Sport Jackets: The New Business Standard
Rules of the Look
This look has only one real requirement, and that is to wear a sport jacket. You can wear jeans, chinos or trousers for the bottoms and a button-up, polo, or if you want a very casual look, a tee shirt. While for business purposes, we would urge you to wear a button-up and chinos or trousers, this look is very elegant and incredibly versatile. You will often be dressed at least to the level of your clients while remaining dressed down enough to keep even your most casual clients comfortable. This look works for everyday wear as well, and if you find yourself uncomfortable for any reason, you can remove your jacket to dress down even further.
Tip: If you need to dress this look up further, you can also add a tie to the uniform.
How do I Wear This Look?
We would suggest you build up a seasonal wardrobe of sport jackets. You can get seasonal trousers or chinos as well, but most of the time, your bottoms will be versatile enough to wear year-round. Getting jackets that match the season in color and purpose (i.e., warmer or cooler fabrics for the time of year) will be far more critical. Here are a few examples to get you started.
Spring/Summer Sport Jackets
Sport jackets for the spring and are going to be lighter in weight as well as color. They will often be either looser weaves or blends such as wool/linen/silk to keep you cool in the warmer months. Here are some options to give you an idea of what this could look like:
Two options that will always be a great choice in the spring and summertime are solid hopsack sport jackets and windowpane patterned wool/linen blends.
The fall and winter sport jacket is going to be darker in color and more substantial in weight. A solid tweed or flannel fabric is perfect for this time of year. You want this jacket to be warm enough that going outside isn't too uncomfortable, but cool enough that you can still wear it inside as that is where you are going to be most of the time. Here are a few examples:
Great options for this are going to be tweed fabrics and almost any dark hue. The key here is to look at the jacket and think, "that is most definitely a fall/winter jacket." Building your wardrobe this way will keep things exciting and incredibly dapper.
The key to the sport jacket look is to have enough jackets that you can rotate through without others commenting 'didn't you wear that jacket earlier this week?'. Here is how you accomplish that:
Step 1- Build a 'core' set of sport jackets. This is 3-5 jackets that can be worn at any time of the year. For example, a navy sport jacket (not suit jacket) can be worn 365 days a year, and more than likely, no one will ever ask if you wore it recently.
Step 2- Get 2-3 jackets for both the spring/summer season and the fall/winter season. This gives you 5-8 jackets you can wear at any given time, really rounding out your wardrobe.
Step 3- Have fun and add anything you like and feel like expresses your personal style.
The sport jacket and trouser uniform is all about casual elegance and matching the look to your style. Every man looks great in a sport jacket so long as the fabric fits their personal style. Find what you love best and eliminate the worry of being over/underdressed in your day-to-day. This look really is a cure-all in the modern ambiguity of business standard dress.