Ask the Tailor: Do I need a Bespoke Dinner Jacket and a Sports Jacket?

Photo by Michael

Each month we ask our expert tailors to address one of your most frequent questions. This month we’re tackling an issue of numbers. When you choose bespoke, do you need to invest in a dinner jacket and a sports jacket?

Good quality tailoring is an investment. It’s wise to spend some time considering which garments you’ll get the most wear from before you commission a tailor. 

Most first-time customers choose to have a bespoke suit created for them. Often this initial taste of tailoring is in honour of a special event such as a wedding or career milestone. We often find that these customers return to the tailoring room again and again. Once you’ve developed a taste for bespoke and seen the huge difference in quality between tailored garments and off-the-peg, it’s usually tricky to go back!

So here comes the question: what garments do you really need? You may already have had your tailor cut a made-to-measure suit or two for you, but what should you get next? One of the most popular questions at this stage is whether you need a bespoke dinner jacket and/or a sports jacket.

Let’s address each jacket in turn.

The Case for Bespoke Dinner Jackets

You may have more opportunity than you think to wear a dinner jacket. Black tie events including award ceremonies, balls, formal dinners and celebrations all require one. Because a dinner jacket is worn less frequently than a normal suit jacket, they tend to last a lot longer. This means that a dinner jacket you purchase now could still be in your wardrobe in ten or fifteen years! If you’re going to commit to a piece of clothing for that amount of time, it may be worth investing in a dinner jacket you’ll be proud to wear for many years to come.

The Case for Bespoke Sports Jackets

Sports jackets were traditionally worn by stylish gentlemen during outdoor pursuits such as  shooting or boating. Over the years they have become less vital for sports and more a wardrobe staple for smart casual occasions. A sports jacket is different to a suit jacket as it is typically worn in more colours and patterns, is less structured, and doesn’t have a pair of trousers to match. Sports jackets are the perfect choice for smart casual occasions and look great paired with jeans or chinos. Investing in a bespoke piece would help you make a style impact at less formal parties and events. 

The final choice, of course, can only be made by you. Tailored jackets, whether suit jackets, dinner jackets or sports jackets can represent excellent value on a cost per wear basis. If you often find yourself reaching for a dinner jacket or sports jacket, it’s likely to be worth your while to invest in a bespoke piece. 

Next month we’ll be addressing the wide range of fabric quality available. Is it worth picking more expensive cloth? Sign up to our newsletter to be one of the first to read it.