Difference between Jacket and Sweater
By Theydiffer - October 27, 2015

Both a jacket and a sweater are garments designed and manufactured to cover the torso and the arms of the human body and help keep it warm. There are differences between the two types of garments and we will explore them further in this article.


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A jacket is a garment intended to cover the upper part of the body; it usually has sleeves and opens in the front. A jacket is generally made of woven fabric, and can be very practical when one needs a protective outer layer at the cooler times of the year, although thinner, lighter jackets may be worn in warmer weather.  A jacket may be casual or more formal in design, depending on the occasion it is being worn for, and what it is being worn with.

Getty Images/DigitalVision/Shana Novak

A sweater is an item of warm clothing designed to cover the upper part of the body. It is usually made of a knitted material. There are many different types and designs of sweaters. This item of clothing has always been popular regardless of fashion trends, although there are both classic and modern styles, and a large variety of colors and patterns available.

Comparison chart

Jacket Sweater
Zipped, or closes with buttons or other fastenersIs not usually zipped; pulls over the head
Usually made of woven fabric such as wool, cotton or blends, or nylon or fleeceUsually made of knitted material, either hand knit or machine knit
Weight depends on style and seasonHeavier, usually worn for extra warmth

Jacket vs Sweater

What is the difference between Jacket and Sweater? Let’s compare them by the way they open, by the way they are manufactured and by weight.

  • Even though some sweaters may be opened in front, they are usually put on over the head, and may have different kinds of neckline: rounded, V-neck, turtleneck. Jackets, on the other hand, always open down the front, and are usually zipped if they are designed for casual wear, or they may close with buttons.
  • Sweaters are items that are knit from wool or a wool blend or wool substitute. Jackets are made of various kinds of finer fabric, such as nylon or fleece or woven wool and wool blends.
  • Jackets are often lighter than sweaters because they are designed for some practical application such as sportswear. A winter jacket, on the other hand, is designed for warmth, will probably be heavier and may also be waterproof.