Where to buy a sport coat.
January 24, 2010 9:07 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy a fashionable, inexpensive (~$150, hopefully less) sport coat? I don't need it for work, just for the very occasional more formal outing.

I'd rather err on the side of hipster than old man. I'm in my 30's, medium build, 40R, and asian, if that matters.
posted by stchang to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Banana Republic

posted by melissasaurus at 9:23 PM on January 24, 2010

It seems that you want a coat that will last you for a long time. You also want something fashionable rather than stylish. Unfortunately, fashion changes fairly frequently. So, these desires are at odds.

I would go for a 2-button or 3-button navy sport coat, no pinstripes. This has been a classic (as in traditional, but also as in stylish) option for a long time. Go to any decent department store and ask for a jacket that won't be dated any time soon. They should know what to do. If you have a fashion savvy friends, take them with you.

You could then depend on other things to make yourself fashionable and hip. For example preferences in shirt colors, shirt-tie combinations, and even shoe styles change regularly in the fashion world. So updating these less expensive items will give you a chance for very modern look even though your sporting a classic jacket.
posted by oddman at 9:30 PM on January 24, 2010

Thrift stores. Seriously. If there's a Savers/Value Village or a Goodwill store near you, check them out. I wear a size 48 and the selection in my size is usually sparse, but they always have a ton in your size. I've found some like-new sport coats for $12-$20 at thrift stores that sell for $200+ new. Just try them on and look them over carefully for tears, holes, stains, etc. before you buy them, and then take them to the dry cleaners before wearing them.
posted by Balonious Assault at 10:18 PM on January 24, 2010

H&M! Their jackets are quite a good deal. On sale, you could get 2 for $150. They are made about as well as any other $150 jacket, and have a slim fit.

If you only have one jacket, it should be as versatile as possible. Dark gray or navy blue are good choices.
posted by twblalock at 10:20 PM on January 24, 2010

Joseph A Banks usually has really good sales. You should be on the lookout for one of those, and check it out.
posted by chicago2penn at 11:12 PM on January 24, 2010

I have one each from Express and Banana Republic that I wear fairly regularly and the BR one feels much sturdier. As luck would have it, the Express one fits better.

I agree with oddman in that you should stick to a plain navy blazer. I'd spend maybe $75 on one that looks good and feels fairly well-made and spend the rest of the $150 budget getting it tailored to fit you well. A classic-looking navy blazer that fits like a glove will always be fashionable.
posted by PFL at 11:15 PM on January 24, 2010

I love my husband's Ben Sherman. What they have right now is a bit outside of your budget, but worth a look.
posted by cior at 11:56 PM on January 24, 2010

Old Navy had some surprisingly good looking herringbone wool blend jackets for like $30. They're not fantastic, but they're decent.

Also, Goodwill.
posted by electroboy at 12:28 AM on January 25, 2010

Men's Warehouse
posted by bardic at 2:15 AM on January 25, 2010

I've been buying the $150 Banana Republic blazers every two years or so for a long time. My oldest one is from 2004 and is looking a little worn at this point after years of flying a few trips per month but still in decent shape. They are fully lined in the sleeves and have lots of nice features.

However, I don't like the interior pockets in the 2009/2010 models -- they have removed the pen pocket and switched the left pocket to a side zip with an headphone grommet. The effing side zip makes it very hard to get open and reduces the functionality of the pocket significantly.

Jos Bank's low cost blazers are not built anywhere near as sturdy as the BR models. I have a few but wear them infrequently.
posted by autopilot at 3:49 AM on January 25, 2010

eBay is a surprisingly awesome resource for cheap designer sportcoats.
posted by saladin at 4:09 AM on January 25, 2010

My husband got his a Men's Wearhouse a few months ago for the price you're talking, and they did a good job finding him one that does the casual-formal line quite nicely.

They know their stuff (at least at the one near us), are always polite, everything is ready on time.
posted by zizzle at 5:49 AM on January 25, 2010

If you have one near you, Finlene's Basement usually has good quality, inexpensive sportcoats and suits.
posted by rtimmel at 7:37 AM on January 25, 2010

Surprisingly, the sport coats at Target are pretty well made, and would come in under budget.
posted by piedmont at 8:03 AM on January 25, 2010

I've been underwhelmed with Target's sport coats. A lot of them wear like they're made of burlap.

Also, consider whether you mean fashionable or stylish.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:14 AM on January 25, 2010

Men's Wearhouse has some decent sports coats. The price listed on the coat will be closer to $300 but usually all their coats are 50% off (stupid fake pricing).

Insist on a navy coat without gold buttons. Insist that they take the coat in at the waist if your chest measurement is larger than your waist measurement (which is typical). Even have it taken in at the hips, if your hips are narrower than your waist (which is typical).
posted by muddgirl at 9:23 AM on January 25, 2010

Their jackets are slim fit and look quite good for the price. Probably won't last you very long, but since you're only wearing it occasionally it should be OK.
posted by pravit at 9:28 AM on January 25, 2010

1. The more you pay, the better quality you will get. Get one $150 jacket, not 2 for $150 jackets.
2. Banana Republic and J Crew are more preppy than hipster.
3. Sales rack at Men's Wearhouse, Macy's, and other places. MW, Macy's, etc., will measure you for the best fit.

Depending on whether your medium build glass is half-full or half-empty, you might want to look at Calvin Klein. They are nice for people whose shoulders are broader than their trunk. Quality is good. CK is marked down all over the place. Nautica is another good jacket that you can find something decent for at $150/marked down.
posted by carter at 10:11 AM on January 25, 2010


4. Cheap sports coats (e.g. Target) are cut to fit an 'average' person. I.e. no-one.
5. If possible I'd recommend lightweight, where the shape is defined by the cut, and not by a huge amount of internal padding.
6. Wearing a more expensive good quality jacket will make you feel better!
posted by carter at 10:14 AM on January 25, 2010

Thanks for all the suggestions. I ended up going to a Goodwill in an affluent area and found a nice sport coat for $13. Fit remarkably well. The main purpose (which I should have put in my question) was to avoid having to wear the jackets of shame that some restaurants lend to their patrons.
posted by stchang at 7:19 PM on January 25, 2010

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