Weekend casual – cotton blouson with denim

Posted by Atte Rytkönen on 14.5.2017 in General

A pair of classic blue jeans, a polo shirt and white sneakers. A summer combination that at this time of a year still needs a jacket to wear them with. And one of the best options to pair with this kind of outfit is in my opinion a classic cotton blouson. A casual, restrained and simple choice.

In general a classic blouson is in fact quite a versatile option. It works well with higher-waisted tailored trousers, and makes a great casual alternative to a tailored jackets. But it also works nicely with casual trousers such as jeans.

Cotton blouson with denim and classic white sneakers
Orange jacket brings contrast to otherwise restrained casual outfit.

Last weekend I was thinking about the upcoming summer. And I came up with a short list of five essential pieces for casual summer wear. Then I just decided to combine them all together. I will later try to come up with more detailed thoughts and I already have written about some of the items. But my list of five “casual” pieces for summer to have in your wardrobe are the following:

  • A good Casual jacket (cotton blouson)
  • A pair of well-fitting jeans
  • Polo shirt
  • White sneakers
  • Weekender bag for traveling
Cotton blouson with denim - the white polo shirt and right fit.
Make sure that when you wear a polo shirt, you wear one that fits you as it should.

A-1 cotton blouson

I have earlier written about the classic A-1 flight jacket. Most often the those flight jackets are made of leather or suede but if you are looking for something even more relaxed, try a blouson made of cotton or wool for example. The Valstar jacket here is also a casual take on the classic A-1 blouson. It is made of cotton and simply a great layer for spring days or cool summer nights. Briefly it is a classic Italian blouson-styled jacket.

There are couple of things that are good to keep in mind if you are looking for a blouson like this. Or a harrington jacket for example, which is also a good option for those looking for a casual spring and summer jacket. First of all, jackets like this are designed to be short. But you want the elastic hem on the bottom still to cover your waistband. And The sleeve cuffs should meet your wrists. Otherwise the fit should be a bit roomy, but noo too baggy in my opinion.

The cotton blouson I wear here is made as said by Italian company Valstar. The Valstar jackets usually are quite small in terms of fit, so you may want to consider sizing up one size from your normal size. I am around 170cm and 70kg and I wear S-size in that jacket. But as you can see from the pic below, the jacket is not baggy in anyway as I personally like it to be quite fitted. But in general I could wear M-size and the fit would still be good. And with M-size I could wear a heavier knitwear underneath the jacket which would make it even more versatile in terms of different combinations.

White polo shirt and denim

Blue jeans with white t-shirt is a classic combination. If you want to dress it up just a notch, you can replace the t-shirt with a polo shirt. In terms of polo shirts just remember three simple things.

  • Pay attention to the fit
  • Choose a plain – one colored shirt
  • No fakes or big logos
Cotton blouson with denim - white polo shirt with mismo bag and Kronaby watch
White polo shirt – a simple summer classic.

I personally like my polo shirts to fit pretty tight as you can see. Especially I like that the sleeves slightly squeeze around the middle of biceps. But be careful that you don’t go for a too tight fit, because that never looks good on anyone. Fitted is not the same thing than too small or too tight. And if you wear your shirt untucked as I do here, make sure that you choose a shirt with even hemline and check that the hemline ends around on the level of your hips.

Cotton blouson with denim - details.
Details of the cotton blouson and blue denim from above.

Polo shirts are at their best when you combine them either with cotton slacks, chinos or denim. For this outfit I wanted to pair the shirt with basic light blue jeans. I chose the jeans instead of cotton slacks as I wanted to make the attire fully casual. And as in my opinion the orange cotton blouson looks best with jeans, even though I have paired it earlier with a pair of light colored cotton slacks for example.

Cotton blouson with denim - Mismo bag details.
Detals part II – Dark blue nylon, dark brown leather and orange cotton.

White classic sneakers and jeans with no turn-ups

I wear most of my suit trousers, cotton and wool slacks with cuffs. I like them that way. But with denim I like to go with straight legs. Naturally you would not even think about making “real cuffs” to jeans like this but I know there are many who like to roll up their jeans. For some reason I like to wear most of my jeans straight. And that applies to the pair featured in this post as well.

Another thing that differs from my suit trousers in terms of fit is the leg opening. Nowadays, when it comes to formal slacks and suit trousers I’m more fond of wider leg opening and a bit wider trousers in general. But despite that I still like my jeans rather fitted and slim. The leg opening for example with these jeans is aroound 16,5cm. And for this kind of jeans that is pretty perfect. And I mean perfect for me, my legs and my taste. But remember that the leg opening as every other measurement and fit of your clothes need to be in balance with the whole outfit. And when I wear a fitted polo shirt and rather fitted cotton blouson, baggy jeans just wouldn’t make it.

Cotton blouson - Five essential pieces of men's casual summer wardrobe.
Five essential pieces of men’s casual summer wardrobe.

Finally as a sum-up just a couple words of the white sneakers. White sneakers are a summer essential, period. And every man simply needs a pair.

  • Dave311

    Slightly off topic but how big do you usually like your pant cuffs on your dress slacks/suits and how wide do are the leg openings. Thanks

    • dresslikea

      Hey Dave,

      First of all sorry for the late response. But regarding your questions, as you can probably see from most of my posts, I do like to have my suit trousers and slacks with cuffs. Usually the cuffs are around 4,5-5,5cm depending on the trousers. And in terms of the leg opening my taste has changed a bit during the past couple of years. Some of my older trousers have quite narrow leg opening, like 16,5cm but recently I have had my trousers with 17,5-18,5 opening width.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Atte