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How can a person tell the difference between an orphaned suit jacket and a sport coat? I am having some sport coats made up and I do not want people to think they are orphaned suit jackets. Any advice would be appreciated. thanks.
 

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There are a number of things that often differentiate the two, but they are inevitably guidelines rather than hard rules. After a while, you just know.

The most telling sign is the buttons. Suits generally have four-hole buttons that match the fabric in color. Sport coats will most often have buttons in a different color, and sometimes shank buttons, especially in the case of blazers. Texture is also a hint. Sport coats favor more textured fabrics like corduroy, hopsack and tweed, while suit jackets favor smoother wool. Construction can be a hint--patch pockets are a sure sign of a sport coat.

Similar discussion on older threads:
https://askandyaboutclothes.com/community/archive/index.php?t-53753.html
https://askandyaboutclothes.com/community/showthread.php?t=78748

Here are some photos. The first is clearly a sport coat, given the brown velvet and the light horn buttons:
https://manolomen.com/images/Paul%20Smith%20corduroy%20jacket.jpg
This undistinguished ensemble is a bit different, but the rough texture and patch pockets qualify it as a sport coat:

This last gent looks to be wearing an orphaned suit coat. The smooth texture, pinstripes, and buttons give it away:
https://www.splendicity.com/sheknowsbest/files/2007/11/jeremy-wright.jpg
 

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How can a person tell the difference between an orphaned suit jacket and a sport coat? I am having some sport coats made up and I do not want people to think they are orphaned suit jackets. Any advice would be appreciated. thanks.
Stay away from pinstripes and it shouldn't be a problem. If you want to really sporty-up a jacket, consider some sports-coat-only features (even if most modern odd jackets don't have these), such as a throat latch, patch pockets, a belted back, an action-back, some striking buttons, or even elbow patches (if you like them - I don't, but that's not terribly important to you!). OTOH, if you want a more understated and/or urban look, just stay away from the stripes and quit worrying about it.
 

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Suits with an action back seem to be very popular right now. I dont care for them myself. I do like the back pleat.

I also like pinstripe blazers. To each their own.

A blazer will, in one way or another look more casual. Be it material, pattern, construction, or buttons.
 

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Suits with an action back seem to be very popular right now. I dont care for them myself. I do like the back pleat.

I also like pinstripe blazers. To each their own.

A blazer will, in one way or another look more casual. Be it material, pattern, construction, or buttons.
There's no such thing as a pinstriped blazer, so I have little idea of what you mean. The stripes of a regatta blazer are not pinstripes.
 

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The only manufacturer that I know of that can be relied upon to use two hole buttons on sport coats only, is Oxxford. All others use four hole or maybe two, but no consistancy. Please advise if there are other exceptions.
 

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My definition of a "suit jacket": a jacket that is part of a suit. A dinner suit has a jacket therefore a dinner jacket is a "suit jacket". Here is another "suit jacket":



It is a jacket and made up as part of a suit. Ergo: it is a "suit jacket"!

As for a "sports coat/jacket", a coat may only be called that if it has sporting features eg a hacking jacket, a Norfolk jacket (like the one in the above illustration). Any odd lounge coat should not be called a "sports coat".
 

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How can a person tell the difference between an orphaned suit jacket and a sport coat? I am having some sport coats made up and I do not want people to think they are orphaned suit jackets. Any advice would be appreciated. thanks.
Excellent responses, but also read the recommended related posts at the bottom of the page!
 

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Couldn't you have a blazer made from a pinstriped material? What about the definition of a blazer ensures it cannot be pinstriped?
A blazer is traditionally done in a Regatta stripe, and modern single-breasted blazers are a solid navy, reflecting a navy origin. A blazer is a type of sports coat, while pinstripes/chalkstripes are for business (business suits). Therefore, a sports coat in a business fabric does not make sense.
 
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