What’s the Difference Between a Sportcoat and a Blazer?

Well, what is the difference between a sportcoat and a blazer? Is there a difference?

The short answer is for modern purposes, there’s really not much difference.  I’ve seen the two words used interchangeably quite often.

But, there IS a difference.

A sportcoat is a fairly casual affair — as the name suggests, originally used for sporting occasions.  Think of a hunting tweed, for example.  Sportcoats used to (and still do, sometimes) have leather patches on the elbows and even on the shoulders.  Think of the stereotypical 60s college professor.  Worn with khaki chinos or even with corduroys, it’s a nice way to dress up an otherwise casual outfit.


A blazer is the more formal of the two.  Think of navy with brass buttons.  The kind of coat you might wear after work or on weekends with a pair of grey slacks.  It’s dressing down, but not too much.

So, there you have it. The subtle difference between a blazer and a sportcoat.  Go and choose wisely, gentlemen.

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