Our friends at Gagliardi sent us a few samples of their new Autumn / Winter 2014 line.
The jackets are nothing short of impressive; I find them to be a great value for the price point. Considering the shift to colder weather (here in the Northern Hemisphere), it’s the perfect time to transition to heavier, warmer, more textured fabrics… and these sport coats fit the bill.
I asked our editor, Adam, to check out one jacket while I spent time with the other. He’ll lend his thoughts below.
You know the difference, right?
The differences between suit jackets and sport coats lay in the fabric and the details. Sport coats are typically made from fabrics with less sheen, more texture, and distinguishable patterns, compared to regular solid suiting jackets. They also don’t come with matching pants, therefore, you wear them with trousers and chinos that complement in color and weight.
Some of a sport coat’s distinguishing details: Patch pockets (some with flaps, some without), ticket pockets, and contrasting buttons. Did I mention the inclusion of more interesting colors and patterns?
These characteristics make wearing sport coats dressed up or down easy (and fun), especially if you know what you’re doing and aren’t afraid to experiment with textures, color, pattern, and layering them all together.
Speaking of that, treat your sport coat like any other layer: thinner layers underneath it, and your warmest layer (topcoat, parka) on top.
Most wool sport coats I’ve seen are lined, though these ones from Gagliardi are not. This is my first time wearing a thick wool sport coat with no lining, and I actually prefer it. I feel that my range of movement is much less restricted, and I can easily layer without feeling too much like Randy, Ralphie’s brother in A Christmas Story.
The Navy Gray Birdseye Wool Jacket
I’m completely surprised how well this jacket fit right off the rack. I wanted to take a look at their Slim Fit selection, and therefore, was unsure about my size.
Gagliardi’s customer service did a great job helping me choose the right one based off my usual sizing in different brands, plus a few key measurements I provided. (If ordering from Gagliardi, you may need to size up for their Slim Fit, as I did.)
This resulted in getting a jacket that fit exactly how I like in the shoulders, back, chest, and waist. It hugs me enough and appears slim, while still allowing for that range of motion (more to do with how the jacket was designed and constructed).
To be frank, I love this thing. The wool feels soft and springy, and while the fabric does have a bolder pattern, the colors are muted, which helps when trying to pair with other items for a potential outfit.
You can treat it like any other blue / gray jacket you may own. From afar, it looks like a simple, dark, textured sport coat.
Jackets like these are easily dressed up or down. Dressing something up usually involves a shirt and tie, which isn’t that difficult, so I decided to keep this example casual with an OCBD, striped crewneck sweatshirt, and dusty olive chinos.
I finished the outfit off with Red Wing boots, but you could easily swap these with anything from white canvas sneakers to a pair of loafers, depending on your mood.
Deep Red Twill Jacket
Once again, I’m wholly impressed with the product Gagliardi sent over. The fit is incredible – one of the few jackets I’ve purchased off the rack that sports a truly slim fit.
I’m not sure if it’s the European sensibilities, or intentionally catering towards a man of smaller stature, but this may never even see the inside of a tailor shop.
On top of that, the fabric and finishing are top notch as well. The wool is just thick and textured enough for cold-weather wear, but comes unlined (a personal preference of mine), with a structured canvas through the front to keep things sharp, but a fantastic drape that is far from stiff or boxy.
Like their spring blazer, it would have been great to see nicer buttons, but that’s an easy fix (and a low priority).
Since my recent move to NYC, I’ve seen a big shift in my own personal style, opting more often for more casual looks, muted colors, and greater use of blacks and grays. With all that in mind, I found this jacket surprisingly easy to style.
Inherently, a blazer isn’t so casual, but the fabric choice here, with a touch of texture and a lack of sheen, make the jacket versatile enough to dress up or down as the occasion calls.
Sure, the red/purple color may seem a bit bold on first glance, but it pairs fantastically with black or dark grey, and contrasts well with more faded colors.
I chose to dress the whole thing down, starting by ditching the shirt and tie up top and instead opting for a chunky black sweater from Bonobos. I contemplated a merino turtleneck, but decided that a more rugged, option helped to play down the formality of the blazer, lending more of a collegiate air, rather than french playboy.
With such a dark palette on the upper half, I decided to avoid a wholly moody look by rocking some light wash denim by Levi’s below to brighten things up. I’ve usually tended to prefer dark denim, but faded jeans are having their day in the sun and I don’t I hate it!
A pair of sleeker black Frank & Oak sneakers ties everything together, toeing the line between casual and dressy, and returning to the darker tones I started with.
A few more notes
I chose a wool pocket square in a black and white pattern by the Tie Bar, but I think this could have played just as well with no pocket square at all. While I usually say that a blazer without a square is just incomplete, I think the lack of tie makes a subsequent lack of pocket square pretty appropriate.
That said, I wanted to have fun with this, so I included one anyway!
The belt was also a pretty intentional choice. The outfit is more casual, and I am wearing denim, in which case I’d usually pick a more rugged and chunky belt as well…but it just didn’t feel right.
Just as I dressed the blazer down, I felt I had to make everything meet in the middle, so I dressed up the pants just a bit with a dressier and more minimalistic belt choice.
Last, I would have loved to try this out with some black chelsea boots. I think the sneakers work well with the dressed-down attitude, but still seem potentially a bit underdressed. They don’t necessarily hurt the look, but I have a feeling chelsea boots would have elevated the whole thing to another level.
When Layering With A Sport Coat This Holiday Season…
- If your hemisphere is currently experiencing winter, you’ll want to whip out the heavy wools, tweeds, cashmeres, and corduroy. Lightweight linen, lightweight cotton, seersucker, etc., are not seasonally appropriate, so save them for the warm weather.
- Consider the other elements of your outfit. Not only do you want to complement colors, you want to complement textures and fabric weights as well. That textured knit tie and wool pocket square would go great with your heavier blazers, for example.
- You’ll most likely experience large swings in temperature, from the frigid outdoor air and potentially snowy conditions, to the shelter of a warm, toasty indoor holiday get-together. Dress appropriately so you can shed or add layers as needed.
- Be (tastefully) bold with your color and pattern choices. It is the holiday season, after all.
Take a look at Gagliardi’s other jackets, as well as their Autumn / Winter selection. They’re also offering free courier postage on orders over €75, as well as free shirting embroidery, so here’s your chance to get those shirts monogrammed!
Learn a few shortcuts to dressing well
Enter your first name and email, and I'll send you a free eGuide with quick and easy tips you can use today.