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Suit jackets aren’t just for work and formal engagement anymore. Men are increasingly dusting off their formal clothes and trying to work them into casual outfits.
Bring out the colors
It’s rare that you’ll get to wear a brightly colored suit in a legitimately formal situation. Yet you can quite easily buy suit jackets in all colors of the rainbow. Now the mystery of their existence has been solved: they are perfect to smarten up a casual outfit! A vibrant blue blazer is very 2012, while colors such as red and purple can be worn despite what’s in this season.
Make it obviously casual
A blazer is an attention-catching piece, so you don’t need to load up your outfit with plenty of confusing details. In particular, don’t wear a tie. If you feel like you need an accessory to complete your outfit, put on a scarf. Keep any jewelry understated.
It can be hard to pick a top to wear under a blazer, but a safe option is a plainly colored, V-neck top. The sleeve length doesn’t matter, as you won’t be able to tell how long the sleeves are under the blazer. Just don’t try to wear a sleeveless tank top- you will look like you got dressed in the dark.
You can wear a graphic printed T-shirt under a blazer- although it should be too eye-catching a design or your outfit will be too complicated. Try to tie in one of the colors of the print with the color of your blazer.
Some pants just don’t work
There are many types of pants that can be worn with a blazer. Trackpants are not among them. Your pants should be reasonably fitted, so sweats are far too loose, along with some cuts of jeans for that matter.
Unlike when you wear matching dress pants with your suit jacket, the material of your pants should not be the same as your jacket when dressing casually. The colors should also be different, even if it’s as subtle as wearing blue skinny jeans with a black blazer.
Jeans are your best option to pair with a blazer, preferably skinny or straight-cut jeans. Chinos can also look fantastic, particularly if you’re going the route of a brightly colored blazer- although you can go the other way around, wearing bright chinos with a black or navy blazer.
Working your blazer into smart casual
One way to get more out of your blazer is to pair it with a dress shirt and jeans. The shirt should be fitted and hit just below the belt line, worn untucked with the top button undone. Skip out on the tie- although you can get away with wearing a trilby hat.
This is more formal than wearing your blazer over a T-shirt- perfect for looking sharp at social engagements. Wear with dress shoes if you want to make it more formal, or a nice pair of boat shoes for a laid-back look.