The right sportcoat is the perfect mix of casual, formal, and a hint of ruggedness that will prove to be one of the most versatile items in your closet.
Most people use the terms blazer and sportcoat interchangeably, but they are traditionally different. Sportcoats, while similar in shape, are typically made of thicker, textured fabrics like tweed.
Many guys wear blazers to dress up whatever they’re wearing. I find the right sportcoat acts more like a neutral modifier: It makes whatever you’re wearing look better, without tipping you in a more dressy direction. A sportcoat looks great with a shirt and tie for your business lunch, but it also adds style to a casual shirt or sweater without making it look like you’re overdressed.
Sportcoats come from an era when men participated in outdoor sporting like hunting, fishing, and horseback riding. These coats were worn casually, and their thickness was used for warmth.
Blazers are traditionally more formal on the jacket scale. Sportcoats are the least formal, then blazers, then suit jacket