The suit jacket is the most important piece in your wardrobe. It complements your entire look, represents the key component of any suit, and is a real all-rounder.
The all-rounder in your wardrobe: From business to casual with the suit jacket
Suit jacket… lounge jacket… blazer… No matter what you choose to call the most important piece in a man’s wardrobe, its status remains the same: number one! A well-fitted suit jacket should be a staple in any man’s wardrobe, whether you’re heading to the office, a special party, or a night on the town. The suit jacket is an incredibly versatile piece that can really take your look to the next level.
When a piece has a number of different names, it stands to reason that it is suitable for a number of different occasions, right? Exactly! The great thing about it is that the right suit jacket can be used to create three different looks. This means you can combine your favourite jacket with different outfits to create a whole new look time and again.
The perfect suit jacket for a variety of looks
If you’re trying to create multiple looks with a single suit jacket, then one thing is clear: finding the perfect suit jacket is key. And to make sure you get as much wear out of it as possible, you should be sure to find one that’s high quality. The material of your suit jacket should feel good and not be too thin. Fine wool or cotton are both excellent choices – and those containing linen are especially comfortable in summer.
As a basic rule to remember,
the coarser the material, the more casual the style of the suit jacket, so stick to finer textures if you’re going for a more professional look.
Alongside the material of your suit jacket, the cut and fit are also huge considerations. Slim-fit jackets are very much on trend right now and add clean lines to any outfit. A single-breasted jacket with two buttons is a particularly strong choice as it is both understated and suitable for a whole host of combinations. The sleeves should never be too short or too long: they should come down to the base of the thumb when your arms are by your sides. More fashion-conscious men tend to go for sleeves that are one to two centimetres shorter than this for a more casual look. As for your shirt sleeves underneath, there should be around 2 cm of your cuffs on show. Here’s a top tip: all sleeves look too short when your arms are outstretched. ;-)
Many people will tell you to look for a suit jacket in a plain, understated colour, although we aren’t fully on board with this advice: an understated pattern like check or herringbone will always give your jacket a personal touch. Patterned suit jackets can also be expertly combined to suit a whole host of styles, whether it’s for a casual, smart or professional occasion.
Business chic with your favourite suit jacket
Once you have found the perfect suit jacket, your first job should be to put together a professional-looking outfit. The suit jacket is the star of the show here and all of your other pieces should be selected around it. A plain shirt and a tasteful tie or bow tie make up the first part of your outfit. Then, depending on the colour and structure of your suit jacket, you will want to go for pleated trousers or a pair of classic suit trousers made of fine wool in grey tones – ranging from light to dark – or else a coordinating shade of blue.
Our more fashion-forward readers might want to take a look here at how to combine patterns and prints.
Expertly combined – your suit jacket gets a casual twist
The professional look is perfect for business meetings, but when it comes to the weekend or dress-down Fridays, it’s time to bring things down a level.
You can also team up your suit jacket with this look, so we’re combining your favourite wardrobe staple with alternative pieces to create a smart new outfit. Leave the tie at home and opt for a shirt with a contemporary pattern, a subtle texture or a fresh colour such as light blue or denim. Alternatively, you could even pair your suit jacket with a crewneck or turtleneck jumper to add some ‘knitwear flair’ to your outfit.
Chinos are not only on trend right now, they are also super comfortable while still creating a smart look. In fact, light or coloured chinos are set to be a real must-have this summer, so give them a try and enjoy an outfit that’s sure to help you see the sunny side of life. A neat pocket square in bright colours will finish off your suit jacket and make a real statement. And if there’s one thing you can’t forget, it’s sneakers! The epitome of any smart-casual look. But if sneakers aren’t your thing, how about a pair of loafers? These are also an ideal choice for a relaxing evening.
Sporty and modern – teaming a suit jacket with jeans
Everyone has at least one pair and most people consider them their favourite item in the wardrobe: a trusty pair of jeans.
The epitome of casual, jeans ooze informality and are the perfect partner to any relaxed look. Everyone knows that well-fitted jeans – whether they’re a modern fit, Flexcity or regular – look great with plain white T-shirt and sneakers. But there’s one thing missing: your favourite suit jacket. A suit jacket is sure to add that special something to your outfit while still looking contemporary and casual. You could even switch up your T-shirt for a patterned polo and your sneakers for loafers or contemporary lace-ups. Go for the combination that represents you best and that you feel most comfortable in – your suit jacket will do the rest all on its own.
Now you’re good to go to a party, a night out on the beach or in the bar, or even out shopping. And if the temperatures are too chilly for T-shirts, then why not team your suit jacket with a patterned, button-down shirt or a light, textured jumper? Don’t be afraid to try out patterns! And if you’re feeling extra bold, a pocket square is always sure to lend an understated feel to this outfit. Don’t worry about coming off old-fashioned – this is a look that’s as cool and individual as you are.
And if you just don’t feel like wearing a suit jacket today, then try mixing it up with a statement waistcoat.