How To Wear A Blazer Jacket With Jeans

How To Wear A Blazer Jacket With Jeans

The traditional blazer jacket paired with denim jeans.

A great outfit – a modern classic that 40 years ago was pushing the envelope but today is a established way to wear your blazer jacket in a casual setting.

Please note:

Wearing a blazer and jeans is different from wearing a sports jacket and jeans.

It’s important to understand that the two styles of jacket aren’t the same and should be paired with denim differently.

Features a BLAZER has that a SPORTS JACKET doesn’t:

· Solid color, usually navy blue and almost always dark
· Usually a smooth or fine-surfaced weave
· Almost always made from worsted wool, hopsack, or wool flannel
· Often a contrasting button color like brass, gold, mother of pearl or silver
· Minimal detailing or decorative elements
· Single (2 button) or double breasted – I prefer only single breasted with jeans but if you have the confidence……well you do what you want.
· Peak lapels are rare in single breasted but common in double breasted jackets.

Features a SPORTS JACKET has that a BLAZER doesn’t:

· Wide range of fabric colors – blues, browns, greens, and greys are common.
· Often patterned, from checks to plaid to houndstooth.
· Can have a textured weave such as corduroy, tweed, or herringbone
· Can be made from a wide range of fibers, from smooth twills to coarse tweeds
· Frequently feature extra elements like elbow patches and ticket pockets
· Single breasted design, normally 2 or 3 buttons.
· Patch pockets or hacking pockets are common with a sports heritage

Put in even more basic terms, a blazer is a simpler & dressier garment than a sports jacket.

It’s not as “busy” to look at.

That makes a blazer and blue jeans a very minimalist style.

It’s easy to build off of, gives you the flattering shape of a jacket without the stuffiness of a suit, and can dress up or down depending on how you accessorize. The trick lies in wearing the right blazer with the right jeans.

denim-jeans-blazer-combination-350Types of Blazers to Wear with Men’s Jeans

Not all navy blazers are created equal.

Some are meant to serve as a bare level of formality down from suits and ties (especially the double-breasted variety). These aren’t going to work with blue jeans. You should be looking for elements of a casual style:

Soft shoulders

Anything very crisply squared-off and military-looking is for business meetings and yachts. Look for something with a natural, un-padded shape.

Single-breasted, two-button construction.

Wearing jeans means wearing your jacket open at least some of the time. Double-breasted is right out (and too formal to pair with jeans anyway), and three-button styles tend to flap and billow when left unbuttoned. They’re also more likely to be mistaken for an out-of-place suit jacket.

Close fit

As above, you want to avoid flapping fabric when you wear the jacket open. A close fit in the chest is particularly important, but it’s worth keeping the jacket close around the hips as well.

Modest taper

The narrowest part of the jacket shouldn’t come in too sharply. You’re not going for a wicked, Italian-style hourglass here. A modest little bit of narrowing above the hips is all you need.

Simple fabric

You’re pairing the blazer with denim. A superfine wool with a lustrous sheen is going to be out of place, and so is a big, hairy tweed jacket. A simple, durable worsted is fine, as is a flannel if you prefer a more textured surface.

Avoid twill weaves if possible

A twill weave is easy to recognize by its narrow diagonal ribbing. That’s the same texture as denim jeans, and you don’t want two garments in a close but not-quite-matching texture, ever. Make sure the jacket is either a smooth-faced weave or something distinct from twill like hopsack, flannel, birdseye or nailhead.


You may also want to consider avoiding the traditional metallic buttons — or you may like the contrast in your outfit. It depends on the look you’re going for. Metal buttons are more conservative and a bit preppy; plastic or mother-of-pearl buttons that match the jacket color or complement it more subtly are a more modern and urbane look.

denim-jeans-blazer-combination2-350Types of Jeans to Wear With Men’s Blazers

Jeans and sports jackets lend themselves to natural contrasts. Jeans and blazers, on the other hand, both traditionally come in a deep blue shade. That makes finding a pair of jeans that stand out from your blazer more of an exercise in careful shopping than the sports jacket/jeans pairing.

Any pair of jeans that you’re wearing with a jacket should have a few basic “dressy” characteristics separating them from work jeans:

· Close fit in the waist/hips/crotch – no loose, sagging cloth
· No cargo pockets, gear loops, etc.
· Different color from the default “blue jeans” light blue
· Contrast-colored stitching — not required, but often a plus
· Decorative stitching

And within the realm of these “dressy” jeans you have two basic color options:

Darker than the blazer

Jeans in a really deep midnight-blue can work with a blazer that’s on the lighter end of navy (or in a different color altogether), especially if the jeans have some orange contrast stitching in them.

More unusual dark colors like gray or chocolate brown work for the jeans as well, although plain black is usually an awkward pairing for navy blue.

Lighter than the blazer

Lighter shades of blue, grays, and more fashion-forward colors like white or red denim give a good contrast. It’s one of the rare outfits where trousers lighter than the jacket is common and is a great choice when looking to dress the outfit down.

In either case your goal with the color is to avoid any pairing that’s close but not an actual match.

A perfect match (or so close that the eye can’t tell the difference) isn’t great, since it just makes you look like you’re wearing a suit with texture problems. Contrast between the blazer and the jeans is key.

What to Wear with a Blazer and Jeans

This is a deliberately dressed-down look. It pairs well with anything from a lightly-patterned dress shirt and leather shoes to a fitted T-shirt and canvas sneakers.

For a preppy look, throw on a red-striped necktie and choose a blazer with brass buttons. For something more contemporary wear a dark turtleneck or T-shirt and a blazer with matching-colored buttons. It all just comes down to the image you want.

The only things to steer clear of are any items that belong solidly to either conservative business wear or grungy street wear:  T-shirts with graphic designs, athletic shoes (go at least as dressy as a colored canvas sneaker), and so on. A blazer/jeans outfit belongs to the comfortable middle ground, not to either extreme.

lee1889_logo-350-2This men’s style educational guide is brought to you by my friends over at Lee Jeans.

I’m wearing their modern series denim right now as I type, and find they make great all purpose jeans I can wear with a blazer!

In Summary, it can take a little hunting to find the right blazer and the right pair of jeans.  But once you find them you have an outfit that holds up in almost any social situation.