Can you pair a men’s casual blazer with Jeans? Yes, but there are a few rules you must follow to get you to stand apart from the crowd.
The problem is most jackets are too formal, jeans are too casual, and the look falls apart when people try to pair them together.
The key to making it all work is to dress down the jacket while also dressing up your jeans.
The combo will also depend a lot on the season. Spring, Fall, and Winter months are much easier to match the men’s casual blazer with jeans because you have a lot of extra layers that can bring the two together.
Pairing in the Summer could be tricky as simplicity is the key to making it work. Also, jeans are harder to pull off right in the Summer given the hot weather. I much prefer chinos in the look, but jeans work really well paired with a simple tee or white button down and a casual brown belt.
I am actually writing this article in June in a pair of gap dark blue jeans, a beige Nautica structured jacket, J. Crew white/blue/orange plaid shirt, and single monk strap brown leather shoes (no socks). It works!
Before we jump into what to wear, lets understand the differences between each type of jacket. Then I will go into the rules how to wear a men’s casual jacket with jeans.
What is a Casual Blazer
There are 4 types of jackets a guy can own. We can get a suit jacket, blazer, casual blazer, and a sport coat. Are you wondering what the differences are? Lets tackle each one separately.
The Suit Jacket
Some people wear their suit jacket separately and use it as a casual blazer. The suit is one of the most formal looks for a guy and has nothing casual about it.
When buying a suit (matching jacket, pants, and sometimes vest), the fabric is made to look much more smart and elegant. The suit is fitted closely to your body and meant for more formal occasions.
So why not take a suit jacket and pair it with jeans? Suit jackets are too formal and will never look good paired with jeans. When we start with a suit jacket, the style, fabric, and cut can never be properly dressed down enough to look right.
When people separate the jacket from the pants, they are also wearing their suit unevenly which should be avoided.
The suit looks great together with its matching pants and there is no need to pair them with jeans. Below are 2 suits with the left one being more casual, the right more formal, but both look great paired with the matching suit pants. Never mess with perfection!
The blazer jacket was designed to be less formal then the suit jacket and never comes with matching pants. Traditionally the blazer was cut slightly baggier then a suit, made of thicker fabric, and eye catching gold buttons.
Since it was designed to be less dressy, it could work with jeans, but this could be a stretch depending on the jeans and shirt. The blazer will pair well with jeans when you dress the outfit up with a casual shirt and a nice belt and shoes.
The blazer is very commonly paired with chinos and can be worn in both casual or formal settings if paired with the right shirt or tie. This is a great Summer style.
The most common color for the blazer is navy blue, but gray and blue are are also very popular. Personally, I prefer to only have the blazer in navy and I reserve my gray color for a tweed sport coat.
In my opinion, the Men’s casual blazer with jeans is a great look. Casual blazers are usually unstructured, fitted, with lighter fabrics which makes them very different then a traditional wool blazer. They look way more casual then a regular blazer, and are often of much lower quality fabric.
A traditional blazer is made from a thicker wool then a suit jacket but much thinner then a sport coat. A casual blazer can be made from just about any fabric including cashmeres, cotton, linen, polyester, nylon rayon, silk, tweed, flannel, velvet and wool. I find cotton to be a very common fabric for a casual blazer and are most often very light weight and good for Summer.
Casual blazers could be made with or without structure. A structured jacket usually has padding and a liner. Casual blazers are usually cut much closer to the body then a traditional blazer. Most guys tend to push up the sleeves a bit too.
The casual blazer was very common in the 1980s when unstructured jackets were all the rave.
Given that the material is much lighter and thinner then a traditional wool blazer, the casual blazer makes for a great Summer jacket. Lighter colors are very common. You can also get a casual blazer in very fun colors and fabrics which make for some fun Summer BBQs.
In my opinion, I prefer to reserve the browns and grays for my Winter tweed sport coats over a Summer casual blazer but a great beige, light blue, or plaid is perfect in a Summer weight casual blazer.
The Sport Coat
The sport coat is a very different jacket then the other jackets here. It was designed to be an outer garment used to sport around in the country hunting or riding in all types of weather.
The fabric options are pretty endless here but mostly are made in wool. The fabric is usually too warm for Summer months but are perfect in the Fall, Winter, and Spring seasons.
Since the sport coat was designed for sporting, it is designed to take a beating and sometimes come with leather patches to protect the wearer and provide more wear. The design is very popular in the English country side where a lot of the tweed fabrics get their name.
I love sport coats! I cannot get enough of them and wish I had a huge closet just to hold all the varieties I would want. But since my closet is very limited, I am currently limited to a brown and gray tweed sport coat but I have plans to buy more very soon.
Rules for Pairing the Men’s Casual Blazer with Jeans
The casual blazer was almost designed to be paired with jeans, as is the sport coat. Given its less formal look and more casual fabrics, it is very easy to put together with the right pair of jeans.
Here are a few rules for wearing the men’s casual blazer with jeans. There is plenty of wiggle room in these rules as your personal style will have a lot to say in the pairing.
Styling a casual blazer with jeans is all about your personal style! This cannot be understated. Have fun, try new things, and always change things around. The combinations are almost endless and really fun to try out.
Rule 1: Dark Jeans are Best
If the goal is to pair a casual blazer with jeans, then we must dress up the jeans. This means you need a well fitted, dark, and clean (no rips) pair of jeans. This could be dark blue or black.
Fit is everything in both the jacket and jeans, so make sure you have a great fitting pair that offer a bit of stretch. Never baggy. Actually, any pair of jeans that don’t fit you perfectly should never be worn with anything, and thrown away today.
Depending on the season, you can also wear a lighter pair but only with a very light and super casual jacket. Lighter jeans are much less formal and you will need to have a jacket that is super casual to make it work.
Everyone has a different body type and I recommend going to the mall and trying on every pair of jeans from every store to find the perfect ones. I lucked out and was able to get my favorite jeans from the gap. Gap jeans are pretty good (not the best for sure) but the fit was perfect for me.
Fit is more important then anything else, and should be for you too.
Rule 2: Layering Men’s Casual Blazer with Jeans
Layering your outfit will multiple your style options and really make it all work together. This is almost as important as selecting the right jacket and jeans (almost).
Layering other to dress up the jeans and dress down the jacket are critical and really add to the overall look. This is pretty easy to do too.
You can layer with a light sweater, vest, over coat, pea coat, scarf, or just about anything you can think of. Everything you can think of to blend the formal blazer jacket with the casual jeans will work.
Rule 3: Quality Shoes Make the Outfit
The shoes are critical and will go a long way to either dress up or down your outfit, regardless of your jacket. If you have on a nice pair of shoes, your outfit will look dramatically dressier then if you have a fashion sneaker.
I would stick with brown leather, really high quality shoes, and casual socks (or no socks). Don’t over due it and wear your suit shoes. That would be a huge mistake. These are just a pair of quality shoes that could work with a suit but most often great for casual Fridays.
I recommend oxfords, monks, loafer chukka, or leather boot. There are many more to choose from but I prefer the classics that always look great.
Rule 4: Button Down Casual Shirts
Button down shirts are best for wearing with a jacket, but should be a casual style. An oxford shirt is perfect as well as something with some fun color and character.
Your shirt will have a lot to say about the outfit and bring it all together. Colors are great and I even like plaids and fun styles to mix it up. Avoid tee and polo shirts if possible. They can be worn and can make a great look, but I prefer making sure I am a bit more styled then the rest and tee’s don’t make the grade.
If you want to wear white button down, then avoid a tie and open the buttons a little more on top. This is a very classic look. When wearing a tie, go for a dark colored shirt and layer it with a casual sweater.
If you are looking for a more dressy option (not casual), then wearing a white shirt and tie are a great way to raise the bar a little, but be careful as to not go too dressy and make your jeans look out of place. This is where chinos work great.
Rule 5: Always Match Your Belt with your Shoes
Your belt should always match your shoes. If you have a high quality brown leather shoes, then your belt needs to match, almost exactly in color and style.
A mans belt collection should be vast. I have over 20 pairs of shoes and over 40 belts to wear with them (and I still think I need more).
In the Summer when going sock-less, sometimes you can forgo the belt, but you are missing on an opportunity to make a style statement and bridge the jean/jacket style gap.
Rule 6: Layer with a Sweater
I love wearing a light sweater under my jacket to provide a very different layered look. This is a great way to dress down the jacket too. But also know that there are problems with laying that cannot be easily addressed.
Having a jacket that fits you well is really, really important. When you tailor your jacket to wear with a button down shirt, it will be too tight when you pair it with a light sweater. There is no good solution for this problem.
What I do is have a few extra jackets in different sizes and fabrics. I have my Summer lighter jackets in a 38, my normal jackets in a 40 Slim, and when I layer, I need to bump up to a 40/42. It’s never ideal to have jackets in multiple sizes but can work if you divide your sized my season. My winter fabrics tend to be sized larger so I can layer under them and my Summer smaller so I don’t.
I also try to get stretch fabric when possible. A good quality wool sport coat doesn’t come in stretch options so I get a larger size. This is not convenient so I limit my larger sized to sport coats in Fall and Winter styles when wearing a sweater is more common.
Rule 7: Don’t Forget a Pocket Square
I personally think if your jacket has a breast pocket, you should put a pocket square in it. This is the perfect way to either dress up or down the casual blazer look and add some fun style and color.
Quality pocket squares can easily cost $20+ per square but I recommend starting with the basics. Get at least one plain white to match your white shirt, and a few colored ones. Blue is a good one to bring in the color of the jeans or maybe go bold to really bring out your style.
I bought a 30 pack of lower quality squared for around $20 on Amazon. The 30 pack covers most of my needs but the quality isn’t great. It is always better to get fewer higher quality squares over cheaper ones but to get you start, the pack is great, and I will be sending it to the Good Will once I build up a quality set. I highly recommend getting a set just to give you extra layering and styling options when you want to really make a style statement.
Rule 8: Try a Casual Tie
Ties are for suits, but you can easily pull off wearing a linen or knit tie to really look great and turn some heads. This really dresses up the casual blazer so in this case, I would forget the tie unless that is the look you are going for.
Personally, I don’t like wearing ties but I know they look great with the casual blazer. I have a few knit ones that work well and don’t bother me as much as a regular tie does.
If you don’t like wearing ties like me, give a knit tie a try and see if its something you would be OK wearing.
Rule 9: Vests Really Make a Style Statement
I love the way a good vest really expands the style of any outfit and casual blazer. The key with a vest is it must be very fitted to your body. This means it needs to be adjustable. which a lot of vests don’t have.
When rocking a vest, tweed and bold colors really work great depending on the season. I have a salmon one that I never wear because the fit isn’t right and I expect it till be available at my local good will soon.
I have never really liked how sweater vests look , but there are some combos that work well. For me its just too difficult to pull off so I avoid them.
Rule 10: Never Overdue It on Accessories
When it comes to men and accessories, I always recommend 2 to 4 max. This includes a watch, bracelet, athletic band, rings, and other type of jewelry. I tend to wear a nice watch, Fitbit, and rope bracelet and feel like I am over doing it sometimes.
This doesn’t include a wedding ring, bag, sunglasses, or other clothing items like a scarf, hat, or gloves.
I always make sure that my watch (and band) and bracelet match the outfit I am wearing and I often have a matching Fitbit band too.
I hope this article on how to wear a men’s casual blazer with jeans helps you elevate your style game to the next level.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, but these pictures also come with Amazon links where you can get prices and actually buy it if you like it. I also recommend using Pinterest to get ideas on what to combine to get the look you want. Check out my Pinterest page for ideas.
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