Good advice – commissioning a custom-tailored sports jacket
In our increasingly casual environment, it almost seems that the requirement for a suit is being replaced by the sports jacket. Unless one works in a conservative business-formal office, one can most probably pass with a good odd jacket in his weekday ensemble. At Oscar Hunt, we acknowledge and understand that times are changing – the fact remains that one will perhaps get more wear out of a sports jacket more than a classic two-piece. This also means that one should not skimp on investing in a made-to-measure fit.
Unlike suits in worsted wool or mohair, one can get away with a sports jacket on casual Fridays and weekend leisurewear – and therefore, worth considering while building a wardrobe. In classic menswear, wearing a jacket with any contrasting trouser is instantaneously less formal than a two-piece. In fact, the choice of trousers is what suggests the formality in this case.
Taking, for example, a pair of grey worsted wool suit trousers as business-appropriate while cotton chino trousers and denim trousers leaning towards the other end of the formality scale, a sports jacket can anchor a tailored look depending on the occasion.
With spring/summer fast approaching, it’s time to consider fabrics that are lightweight and breathable – think open-weave hopsack, for instance. Linen is also a common choice as it wicks moisture and wrinkles charismatically and hence, make for a casual and interesting look. We also find cotton jacketing underrated with its inconsistent fades. Ultimately, the fabric breaks in well with age and wear. Or, a combination of materials can work just as well – specifically, wool-silk blends with silk being prominent for its intriguing texture and stretch while its wool counterpart contributes to the overall robustness of the cloth.
The next decision to make should be the colour. A navy jacket is essential and for good reason – it goes well with anything and we mean it, instantly dressing up the overall casualness of cream chino trousers and washed denim jeans, and works with traditional mainstays like brown or grey.
Solids are often recommended for the conservative but there’s no need to shy away from subtle patterns. From herringbone and houndstooth patterns (evidently observed on fall/winter tweeds) to checks and plaids, fabrics with these qualities are good alternatives to consider within the context of sports jacketing.
Patterns are what most men often overlook but essentially, what we sometimes find dressing up in the mornings easy and enjoyable altogether. Depending on our mood, we might use them to liven up a solid shirt or pair them with other complementary patterned garments.
Most importantly, it’s the construction of the sports jacket that makes the garment significantly special. Unlike suits, where a decent amount of canvas and padding is advisable for a more masculine appearance, a sports jacket is best worn when softly constructed – featuring unpadded shoulders with some subtle nuances including pleated sleeve attachments are our preferred make. This can result in a more relaxed feel, comparable to how shirt shoulders fit. Furthermore, the lack of canvas can bring about a more natural drape – one that wears beautifully and is able to be comfortably thrown on with almost any item of clothing in the wardrobe.
Ultimately, a made-to-measure tailored sports jacket is an opportunity to create a versatile garment that not merely skirt the line of almost all dress codes, but can be a well worn personal favourite over time. Throw it on with ease and be confident that you can look sharp while relaxed at the same time.