PHOTO: transitional wardrobe

Summer is not over, at least we keep saying this, fully ignoring the fact that Labor Day is right around the corner. But as we make our way into September (arguably one of the nicest months for weather in Chicago) and the temperature transitions from scorching hot to slightly cool, our wardrobe also transitions. This requires a few tweaks and additions to stay comfortable, fashionable and professional. The fundamental pieces to making this transition are the sport coat and blazer.

Many office environments become more casual in the summer, so once September hits, getting back to business professional is key.  When you're not quite ready to put away the light-colored slacks and vibrant, summery blues, simply adding a sport coat is an easy way to transition into the new season. Plus, a classic navy blazer or plaid sport coat can sharpen and polish a casual shirt and slacks. If you are heading out for a night on the town after work, adding a sport coat provides a little bit of warmth in addition to dressing up your evening.

So when deciding between the sport coat and blazer for a night out, you may ask: What are the main distinctions between the two?

The blazer, traditionally sewn with patch pockets and gold buttons, is normally a solid color (navy blue being the most popular). The sport coat is oftentimes made of heavier, patterned material that originally paired well with men's sporting events, like a fox hunt. Both are acceptable for dressing up casual slacks, jeans or khakis.

Eventually, we'll need to pull out those wool suits for winter (and we should be planning for them now!). But until then, get the most out of your warm-weather wardrobe by using the sport coat and blazer like a pro.