Whether a blazer with a T-shirt look is acceptable or not is a regularly debated issue and one that’s rarely concluded. However, we believe if it’s pulled off correctly it can look both classic and effortlessly stylish. But, and that’s a big but, if you plan to pull it off successfully there are a few key things to bear in mind to avoid looking like Roy from The IT Crowd.
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Blazer and T-shirt
Blazers are one of those staple pieces of clothing that are a lot more versatile than people give it credit for. Easily matched with formal outfits and an endless array of Oxford shirts, it’s something that’s ideal for smarter occasions, but it also works great with a lot of casual pieces as well. Blazer and jeans work great together and are a go-to combination when creating a casual, yet put together look. Makes sense then that something as equally versatile as a slim fit T-shirt will work just as well with a blazer.
Of course, there are some things you should probably keep in mind before you start throwing random T-shirts on with any old blazer, but these are mainly things that you need to remember for any outfit – fit, colour, pattern and length.
To get this look right there are few things you need to make sure you’re doing right. To start off make sure both your blazer and T-shirt are slim fitting and you stick to a simple crew T-shirt with minimal to no branding.
Anything that’s too loud is going to take away from the formal look and make it seem like you’ve just thrown a blazer over your casual wear. If you absolutely have to go for some detail keep it small with either a subtly texturised material or with a minimal logo in the corner of the T-shirt.
If you’re going for bright colours make sure either you’ve either got it on your t-shirt or your blazer, not both. Combining two sets of loud colours is going to look confusing and clash awkwardly, and also take away the clean, smart look. Keep it simple, and if you want to go for a bright blazer make sure your T-shirt is in a neutral black or white.
If you’re wearing a blazer keep the length of it in mind. Anything too long is going to look like you’re a kid wearing your dad’s jacket. Anything too short and it’ll look like you’ve had an impromptu growth spurt.
As a general rule your blazer shouldn’t end past your hand or above your waistline, and depending on your body shape can fall somewhere between the two. Sleeve lengths, however, aren’t really up for debate. As with all jackets, your sleeves should never drown your hands or bare your wrists and should fall somewhere in the middle of the wrist.
The rule on fit for blazers is more or less the same as with a suit jacket. A blazer is supposed to be more slim fitting, but if it’s too tight and there are creases around the buttons where the material is straining, then you need to bite the bullet and go for a size up. Likewise, if your blazer isn’t following the shape of your body or pinching in a little at the waist then it’s not fitted enough, and you won’t get the sharp look you’re going for.
Casual Blazers for Men
So, what is a blazer, and what makes it different from a suit jacket? Well, in short, not a lot. A blazer is essentially just a jacket that isn’t paired with matching trousers and tends to have a less tailored structure. However the name has been merged and lost in translation and, because of this, it’s pretty hard to show a clear difference between the two. If you’re wondering how to wear a blazer casually, don’t worry too much, it’s pretty, and all depends on how you dress it down.
Remember it’s not just the T-shirt that gives the outfit a casual boost, and when you’re wondering what to wear with your blazer, why not try more laid-back legwear? Blazers and jeans work great together, but the right joggers can be something to consider as well. We’re not suggesting you throw on any kind of loungewear, but some slim fitting black joggers in a thick cotton, alongside your blazer, can be a surprisingly good combination.
Black Blazer Outfits
When it comes to choosing the colour and style of your blazer, an obvious starting point is the most classic colour of them all, black. The best blazers for men are ones that can be paired with A black blazer’s versatility is great as it means you can wear one with more or less anything.
If you need an outfit for a more formal event then you can easily wear a black blazer with a pair of black or grey dress pants. Keeping the colours neutral helps to give a more refined finish, and you can easily complete the outfit with some leather dress shoes to stay in keeping with the smart look.
White Blazer for Men
If you’re wondering what to wear with a blazer in white, and you feel like the look is a little too bold, then simple tone it down with some darker trousers. Black will create a heavy contrast, so navy is a good alternative, creating a clean difference but without too much intensity. Then just finish off with some brown loafers or brogues to stay in keeping with the warm tone colour scheme.
Legwear with Blazers
Obviously, in order to be able to go outside and talk to people, you’ll need to wear some kind of trousers when you’re and the good thing about pairing a T-shirt with a blazer is that the look is automatically more casual, so you have more options with your choice of leg wear.
For the classic look for a pair of smart trousers will do the job, just make sure that they’re well fitted and break just above the top of your shoes. Try ones that are a little tapered as they’ll avoid falling too loosely over your shoes and will help elongate your body, as well as fit neatly with the slim look of the outfit.
Make sure the waistline fits high enough up your body that you can tuck your t-shirt in if need be, and that it fits around your waist without the need of a belt to hold it up. An easy rule to remember is that you should be able to fit two fingers easily between your stomach and your waistline so that it’s loose enough for you to move around in but fitted enough to stay streamlined.
If you’re going for a more casual look with a pair of jeans the same rules apply. Keep them slim and tapered, and for an added bit of interest try turning them up. There are various ways to do it, so experiment, or read it the different ways in our denim guide, to see what looks you can achieve.
Wearing jeans automatically makes the outfit more casual, so make sure that your jeans are perfectly clean and fitted to avoid looking shabby. Avoid anything too textured or stone washed, and go instead for a neutral, deep colour that will work with the smart look of the blazer.
If you’re a skinny jeans kind of guy then yes, they can be worn with blazers, but make sure that the blazer is well fitted around the waist and arms, otherwise you can end up looking out of proportion and the overall look won’t be streamlined.
You can get your outfit bang on – have the right fitting blazer, the perfect colour arrangement and legwear that matches perfectly – but if the shoes aren’t right then the whole look will fall apart. Shoes need to be kept simple and slim when paired with a blazer. Anything that’s too chunky will disrupt the narrow look of the outfit and give the impression that your wearing shoes that are far too big for you. Keep them well fitted, but experiment with styles.
If your outfit is feeling a little too formal just change up your footwear and try out a pair of simple canvas plimsolls. Not only will they be comfortable but they’ll tone down the outfit in a stylish and subtle way. Avoid patterns and go for a mono-coloured look with, for example, a pair of white lace up trainers. Anything too busy will detract from the blazer and look out of place.
For footwear that stays on the smart scale try out clean designs like derbies, monk straps or loafers. They’ll match effortlessly with the rest of the outfit and will smarten up your outfit if you went for more casual legwear like jeans.
If you’re wearing loafers you can try different looks, like penny or tassel styles, that will add some interest if you went for a plain blazer. Different textures can also change up the look, and you can go for a sleek leather pair to compliment a sophisticated style or try a more relaxed suede look. You can pair loafers with pretty much any trousers you want, from chinos to jeans, and can transform a look by giving it a boost of sophistication.
How to Pull off the Blazer with T-shirt Look
- Make sure your blazer fits you perfectly and doesn’t create an X mark when it’s buttoned up.
- Wear a slim fit, crew neck T-shirt. Anything too baggy will look untidy.
- For a casual look, match your blazer with jeans, opting for slim or skinny fit for an alternative vibe.
- Stick with simple colours to keep the look balanced and neat.
On That Note
So now you know the right ways to pair the humble T-shirt with the seemingly over formal blazer. It might seem like there’s a lot of rules to follow, but the main, most important one is that each item fits you according to your body shape.
Explore the look and try out different styles. Match formal tops with casual bottoms – try out loafers or plimsolls, and play around with colour. With T-shirts being as versatile as shirts, they’re so many different ways to pair them with the classic blazer, so whatever look you’re going for you’re bound to find something to suit you.