Well, today’s the day. Your cousin Rick’s wedding.
You open your closet doors and wonder, “What should I wear?” Your girlfriend reminds you that it’s outdoors and not formal. She tells you not to wear a suit; the invitation does say dressy-casual after all.
Wait. What does dressy-casual even mean?
And you don’t want to be THAT guy who’s under-dressed and has the eyes of that judgey aunt on you all night (we get it, we all have one).
This scenario is re-enacted by men all across Canada. The fear of being under-dressed but still trying to find a balance between comfort and style is a real thing.
Good thing there’s the sport jacket.
“A Sport Coat is worth a thousand words.”
- Walker Lamond, author -
What’s a sport jacket?
Sport jacket (aka sport coat, if you prefer the synonym) is a menswear staple, traditionally made for, you guessed it, sports. Fishing, hunting, golf, equestrian - you name it, there was a variation made for it.
Take for example, the shooting coat variety. Adorned with suede patches on the shoulders and elbows, it gave the garment durability while looking sharp.
Stylistically, it’s cut very similar to a suit jacket, but without the matching pants. This is an amazing way to add texture to your outfit, as many sport jackets are made of a breathable tweed, wool, or linen blend.
But what does this 1800s jacket have to do with modern style?
Though it was made with function over form in mind, the sport jacket was often a tailor-made item for members of exclusive clubs. Think Bel Air Academy from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air - Jordans not included.
So these marksmen had to look preppy at all times while still being able to perform in activities - kind of like how you’ll need an outfit to impress your family and light a fire on the dance floor.
It also helps that you can find sport jackets made out of everything from cotton to advanced sweat resistant, 4-way stretch materials. This means that you don’t have to be playing polo or field hockey to don one.
“If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good.”
- Deion “Prime Time” Sanders, NFL Hall of Famer -
When to wear a sport jacket
Leave it to Esquire to give us the goods on wedding attire. This is their take on suiting for dressy-casual weddings, “It doesn’t necessarily have to be a suit, actually.”
Well, that’s easy enough.
If you want to use this opportunity to showcase a bit more style, do it! Throw on that lightweight, checkered version for the summer. Or maybe a classic charcoal tweed for fall.
The possibilities are endless, especially if you have a favourite pair of chinos or slacks - check out our full line of sport jackets.
If you’re still confused, here are some things to consider:
As if showing up and getting the newlyweds a gift wasn’t enough, remember to check for the dress code. It’s typically found on the invitation.
Do not gloss over this detail. It will be your biggest clue to figure out what to wear for your cousin Rick’s wedding. So if you’re the type to forget your dentist appointment, have someone else check the invitation.
The modern wedding can list anything from Black Tie to Nonstandard, and each has their own “uniform”. You don’t want to show up in denim and a flannel when “barn chic” just means you can wear boots.
Make sure to check out where the wedding is happening.
If it’s on a beach, you’ll want something a bit lighter and unstructured. If it’s in an open field, surrounded by trees and buildings, wear darker tones so you won’t stick out awkwardly.
Check out this article from The Knot for more wedding guest tips.
How to wear a sport jacket
The great thing about a sport jacket is that you don’t need to buy a new suit set. That means it can save you money and work with the items already in your wardrobe.
If you happen to get one made of a highly textured or stylized material, keep the rest of the outfit simple, with solid colours.
The vice-versa rule applies as well.
And don’t forget about accessories! Just like they do with your favourite suit, they add the perfect touch to your sport jacket-led outfit. Think of accessories as the sauce and garnish to your look - sure, you could survive without them but would there be any flavour?
Here are some accessory tips and ideas.
“Style is whatever you want...if you can do it with confidence.”
- George Clinton, Parliament-Funkadelics -
Answer: You Can Wear a Sport Jacket to a Wedding!
Now that we've cleared all of that up, it’s time for you to get out there and spend time with your loved ones. And that’s really what it’s all about - worry less about your wardrobe and focus more on making memories.
Have a beautiful wedding season!