularly distributed black lines forming large rectangles and a rather not_so_formal black slacks narrowed at the bottom made of cotton like fabric. I am not tall, but am well structured. Can you please suggest a jacket/blazer that I can wear for formal occasions like meetings and on casual events like family dinners?
    Thank you.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      So here’s the bad news: that’s an impossible task. We couldn’t possibly give you personalized styling without seeing you, having any idea what you look like, where you live, what clothes you have in your closet or what’s appropriate your lifestyle.

      Now for the good news: This is a website with literally hundreds of articles to help you define your personal style. Start with these:

      And be sure to subscribe to The Compass so you’ll get all this style advice delivered straight to you every week.

  3. Babu says:

    What is the difference between the coat and blazer in stitching.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Tailoring techniques vary from one tailor to another, but shouldn’t change based on the garment. In other words, one tailor will sew the parts of a suit jacket together the same way as the parts of a blazer.

  4. Sheeba says:

    Can u suggest what type of fabric is used to stitch ladies nd mens jacket or blazier….is it different for both men nd woman…or can same type of fabric b used viceversa…

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re not 100% we understand the question but if you’re asking what fabrics are used to make blazers and suit jackets, animal fibers are used. Usually sheep’s wool. Sometimes more exotic fibers like mohair and cashmere and silk are woven in to better jackets and cheap jackets are made with synthetic fabrics but the majority of well made jackets are made with wool.

  5. Sundu says:

    Hey Guys….Ur Articles are awesome…nd….I need a help…I’m confused whether a blazer can be folded till our elbow (like the ones we do for casual shirts)?nd secondly….Is a Blazer,Formal Shirt and A Blue Jean…a Good Pair for a Indian Wedding?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks, Sundu. We’re here to educate so no worries. Although the style has trended lately, we don’t really recommend rolling up blazer sleeves (it’s not the best way to treat your custom threads), just your casual or dress shirts. Blazer sleeves can definitely be rolled up, and you can read some rules on that here. And while we aren’t experts on Indian wedding attire, we always recommend you follow the dress code instructions on the wedding invitation. This would be a good outfit if the wedding is established as casual attire. Hope this helps you out some more.

      1. evan Wolkenstein says:

        Great response and thanks for the shout-out!

  6. Aman Pandey says:

    Can Suit and a plain T-shirt be a good combination.?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We think so. Check out our Instagram and you’ll see photos of the Deep Burgundy suit with a crewneck and that same crewneck paired with the Rivington Gray suit. Of course, that’s a sweater, since it’s winter now, but you could get the same look with a well-made T-shirt.

      It is important to note, however, that all T-shirts are not created equal. Don’t wear a fine wool suit with a faded white undershirt and expect the same results as you see on our Instagram. As for the suit, though, you can expect to look as good as our Instagram in a Black Lapel suit.

  7. G_kemz says:

    I have an ash color suit jacket and royal blue velvet respectively. Could you please suggest the perfect color combination. I usually match the royal blue velvet blazers with white pants and ash color suit jacket with black pants

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The “perfect” color combination depends on one key piece of information that we couldn’t possibly have, how it looks on you. Here are a couple of guidelines that will help you answer this question for yourself, though:

      1. If you’re tall, you can wear a pretty strong contrast between your jacket and your pants, but if you’re on the short side, be careful. The contrast between that royal blue jacket and white pants will visually split you in half. If you’re vertically challenged, this will only make things worse.
      2. If you have light hair the lighter jacket will work well. If you’ve got darker hair, go with the darker jacket.
      3. For the royal blue jacket, combine it with blue’s classic partner, gray. Or go for a more earthy look and pair it with brown/khaki.
      4. Ash color goes well with other grays. Play around with tonal combinations like charcoal gray pants with a light gray jacket like this.

      Ultimately you’re the only one who can answer the question of what’s the perfect combination. We can offer suggestions, but without knowing how it looks on you and what you look like, we’re fairly limited. You, on the other hand, probably own a mirror and can see what looks best on you. Don’t sell yourself short. Trust your gut. If it looks good to you when you see it in the mirror, we say wear it. After all, confidence is your best accessory.

  8. Harmanjot says:

    Hello..i hv a navy blue lined black formal pent..suggest me jacket or blazer or anything ..nd also the colour of shirt??

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Before answering, we’ll share our interpretation of your question. Here’s how we read it: “I have a pair of navy blue slacks with black stripes. Please suggest a jacket to wear with them. Then suggest a shirt to wear with them.”

      If that’s what you’re asking, here’s our answer:

      Striped pants should be worn with the matching jacket. Splitting up pinstripes always looks half-done and rarely looks stylish. So we suggest wearing these pants with the matching jacket. If there is no matching jacket, they’re probably not as formal as you think and should be worn more casually like a pair of chinos.

      As for shirts, a white shirt is always option #1. We recommend that all men have plenty of white shirts and wear them regularly to keep your style from getting out of hand. When you are ready to branch out, do it smart. Don’t just get shirts because they look cool on a mannequin in some store, get the shirts that look the best on you. Follow that rule and you’ll never have to worry about what goes with what again.

  9. Dorian says:

    Hi ,I have a navy one button peaked lapel jacket,can I use it as a casual ?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That depends, Dorian, on a lot of factors, way too many to go into here (What’s your definition of casual? Where would you wear it? What would you wear with it? etc.).

      We can’t give you a definitive answer without some context, but we can say that it takes a bit of imagination to see how you could make this jacket work with a casual outfit. If you’re regularly asked “where’d you get that?” by strangers or if you get a lot of compliments on the street, then you’ve probably got the style chops to pull this off. If you’d categorize what you’d usually wear as “nothing special” then we’d encourage you to take baby steps towards casual style rather than trying to take a giant leap. How? Start by learning how to Rock a Blazer Like a Pro and go from there.

  10. Marvin says:

    Hello, I got this orange blazer as a gift and I don’t know what colour of shirt or pants that will go with the jacket. I need advice.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      There are a lot of factors to consider to best answer this question, Marvin. Chief among them, is what do you look like? Before you turn your focus toward pairing the jacket in question with other clothes, we suggest you make you know how it looks on you. This is true of all clothes and it’s what we call dressing from the inside out. Never fear, we’ve written about it extensively in the articles How to Choose Your Clothes: Mastering Men’s Fashion From the Inside Out and Pick Shirt Colors That Match You Even If You Have No Eye For Matching. Once you know how the jacket color looks with you, you’ll be able to choose shirts and pants that harmonize and make a full outfit out of this jacket.

      One bit of advice we can give you, regarless of how it looks on you, is to stick with subdued shirt and pants colors and patterns when wearing an orange blazer. Why? Because orange is going to be the star of the show no matter what else you’re wearing. When you’ve got a vibrant color like orange in an outfit, you should avoid competing colors and bold patterns or the whole look will come off a little loud.

      1. Don says:

        Orange color should ONLY be in a tie. A Suit Jacket should NEVER be a loud color unless you are on stage performing in a Show or you’re on the golf Course. lol

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  12. Dhinesh says:

    Hello..would a grey suit matches with a white shirt and jean??

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey, Dhinesh. Did you mean suit jacket here? If so, then yes, a grey jacket with a white shirt and jeans is a very smart, clean look.

  13. Ziad says:

    I have a suit jacket and its charcoal grey would be normally to wear it on jeans as a blazer since its not quite a big difference ?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We don’t recommend wearing a gray suit jacket with jeans. Charcoal gray jackets are too formal looking to wear with jeans. We like to pair them with dress pants like we did here and stick to the blue and brown jackets for wearing casually.

  14. Abhishek tomar says:

    It is really awesome, helpfull….

  15. Mofe says:

    Can I wear pin down shirts and blazers

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Assuming you’re talking about a collar pin, Mofe, our answer is yes. We’ve seen it pulled off quite well (like Brian at He Spoke Style). The only hard and fast rule we follow with collar pins is that you’ve got to wear a tie with them.

  16. Faruk says:

    Very nice shop………

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks, Faruk! Have you done any shopping in our shop? This shop is appropriate for the impending weather.

  17. nik says:

    Can i wear a tie with a blazer jacket. What color trouser would go with a navy blue jacket?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Um, yes. This should be a no-brainer! As for matching your jacket and trousers, you can see all the different suit separate combinations we’ve put together here.

  18. Mrinal says:

    I am going to interview and I have a black suit, which color is good for my shirt and tie

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Black isn’t our first choice for an interview suit — navy and dark gray are preferable — but there are ways to make it look professional enough for a job interview that isn’t for a catering position. Check out How To Wear A Black Suit With Style for our suggestions on how a black suit should be worn.

  19. Saiprasad says:

    I am 24 yrears imdian and i wish to buy a blazer/ coat which serves as a fashoin for both on bike and off bike and i wish to wear it on t shirts and shirts on keep the coat buttons open. What would u suggest them

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds like you’re looking for something casual to knock around in. It doesn’t sound like our fine wool, made-to-measure jackets would be right for you. For on the bike and off the bike utility and rugged style, check out the Levi’s Commuter line jackets or even a sweater like this one from the stylish cycling brand Rapha, might do the trick.

      Happy cycling!

  20. Joey says:

    I have three suit jackets lying in my wardrobe two full black and one black with light stripes. can I use it as blazers and what pants and shirt colour should I wear and shoes?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      While we wouldn’t recommend wearing the one with stripes without its accompanying pants, a black jacket can stand alone for a casual evening look with jeans or gray chinos. A white shirt is always a smart move, and a gray shirt will also do the trick. You can even wear a two color patter, though we recommend one of those colors be black (like this).

  21. dennis deensie says:

    i saw someone wearing a blazer and instead of buttoning it they had a chain that connects both buttons, anyone knows whats that called? i have a picture of it. if possible i can sent it to someone to see it.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      If you want to send a picture directly, you can always email concierge@blacklapel with any style questions you have. But to clarify your current inquiry…

      There’s no specific name for this chain that I know of. When you see a chain on a vest, it’s usually connected to a fog/pocket watch. If it’s on a blazer, it’s a special kind of chain link closure, where sometimes the buttons aren’t sewn in, but there a button hole on each side for a metal chain and buttons to hold the jacket closed. Hope this helps!

  22. Jack says:

    I have two navy blazers and 1 pair of navy slacks. can i replace the gold buttons on 1 blazer with blue buttons and then wear it with the slacks for a navy suit? For a job interview.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      If the jackets and pants are exactly the same fabric, you can pair them together to make a suit, but be careful, Jack. If the jacket is from one place and the pants are some other fabric, you won’t be fooling anybody trying to pass them off as a suit. Even if the colors match exactly (which would be pretty miraculous) the fabrics would have to match too or you’ll have different textures that will stand out when you wear the two together.

      Our advice, you’re better off getting a full suit and wearing the blazers as blazers than trying to pull off some sort of Frankensuit made from different fabrics.

  23. Fury says:

    can i wear a suit jacket as blazer ?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Of course! Like the post says, the line between a suit jacket and a blazer is blurred nowadays. If you’re looking for outfit ideas, check out our “Unsuits” page that has pre-picked blazer and pant combos. Hope this inspires your own future unsuits!

  24. Charles says:

    Hi black lapel, I have a navy blue velvet blazer and I have been thinking of what color of pants I can wear with it and again if I can wear a black suede loafers

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Navy blue blazers can be mixed with lots of different colored pants, Charles. We’ve written about this topic (and included pictures and recommendations) extensively, so instead of writing out a lot of different recommendations, we’ll give you a set of links so you can see the outfits for yourself (don’t worry, there are links to the pants in these stories). Take a look at these articles:

  25. Eric says:

    I want to buy a cobalt blue blazer. Will it go well with white and dark color jeans? And what color shoes should I wear with it?

    Thank you

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You’re in great shape with either dark denim or white jeans with this color blue. It’s more about the mood you’re in. You should probably have both in your wardrobe anyway, Eric, so let the weather dictate. On warm sunny days, go with white, otherwise go with the blue.

      As for shoes, we recommend mid-brown loafers with both jeans. For the ultimate in versatility, go with full grain leather or for a truly spring/summer vibe, try suede.

  26. halla says:

    Hey, I want to buy a blazer but I am totally confused as this would be my first ever blazer and I want this blazer to be very versatile .
    So please help me out in deciding “black/navy” blazer with/without “light patterns” ???

    1. Black Lapel says:

      There are a lot of factors that can go into your choice. What is appropriate for how you’ll wear it, where you’ll wear it, what you’ve already got in your closet and, perhaps most importantly, how you’ll look in it. One of our stylists can give you specific advice if you email us at concierge@blacklapel.com.
      That said, a bit of general advice is to choose blue over black. Blue pairs well with much more and is appropriate for both day and night. As for pattern, as a first blazer, a solid is a safe choice, but a subtle pattern can add a little depth to your look. Although it is about creating the right suit for you, the concepts in this article apply to blazers as well.

  27. john says:

    I recently bought a black blazer. Can I wear it with black chinos and light blue shirt to make it look semi formal?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Alas, John, we don’t think your plan will work out. Trying to pass off two different fabrics as a suit is nearly impossible. The chinos and jacket will look off when paired together because one will have a different texture and sheen than the other.

      But we can easily help you out of this one, John. The solution to the problem is simple. Change the color of one of the items. You could wear the black blazer with a pair of gray pants like these extremely versatile slacks that you’ll find yourself wearing with almost everything you own. Or you could keep the black chinos and go with a lighter, more casual blazer, like this gray one. When the jacket and pants are different shades, their contrasting textures will actually work in your favor.

  28. Collin says:

    Do you think I could pair this suit jacket —–> http://www.express.com/clothing/gray+stretch+wool+blend+innovator+suit+jacket/pro/6071433/cat360015

    with black jeans and a white button up? just like how Harry Styles does it here —-> http://i1.ezinemark.com/imagemanager2/files/30018945/2012/09/2012-09-19-14-39-06-3-.jpeg

    Or do you think that material on that suit jacket is only compatible with a suit? Thanks!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As you can see from our photos of Black Lapel’s Cool Gray blazer, we like blazers with denim, Collin. We say go for it.

  29. LIDEN says:

    Okay, I get what you are saying.
    I bought a navy blue jacket (tropical fabric)with designer buttons, and I pair it up with a dockers khaki, dockers grey trouser and skin colour trousers. I’ll buy a suit as well.

    My question for now, can Dockers Khakis, and pleated cotton trousers be used for office dressing?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Cotton chinos are acceptable in many business casual offices. That one, again, comes down to what your office dress code is. If there is none, play it safe and wear what your boss wears. That is, if your boss is a man. We wouldn’t want you rolling in to work in a dress. (Unless you’re into that kind of thing in which case, why are you wasting time reading about menswear?)

      The choice to go with pleats is mainly a personal preference, but we will say this: if you’re interested in a modern look, flat fronts are the way to go.

      Other options include gray and other neutral shades of dress slacks, corduroys in earthy browns and a couple of accent colors like oxblood red and olive green and, if the office is truly casual, dark jeans. All of these can work with blazers and can be mixed and matched with many shirts and casual accents like knit ties.

  30. Ian says:

    I disagree somewhat that a blazer and suit jacket are the same.

    Suit jackets SHOULD be long enough to CYA — “cover your a**”, so from the back or sides, your suit jacket should cover your butt, or 90% of it. This looks OK (i.e. not too long) because a suit jacket has matching pants that don’t clash.

    Blazers need to be a bit shorter. They don’t have matching pants, so a blazer would look too long for you, and you’d appear to have very short legs. For this reason, you SHOULD get a blazer that’s 1″-1.5″ shorter, or short enough so that your blazer only covers 50% of your butt.

    The other difference is that a suit is typically made of a fine wool (or linen, I suppose), and may have a shinier appearance. A suit should be paired with only a dress shirt. They should always be trim and fit your body well, while the sleeves should only go up to your wrist (just enough to cover a well-fitting watch).

    A blazer can be a bit bigger so that you can fit a sweater (or whatever) underneath, while the sleeves can be a bit longer (if desired) because you may wear it as a jacket and never pair it with a shirt and tie. The type of wool, and the type of patterns, vary considerably from the type used for suits. Sure, some people will buy bright orange suits, but that’s definitely not the norm. Look around. Suit colours are quite basic, even if the patterns vary slightly.

    Mind you, in recent years, slightly shorter suit jackets have been in fashion, but that may look silly in 5 years, and make you look out of place at work. It depends on how trendy you want to be. In my profession (in a hospital), wearing a slim, well-fitting suit is “different” enough that I already stand out from the crowd. I’m pretty young, but I would stick with a jacket that covers your butt. To me, it looks better in a work environment.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You make a strong, and quite thorough, case for the difference. By the letter of the laws handed down by the fashion gods, we wouldn’t lump suit jackets and blazers together either.

      The rules have loosened a bit, but if that’s not your thing, then we say vive la difference!

      1. Liden says:

        Hi Black Lapel,

        I have a series of questions.

        If I have to dress up for the office in winters, and I go for a dress pant (black, blue, charcoal, khakis) with a dress shirt (plain, striped), sometimes with or without a tie. Now to put on a layer above, what would be the best option?

        1) A jacket/blazer made up of thin tropical material and not the thick winter material, in charcoal, blue and black either with pattern or plain.


        2) I should just buy a suit, and wear it in the winters?

        In summers, I don’t usually put on a suit, I just go with a pant shirt and tie.

        Please answer with due consideration.

        1. Black Lapel says:

          The decision you have to make, Liden, is more about office appropriateness than style. If all of the men in the office wear suits and you don’t you should consider…wait for it…following suit.

          On the flip side, if you’re in a business casual environment where suits are not often seen, then dressing up your look with separates like our unsuits is the way to go.

          As with most decisions about what to wear, context comes first, but if pressed, we would say get yourself a suit that you could break up into separates and you’ll get the best of both worlds.

  31. Tron says:

    Should I buy the blazer or the suit jacket

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That’s up to you. If you will get use out of the suit, then that’s your move. You can always wear the blazer separately.

      On the flip side, if you just need a jacket and don’t think you’ll get much wear out of the suit, then you can do that too.

      And now, with the introduction of unsuits to the Black Lapel line, you can get a jacket with a non-matching pair of pants. The choice is yours.

  32. Nidge says:

    This is very informative since i came from a country that doesnt usually wear suits and blazers. Im pretty much naive on the difference so I made my research. I am about to buy a suit for the purpose of attending a debut and wedding of my nephew this coming october. . . Which color do you recommend on buying for this occassion? considering also, after the occassion I can use them to wear in the office?. . .thank you.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Choosing a great suit color depends, in part, on your own hair and skin coloring, so we’d suggest using our concierge service to help you pick the perfect color by emailing concierge@blacklapel.com.

      Still, one go-to color for these types of occasions is Royal Blue. It’ll work for just about any man’s natural color. Not to mention it looks pretty fly! We love this color so much we gave it a whole feature on The Compass here. And since this is still a solid blue suit, it’s also a great choice for the office after the special events are over.

  33. John Stevens says:

    So… As far as where the jacket comes together – it seems that blazers tend to go a tad lower…

    I’ve heard that suit jackets should have the top button of a two button jacket, or the middle button on a 3 button that does not go lower than the navel.

    What’s the rule of thumb of where a blazer should come together (and while we are on the subject – where should it come together on a sport coat?)


    1. Black Lapel says:

      The button stance needn’t change between a blazer and a suit jacket, John. The navel principle applies to blazers just like suit jackets. You are a bit more likely to spot a one-button blazer than you are to see a one-button suit. The one-button will have a deeper V shape, so those do come together lower.

      A word of caution, though, John. Proportion is dependent on your body type. A guy with a short torso and long legs will have a higher navel than a longer torso guy. So take the rule of thumb with a grain of salt. Of course we’re biased, but we believe custom measurement like we use to make Black Lapel jackets are the key to getting your proportions right.

  34. Victor Hamilton says:

    Wow this is great info.. u coulnt tell the difference. Im a young man wearing urban
    Clothes like jordans, skinny jeans, fitted t-shirts, nd hats. But im kind of digging
    This style wit the jacket casual pants and the nice long sleeves shirts. My wife loves
    To see me when i dress casual like in the picture above and i really like it too. So
    Im looking forward to dress like this very soon… any Nice store suggestion where i can go nd
    Buy this type of style clothes?? Thanks.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Victor, as someone who appreciates a quality pair of kicks like your aforementioned Jordans, we think you’ll enjoy a custom blazer from Black Lapel (that’s us). 😉 There’s nothing like getting something that was made just for you (based on your measurements and your own design). Best part? 2 pairs of Jordans = 1 BL custom blazer (just about). Pretty affordable to get this sweet look isn’t it?

  35. Jordan says:

    Can you use a suit jacket as a blazer?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Yes, Jordan, you most certainly can wear a suit jacket as a blazer. Here’s how.

      Of course, the suit jacket isn’t the only route to stylishness. Every man ought to know how to Rock a Blazer Like a Pro.

  36. Shafkat says:

    But I thought that the blazers had an informal look with round cuts at the edges as well as they are fashioned/made in such a way that one cannot button the blazer. Anyways, thanx for the info.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      True, Shafkat, some blazers do have more casual detailing. It varies from one designer to another.

      As for the buttons, you should be able to button the top button on a two button blazer, but buttoning the bottom button on either a blazer or a suit jacket won’t work (and will make you look like a rube).

  37. Michael says:

    Wait until you see the Henley stripes! Granted, not one for all.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Now you’re talking really old-school, Michael! Those regatta fans really know how to “blaze” a trail with their jackets.

  38. Michael says:

    The British very often pair pinstripe, and heavier chalkstripe, jackets with jeans and casual trousers, as well as bold windowpane tweeds. With the British, well English, it’s often not about matching, per se, but rather complementing colours.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re, actually, big fans of the windowpane blazer look, but we just can’t get down with a pinstripe jacket and jeans no matter how cool, or English, you are. (Hear that Daniel Craig?).

      That said, we will staunchly defend your right to wear what you like, Michael. If you dig it, rock it, Michael (even if we do think you’re digging your own sartorial grave).

  39. Gaz says:

    I notice on your site, most of your ‘blazers’ also have matching pants to form a suit. That’s fine if the fabric has some texture and pattern to it. But I find a solid colored worsted wool suit jacket looks out of place when used as a blazer (the same with some patterns such as pinstripes). It looks like the wearer has his suit pants at the drycleaners.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You’ll note that we don’t sell the pinstripe jackets separately for the very reason you mentioned, Gaz. As for the solids, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one. Of course, nobody’s saying you HAVE to wear the jackets separately, you can always stay suited.

  40. pallavi says:

    does suit jacket and blazer jacket have different lapels or it can be same for both?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You’ll find notch lapels on both suit jackets and blazers. You do see blazers with peak lapels but since blazers are a bit more casual peak lapels are not as common.

      Still, some of us rock peak lapel blazers at Black Lapel just because we like them. If you like ’em. Wear ’em.

  41. Vish says:

    Whoa, thnx for clearing a big confusion…
    I recently bought a suit, was not sure if I can use it as a blazer.! Now I know..!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Glad we could help, Vish. Also, check out the recent piece on the All-American Blazer for more ideas.

  42. Shakil Ahmed says:

    Completely unrelated to the topic but i don’t know where else to ask you questions.
    What’s the difference between a suit and a tuxedo?
    And what kind of style/suit/tux would you recommend for prom?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Shakil, we’d love to answer your question here, but our concierge team will give you a more in-depth answer and personalized recommendation via email (concierge@blacklapel.com). In the future, if you have any style-related questions, don’t hesitate to reach us at that email address!

    2. Steve says:

      Tux has a shawl lapel, and is black.

      1. Black Lapel says:

        You’re right, Steve…mostly. A shawl lapel is an option for tuxedos, but it’s only one option. A more traditional formal tuxedo will generally have jacket with a peak lapel. Both styles work.

        While, traditionally tuxedos are black, the world of tuxedos is opening up to blues like this one from Black Lapel which, by the way, has a shawl lapel. The dinner jacket can also be white for daytime affairs, while the pants remain black.

        As we noted, there’s a lot ground to cover here and there are some gray areas. That’s why we’re working on a feature story on black tie options for The Compass. Stay on the lookout for that story coming soon.

  43. Oscar DeBarge says:

    I know next to nothing about style, but what I’ve gotten so far from googling the internet is that; I think the main difference between a blazer and and a suit jacket is the material and pattern. The difference is similar to the way Khakis, Chinos, and even jeans can be cut similarly to a formal/ suit pants. Yet the Khakis, Chinos and Jeans are still categorized as casual/ non-formal pants.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Oscar, the type of pattern and fabric can definitely be a telling sign of a suit jacket vs. an odd blazer. Certain tweeds, for example, will often be more characteristic of a blazer, while worsted wools are typically used in suiting. As for patterns, pinstripes should always belong with a suit. That said, nothing is always that cut-and-dry! 🙂 In practice, doubling that solid navy suit jacket as a navy blazer is absolutely okay!

  44. Jovan says:

    I prefer contrasting buttons, 1/4″ topstitching, and a sportier fabric such as hopsack, doeskin, or serge to separate suit jackets from blazers. Just my personal preference.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Its good to have a unique set of preferences Jovan! We hope you can still get some more mileage out of your BL suit jacket independently of the pants even though it doesn’t quite fit into the above criteria! 🙂

  45. joshua says:

    great article.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks Joshua!

  46. Jared S says:

    I’m a big fan of the very traditional Brooks Brother’s navy blazers. I’m wondering if you carry or plan on carrying anything comparable in quality, craftsmanship and fit?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Jared, our custom navy blazers are easily comparable in terms of quality and craftsmanship, and far superior in terms of fit. If you want a clearer picture, check out our Black Lapel Custom Suits vs. designer off-the-rack comparison post where we do a break-down comparison of one of our custom suits against a Brooks Brothers Milano Solid Navy 1818 suit.

  47. brian says:

    Is a Sport jacket the same as a Blazer,

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Brian, great question. A lot of companies these days use the term sport coat and blazer interchangeably, causing a lot of the confusion between the two terms. However, traditionally, the the blazer and the sport coat had very distinct origins and characteristics. While blazers were defined by its preppier, nautical roots, the sport coat was a more rustic, hunting jacket. True to its outdoor functions the traditional sport coat was made of heavier fabrics such as tweed, had pockets with flaps, sometimes an upper ticket pocket and a generally softer shape than a suit jacket. Hope that clears things up a bit!

  48. Clint says:

    …and here I felt silly for not seeing any real difference between the two; thanks!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Yup, that was our point. Glad you caught it! 😉

  49. Marc J. says:

    I was literally on my way out of the house to shop for a blazer when I saw this. You guys are amazing, and so helpful. I’m glad I checked Facebook one last time. I had no idea what I was doing. Please keep up the great work!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Glad we saved you a trip (and some $$)!

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