Written by Hucklebury:
This topic popped up last weekend when I was out for drinks with friends and we were all wearing blazers. One friend got called out for wearing his suit jacket to the bar, that he insisted was a blazer, which begged the question – what is the difference between blazers and suits (or suit jackets). Since this blog is all about improving my fashion knowledge, I’m sharing my findings with you!
So what exactly did I learn about the nuances of blazers vs suits?
Modern Day Blazer
In modern day fashion, a jacket with sleeves and lapels that is worn over pants that do not match is considered a blazer – so my friend was indeed wearing a blazer, since he was using his suit jacket over jeans. What this means is that if your wardrobe is on a budget, you could very well own just one suit, to suit up for formal occasions. When you want to dress down for a casual affair at the pub or club, you can wear your suit jacket over unmatched pants as a blazer. While this works great for a suit of a solid pattern, it is recommended you wear the whole suit if it is pinstriped or otherwise patterned.
Major Differences – Blazers vs. Suits
If you are anything like me, this answer was probably unsatisfactory. I dug further for the nuances between blazers and suits. And it turns out, there are FIVE major differences:
1. A suit is a combination of jacket and pants (sometimes vest) combination made from the same fabric that is worn on formal and business occasions while a blazer is just a jacket worn for more casual affairs.
2. A suit is normally made of finer materials – worsted wool – than blazers.
3. Blazers originated from the yacht scene, with yacht clubs getting members to wear navy blue blazers. While the navy blue color is no longer a staple, it is still widely used and accepted as the color for a blazer.
4. Blazers generally have patch pockets – pockets that are sewn directly onto the jacket – as opposed to suit jackets, which have jetted pockets (to keep the lines of the suit smooth) or flaps.
5. Buttons on original navy blue blazers tend to stand out from the jacket itself, while on suit jackets, buttons blend in and are not meant to be noticed. This trend for modern day blazers, however, has thankfully shifted towards more a suit jacket style.
So there you have it – next time you see a mismatched jacket and pant combination, you know it’s the modern day blazer (that may also be part of a suit if the owner has matching pants in his wardrobe).