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, dress trousers, 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.
Suitsupply Havana Fit Italian Wool Sportcoats – $399 – $639 (multiple colors & patterns)
Half canvas. Terrific fabrics. 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 left goes for $399. So does the jacket shown above right. Both are 40R on 5’10” / 185.
Good grief Spier & Mackay is swinging for the fences this year, aren’t they? You’re looking at either super soft, Merino Wool Flannel from Vitale Barberis Canonico, or a nubby specked donegal tweed from the Bottoli. Slim or contemporary fit, that’s up to you. Half canvas, nice details, and hard to beat prices. Plus, if it’s your first sportcoat (or suit) purchase, returns are free.
Just in to J. Crew Factory / Mercantile. All cotton. Brushed. Looks like a cotton flannel from here. Sold in exact chest sizes, not the ballpark S/M/L which can just be too inexact for many of us. Looks like only regular sizes for now. (No short or longs, but again, these JUST hit their site, so maybe more stock is on the way?)
WOW this is nice. Needs some tailoring for my frame, but still. Made in Italy. 75% wool / 25% silk. Just butterfly lined in the back. Lightweight, but crisp and sturdy feeling. Yet relaxed through the shoulders. No padding there. None. Has a bit of a speckled donegal look to it, but this is something you could absolutely wear year round. Dual vents in the rear. Non functioning sleeve cuff buttons. Size shown above is a 42R since these are cut in an extra trim fit. I’d need the waist brought in perhaps a touch, and the sleeves shortened quite a bit. Also shown at the top of the post.
Bonobos Jetsetter or Unconstructed Italian Wool Sportcoats – $400 – $440 w/ ECLIPSE20 (multiple colors & patterns)
A huge variety of fall ready colors and patterns. All cut from Italian fabrics. The Jetsetters appear to have a butterfly lining in the back, while the unconstructed sportcoats should be lining free (except for in the sleeves). Spendy at full price, but try the ECLIPSE20 code at checkout for a potential 20% off.
Huge fan of these things. Was going for $265 during the Anniversary Sale, and now a whopping half off. More casual knit blazers in a wool blend. Different blends though depending on the color. Navy is 76% wool and 24% acrylic. Black is mainly cotton, albeit with a good chunk of wool in there too: 53% cotton, 30% wool, 14% polyester, 3% nylon. Both are just partially lined. Feels great. Moves great. Yes, the tails are on the chopped side, but that doesn’t look too awkward for this style. Super comfortable. Size shown above is a large in the black option. Want something similar for less? Try the Banana Republic Slim Brushed Motion Stretch Blazer. Should dip to under $120 with future codes. Those are a 53% cotton, 47% polyester blend.
Lands’ End Tailored Fit Comfort-First Knit Blazer – $119.40 w/ FRIENDS & 3518 ($199)
Was gonna do an in-person with these but got the wrong size and fit (42 classic is BIG on 5’10” / 195) so the fit shots weren’t gonna be helpful. But these are surprisingly nice. Unstructured, has stretch, totally unlined back, and an engineered poly/wool blend fabric that doesn’t feel cheap, plasticky, or greasy. Super comfortable. 65% polyester/23% wool/12% cotton blend that feels like a knit blazer, but looks and drapes like a more traditional woven wool or wool blend sportcoat. Also available in a traditional fit.
Not bad. Not bad at all. It’s a 60% Cotton / 40% Polyester knit that feels a bit like a sweatshirt, but more like a refined sweatshirt. Size shown is a large on 5’10” / 195, and it’s a touch big. Yet I feel like a medium would be too small. So it seems like Goodfellow & Co. is still dealing with those wide gaps between their S/M/L/XL sizing structure. If it fits you decent enough off the rack? It’s a big time winner. Also available in blue and a deep charcoal.
Huge potential here. They just hit the Nordstrom site… I think over this past weekend? So no in person yet. Extra trim fit from the Nordstrom house brand 1901. Made in Italy. Two colors to pick from. Super soft construction and a 94% wool, 6% polyester fabric from the Zignone mill in Italy. Not bad for $350.
Holy buckets check out that texture. 3 season, 320 gsm, cooler weight wool. Just a tiny bit of stretch fabric woven in for comfort. Butterfly lined in the back. Got one on the way for an in person, so stand by for that.
Another return of a favorite. 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. Available in a highly tempting “rust,” a standard medium gray, and the Ludlow fit gets a shade of blue too. Their new, Classic fit only get the rust and the grey, but you DO get wider 3.5″ lapels on those. Those classic fits are on pre-order and won’t ship until Halloween. Got one on order and will do an in person once it arrives.
Brooks Brothers sportcoats are spendy at full price. But they seem to make enough of them that a good size selection lasts on most models for about a year – 18 months. That means timeless styles end up in their clearance section with consistency. Shown above, at the bottom, is their thick, Harris Tweed sportcoat. Currently $349 down from $698. All jackets shown above are a size 41R in their athletic but not overly boxy Regent fit.
Inexpensive? Yes. But UNIQLO continues to chop the hell out of their jacket tails. And with more formal fabrics like a tweed or flannel (not something casual like a knit), it can look a little goofy with a tail stopping just below your beltline. Looks like they’ve finally ditched the functioning sleeve cuff buttons though? Tweed is 70% wool and 30% nylon. Flannel is 100% wool.
Not bad for little bro J. Crew Factory. Tweed is something that’s pretty easy to screw up. It’s a wool/poly blend, but it seems to do pretty well. No elbow patches this year. They ditched those a year or two back. Size shown above is a 40R on 5’10” / 190.
Gap Classic Cotton Stretch Blazer – $53.97 w/ THANKS ($89.95)
Not bad for the price, as long as it fits you pretty well off the rack. Why? Because GAP is a lot like UNIQLO. The arms can run long, and they almost always throw functioning sleeve cuff buttons on them. So, good luck shortening them. Fabric is 98% cotton and 2% spandex. Often on sale. Also available in navy and khaki.
Banana Republic Slim Italian Corduroy Blazer – $148.80 when 40% off ($248)
Where are all of the corduroy blazers this year? No clue. This is one of the few. And BR isn’t doing a lot of stand alone sportcoats this year. Lots of suit jackets that can be broken up and used on their own, but this is one of few stand alone fall-ready sportcoats. Not sure how to wear it? Here’s one way.
Just appeared on the JC Penney site. Seems to be only available online, which is kind of a bummer, because in the past Stafford sportcoats like this can be VERY hit or miss. The shoulder pads could be super rigid. The fabric and construction could be cement stiff. Or? They could be a huge winner for oddly cheap.
Incredible looking sportcoat, but we need a sale. A major sale. Seven bills is rent for some. That’s a lot of dough. Still, made in the USA from Italian camel hair. One day perhaps. One can dream.
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. It feels like sportcoats, as a whole, were a bit slow to roll out this year? Was it the long hot summer? Not sure. Anyway, if we missed anything, feel free to email in any further suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.