Best Sport Coat With Jeans

best sport coat with jeans

Boss $745 $447

Oh, how the early 2000s messed up how to wear a blazer or sport coat with jeans. J.Crew, GQ, and Banana Republic were like, “You can totally wear a suit jacket with your jeans!” I am pretty sure someone saw a fella on a plane in jeans and a suit jacket and thought, “Genius!” But the real reason he was wearing the suit jacket with jeans was to prevent the jacket from wrinkling in his carry-on. He was sacrificing his image for efficiency.

A suit jacket is not a sport coat, and a sport coat should not look like a suit jacket. Let’s break it down: a suit jacket is often made of silk blends, polyester, or fine wool with a relatively delicate weight. When you pair this lightweight, highly structured dressy garment with the rugged casualness of jeans, you create a disproportionate look. So, do not wear a suit jacket with your jeans, and do not buy a shiny sport coat that basically looks like a suit jacket missing its pants.

Instead, the best sport coats to pair with jeans have a rougher or seemingly rougher texture that is similar to the texture of your denim. But before I get into the best sport coats to pair with jeans, let’s discuss the difference between a sport coat and a blazer.

Blazer vs. Sport Coat: What’s The Difference?

In short, there is no difference between a blazer and a sport coat. The two words are interchangeable in modern language, as I have seen in my 20 years in fashion. And according to my revered Fashion bible, The Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion, the terms blazer and sport coat, or sport jacket as they call it, have been interchangeable for at least 50 years.

Let’s clear up the terminology further and dive into some history. What we think of as blazers today were first used by rowers at Oxford and Cambridge, with bright colors and stripes or other patterns to distinguish between the teams. The first time the term blazer was used was in 1952 in an article about the red jackets worn by the Lady Margaret Boat Club at Cambridge. The jacket color was a bright, “blazing” red, which is how it got its name, according to Collier & Robinson, the British company that still makes red blazers for the same boat club to this day. 

The term sport coat, on the other hand, came about in the 19th century to refer to the jackets that men would wear for outdoor “sporting” activities like fishing and hunting. There are some articles out there that say that while blazers are made from solid colors, sport coats are patterned. But again, for our purposes, I’ll be using the terms interchangeably as that’s how they’re used in this day and age.

How To Wear A Sport Coat With Jeans

Shirt-wise, a non-shiny button-down collared shirt is perfect. You want a hard-to-wrinkle shirt with a strong-ish collar so it doesn’t get rumpled and twisted from the weight of the blazer shifting as you move, but you don’t want too dressy of a shirt since you’re pairing it with jeans.

If you are feeling saucy, go extra casual by wearing a heavier-weight crew neck t-shirt that is half tucked in the front. Also known as a french tuck. I usually use Robert Barakett crew neck tees. Notice, I say crew neck and not v-neck. I generally skip a v-neck t-shirt with a sport coat because it feels too retro. Keep in mind, you can use a long sleeve or short sleeve T-shirt for this look. I also love pairing a lightweight pullover sweater (like this Emanuel Berg merino sweater) with a sport coat and jeans look.

Last shirt option: you can pair a short sleeve or long sleeve polo under your sport coat. Just make sure it is a nice polo with no logos. I do not want to see immature polos under your blazer.

Shoe-wise, pair your sport coat with jeans look with dressy sneakers, casual oxfords, or lean boots. Don’t forget to match your belt with your shoes. To sum it up, if you are going to wear a sport coat with jeans, follow these rules to ensure the best look:

  1. Fully tuck in your collared button-front shirt or polo
  2. Do a french tuck if you are wearing a thicker t-shirt or pullover sweater
  3. Pair it with casual oxfords, dressy sneakers, or lean boots
  4. Match your belt to your shoes.
  5. Make sure you have the right jeans…

Best Jeans To Wear With Sport Coats (And Blazers)

Before braving the world in your fab new sport coat, perfectly paired shirt, and complementary shoes, let’s make sure you also have the right jeans to go with your fab new jacket. Here are the no-nos on wearing blazers with jeans:

  1. Do not pair distressed, whiskered, or holey jeans with sport coats or blazers.
  2. Do not pair whitewashed or super light-colored jeans with sport coats or blazers.
  3. Boot cut jeans do not look amazing with sport coats or blazers., especially on short men.

If we are talking blue jeans, you want a lean pair of classic medium blue jeans like the AG Tellis Slim fit jeans.

Best Sport Coats & Blazers For Jeans

Pre-pandemic, my clients loved a well-chosen sport coat with jeans look. Many were addicted to the proportionate polish the casual sport coat gave their jeans. I know most of you hung up your sport coats for the past two years, but with the pandemic strains easing, my clients are chomping at the bit for the nicer look of a sport coat again. No one is walking away from their loungewear, but fellas are going back to the office and are simply tired of the overly casual duds we all fell into it. Below you’ll find my favorite men’s sport coats to pair with jeans right now. They also pair beautifully with your chinos! As mentioned earlier, these sport coats and blazers have a seemingly rougher texture and share the same weight and movement of denim. Often they have a tweedy feel and look. Shop away!

 

Rodd & Gunn Saint Bathans Slim Fit Jacket

This slim fit jacket is available at Rodd & Gunn and  Nieman Marcus.

Boss Hutson Slim Fit Plaid Wool Sport Coat

best sport coat with jeans

Boss $495–$645 $272.25–$387

Boss Hutson Houndstooth Sport Coat

best sport coat with jeans

Boss $745 $447

Nordstrom Extra Trim Fit Sport Coat

Rodd & Gunn Ellesmere Solid Stretch Wool Blazer

This blazer is available at Nordstrom, Rodd & Gunn and Neiman Marcus.

Ted Baker London Karl Constructed Sport Coat

Rodd & Gunn Woodleigh Microhoundstooth Wool Blend Sport Coat

This sport coat is available at Nordstrom and Rodd & Gunn.

Herno La Giacca Water Resistant Down Blazer with Removable Bib

best sport coat with jeans

Herno $855

Rag & Bone Parker Thornproof Virgin Wool Sport Coat

This sport coat is available at Nordstrom, Rag & Bone, and Bloomingdale’s.

Theory Clinton Wrinkle Resistant Blazer

best sport coat with jeans

Theory $445

Liverpool Los Angeles Modern Piqué Blazer

This blazer is great for fellas under 6 feet. It is available at Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor.

Best Sport Coat With Jeans From Years Past

men's sport coats

Bonobos $298

I originally wrote this post years ago and update it regularly due to its popularity. I’ve left these photos below for nostalgic purposes. Whenever I update older posts, I love to hold on to a collection of images as a bit of a time capsule so we can watch how our style evolves.

Boss Hanry-D Trim Fit Stretch Cotton Blazer

mens sport coats

Boss $595

This cotton Boss Hanry-D Trim Fit Blazer is so comfortable and cooly casual. Pair it with a medium blue jean wash rather than a dark blue to avoid too much contrast.

Tip: Pick up the matching Boss Barlow-D Flat Front Stretch Solid Cotton Trousers for a more casual suit look.

Good Man Brand Vintage Twill Slub French Terry Soft Blazer

The Good Man Brand Vintage Twill Slub French Terry Soft Blazer is insanely soft and comes in an array of colors. You can tell the model is too tall for this blazer, which means it’s great for shorter fellas. Pair it with dark or light jeans.

Good Man Brand Vintage Twill Slub French Terry Soft Blazer

Here’s that Good Man Brand Vintage Twill Slub French Terry Soft Blazer in a black/heather grey. Again, great for men a little under 6-feet. Pair this color with dark blue jeans.

Good Man Brand Vintage Twill Slub French Terry Soft Blazer

And I just had to show you the Good Man Brand Vintage Twill Slub French Terry Soft Blazer in one more color. Pair this khaki shade with soft green, white, or tan pants.

Boss Janson Regular Fit Basketweave Sport Coat

mens sport coats

Boss $695

This Boss Janson Regular Fit Basketweave Sport Coat can pair with dark blue jeans as well as the brighter blue jeans.

Bonobos Jetsetter Slim Fit Knit Cotton Sport Coat

men's sport coats

Bonobos $298

The Bonobos Jetsetter Slim Fit Knit Cotton Sport Coat is another soft, yet structured sport coat option. Pair it with medium blue or slightly lighter blue jeans and charcoal colored pants. Make sure there isn’t too much contrast in colors with this one.

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