Sport Jacket: The One Garment To Spice Up Your Style

Previously, we shared that a sport jacket is the universal garment that will elevate a gentleman’s image on a first date. But what exactly is a sport jacket anyway? And how does a single garment elevate one’s overall image by so much? So, let’s dive deeper into this fascinating garment and why I suggest wearing this instead of a suit jacket.

Man wearing a black sport jacket standing next to a woman wearing a long sleeve white dress.
Sport jacket helps to elevate the wearer’s appearance instantly no matter the occasion.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

What Exactly Is A Sport Jacket?

In menswear, this jacket is a casual outerwear. It’s an odd jacket, so you can wear this garment without a pair of matching trousers. This versatile garment allows the wearer to easily pair it up with almost anything within the realm of smart casual.

Confident man wearing a sport jacket standing near a mirror.
The sport jacket is considered an odd jacket as it goes with anything. No matter the type of trousers and shirt you may want to pair it up with.
Photo by Ono Kosuki from Pexels

The Origin Of The Sport Jacket

Since the1800s, this garment was what men wore when participating in sporting activities such as fox hunting, horse riding, hiking, boating, golf, etc. The garment originated as a country attire, as opposed to city attire. City attire mostly consisted of dark coloured suits. Most rich land owners wore them during sporting activities to protect them from harsh elements. For instance, fibres that are made of tweed wool (traditionally popular for cold climate sport jackets, or linen for tropical sport jackets) are coarse and heavy-duty, hence are less susceptible to getting caught in the thorns from the shrubs if the wearer has to crawl through the bushes when retrieving a kill from his hunting trip. Sport jackets were also what most would wear when the occasion did not warrant something as formal as a suit.

Did you know historically, the sport jacket was a luxury item? This was because many could only afford one formal suit for formal functions such as weddings, funerals, baptisms or any other formal events, and could not afford to purchase many clothes for their wardrobe.

A man wearing sport jacket while horse riding.
The modern sport jacket evolved from the likes of hacking jackets (as seen in this image) to protect the wearer during vigorous activities such as horse riding.
Photo by Grace Earley from Pexels

Over time, as clothing become more abundant and affordable, it has become a staple of casual yet sophisticated style. It’s perfect for the times when you don’t need to be fully decked in morning dress, dinner suit, or even lounge suit.

So What Differentiates It From A Suit Jacket?

1. A Tougher Material

Sport jackets are identified by their tougher fabrics when compared to the contemporary suit jackets or blazers (although many sport jackets also use lightweight fabric as well). The tougher fabric protects the wearer from harsh elements. The tough fabric is meant to protect the wearer from getting wet in the rain or scratched from thorns, during various sporting activities.

2. Earth Tone Fabrics

Sport jackets generally have more casual features than suit jackets and even most blazers. This is why you would notice that the fabric used leans more to earth tone colours. Since it was initially made for sporting purposes, it would make more sense to wear it in colours that resemble mother nature. The jacket also acts as a camouflage of sort so the wearer could blend well with the foliage of the countryside.

Sport jacket made from earthy colours and a playful patterned lining is perfect to dressing up and yet maintain a personal expression.
You can never go wrong with a sport jacket. Almost any pattern or colour works on a sport jacket. And one made from earthy colours will blend well with mother nature. This brown sport jacket with a playful patterned lining is perfect to dressing up and yet maintain a personal expression.
Image from Pinky Tailor

It’s Not Something You’d Wear If The Occasion Calls For Suits

As versatile as the sport jacket is, there are some occasions where wearing full suit is more appropriate. Anytime you want to convey the image that “you mean business”, you’re better off wearing a business suit for contract negotiations, depositions, etc.

Another occasion is when the event specifies the dress code as ‘business formal’. This also applies to weddings and funerals. Dressing up in proper attire shows that you respect the host. So always keep this in mind whilst picking out a suitable outfit for the function.

What Impression Do You Make When Wearing A Sport Jacket?

What activities do you plan for your date? Do you prefer a nice and quiet dinner? If you do, sport jacket would be the perfect garment. It shows that you are taking things seriously by dressing up. It will also boost your image so you’ll appear to be amongst the well-dressed men in the room.

People riding on funfair swing ride at daytime
A date at an amusement park could be both romantic and adventurous. A perfect opportunity to show your date the more relaxed and fun side of you.
Photo by Oneisha Lee on Unsplash

But what if you intend to take your date to an amusement park afterwards to show that you know how to keep things exciting? Again, the sport jacket would do just fine. The sport jacket is designed to protect the wearer from harsh surroundings so I am sure it can protect you whilst you scream your lungs out on a roller-coaster ride.

May it be a quiet dinner or a rowdy night, the sport jacket has your back literally. It protects you from the elements. For example, if you decide to take a walk in the park after dinner, sport jacket will be casual enough for the activity and keep you (or your date) warm during your walk. It will also make you look good at the same time.

What If The Weather Is Too Warm For Jackets?

Surely, this is a question that will pop up in your mind if you’re living in a tropical country such as Malaysia, Singapore or Morocco. Thankfully, the sport jacket can also be tailored for warmer weather, too.

Linen is a popular fabric for sport jackets in the tropics as it’s highly breathable. The fabric is also light and loosely woven, which allows perspiration to quickly wick away from the body.

A checkered pattern jacket made from linen and lighter tone.
A linen sport jacket in light grey plaid is perfect for the tropics. Comfortably casual with breathable linen, yet dressy enough for a night out in town with your date.
Image from Pinky Tailor

If you’re looking for a sport jacket that is suitable for tropical weather, Pinky Tailor Malaysia is your go-to place. Backed by five years of experience in bespoke tailoring, Guru, who manages Pinky Tailor Malaysia, has travelled extensively overseas for his clients. The experience has helped him to perfect his tailoring for almost all types of weather.

For tropical weather, light-coloured sport jacket works well when paired with dark-coloured trousers. Not only it is contrastingly appealing, light colours reflect heat rather than absorbing it. The wearer will have no qualm donning his jacket.

GURU, FOUNDER OF PINKY TAILOR MALAYSIA

So How Does A Sport Jacket Elevate A Gentleman’s Image In The First Place?

Simply layering a jacket on top of whatever garment one’s wearing will elevate the wearer’s look a notch or two when compared to him without one. Henceforth, it’s a foolproof way to project a more confident image, especially when it comes to interviews for non-corporate positions such as IT or start-up companies, or when going out for a first date. However, if you have an interview for jobs such as accounting, law, banking or something considered more corporate, it is best to stick to a formal business suit.

Two people shaking hands
What you wear can portray your personality even before you speak. It is important to pick the appropriate outfit for whatever occasion it may be. Especially one that is as important as a job interview.
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Want to know what makes a sport jacket a sport jacket? Come back for the next episode, where we will dive into the characteristics that are unique only to sport jackets.

Preveena SIVAKUMAR

About Preveena SIVAKUMAR

Engineer, teacher, and a published author, Preveena is one friendly and bubbly character. Travelled all over Asia in search of muse and inspiration for her writing. After all, the more you've experienced the world, the better the perspective of your stories will become.

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