Whether you’ve got an upcoming summer wedding or you need something to wear to a semi-formal cocktail party, all guys need a suit jacket. In fact, odds are you’ll need more than one type of suit jacket over the course of your adult life.
Like trousers, shirts, and even shoes, not every suit jacket is ideal for every occasion. Indeed, some suit jackets can make or break your outfit depending on the event’s formality, the jacket’s color and fabric, and more.
Not sure which suit jacket you need? Not to worry – we’ll break down the five main types of suit jackets for men so you know exactly which type you need to purchase and get tailored for maximum aesthetic appeal.
If you’re looking for custom-tailored dress pants, shop Berle today! Complimentary hemming and free shipping are always included with your purchase.
The Cream of the Crop: Tuxedos
Let’s start at the top with tuxedos. While some men may only rent tuxedos throughout their lives, these high-quality, super-formal jackets are also called dinner suit jackets for one big reason: they’re what you wear to fancy dinners or weddings.
We mean it – don’t try to wear a tuxedo jacket to anything besides the most formal of occasions. Tuxedos should always be in black (or, occasionally, navy) and be worn alongside specific accessories, including:
- Tuxedo trousers, not just tailored dress pants. Tuxedo trousers are distinctive because of their satin strips, which run down the sides of your legs
- A dress shirt with a pleated or textured front
- A bowtie in either black or white
- Dress shoes polished to a mirror shine
Naturally, you’ll want your tuxedo tailored so it fits perfectly across your shoulders. Make sure your tuxedo trousers are tailored as well.
Versatile Suit Jackets
One step lower than a tuxedo jacket is a much more versatile standard suit jacket. These come in colors like black, navy, and even brown, and they can complete a formal or semi-formal look quite easily.
They're used for cocktail parties, for slightly less formal weddings, for business deals, and for many more events. Because of this, you'll likely want to purchase at least one complete suit with a standard suit jacket to wear to weddings, funerals, etc.
Regular suit jackets can have notched lapels or may come in single or double-breasted styles. Regardless, your tailored suit jacket should be worn with:
- Matching trousers in the same color as the jacket. These should also be flat or pleated trousers. Try to get two pairs of tailored pants since they wear out quicker than you think. We recommend options like Berle’s Gabardine line or similar pants
- Alternatively, you can pair your standard jacket with chinos or dark jeans (though be careful, as this is only appropriate for semi-formal occasions)
Breathable Sports Jackets
Sports jackets are even more casual but can still be a great choice for cocktail parties, for after-work get-togethers, and even for backyard parties. Sports jackets are usually designed with softer finishes and are made with materials like linen, cotton, wool, and more.
These slim, breathable jackets can be worn with jeans or chinos if you want to have a dressed-down but still quite stylish look. We recommend adding a pocket square and a nice watch to elevate your aesthetic. Check out Berle’s flat-front denim trousers for a great example of pants you can pair with stylish sports jackets.
Blazers – Casual and Stylish
Last but not least are blazers, which are technically kinds of Navy jackets. These usually come in dark blue but can also be found in other colors.
These feature a more structured, squarish shape compared to sports jackets and may have wide shoulder pads. Typically, these make great winter jackets since they are often designed with wool and similar materials.
For these jackets, be sure to wear check trousers or chinos in light, complementary colors.
Bonus Jacket: The Tailed Coat
Odds are you’ll never need to worry about this particular jacket type, but there’s technically a fifth kind: the tailed jacket.
This uber-formal jacket is only suitable for white tie events. It’s a very formal jacket that harkens back to an earlier time when the aristocrats would get together for garden parties. If you ever have the opportunity to wear one of these jackets, and that’s a big if, wear it with dress shoes and maybe a top hat to complete the set.
Armed with this information, you now know exactly what kind of jacket you need to buy for your upcoming social event. Good luck, and don’t forget to check out our selection of tailored trousers to find matching pants for many of these jacket types.
Shop Tailored Trousers from Berle
The perfect addition to a suit jacket is a tailored pair of trousers. If you’re ready to assemble your wardrobe, shop tailored trousers from Berle. We’re happy to offer complimentary hemming and free shipping on every order. With more than 70 years in the manufacturing industry, our team has perfected the art of delivering the best pair of trousers available today. Your upgraded wardrobe awaits!