Sports coats in means wear demand as much thought and fashion acumen as any other piece of clothing. An attractive jacket with coordinating shirt, tie, slacks and shoes can work well for the office, with a customer or for a casual night on the town.
Determine whether you want a blazer or a sport coat. A blazer comes in solid colors (i.e., black, blue, camel) and brass buttons. It can be worn with jeans, khakis or trousers. Sport coats include all other colors and patterns.
Calculate the size. It is rare to find a sport coat that doesn't need alterations. A good tailor will help you choose the right size and provide appropriate alterations. Sport coats are cut according to the size of a man's chest. They should fit best at the shoulders. It should give you enough room to move your arms and place them around an average-sized object without lifting up the jacket. When buttoned, you should have room for a sweater or a few extra pounds.
Figure the cut by height. The coat cuts are regular, short or long.
Choose a fabric and consider whether it will be worn during summer or winter, or mostly in warm climates or cold climates. The fabric also will determine the available patterns and whether they are suitable with sweaters. Cashmeres and other wools are appropriate for winter. Summer jackets are made from fine wool blended with linen, silk or nylon.
Pay attention to the details: lapel and collar width, pocket styles and button type. It is best to select lapels with traditional widths of 3 to 4 inches. Lapel tips should rest halfway between the collar and shoulder.
Learn about "vents." The slits on the back of the jacket help with movement. The style in the United States has a single vent in the middle of the garment. The British version has one at each hip. The Continental sport coat doesn't have a vent. It hugs the body.