Where to Buy a Good Sport Coat for Men - A Shopping Guide
While the classic men’s suit will take you very far if you’re looking to elevate your dress sense, there will come a time when you need a little more from your wardrobe. Luckily, there’s a wealth of other fashionable men’s garments for you to enjoy and which will add greater versatility and style to your wardrobe. Once you leave the echelons of the professional office and formal evenings, there’s nothing more useful to your wardrobe than a fantastic sports coat. Easy to dress up or down, comfortable to wear, and oh-so-stylish, it’s the perfect power statement to ensure you look smart, appropriate, and well-dressed no matter where life takes you. Today the master tailors from Oliver Wicks will walk you through finding the perfect sports coat, no matter your needs or geographic location.
In the present day, sports coat, suit jacket, and blazer are used fairly interchangably as terms. While there are differences, it’s not really worth worrying too much about, so we say go with the flow, and enjoy having many more options available to you as a result.
A great sports coat should be the second investment an elegant man makes in himself, right after a few good suits. Designed as a stand-alone jacket, without the need for the accompanying matched dress pants of a full suit, a sports coat can be effortlessly tossed on to elevate your look and make a powerful statement or carefully paired with other items to navigate a tricky dress code. Dress it down for a casual lunch with crisp, modern-fit jeans or chinos and Chelsea boots, or spice it up for an outdoor wedding with smart dress pants and a shirt. A sports coat will add a touch of sophistication and style to any outfit, and knowing how to wear one well is an essential part of sartorial dressing. It can also be a fantastic way to express your personal style, with a wide variety of colors, patterns, and fabrics available to choose from.
They bring poise and style to the table without being overly formal and have a wealth of customizations- think elbow patches, fun buttons, slits, pleats, and even ticket pockets. While they’re often confused for the more formal blazer, they are less structured and thus more versatile in casual arenas, perfect for occasions where you want to look good and respect the occasion without overdressing. They’re typically single-breasted (unlike double-breasted blazer options) with either 2 or 3-button setups. Of course, unstructured doesn’t mean ill-fitting! You will need to size them to your body, just like a suit. Luckily for you, the Oliver Wicks team has created an easy-to-follow video guide to measuring yourself for any jacket, and all you need is an account on our site to access this (and much more). No purchase is necessary, and you can create an account from any page on our site, so don’t be shy!
Sport coats first originated in the Regency, offering a middle ground between formality and true casual dressing. They were often used in fox hunting to maintain a gentlemanly elegance without going overboard, and that’s the same vibe they’ll bring to your wardrobe- culture, class, and the sophistication to know how to dress casually without being sloppy.
Sport coats are often made from lighter weight fabrics than suits, making them more comfortable to wear in warmer weather and for daytime events without a strictly formal dress coat. They’re also the ideal choice for situations where a suit may be too formal, such as business casual events, dinners, and social gatherings. Think of them as the vital glue to bridge those awkward smart-casual, and semi-formal events with ease.
Like a custom suit, a high-quality sport coat will be a worthwhile investment. It will last for many years with proper care and will be one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe, carrying you through a wealth of more casual events and occasions in style.
As with all menswear, the cost of a sports coat will depend on the craftsmanship, materials, and factors like the brand. A solid but modest first piece could cost as little as a few hundred dollars, reaching multiple thousands for bespoke tailoring and fancy brand names.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, you can find entry-level sports coats at many retailers for under $200. However, keep in mind that the quality of the materials and construction may not be as high as more expensive options, which will impact the overall look and durability of your purchase. Luxury brands like Gucci, Tom Ford, and Brioni can cost several thousand dollars if you’re particularly interested in chasing a name.
Luckily, there are many reputable brands (like Oliver Wicks) that offer high-quality sport coats from as little as $479 that will look great, and fit like a glove - just choose the “Just a jacket” option from our suits collection. Of course, this is more money that the ultra-budget options that we mentioned above, but the difference is that you’re investing in quality, and a garment that will last for many years if cared for. As a bonus, you’ll get to design the features of the jacket to your taste as well!
So, where can you get your hands on one of these versatile, practical, and stylish sports coats? Here are a few of the options open to you:
The very best option for a confident man looking to buy new at a solid price, opting for a made-to-measure sports coat from a reputable, trusted brand like Oliver Wicks ensures you get the very best balance of quality and cost possible. Plus, we have a ton more coat styles, our internationally acclaimed custom suits, and a wealth of other menswear for you to choose from, too, adding even more convenience to the mix! Our European master tailors will create your sports coat from the measurements you request, using only the very best of Italian and English fabrics to cutting-edge modern designs that ensure you will always stand out for the right reasons.
This will get you an investment-quality sports coat that will last for decades, created to fit your specific body with love and care, with the very best quality of fabric and construction and a wealth of customization options but without the hefty price tag of in-person, bespoke tailoring. It’s time to experience the fit that suits you for yourself!
If you’re looking for a sports coat quick-fix, a trip to the local department store may be enough. Places like Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, and Macy's offer a broad selection of off-the-rack sports coats from several brands. Being able to walk into a brick-and-mortar store will allow you to try on each garment in person, offsetting some of the sizing downsides that come with off-the-peg purchases. This can be a great way to get a sense of what style and color you prefer and give you the confidence to try out a sports coat without spending a lot of money if you’re new to sartorial dressing.
While some commercially available brands offer solid quality, you will want to evaluate your potential purchase carefully, looking at aspects like the fit (especially across the shoulders and sleeve length, which cannot easily be tailored) and quality of construction. This will be one of your cheapest options, so it is a great way to pick up an entry-level sports coat or one in a specific color or style you don’t expect to wear regularly. But remember, you get what you pay for, so don’t expect true premium quality, or longevity.
Of course, in the digital age, you will also find department store-like options online. This can be a somewhat fraught option if you’re inexperienced, however, as you never really have any control over the quality and sizing. Stick to reputable and trusted vendors with a proven track record to ensure the safest possible buying experience. Free shipping and return will alleviate some issues with getting a good fit, although it can be time-consuming, so plan ahead.
While this isn’t a recommended option for people new to the world of sports coats, it can offer you the broadest options in color, fabric, and style. If you already have a brand you like or have previously bought in a specific size and trust the fit, this is a solid option for you.
A thrift store can be a great place to score a real bargain. Depending on the catchment area, you may even find designer brand names at a fraction of the original cost! As with department stores, you will also be able to assess size, quality, and condition in person. Thrifting has become very popular of late, driving costs up a little, and there’s no guarantee of stock or size. But this is definitely an option to remember if you’re looking for a great deal. You’ll have the best luck in larger urban areas.
You may be lucky enough to have an expert-level local tailor who will create a custom garment from scratch. This gives you the in-person experience while also ensuring a great fit made for your body. You may face limitations in the fabrics or styles available, but this is a great way to ‘support local’ and get a solid quality, well-made garment. Of course, the end result will likely be exceptional, but it requires a lot of time with a skilled professional, so it won’t come cheap, or quickly.
If you don’t like the idea of store-bought, but bespoke is out-of-reach, our Made-To-Measure Service is the best of both worlds when it comes to quality, speed, and affordability.
As with a local tailor, you may also have easy access to men’s clothing stores that specialize in higher-end dressing. This will offer you many of the benefits we mentioned under department stores, with the possibility of a wider brand selection and staff better educated in the specifics of menswear and fits. They may even offer a tailoring service to perfect the fit. Everything from Men’s Wearhouse to Brooks Brothers falls under this banner, so the spectrum of cost and quality can be huge, and it will be heavily dependent on your geographic area, as with thrift stores.
If you have the budget and desire, you can expand the scope of your search to high-end and luxury menswear brands like Saville Row and Gucci. Some will offer bespoke tailoring to create a garment just for you from the ground up, while others will have a ready-made selection for you to try. This will provide the most luxurious experience on our list, but expect it to come at a true premium price tag, too.
And remember that you’re often paying a hefty portion towards the brand name itself rather than the quality of construction or fabric, so don’t see this as your only route to a quality piece. Ultra-high-priced brands have even been known to use cheaper materials or construction methods on occasion, so a premium price tag alone isn’t enough to ensure a great product. You should instead focus on the composition of the fabrics, and the tailoring processes used.
A great sports coat is a fantastic addition to any man’s wardrobe and one that’s well worth investing in. If you’re ready to start your sports coat journey, feel free to reach out to the Oliver Wicks team today (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or comments you have. We love hearing from you!