One of the most commonly asked questions we receive is whether or not it’s ok to wear a navy suit jacket as a navy blazer. While many of us are guilty of this offense, it doesn’t negate the fact that a navy blazer and a navy suit jacket are two entirely different garments. Sure, they are both blue and yes, from a distance they look similar; however, saying there’s no difference between a navy blazer and navy suit jacket is like saying there’s no difference between a deep-dish pizza and thin crust pizza. While both share similar characteristics and traits, there are substantial distinctions between the two.
To start, blazers are typically made with textured fabrics, such as hopsack and birdseye weaves. This gives the jacket a casual and sporty feel. A deconstructed blazer takes the casual feel to the next level, by eliminating padding in the shoulders and removing canvas from inside the jacket. Ultimately, this gives the jacket a softer and more relaxed style.
Contrary to the blazer, suits are commonly made with smoother fabric weaves like twill or sharkskin. These fabrics give the suit jacket a formal and dressy feel. A suit jacket is also very structured due to the canvasing inside of the garment. A full canvas gives the suit jacket shape, structure, and a proper drape.
Pocket style is another distinguishing factor between a suit jacket and blazer. Traditionally speaking, suits are made with formal flap pockets, while blazers are made with the more casual patch pockets. Patch pockets are sewn onto the fabric of the jacket as opposed to being cut into the fabric like flap pockets.
Lastly, button style is one of the most visible differences between the two garments. Blazers are almost always made with contrasting buttons, such as brown, metal, or mother of pearl. Contrasting buttons help make the blazer more casual and also add color to an otherwise basic navy fabric. A suit jacket’s buttons are meant to blend in with the fabric. They typically match the fabric as close as possible.