Men’s Jacket Styles: How to Look Good in Any Setting

man wearing suit jacket

With the terms blazers, sports coat, suit jackets being used so interchangeably, the differences between these three classic pieces has become a mystery for many, making questions such as “are there even any differences between these three?” to which the answer “yes there are” a common occurrence. With each jacket having such a distinct personality of its own, it is important to be aware of the differences – otherwise you might just end up looking like a peacock at a pub or a chimp at a fancy uptown restaurant!

burgundy blazer

Burgundy Blazer

Blazer Outfit Ideas

Okay – blazers can easily be summed up in a single word – versatility. Blazers are an ESSENTIAL for any guy because they are just so incredibly flexible! From looking chic at the work office to spicing it up for a night out in town, blazers make the best addition to almost any ensemble to help create that really polished look. However, blazers can be a tricky business, so here are some tips…

Work Formal

Tweed blazers aren’t just a transportable heat pack, but they keep you looking stylish throughout that cold, winter season. Don’t be afraid of tweed giving off the connotation of an old British aristocratic gentleman – that’s simply not true! It has become a modernized, contemporary wardrobe essential which will look absolutely amazing if paired up with a roll neck or open neck oxford. In fact, if you want to go for the bare minimum, even a classic grey tweed blazer makes the perfect combination with an ironed white shirt and pair of clean black pants.


Choosing a pair of skinny jeans and a slim-fit blazer over a white T-Shirt is casual heaven. But that doesn’t mean that you should be afraid of heightening the chic factor. Want a slightly bolder look? Go for a bright short sleeved t-shirt as blazers which come in neutral hues such as black or white can be teamed with almost anything.

Casual Chic

Matching a t-shirt with a polo shirt is a great option if you’re opting for a chiller vibe. It will definitely feel a lot more relaxed than your classic button-up shirt, however, it still looks clean and crisp enough for a smart look during casual occasions. For example try pairing your linen blazer with a pair of blue jeans, a nice pair of boat shoes and a white polo shirt untucked at the waist.

Date Night

Pairing a blazer with a bright patterned short-sleeved shirt is a hard trick to master. However, once accomplished, you have a powerful weapon at your disposal. The next time you go out, try pairing your classic navy blue blazer with a gingham or plaid shirt and a pair of crisp black pants, allowing you to easily transition from day to night without a change of an outfit.

plaid sport coat

Plaid Patterned Sport Coat

Sport Coat Outfit Ideas

Essentially, the sports coat (or sports jacket) is the Prince Harry of Prince William – the cheekier and more laid version of the royally formal blazer and will be available in a wide variety of colors, but predominantly in lighter shades. Unstructured and looser compared to the blazers and suit jackets, it still maintains that clean cut appearance, making it perfect piece for mastering that smart casual look, you will never ever have to worry about showing up to an event looking under or over dressed ever again!

Work Formal

Those textured sports coat such as the classic tweed sports coat have that ‘Dr. Who’ vibe to them. You know the one with the super smart, traditionally aristocratic British feel to them. So the next time you dart off to work, why don’t you select a tweed sports coat, match it with a light colored collared shirt and a pair of well-tailored pants?


For that super chic, preppy appearance during those chilly winter days, try putting on a chic cardigan over the top of your collared shirt. Sports jackets are loose in fit, hence explaining the idea that they were made with the idea of wearing layers beneath it. So the next time you hit class, why don’t you try pairing a stylish herringbone sports coat over the top of a clean cut blazer and crisp long-sleeved shirt?

red sport coat

Classic Red Sport Coat

Casual Chic

During those more informal events such as a night out to town with the boys, why don’t you opt for a t-shirt or a roll neck jumper underneath a nice linen sports coat with a pair of light blue or black jeans to match? It is definitely a hard trick to master – combining something so slick with something so casual, but once you do, there is no turning back. However, try and keep things looking stylish by opting for a pair of smart shoes such as brogues or loafers.

Date Night

Choosing a pair of slim or regular fit dark washed jeans will help create that super chic sleek silhouette and when you match it with a stylish fabric such as a corduroy plaid sports coat and a long sleeved collared shirt underneath, you will surely win the girl without even needing to say a word.

Suit Jacket Outfit Ideas

If we are to continue using royally bad analogies, ultimately, the suit jacket is the Prince Charles – the most formal option and it almost always comes in very formal colors such as navy, black and charcoal greys. The majority of guys only own one suit due to the formality of the item making it difficult for those who aren’t aware of the following neat tips and tricks to wear during everyday occasions.

modern grey suit jacket

A Modern Grey Suit Jacket

Work Formal

There is no doubt that one of the most difficult suit jackets to wear is the black one. For starters, it is important to bear in mind that you should always wear a pair of sleek black shoes to go with your black suit jacket because anything else just won’t do. For that classic smart look opt for a crisp white dress shirt and a pair of well-tailored pants.


If your black suit jacket isn’t too formal i.e. a dinner jacket, then try matching your suit jacket with a pair of nice black denim jeans. To give the appearance a more ‘chill’ kind of vibe, try cuffing your jeans, wear a plain white T-shirt underneath and finish the whole look off with a black pair of loafers. Wow, now you really look like you are going to school to be a winner!

Casual Chic

Due to the suit jacket being more formal in appearance, it might be a little more challenging to wear it in a casual affair, however, if you really want to get a tiny bit more everyday use of your suit jacket, take a daring risk and try teaming your suit jacket with a pair of classic cream colored chinos. If you want, you can even try cuffing the bottoms and match it with a pair of stylish boat shoes.

Date Night

On a date, you wouldn’t want to look overly formal, so why not go for a grey suit jacket instead? A grey suit jacket takes the formality out of the black suit jacket, but still retains the sleek, chic appearance. Try combining it with a pair of slim fit denim jeans and a pair of tan brogues to finish!

Shop the Looks

Check out Burlington’s extensive selection of men’s suit jackets, blazers, and sport coats – along with jeans, polo shirts, shoes, and more to complete any of these stylish looks.

Find a Burlington Near You

Category: Your Style

Tags: mens

Leave a Comment