How to Wear a Suit Jacket

How to Wear a Suit Jacket

No man's wardrobe is complete without a suit jacket. If you've ever wondered how to wear one, then here's our style guide on the best ways to wear this staple item of men's clothing. 

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Men have been wearing suits for as long as anyone can remember. Wearable for many different occasions, a suit is the epitome of formal men's fashion. Whether you're going to a swanky party, or just working at the office, a suit is the go to choice for any man.

However, most men don't realise that you can take an element of a suit, such as the jacket, and combine it with different outfits. Due to their versatile nature, suit jackets are a perfect item of clothing to combine with many outfits. This is especially true if you're wanting to create a smart casual outfit. Simply add a suit jacket and your outfit will instantly become more formal.

How to Wear a Suit Jacket with Jeans

It's time to start thinking about the different ways that you can wear a suit jacket. Of course, the easiest way to wear a suit jacket is with a suit, but what if you want to wear it with other outfits? For instance, wearing a blazer with jeans can be a perfect smart casual combination. Here's the best ways to wear a blazer and jeans.

The main thing to consider when wearing jeans with a blazer is the formality of the outfit. You may be reading this wondering how to wear a blazer casually, and jeans are a great way to do this. However, Dependent on the event you're going to you will most likely want to wear a more casual suit jacket, or sports coat. Wearing an ultra formal suit jacket with a pair of blue stonewashed jeans, for instance, won't work.

However, if you wanted to know how to wear a navy suit jacket casually, for example, then jeans are a great idea. Grab a light linen sports jacket in a dark navy blue, as this will look great combined with a pair of light blue or black jeans. Cuff the jeans, add a pair of brown boat shoes or loafers, and a loose fitting dress shirt, for a great summery outfit.


How to Wear a Black Suit Jacket

One of the trickiest suit jackets to combine with other outfits is probably going to be a black blazer for men. It just so happens that this is also one of the most classic suit jackets you could own.

If you're wearing a black suit jacket as part of a suit ensemble, then the first thing to remember is always wear black shoes. Anything else just won't go. In terms of what shirt you should wear, there are lot's of different choices, although a classic white dress shirt is always a winner. At the risk of looking like you're out of Reservoir Dogs, combine this with a black skinny tie for a timelessly classic look. Although don't be afraid to experiment with different coloured shirts and ties.

But, if you're wondering what to wear with a blazer to make your outfit more casual, then always stick to black jeans. As long as your black suit jacket isn't overly formal, such as a dinner jacket, then you should be able to get away with combining it with a pair of dark black jeans. Cuff your jeans so people know you're wearing them intentionally, and add a pair of black loafers. If you're really going for a smart casual look then try wearing a plain white T-shirt underneath.

Blazer men look


How to Wear a Grey Suit Jacket

Unlike a black suit jacket, that is particularly formal and dark, a grey suit jacket is perfect for a more informal, light, or summery occasion. For instance, if you were going to a summer party outside, unless it was in the late evening, you probably wouldn't want to wear a black blazer.

A grey suit jacket on the other hand would be perfect for this. As long as it isn't too heavy or dark, try combining it with a pair of light or dark blue denim jeans. You could even wear a classic pair of cream chinos. The thing to remember with a grey blazer is to stick to light colours. A pair of light tan brogues are a great semi-formal shoe to wear with this smart casual outfit.

grey blazer and dark jeans mens street style


Try wearing some bright coloured shirt combinations and you will have the perfect summer outfit. You can decide to wear this with or without a tie, depending on how formal you want to look. Just remember to stick to bright colours. Why not try out a tie with a pattern on it?

How to Wear a Double Breasted Suit Jacket

If you're a 1940s gangster, or just want to look really formal, then you may wear a double breasted suit jacket. Double breasted jackets have similar button rules to a two buttoned single breasted jacket. Always do up the middle button. Just forget about the top button on a double breasted jacket, it doesn't actually do anything, it's just for show. But, never do up the button button. But, remember, you should never undo these, even sitting down isn't an excuse.

casual navy blazer men


Made with an extra long waist section, you should always do up double breasted suits. If you don't, then the sides of your suit will just flap about and completely ruin any sense of neatness. The whole point of a suit is to define the lines of your silhouette. If you don't follow these rules, it won't do this.

Suit Jacket

Suit Rules

You're probably reading this wondering how many rules there can be for simply wearing a suit jacket. Well, surprisingly there are quite a few. They're easy enough to follow once you know what they are. Just remember to keep following them, as it really makes a subtle, but noticeable, difference to your outfit.

First of all, you want to make sure that your suit fits properly. Despite how obvious of this sounds, the amount of men going around in suits that don't fit them properly would amaze you. The shoulders on your suit jacket will become square and stick out if you wear one that is too big. Leave the padded shoulders with the 80s power suits. On the other hand, if your suit jacket is too small then you're going to feel constricted, and run the risk of tearing the seams or popping the buttons.

suit jacket measurement graphic
Chest Measurement Guide for Suit Jackets

When wearing a suit jacket, the sleeves should sit just above your hand with the sleeve being slim around your arm. Be careful that they're not too tight on the arms as you wont be able to bend them properly. The seam of your shoulder should sit directly on the joint between your arm and shoulder. In terms of length, the jacket should end just below your hip bone and not be more than a few inches. Around the waist, make sure your suit jacket is tapered. Just remember to leave enough room to button it up without stretching or creasing the material.

Suit Buttons

The second rule on how to wear a suit jacket concerns the suit buttoning. Dependent on the breasting, and amount of buttons on your suit, there are different rules for buttoning a suit. First of all, here's the buttoning rules on how to wear a single breasted suit jacket.

Single Button Suit

The single buttoned suit jacket is probably the simplest form of suit jacket you can get. When wearing one of these, remember to always do up your button. It doesn't matter what the situation is, you fasten that button when you're wearing a single buttoned suit jacket. The only time it is acceptable to undo your button when wearing this suit jacket, is if you're sitting down. This will relieve pressure on your torso area and will reduce the chances of your suit creasing.

what to wear with a grey blazer dark grey


Two Button Suit

If you're finding a single button suit a bit too 'Top Man', you'll probably want to try wearing a suit jacket with two buttons. However, the rules are ever so slightly different when wearing a double buttoned suit jacket. With this type of jacket, make sure that you always do up the top button, just like the single buttoned. However, never do up the bottom button of the two. The design of two button suits assume that you're not going to do up your bottom button. Therefore, if you do it up it will most likely ruin the lines of your suit and crease it.

Just as before, your top button should never come undone. But once again, sitting down can create pressure or creasing in your suit. You can therefore undo your top button in this circumstance.

man wearing grey blazer and black trousers
PHOTO CREDIT: Fox Wilson Clothing


Three Button Suit

If you're really going for a formal look you might wear a three buttoned suit jacket. However, this does add another layer of complication to your suit button rules. But don't worry, it's still pretty simple to remember. Always do up the middle of the three buttons on this suit jacket. This is the first and most important thing to remember. Do this button up and never undo it, much like the top button on a two button jacket.

Never do up the bottom button, also like the two button jacket, this should remain undone at all times. It's with the top button that things become slightly more confusing. Whether or not you do up the top button is entirely down to personal choice. If you're going for a properly formal look you may consider doing it up, whereas it may look nicer to undo it in a more relaxed environment. As before, sitting down is the only excuse for undoing all the buttons.

Although we are specifically talking about suit jackets here, the same rules apply for when you're wearing a sports coat or sports jacket. Strictly following these rules isn't as necessary with a sports jacket. If you're wearing a sports coat you want to relax, doing up your buttons correctly will probably be the last thing on your mind.

How to Wear a Suit Jacket

  • Make sure your jacket fits properly. The shoulder seams should sit on your arm joint. The sleeves should end just above your hand, and the taper on your waist shouldn't be too tight.
  • Dependent on how many you have, make sure you do your buttons up correctly. It may seem insignificant, but the small details is what wearing a suit is all about.
  • Experiment with different outfits. Combining your suit jacket with more casual clothes such as a pair of jeans may seem daunting, but it can look great.
  • If you're wearing jeans with a blazer, make sure they match. Blue jeans probably aren't going to go well with a black blazer.

a man wearing a pink shirt, navy blazer and white trousers
A man wearing a pink shirt, navy blazer and white trousers

On That Note

A suit jacket is a must have item of clothing for every man, and is more versatile than you might expect. On the one hand, a suit is, as you would expect, a great thing to wear as part of a suit ensemble. However, if for instance, you came here wondering what to wear with black jeans, then look no further than the humble blazer. Follow this style guide and you'll be in safe hands.


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