One piece that everyone should have in their closet is a sport coat. For some, there is a misconception that a sport coat is just too ‘dressy’. A sport coat can be used for formal occasions, such as a wedding, or a business meeting. But, most importantly it can be worn with everyday comfortable clothing. It’s time to make your clothing adaptable.

I’m going to talk about 3 ways that you can wear a sport. This a great way for you to repurpose some of your unworn office attire. Now you can incorporate these items in your everyday casual wear, making your clothing more versatile. If you have sport coats in your closet that haven’t been brought out in a while, its time to take them out. Here’s some ideas on how you can add them to your everyday outfits. 

Incorporate your unworn office attire into your everyday casual outfits

I’m not just taking about the sport coat with a dress shirt and jeans combination that you already know about. You can also wear a sport coat over a t-shirt, henley or even a hoodie. At some point your sport coat will take over as your favourite piece of outerwear, forcing you to ditch the black windbreaker.

The right sport coat can easily revamp a tired or outdated look. It’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t do this with a basic black suit jacket, or blazer. It should be slightly textured, properly fitted and unique in some way. If you’re on a tight budget, or have sport coats in your closet that no longer fit, you can bring them to a tailor to have them altered. Now, let’s dive into the 3 ways.

Here are 3 ways for you to wear a sport coat

1. The dress look

Wearing a sport coat can be a great alternative to wearing a suit. It can be suitable for most occasions. One paired with contrasting dress slacks and a shirt and tie creates a timeless look. It takes more effort in creating a good outfit while utilizing a sport coat. It allows you to be creative with your outfits. If you opt for a coat that has multiple colours, you can choose to incorporate those colours into your shirt & tie, pocket square and other accessories.

Choose a sport coat with multiple colours to make accessorizing easier

If you want to take the dress look even further you can experiment with layering. Layer up your shirt & tie combo with a lightweight, or knitted sweater. Tryout different sweaters in different colours to maximize your wardrobe. 

If you are only going to add 1 sport coat to your closet, choose one that contains at least 2 different colours of threading in it. This will give you plenty of versatile outfit options. When wearing with dress slacks, choose to wear it with a tie, or go open collar, it’s up to you. Swap your usual necktie for a pattered bow tie, to add a different dimension to your dress look.

Do: Choose a coat with sharp details. Choose one that has pattern, texture, contrasting buttons, or elbow patches. 

Don’t: Worry about looking like an ‘old man’. Sport coats are for everyone. The finer the details, the more attention you will get; watch as the compliments start pouring in.

Always look for the fine details when selecting a sport coat

2. The jean look

The term business casual gets thrown around a lot. Here, I’m going to make it less confusing. In the Maritimes, business casual usually refers to an outfit that is made up of a sport coat, jeans, or chinos, and a button down shirt. A sport coat with jeans is a look that never goes out of style. It is one of the most adaptable outfits for men. For me, the perfect business casual look is pairing some good, dark wash, jeans with a textured sport coat, topped with a patterned button down shirt. You can create many different looks here just by swapping the colour of your jeans and getting creative with your accessories. Experiment with different washes until you find what works with what you have. If you’re daring enough, choose a distressed pair to create a more edgy, rugged look.

Since this look is built around your jeans, it’s a must that you choose the right pair. Choosing the right pair is all about getting the right fit. Always consult with a professional to get the best fit for your body type. Choose a jean that is fitted, and comfortable. Again, think about the details. Go for a pair that has dark wash, contrast stitching, visible grain and natural crease lines. 

Do: Choose a pair with performance fabric or a stretch waist band. This allows for added comfort while giving you a trimmer look. 

Don’t: Choose a boot cut. The fit here is often too bulky to pull off over a pair of dress shoes. Also, avoid choosing washes that appear dated, like acid wash and stone wash. 

The right shoes

Footwear also adds another dimension to the jeans and sport coat look. Choose dress sneakers for a clean, sporty look or boots for a rugged distressed look. Of course, you can always finish off the outfit with a matching belt and oxfords, or go sockless with a pair of loafers. Each shoe option will add something unique to your outfit. If you become tired of wearing jeans, swap them for a pair of fitted chinos or joggers. 

Trendsetter Dress Sneakers from Alter Sole pair well with jeans and chinos

3. The Everyday look 

Being creative is key to good style. Creativity doesn’t mean that you have to over think things. You can easily trade out your favourite outerwear jacket for a sport coat, weather permitting of course. 

The outfit possibilities are endless. Throw on a sport coat over a t-shirt and jeans, or layer it over a solid colour hoodie, with khakis and sneakers. The thought of wearing a sport coat like this will take some time to get used to and lots of experimenting.

A plain t-shirt under a sport coat is a perfect everyday outfit choice

Choosing the right sport coat is key here. One with neutral colours and a subtle pattern, or texture will work best. You’ll want to choose one for your spring/summer wardrobe and one for those colder months. The rules are simple: if it looks good and pairs well, wear it. With some basic colour coordination and experimenting, you will be creating great outfits in no time. 

Everyday outfit combinations

T-shirt and Sport Coat

This is a no brainer. This creates a laidback look that can be worn with jeans, khakis or joggers. If you want to play on the sporty side of things, top your look with your favourite ball cap. Now you can rep your team in style.

Menswear Stylist, Chris Burns Wearing A Sport Coat With Everyday Casual Clothing
Hoodie and Sport Coat

A look made popular by Lebron James. A casual, lightweight hoodie or solid sweatshirt will work well. This is not for everyone but creates an outfit that is truly unique. Pay attention to fit here, we don’t want to see anything sloppy. Also, avoid numbers, heavy patterns and large logos.

Polo and Sport Coat

A polo shirt and sport coat is an effortless combination. This is a great business causal alternative for those warmer months. Always pay attention to the fit of the polo shirt. It should be fitted and made of pima, or liquid cotton. A lightweight knit would also be suitable. It should be solid in colour. Again, avoid large logos and numbers. You should always tuck in a polo shirt when wearing under a sport coat.

Do: Tuck in your polo shirt when wearing under a sport coat.

Don’t: Wear one with large visible logos, heavy patterns or numbers. Don’t worry about flaunting name brands here; simplicity is key.

Always Accessorize 

Just because you are wearing a causal outfit doesn’t mean that you can’t accessorize. A pocket square, watch and belt are must have accessories for your sport coat outfits. Don’t be afraid to add in a bracelet, suspenders and a lapel pin. Try not to overdo it here. Add just enough to make the outfit pop. You should never wear a belt and suspends at the same time. Choose one or the other. 

Felt Lapel Flower from Aristocrats Bows N Ties

How will you choose to wear your sport coat? Dressy, with jeans, or for everyday wear? For more outfit ideas checkout my Instagram page here. If you’re looking for date outfit ideas, checkout my blog on What To Wear On A First Date.

Stay Stylish