Sports Coat Capsule

J.Press Summer Tweed

I like to think that I have a relatively minimalistic approach to clothing at least for someone that is in to clothing. For example, it’s a blue OCBD and khaki chinos almost every day. I like my uniform approach. It’s easy, comforting, I like the way it looks, and I like the effect that it has on others. I want to do the same with sport coats that I do with my shirts and pants. So I came up with my ideal sport coat capsule.

You can see my capsule below. I think with these jackets I will have a just enough variety that I won’t look exactly the same every day, but at the same time getting dressed won’t be overwhelming. My list is a little cold weather heavy, but that’s when I wear sport coats the most. I do have a lighter tweed for warmer weather. I am also happy to simply wear a blue blazer in the warmer months. I have even considered keeping my capsule to only navy blazers. That might be too minimalistic even for me.

Where am I at now? I currently have six sport coats in the rotation. I have made a notation for what category they fall into and added a picture below. I have a year round and summer blazer. I can check them off the list. Although the summer blazer is fading fast. My grey herringbone and brown herringbone that I currently have are place holders. My grey herringbone has stripes of olive and navy which I’d like to replace with solid grey. It along with my brown herringbone sport coat also both have lower welted pockets. The goal moving forward is to get everything in my preferred style which is a 3/2 sack cut with swelled edges, center vent, welted chest pocket, and lower patch with flap pockets.

After putting together my list I am not as far off as I had originally thought. All I need to do is stay focused. My biggest hurdle has always been my size. I am basically between a 36R and a 38S. This unfortunately this puts me into beggars can’t be choosers territory. If I see something in my size on the second hand market I used to jump at it. This approach has also led me to have jackets that I don’t necessarily care for in the past. Luckily this time around I am in no hurry at all. This isn’t a this year or even next year acquisition list, but a long term plan. Below is my list. Let me know what you think.

Sport Coat Capsule

  • Grey Herringbone – 1
  • Brown Herringbone – 1
  • Olive Herringbone – 0
  • Gun Club/ Houndstooth/ Check / Etc. – 2
  • Camel Hair – 0
  • Tan Corduroy – 0
  • Olive Corduroy – 0
  • Year Round Blazer- 1
  • Summer Blazer – 1
  • Winter Blazer – 0

Basket weave Tweed Sport Coat

Wash n Wear Blazer
oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

16 Comments on "Sports Coat Capsule"

  1. Old School says:

    Quiet Ivy


  2. Tie Clip says:

    Hi Jerrod, nice list. I would cut out the olive corduroy, and the tan corduroy, since camel and olive tweed are a better version of both. Corduroy is best done in full suits or just as odd trousers or chore coats otherwise.
    Personally I would go MTM on most of the list.
    I also think you could take a leaf out of Alan Flussers book and start getting a bit more adventurous with your details. Slanted hacking pockets, ticket pockets, curved outer breast pockets, gauntlet cuffs, dual vents, flared skirts, with open quarters. Try to push yourself a bit, but stick to the fabrics that you like and keep things like the swelled edges.
    You don’t have to buy a lot of clothing, and you can keep to your khaki chinos and button down collars, but you would benefit from doing a bit more study into tailoring and trying to get something a little more refined.
    On the other hand waiting for pre-owned RTW is more affordable, and if you have the patients can be quite rewarding. But at your age, I think you could treat yourself a little and buy some better clothes.
    All the best, and good luck with your list!

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      Some good feedback! My jackets are a mix of vintage and new. I live in a medium-large sized city but unfortunately or luckily for my bank account the closest place to do MTM with brands that I like is 2 hours away.

      We are on the same page here. Going forward I will probably do a little more new rtw and maybe mtm. It’s hard to justify at the moment as I work from home where there is no dress code and a toddler in action.

      I think Corduroy is great as a sport coat. It has a cool casual vibe but can also be dressed up. I think they are very versatile. I do agree that corduroy trousers are excellent, but a full corduroy suit is much harder to wear.

      I do like open quarters. A few of the other details you mentioned are a little outside of American trad style but that would be adventurous for me. More than so than elegant or refined I’d rather people say something like, distinctly American. I am feeling a bit frumpier or rumpled these days. In a good way.

      I think the pond between us has to do with some of our differing opinions, but it’s always good to get a different perspective.

      • Tie Clip says:

        Hi Jerrod, yes the pond between us is a factor.
        I think if you know the Trad playbook for distinctly the East Coast American natural shouldered look, so I don’t have to remind you.
        I’m not sure about corduroy sports coats, but I’m sure you could make them work with your style.
        I don’t have the answer to the toddler situation since I’m not a father, but I’ve heard people tend to wear more machine washable things with babies/toddlers, so maybe go for the cotton stuff first?
        Yes, having a menswear acquisition disorder can be ruinous to personal savings! But every now and then smaller purchases can be nice.
        All the best

  3. Old School says:

    Re: “Quiet Ivy”.
    Glad you liked it.

  4. CFG7613 says:

    Was wondering if you have any thoughts on Orvis sport coats? I have two – the navy hopsack travel blazer and the tan twill Zambezi sport coat. Both of them are cut way oversize and just don’t fit correctly in how they sit on the shoulders and contour the neck. Is it just me and my out of proportion body measurements? Or have you heard similar feedback,,,if any?

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      CFG, thanks for the comment. I don’t have any experience with Orvis sport coats, but this doesn’t surprise me. Orvis in my experience has always ran about a size or half-size big. On top of that I think you could buy 3 size 38 sport coats from different places and the measurements would vary noticeably.

  5. Southerntrad says:

    Jerrod, you were wonderfully accommodating in your response to Tie Clip given the focus of this blog! I think you look absolutely superb, and boring as it may sound, I think the blue sport coats look best on you. I think your look embodies the spirit of Ivy in the sense that it is put together, but in a totally unforced and unfussy way. It almost has a sense of “sprezzatura” in that way, as add as that comparison is. I would encourage you to not change your style one iota but rather play around with the usual stuff: shirt and tie patterns, fabrics, mixing textures etc.

    And in a nod to Tie Clip: if you are going o experiment with anything British—try the shoes. British welted shoes are astonishingly good.

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      Thanks, Southerntrad. I appreciate the encouragement and I agree the sprezz of non-sprezz lol!

  6. Trip says:

    A year or two ago I snagged a cheap camel hair sport coat from Poshmark. It is not my preferred cut for a jacket, but even putting that out of my mind, I find it a lot harder to wear than I thought I would. Even with jeans it just doesn’t seem to work to my eye. As such, I’d personally cross that one off the list. I think a tan corduroy is a better option.

  7. Hi Jerrod,

    Loving your posts!

    Noted your preference for swelled edges, center vent, welted chest pocket, and lower patch with flap pockets. Entirely agree on all of those. I was wondering what your view is on sleeve buttons? Strictly 2 buttons? No preference?


    • oxford cloth button down says:

      Thanks, Garland. You have a good taste lol! I am a big 2 button fan, but I am not strict about it.

  8. Woofboxer says:

    The capsule wardrobe a subject of endless fascination – how many clothes nuts ever achieve it??There’s some interesting points raised in the comments above. I see the cord jacket as an easy-wearable item with its relaxed vibe, but the brass button blazer is harder to do where I live on the outskirts of London, as it leans towards formality. Also on these shores, blazers tend to be associated with Hoorah Henry or ex-military types of which I am neither. But I’ve still got summer and winter weight ones in the wardrobe, having spent so long acquiring the right ones I’m loathe to part with them.
    I’m definitely with you on ‘double cording’,a cardinal sin, a cord jacket with cord trousers of a different colour just doesn’t work right, there’s too much texture. Yet for some reason a cord suit looks great!
    I’ve concluded over the years that jackets and trousers need a colour contrast between them i.e. dark jacket/light trousers or light jacket/dark trousers. As a inveterate khaki trouser wearer (chinos, cords, wheat colour jeans) I get far more utility from stronger coloured jackets like the brown and grey tweeds you have highlighted for your capsule. Head to toe in beige never looks good on older men. Like you I have parted with my tan cord and camel hair jackets, seeing them as ‘nice to haves’ but not featuring in a slimmed down jacket selection. I’m enjoying the blog. Regards Andy

  9. Bopper says:

    An astounding collection and an awesome blog! For heavens sake, keep the olive and blue striped grey jacket. It wouldn’t be my favorite either, but you’ll find occasion to wear it. I too am looking for a “plain” grey.

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