Business suit with denim shirt

Posted by Atte Rytkönen on 30.3.2017 in General

Denim shirt is a cornerstone of a man’s well-edited casual wardrobe. A good denim shirt is versatile choice you can use to dress down you otherwise dressed-up outfit. Or you can use it as a part of classic casual attire. But how about wearing a business suit with denim shirt?

One of the best features of a denim shirt is that you can basically wear it around the year. It is at home with summer or winter tailoring and great for making smart tonal combinations. For this post I decided to pair the DLA denim shirt with dark blue suit and gray cashmere tie.

Business suit with denim shirt - DLA denim shirt, dark blue suit and gray cashmere tie
Business suit with denim shirt – keep the balance between different parts of your outfit.

Business suit with denim shirt

When I say business suit here, I mean a suit that I in principle wear mostly for work. In this case it is dark blue wool suit with subtle herringbone pattern, jetted pockets and neapolitan shoulders with pleats. Due to the lightweight construction and 3-roll-2 buttoning the suit is not as formal as it could be, and I have worn it for more casual occasions as well. But basically it is my go-to suit for work. And for business meetings.

If you wear a denim shirt with a suit, remember that the most important thing is to keep the attire suitable for the occasion. In my opinion, this kind of look is perfect for a casual day at the office. For example if you don’t have any business meetings, or you see clients you are familiar with. But if you have a day with more formal meetings, leave the denim shirt to the closet.

And when you choose to go for a denim shirt with business suit, keep the suit rather restrained. I personally would not wear a denim shirt with a chalk stripe or pin stripe suit. And I would basically never wear a denim shirt with a three-piece suit.

Business suit with denim tie - Sauma private label suit with DLA denim shirt
Sauma mtm-suit with DLA denim shirt.

DLA denim shirt

So if you are you looking for a versatile shirt to combine with your sport coats or to wear under your suit on a casual Friday, a high-quality denim shirt is definitely an option worth to consider. A good denim shirt is as neat as it is comfortable. And it has been a part of every serious style icon’s wardrobe from Mr. Gianni Agnelli to Mr. Paul Newman. So keep in this mind, every gent needs a classic blue denim shirt in his roster.

The denim shirt featured here is from our DLA collection and I personally couldn’t be happier with the result. The lightweight and smooth denim fabric combined with the soft spread collar results in a shirt that works well in both casual and dressed up settings. As you can see here, the shade of the blue denim is perfect to match with a classic blue wool suit. But it also works with for example gray flannel, camel colored cotton or even with some brown linen.

Business suit with denim shirt - details and textures
Details and soft textures.

Suit without a tie

Can you wear a suit without a tie? That is a question that divides opinions. I say that you can, but you need to be careful. Most of the times guys think that leaving the tie home will make the outfit more relaxed. And actually I think that especially many women tends to think that way. At my work we have ladies working on our communications and PR-department who say that we should not wear a tie so often as it makes us look ridig and old-fashioned. Well, I don’t really share that opinion.

But you need to keep your outfit in balance. That’s something that I always repeat. If you choose to wear a denim shirt with a suit, choose the accessories so that they complement the combination. For example here I chose to wear a gray knitted cashmere tie. I think that the cashmere complement the midweight wool fabric of the suit and the softness of the denim in a right way. But for example a classic blue polka dot or regimantal striped tie would be unsuitable option to pair with this outfit. If you would like to go with that kind of tie, you should change the shirt.

Business suit with denim shirt - a soft collar with enough cloth will give you proper roll
Pay attention to the collar of your shirt. That way you can wear you suit and shirt without a tie as well.

Pay attention the to the collar of your shirt

Then the no-tie option. If you want to wear a suit without a tie, make sure that you have a right kind of shirt. Especially a right kind of collar. And in terms of the collar there are couple requirements. First of all, make sure that there is enough cloth. A traditional and good quality collar will have longer points, which will give you enough material to express some character. The second requirement is a soft interlining. If the interlining is too stiff, the collar will look rigid. And that’s something you don’t want. But if it is soft, it will roll nicely and look natural.

Also make sure that your suit is compatible to wear without a tie. Again, no pin stripes and never three-piece suits without a tie. But otherwise it’s all about the balance. And right combinations.

And if you want to read more about denim shirts, check out the posts below:

  • Josh

    Totally agree with you!
    I’ve worn a denim shirt (except the navy suit had patch pockets and wore a navy knitted tie and a used a bandana print pocket square) attire for a meeting with marketing where there would be production and other “creative Common Projects sneakers and t-shirt wearing” types. I needed to blend in and make them feel comfortable, but at the same time wanted to make sure it was clear who was paying the bills for this project.

    The denim dress shirt is definitely a useful item in today’s business environment where formal intermixes with casual so much more than it used to.

    • dresslikea

      Hey Josh,

      Thanks for the comment and sorry for the late respose.

      But I totally agree with you as said in the text as well. For those kind of situations you mentioned, the denim shirt is a perfect option.

      Best,
      Atte