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Blazer vs. Suit Jacket

Is the term "blazer" really different from "suit jacket," or is this just a firefly vs. lightning bug language conundrum?

According to The Compass, the word "blazer" has historically referred to a solidly colored, lapeled jacket with a less sharp construction, metal buttons, and patch pockets. A blazer was once part of the British Royal Navy uniform in the 19th century. A suit jacket, on the other hand, usually refers to a jacket that comes with matching suit pants. 

In looser terms, if you isolate a solid suit jacket from its matching pants, it becomes a blazer. 

Ascot vs. Cravat

These are two words some people use interchangeably, but the truth is that they are not exactly equivalent. 

"Cravat" is a generic term that refers to a variety of different neckties, from bow ties, modern ties, un-named varieties of ties that have fallen out of fashion and, of course, ascots. An "ascot" refers specifically to a very loose and puffy cravat that's tied directly around the neck, underneath the shirt collar. This style originates from, you guessed it - the British. 

Some cravats are tied in this same loose fashion, but are over the collar, and therefore more formal. 

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"Cummerbund" is a funny word to say that refers to a wide sash one wears around the waist, covering the top of the pants and the bottom of the shirt. It was first used by British military in Colonial India (those British!) as a substitute for a waist coat. Nowadays, it's a component of black tie. 

The term originates from the Persian "kamar band," or "waist band."

What suit terms leave you scratching your head and desperately googling? Save yourself the effort and let us explain - just leave a comment below. 
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