The sport coat is probably the most variable garment in men’s wardrobe - if you just choose the right one. It’s respectable and decent but not stuffy, it can usually be dressed up or down quite easily depending on how one pairs it and there’s hardly a circumstance for which a sport coat not appropriate.
To put it shortly, there are some points to consider when looking for a jacket. There shouldn't be any pulls or puckers along the front or back of the jacket when wearing it, the sleeves should be free of any ripples when the arms are naturally hanging down, and the jacket should in general have clean lines all around. These “rules” apply no matter if you are looking for the most formal suit jacket or just a casual sport coat.
As it’s already September and most of the shops have got the new fall / winter collections to their selection, decided to take a quick look of 5 different options for the f/w rotation - basically five different jackets that could take you through the whole season. There’s no particular order in terms of style and color but if you don’t really have a wide selection of sport coats at the closet yet and are considering to build the wardrobe little by little (which is recommendable) - start from the top and go down piece by piece.
The navy blazer is an evergreen and can not be missed whenever one is listing sport coats for any occasion. For more casual wear (and to pair with denim & casual cotton or wool slacks) one might go for a bit more lightweight, unlined and even a bit “washed” look like in this Boglioli K-Jacket made of merino wool. The lightness of fabric makes this piece suitable for almost year-around from early fall till the last days of spring.
Green is often undervalued when it comes to colors of sport coats. It might be a bit too much for a full suit (unless you don’t have a wide enough rotation) but as a sport coat (the darker) shades of green are very functional and suitable, especially for fall and winter season. Wool / silk mix gives a little bit texture for the jacket and the patch pockets keeps it on the casual side of range. Pair with an off-white roll neck sweater, denim and suede chukka boots.
Boldly patterned sport coats are the one of only areas where men can be safely daring. Also a nice pattern as checks or windowpane can help making a simple tailored jacket a lot more versatile, and as long the design is traditional and the color of the jacket is kept fairly conservative there’s no problem to pull off these pieces. This brown Gaiola Napoli jaceket featuring slight check / windowpane and three patch pockets would be perfect to match with light grey flannel trousers, light blue button-up and a brown cashmere tie.
One step bolder choice is a jacket with a more intensive pattern as in this Formicola sport coat made of . With these kind of jackets it’s better to keep the shirt and accessories simple and let the jacket do the job. Shades of brown and blue still makes the jacket pretty easy to combine with other colors and garments.
If you are looking to have something between a sport coat and a cardigan - a lightweight and soft wool cable-knit jacket like this one by Italian Zanone is a choice worth checking out. A really good piece for layering, for example together with a sweater and a lightweight overcoat.
Tomorrow (at part II) will take a look at a bit more affordable sport coats and blazers in case you are looking one to wear with a budget under 400 euros (500$).