In the days before fashion magazines and flappers were all the rage, there was much confusion about what kinds of neckwear were acceptable in pre-war America. Some of this confusion might have been a result of the different interpretations some folks had about style: Many people thought that wearing a black jacket was a bad way to go on an outing.
But those days are gone, as is much of the confusion around the different styles. Today we still don’t know exactly how to go about dressing for an event, but we can at least learn what to expect (if not what to wear). The one thing we do know for sure, though — even if we don’t know about the original styles, that black jacket is still the official black jacket of the modern era!
What makes a black jacket different
Before getting into the specifics on what makes a black jacket different, it’s important to point out how different black jackets were for many years.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, many designers were wearing white jackets. This was because it did so much better than black over white, but in other cases, black was the color of choice. That meant the two colors were not that far apart, and since both colors have black accents, they could mix together to create a more impressive effect.
Then, in the last few years, we have begun to see white jackets worn by the likes of Giorgio Armani, which has a white coat or coat-of-arms on the breast pocket. The coat is a lot like a short-sleeved black jacket that you might wear around town — as long as you don’t leave it in your car, at work or on the plane — but it’s pretty striking on the body.
For many people, however, the coat is just a bit too heavy, especially compared to black and gray (a common choice for a black suit). That’s why many of our favorite designers have chosen to add an extra jacket in the back that allows a jacket to be worn over a turtleneck underneath.
So, it really isn’t that different from the black jacket, or the white jacket, or the suit. But it’s different enough that sometimes black is used more than others. If you look at our complete suit jackets and coats section, you’ll see that there’s a white jacket worn on black, a suit jacket worn on brown and a white vest worn on orange.
It’s a subtle distinction,
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