Sport coat with jeans is probably one of the most popular and widely used smart casual combinations among men. Even though it does not really even fit into the definition of smart casual dress code. But well, it can be smart and it definitely is casual.
There was quite a long period during which I wasn’t really fond of this combination. Recently this has changed a bit. For some reasons I’ve again started to like it again. And here is one or actually two examples how to execute the look. The same outfit first without a tie and then with one.
Navy blue sport coat with jeans – without tie
As with any outfit, the most important thing when you combine sport coat and jeans is to keep the whole attire in balance. So don’t try to pair your pinstripe suit jacket with distressed denim. In terms of the sport coat opt for a softly tailored unstructured options. I personally like to wear plain jackets or jackets with small restrained pattern. But for this kind of ensemble patterns like checks or windowpane for example are totally appropriate as the jeans anyway will keep the outfit simple and restrained.
The right shirt
Another important things in an outfit like this is of course the shirt. For this one I chose to wear a white and blue striped button-down. The most crucial thing again is that the shirt is on the same level of formality than the rest of the pieces. So don’t ever wear a french cuff shirt with your jeans. And regarding the collar of you shirt, keep it soft. Choose a shirt that you can wear also without the jacket, just with the jeans. Therefore also avoid very hard collars as they have a tendency to stick out if you don’t have the jacket to keep them in place.
And when you wear a shirt without a tie, always unbutton (at least) two buttons. Even though I am wearing here the shirt with three buttons open, I suggest to go in most times with two. Two buttons is good. If you unbutton only the collar, the shirt probably pulls on the next button. Simply it looks better if you open two so the shirt hangs more naturally. If you wanna go really casual and for the kind of “gigolo”-look, opt for three.
Accessories – simplicity is gold
As you can see, I am not wearing a pocket square here. You don’t always need to. I personally think that if you don’t wear a tie, in terms of pocket square you have two options to choose from. You can either go with a pocket square and use the very simple tv-fold. Or you can leave out the whole square. I know there are guys who like to wear those very bold and apparent puff folds with colorful pocket squares, but that’s not really my thing. Instead you can for example put your sunglasses into your breast pocket.
Navy blazer with jeans and brown shantung tie
I have earlier written about wearing tie with jeans. And actually I noticed that I wore the exactly same – brown shantung – tie in that post. Probably because it is my favorite kind of tie for this kind of outfits. Some people might blame me for the lack of imagination. But when some things work, why not stick with them. All what I wrote about the balance above, naturally applies here as well. Keeping the balance in terms of texture and aesthetics is especially important when you combine two pieces that in terms of formality are in principle at different levels. Therefore my recommendation is that if you wear jeans, forget the most formal ties as well. Instead, to wear with denim, I would choose a tie that is made of shantung silk, wool or cashmere.
“Keep things simple”.
Simple and clean denim
“Keep things simple”. That’s one of my main rules in terms of dressing up. And the jeans I am wearing here, they are in fact very basic and simple ones. Actually jeans are something that I consider that are quite easy to acquire even with lower budget. These particular jeans are made by brand called Karve and the price is around 60 euros. But for me they are pretty much perfect. The light shade of blue goes well together with darker shades of blue but also with colors such as brown, light gray and orange.
When you wear jeans with sport coat pay attention that the fit is on point. Try to avoid too baggy denim but also be aware that the jeans you wear are not too skinny. Just make sure that you keep the attire in balance. One remarkable thing is that even my taste regarding the leg opening has changed in terms of suit trousers and other more formal trousers, I still like my jeans to be quite “fitted”. And I like them with quite narrow leg opening. For example these jeans feature around 16,5cm leg opening and I consider that to be pretty much perfect for myself. But the right leg opening is a very personal question and also a matter of taste. Those who have bigger and more muscular thighs for example, just need to go for wider leg opening as well. Otherwise the jeans will look unbalanced.
Sum up – 5 sport coat with jeans combinations
Naturally there ain’t one right way to pull off the sport coat with jeans look. As a sum-up and and for some inspiration below are five different kind out combinations. All appropriate for different kind of occasions and different seasons.
Brown sport coat and white shirt with tie and mid-blue denim
The first one is actually pretty much the same kind of outfit that I’m wearing in the pictures myself. Just the jacket is brown instead of blue. The brown tones of jacket, tie and shoes are balanced by the white shirt and blue jeans. This kind of outfit is perfect for early fall weekends and mid-casual occasions.
Light blue sport coat with light denim and espadrilles
The second outfit is for relaxed summer days. Pair the lightweight unstructured jacket with light colored denim and casual espadrilles. And if it get too hot to wear the jacket, you can take it off, put it into your bag and roll up the shirt sleeves.
Olive green single-breasted jacket with denim and sneakers for traveling
The third option is the most casual one. Pairing your sport coat or blazer with t-shirt can be hard. But there is definitely occasions when it is appropriate to do so. And also combinations that will work. I personally like to travel casually and this kind of an outfit is ideal for that. And when you get into your destination, you can change the jeans for more dressed-up cotton slacks, the t-shirt for a button-up and the sneakers for some tassel loafers.
Navy blazer with jeans and chukka boots
An iconic casual fall attire. This outfit is for those early fall day with cold mornings. If you want to make the combination lighter, just change the shoes and drop the scarf. For this one a jacket with windowpane pattern would also be a good option.
Double-breasted sport coat with daddy jeans
The fifth combination is a kind of tribute to the tumblr-era or the #menswear-era which was in its glory from 2011 to 2015. Combine the unstructured double-breasted blazer with roll neck sweater, light colored denim and suede double monks. This is pretty much perfect sport coat with jeans look to wear for a casual first date for example.