Sports jacket + jeans
Very specific combo…
And one of my favorites.
‘Cause the look is:
2. Above average (2 layers = more sophisticated)
3. More “relaxed” than a suit/tux
4. Flexible – works whether you…
Dress up in the whole thing
Dress down & take off the jacket
Easy to try?
Yes – lots of options.
Easy to master?
But it helps to learn how to nail each element of the style (and practice doing so).
That’s what this article is for!
Click Here To Watch The Video – How To Wear A Sports Jacket With Jeans
Click Here To Watch The Video – Matching Denim And A Sports Coat
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Tip #1: Pick The Right Sports Jacket
The first trick to nailing this combination: get the jacket right.
By making the right selection, it’ll be hard to screw up the entire thing.
That means NOT picking out a jacket that’s part of your favorite suit (or any suit).
Why? Your go-to suits should be ready at all times. And by wearing the jacket separately from the trousers – not only are there risks of waking up without a good suit to wear to work.
The worst part comes when the jacket starts to discolor. It makes the whole suit look “off” – and practically defunct.
What Matters In Choosing A Sports Jacket?
There’s actually a wide range of jeans you can choose from – not one “right” type to stick to. But always think about a couple of factors as a guide:
Fabric: This is more important than many guys realize. A fine, worsted wool jacket screams “suit” and “formal.” It can work with jeans – but it won’t look and feel as relaxed as a fabric made of corduroy or a visible twill weave. You want it sporty and casual.
Function: Pay attention to the small details (pockets, lapels, etc.). If you’re attending events where people come in unique, casual styles – consider experimenting with features such as leather elbow patches or squarish, accordion-style pockets.
Cut: The advantage of men’s jackets is the added definition – but don’t overdo it. A little softness in the shoulder is good, and the taper at the waist shouldn’t be too extreme. The jacket should be loose enough to use for hunting or hiking (that’s what sports jackets were originally for).
Color & Pattern: While solid-colored sports jackets are fine, you’re not going to wear them to corporate meetings. So be more adventurous. I suggest that you first look into different blues, and then tan, gold or lighter shades of brown. Try jackets with a distinct pattern like windowpane checks or plaids. But avoid stripes (they’re too business-like).
Tip #2: Choose The Right Jeans
Now that you know how to nail the sports jacket – the next step is to find the best jeans.
How? It’s the same deal as sports jackets. There’s a set of criteria to follow.
The right pair of jeans has the following traits:
A close fit: Well-fitted jeans are NOT the same as skinny jeans (the latter has been going out of style for quite some time now).
But loose jeans are just as wrong. You want your pants to show a smooth body outline – not any sag around the thighs and crotch.
The proper length: Since you’ll be wearing nice shoes for this wardrobe, the cuff of the jeans should rest lightly on the top of each shoe while standing straight.
A heavier fabric: You want it made of a heavy-weight denim (it has a better quality). It should be able to tell people that you don’t wear these pants while working on your car or hiking in the woods.
A clean design: You don’t want any holes, tears, fraying at the cuffs and pockets, “acid wash” patches or sequins. A business-casual look is still your end goal.
A dark color: Darker hues are “dressier.” That’s why you can’t go wrong with a deep indigo (have 1-2 pairs). Black also works. More fashion-forward men like to experiment with white or light-gray, but beginners should stick to jeans that are darker than the jacket.
There’s an exception when it comes to navy or dark blue sports jackets. Since you want to avoid the redundancy of blue, you can mix it up with these alternative choices – khaki, tan, gold, olive green, maroon or shades of gray.
Tip #3: Leverage Nice Accessories
The big advantage of a sports jacket is that right off the bat, you’re dressed a bit higher than those around you in casual settings. Even if you’re wearing jeans.
You can either play it safe and leave it at that – or incorporate some accessories to really stand out. Why not try to wow everyone in the room?
To make this happen, you’ll need a bit of creativity and experimentation. Remember all the accessories you can use in this situation:
Pocket squares: The color should pop out while wearing your jacket. Patterns like dots or paisleys can make them look better.
Casual neckties: Knitted or wool types are among the best options (save silk ties for formal occasions).
Eyeglasses: Learn how to find the right glasses and frame color for your face.
Jewelry: This includes watches, bracelets, and rings.
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Tip #4: Wear A Good Shirt
What’s the beauty of a double-layered top (collared shirt layered with a sports jacket) and jeans?
Versatility. It’s perfect to wear to any casual business function or church service on weekends.
But while you might’ve chosen the perfect jacket and jeans – it’s important that the shirt matches up nicely with them.
Notice we’re talking about collared shirts. They don’t necessarily have to be dress shirts. But a collar does matter. T-shirts are a bit too casual to wear underneath a jacket.
The only time you’d probably get away with it is when you’re hitting the dance club (opt for a dark T-shirt and a pair of skate shoes).
Some basic points to take note of:
- You can pick any type of collared shirt (polo, short-sleeve, casual button-down) in this case
- Avoid really bright colors or heavy patterns – they’re too “informal” for sports jackets
- Ensure that the patterns of your shirt and your jacket look distinctly different
A safe bet would be a solid, lightly patterned dress shirt (white, shades of blue or darker colors). But then again – it really boils down to the “theme” or image you want to project.
Some examples you may want to follow:
A Nice Dinner & Drinks
- A patterned dress shirt – butcher stripes are perfect
- A solid dark-colored sports jacket (dark blue, brown or olive green)
- A lightly patterned dress shirt
- An earth-tone or khaki sports jacket
- A solid dark-colored turtleneck or collared shirt (contrasts with the jacket color)
- A soft-shouldered, close-fitting sports jacket (no particular color)
Tip #5: Wear Appropriate Shoes
Your aim should be to look stylish as a WHOLE – all the way down to your toes.
For shoes, avoid anything too formal. That includes Oxfords, Balmorals or footwear made of patent leather (the type with a very sleek, shiny finish).
Instead – find a good pair of loafers, monk straps or dress boots. Those styles mix best with the casualness of jeans. But they still share that same level of classiness as a sports jacket.
Color-wise, limit your options to oxblood (burgundy) and dark browns. As you’ll see in this guide to matching shoes with a suit – oxblood shoes are pretty versatile.
They avoid causing redundancy when it comes to both dark gray and brown/brownish suits. So the same principle applies to your sports jacket (whether it’s brown, tan, gold, charcoal gray or a similar hue).
Black tends to look too formal – or contrast harshly with your jacket. Save black for the office or any events with a strict dress code.
Pastels are in right now, and what better shade of pastel than ultra flattering and feminine lavender hair?