The epitome of smart casual, the blazer and jeans is a fail-safe option for many modern gentleman’s needs. Whether it be a casual Friday work attire or drinks with friends, this combination will make sure men are neither too under dressed or overdressed for the occasion.
For the benefit of this article we are going to focus on a solid colour blazer as oppose to a sports jacket that might have varied patterns and fabrics. But that being said if the sports jacket has a defining colour similar to the blazer then the same rules could still be applied.
Now I can’t guarantee that you are going to have a blazer and jeans that match perfectly sitting in your wardrobe. This could take some hunting around and it is more than likely that you have one but not the other in the required combination. So apply these rules when you are next out shopping and you will find the partner you need. It might be a good idea to take the right garment you have with you to the shops so you can try them on together.
The blazer in question should be a single use blazer not just the jacket from your suit. To make it easier focus on a single breasted two-button, which is a great choice for a paired back ensemble.
Best Blazer Structure and Fit
Because you are stepping out of the conformity of a suit, your blazer should follow this same rule. Pick a blazer that isn’t too padded in the shoulders as this will look too structured and formal. But men don’t want to lose the fit (this is the holy grail). So choose a jacket with a double vent or no vent at all as it will give a slimmer silhouette. Although they are harder to find and typically more expensive they will offer a better overall look to most male body shapes.
When the top button of the blazer is done up you don’t want it to look too stretched (too small) alternatively you don’t want to be able to fit your missus in the gap (too big). The best fit for men should allow the width of two fingers to comfortably slide in between the jacket and your shirt when in line with your mid-bicep.
If you are following these steps in summer then I would recommend a line and cotton mix. In the colder months then a nice wool jacket which isn’t too thick will do nicely. Remember it will easily become a layering piece, so you can always add a jumper if you get too cold.
The easiest rule to follow for men’s jeans worn with a blazer is simplicity. That means no rips, tears or adornments. A simple slim cut jean will be ideal. If you are feeling confident then by all means play around with light wash denims but if you are just starting out then I recommend a dark wash in either navy, black or grey. This way they offer a solid foundation and are versatile when it comes to the colours of your shoes and what is being worn beneath the blazer.
Your jeans should sit just on your shoes. If you have some bunching of fabric then take them to a tailor and have some length taken from them. For darker denim like a selvedge jean it is customary to have them rolled up to show the conflicting colours. This is fine for this combination just take extra care of your shoe choice as this will fall in the more casual camp.
Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.