March 21, 2016

Suit Jacket with Jeans – Fashion Faux Pas?

Should you wear a suit jacket with jeans? The answer to this question is yes, but there are some general rules of thumb to follow, which we will set out in this post. 

Wearing A Suit Jacket With Jeans

A suit jacket and jeans can be such a congenial look – a splendid combination of a man displaying relaxed masculinity comfortable in his own skin with satisfyingly sharp tailoring.  Any occasion for which a suit is too formal, but where something just a touch more authoritative than a shirt and jeans is wanted is the perfect context for this outfit.  Witness the most rugged Bond of all pull it off with panache to spare. Typically though, getting it right is key; and here are some observations on how you can do so. 

Suit Jacket & Jeans
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The first thing to be aware of is to avoid wearing an more formal looking jacket such as a pinstripe with jeans. The solid black or black and white pinstripes which appear so well-defined when featured in a full suit can dilute the essential nonchalance of this style. Much more complementary when worn with jeans would be a suit jacket in solid navy blue or true blue, light or medium greys.  Textured fabrics like flannels and tweeds also work beautifully, as do suit jackets in minute patterns.  A patch pocket adds a casual touch, and buttons in a quality material such as metal, horn or mother of pearl will bring extra dash.

Tweed Jacket & Jeans
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Wearing A Suit Jacket And Jeans With Style

The other imperative element is the jeans. We recommend a dark pair free of evidence of wear or tear; hemmed and slightly tapered to fit well. For a stylish look you definitely want to stay away from over distressed jeans. As a rough rule of thumb, your jeans should fit in the same way that your suit pants fit. To complete the look add a nice part of semi formal shoes as evidenced by Dave Gandy below.

Tailored Jacket and Jeans
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The Shirt

Also keep in mind that the shirt also should perhaps be less formal than the ones you wear with your full suits.  We hanker towards looser weaves, perhaps in chambray or linen. If you regularly wear other types of shirts with your jeans than you do with your suits, these shirts would be a good starting point.

Another thing to keep in mind, is to resist wearing your suit jacket with jeans too often. Practically, if the jacket shows the effects of weathering whereas the trousers of your suit do not, it is a waste of a suit, and you would be much better placed by investing in a blazer or sports coat. Which leads us onto our next point... 

Blazer Or Sports Jacket With Jeans

More romantically, there are certain details that make a blazer or sports coat, rather than a suit jacket, the more elegant choice for wear with jeans. However, if money is a consideration, a suit jacket can be worn with spirit or else altered, with buttons replaced and accent stitches added, for wear with jeans. 


Blazer and Jeans
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Shoes should of course not be neglected, brogues or a cap-toe Oxford shoe, perhaps in a lower key suede rather than in leather, are the safer choice.  As with all styles, once you perfect it and as dressing becomes more effortless and gratifyingly enjoyable, rules can be bent as you stake out your personal territory with brio and verve.

Further to the above are accents to the sports jacket with jeans look. A waistcoat can be added to dress the look up. Again we would recommend that you wear dark, well fitted jeans with this look.

Waist Coat & Jeans
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Adding a waist coat is a great way to add a stylish edge when wearing a suit jacket with jeans casually. The layering and pocket square add interest, but the casual shirt and jeans make it perfect for a relaxed social occasion.

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