Nothing beats a crisp sports coat or blazer, right? The thing is, springtime brings out two kinds of people when it comes to clothes. The first is the prepared kind who has been looking forward to being freed from the ubiquitous parka for months. The second revels in the fact that a winter jacket leaves room for running errands on the weekend while secretly wearing pajamas.
The first kind is the head-turning, fresh individual who is half the reason we sit outside during patio season. The second kind is probably still melting in a winter coat while waiting for style cues from the first kind.
Meet the great equalizer: the sports jacket. Also known as a blazer, this underestimated wardrobe piece is a simple addition to any closet and will have its wearer stepping into spring with confidence. But unless you want to look like a frumpy grandpa or an awkward kid trying on Dad’s suit, there are a few things you need to know.
Be Adventurous – Play With Patterns
A sports jacket can be a great way to play up your personal style. Too many people wear theirs in basic navy blue or black, making it feel much more like a uniform than what it should be: a tasteful insight into the wearer’s creative side. So if you’re not completely sure how funky to get, a baby steps into being more adventurous is to wear one of the classic colors with a bit of a twist. Try a subtle pattern like herringbone or choose a jacket with a faint pinstripe. Or, go all out! If you have an eye for color and know what works for you then now is the time to shake off winter hues and introduce a punchy blazer that completely breaks from the typical color scheme. That extra bit of pattern or color adds a fun edge that evokes that springtime, light-hearted vibe while still maintaining the authoritative air that comes with being well dressed.
Be Smart – Know Your Audience
In the same way that you wouldn’t wear dress shoes to a rock show, be thoughtful about who you’re spending time with before you get dressed. There’s a reason that we associate Hawaiian shirts with geriatric snowbirds and fratboys, right? By the same token, you don’t want to leave the wrong impression on important clients by sporting your new cobalt blazer at the wrong time. Reserve your more out-of-the-box sports jackets for an after-work event as opposed to a board meeting.
Don’t Trust Store Sizing, Know a Good Tailor
While stores do their best to find a happy medium between the myriads of body types out there, they may not have gotten quite right for each of us. Find a size range in jackets that roughly suits your body shape and its quirks, and take it to a tailor. This may sound like a lot of effort, but a few minutes with an expert and a few extra dollars invested can take an inexpensive blazer and make it look the exact opposite. Plus, after a few visits, the tailor will know the uniqueness of your dimensions and make short work of customizing any blazer or jacket that you bring him in the future. Long term, this will keep you looking dapper without dropping Don Draper cash.
Never Underestimate the Value of Good Material
No one wants to touch a creepy feeling synthetic material. What’s more, you don’t want to be the person draped in it! Take a look at the label on your sports coat of choice in the same way you would look at the ingredients on something you’re about to buy from a grocery store. What is a sports coat primarily made of? What percentage of the most quality material comprises the jacket? Does it snag or pull when you brush your hands against it? Beyond the look, the feel of the material is what is going to keep you pleased with your purchase and therefore more keen on incorporating it into your daily wardrobe.
With these simple steps up your sleeve, we have no doubt you’ll be the first out of your winter clothes this season.