It’s just not fair. A guy in a well tailored sportcoat or blazer has an unfair advantage vs. the rest of the room. A jacket cleans up your lines. It makes you look stronger and smarter. And fall is the prime season for sportcoats. Wear em’ with jeans, cords, etc… With a balance of quality & affordability in mind, here’s this season’s best. Note: All in-person shots show the blazer or sportcoat in question straight off the rack. No tailoring (yet). Wanted to give you guys an accurate feel for how each jacket would look pre-tailoring. Also, for a fit perspective, here are the measurements of the wearer.
80% wool / 20% poly shell. Nice and lightweight. Moves great. Drapes well. Not a stiff tweed or anything like that. One drawback = it’s fully lined in polyester. It’s not scratchy or stiff stuff, but still. Non functioning sleeve buttons should make for easy tailoring. Elbow patches are almost certainly faux suede, but they look decent and do the job. Size shown above is a 40R. Price should drop to somewhere between $100 – $125 with the usual codes.
J. Crew’s unlined corduroy sportcoats are back. Fine wale, so, the lines of corduroy aren’t super thick or plush like that couch your parents/grandparents have had since 1971. Finer wale = more refined. Just the sleeves are lined with bemberg. Super versatile. Nicely affordable for what you get, even without (gasp) a discount. And navy corduroy can be quite dashing. Even with denim. Used to be small/medium/large sizing, but they’ve (thankfully) made the move to measured chest sizing.
Kudos to Target for getting a LOT about this sportcoat right. All cotton exterior. Cotton, butterfly back lining (not poly!) for ventilation. Tail isn’t chopped, and the sleeves don’t seem to run overly long. Sleeve buttons are non functioning. This thing has a LOT going for it. The one drawback? The shoulders do have quite a bit of structure to them. Depending on the shape of your delts, the shoulders might look a little too square. Many thanks to James W. for the tip!
Keep an eye on this thing. During the next big “online clearance” event it could easily drop into the $200s. Currently sitting in the sale section with a surprisingly large amount of sizes still available. Fitzgerald fit is more of an “athletic” fit instead of a true slim. Similar to Spier & Mackay’s “Contemporary” fit.
Old Navy “Sateen” Blazer – $52.46 ($74.94)
Regular price is $75, but can drop to as low as $45 with a 40% off code. 30% off today (9/26) and no code needed. Discount happens when you dump it in your cart. 98% cotton, 2% spandex. Almost completely unlined. Non functioning sleeve buttons. Easy shade of blue to wear with just about anything (including dark wash jeans if you like the blue on blue look). Tail is shorter, but far from chopped. Easily one of the best, cheap sportcoats to come out in a good long while. Full review here. Size shown is a medium. Looks like they’ve ditched the word “sateen” and are instead going with a more accurate “brushed-twill” description.
Yes, these are “imported,” but Brooks Brothers knows what they’re doing when it comes to sportcoats. And their current 40% off deal that they’re running is very, very rare. Exterior is 100% washed lambswool. Shown here in their true-slim “Milano” fit. Soft construction.
Nice, all wool shell that moves easily (it’s not a thick, heavy tweed). Acetate/Nylon blend lining. Subtle pattern, but still enough pattern to be interesting. Very, very slight bits of color in the lines (a faint blue and barely there rust color). Patch pockets. Sleeve buttons ARE functional. Shown above is a 40R Standard Fit.
Partially unconstructed, and you notice as soon as you slip it on. Lighter and easier to move in than other tweed sportcoats. Fabric blend is a 55% Wool / 45% Cotton mix that’s nubby enough to feel like an all wool tweed. Patch pockets. Ludlows are also available in brown, as well as a highly tempting navy. Size shown is a 40R. Most will want the sleeves to be shortened, but that’s easy to do thanks to their non functioning sleeve buttons.Shown above is a 40R in their Ludlow fit.
Nice feeling wool. Navy with a subtle pattern to it. Fully lined, but at least the body is lined in rayon, which should breathe at least a little bit better than polyester. Sleeves are still poly though. Size shown above is a 40R. *You’ll need the code AMAZING40 & pin 2972 to get this 40% off price. Big thanks to Brandon D. for the tip!
Just like their suit jackets, these provide some serious bang for the buck. (And speaking of, prices above reflect what they’d cost in USD. Prices on the Spier & Mackay site are in CAD.) Grey herringbone option is 90% wool / 10% cashmere. Blue watch check is all wool. Available in either slim or contemporary fits. Remember, Spier & Mackay are now offering free returns, from the US, on your first suit or sportcoat order.
Yep. Four. Four hundred dollars. Spendy, but pretty unique and flat out incredible. Made from Italian, Barberis wool in a looser style of knit, these things are extremely breathable, unbelievably flexible, and can be worn year round. Lots of colors to pick from too. A terrific blazer to pack for a trip. Only lining is the sleeves. Ultra soft shoulders. 2.5″ lapels. Available in standard or slim. Non functioning, easy to tailor sleeve buttons. NOTE: The blazer shown above is last year’s model. This year still has patch pockets on the lower half, but the chest pocket is a welt. Size shown above is a 40R in their standard fit.
Unbelievably nice fabric. Goofy proportions. This is a true slim fellas, and the arms are also long. So, you’ll have to be long and lean to get in it. Might not be able to tell at a glance, but I’m shrink wrapped in the 40R shown above. Super 100s wool from the Italian mill Angelico. Made in Romania. Butterfly lining in the back. Same sort of looser weave/waffley texture that the Bonobos unconstructed Italian wool blazers have.
Beyond pleased with this one. Probably best in show. Think of a tweed sportcoat and you’re almost certainly going to picture one in an earth tone like brown or green. Not the case here. Has the texture of tweed, but instead comes in a shade of blue. 70% wool, 30% nylon, and a 100% acetate lining. Very impressed with the feel of the fabric. It’s substantial, but not stiff or cumbersome. Drapes nicely and moves well. Non functioning sleeve buttons and a bit of a taper at the waist. Elbow patches as well. Sized in more exact chest sizes, instead of the ballpark S/M/L/etc. Size shown above is a 40R. Can be had for under $100 with codes.
Is $80 for an all merino wool sportcoat a deal? Most would think so. There’s just two issues. First, these are lined in all polyester. So that’s a bit of a drag. And it’s not even the best feeling stuff either. Second, the shoulder pads are pretty substantial, and the traps-area is pretty structured. So expect buckling and denting as shown above. Do most people notice this kind of thing? Not really. But it can become a bit of a comfort issue for the wearer.
Half canvas. Terrific fabric. More than a few pattern options in this “Havana” fit, which features a more athletic template as well as patch pockets on the lower half. Sleeve buttons are functional, but at least they ship and return for free. That steep $639 price point? That’s for the all cashmere stuff. Jacket shown above, in a 40R, goes for $399.
Super smooth, Italian woven, 65% wool, 34% nylon, 1% elastane fabric. Lighter weight than you’d expect. Was just on sale for $150, last week, during that odd “COZY” code. Made in their true slim fit, so, beware if you’ve got some heft up top. Should do fantastic with jeans. Sleeve buttons are functional, and the arms seem to run a little long. Body is lined in all polyester. Size shown above is a 40R.
Inexpensive? Yes! Without flaws? No! The sleeves still appear to be on the long side, and what makes that worse, is the stupid functioning sleeve buttons. That said, if you have average length arms, you might be able to get away with hacking the entire end of the sleeve off, and sewing the buttons back on, directly, to the fabric.
The Reminder: Check your local thrift stores
Want to source a fall or winter blazer on the cheap? Scout your local thrift stores. Some areas are better (like, much better) than others when it comes to thrifting, but finding a dozen or so tweed blazers ready for a cleaning & tailoring isn’t too uncommon. Just depends on finding your size and color/fabric preference.
And that’s just the first crop. There will certainly be more blazers & sportcoats worth a mention in the coming months, so watch for those in future posts & features. We miss something? Feel free to email in any further suggestions…