Suit trousers with sport coat – smart business casual

Posted by Atte Rytkönen on 27.11.2016 in General

One way to dress down your suit is to wear it as separates. And the most common way to do that is to wear the suit jacket with odd trousers. But the trick can also be done the other way round. You can try and wear your suit trousers with sport coat. This will instantly dresss down your outfit from business formal to business or smart casual.

This is a last set of photos from our photoshoot at Dick Johnson barbershop in Tampere earlier in the fall. I have earlier written about gray suit with navy grenadine tie and here you can see the same outfit with a different jacket. Instead of the suit jacket I am wearing the suit trousers and navy blue tie with checked sport coat by Lardini.

Suit trousers with sport coat - checked-sport-coat-with-navy-tie-and-gray-trousers
Suit trousers with sport coat – remember to have enough contrast in your outfit.

Suit jacket and trousers as separates

If you want as versatile suit as possible, my recommandation is to buy one with a plain lightweight wool fabric. With the right structure and details this kind of a suit can easily be broke down to separates. You can wear the suit jacket with odd trousers or even denim. And you can pair the trousers different kind of sport coats or even other suit jackets.

I am personally not a fan of wearing patterned trousers with plain jackets. Or patterned odd trousers with differently patterned sport coats. Therefore if you prefer wearing patterns there are basically three options:

  • Go for a full suit with pattern
  • Wear your patterned sport coat with plain suit trousers
  • Wear your patterned suit jacket with plain odd trousers

In addtion there are of course other ways to dress down your suit than wear it separately. To read more, check out the earlier post about how to dress down a suit – 5 tips.

Suit trousers with sport coat - how-to-wear-checked-sport-coat-with-gray-trousers-and-navy-blue-tie
Play with shades of blue and gray – and you really can’t miss.

Gray suit trousers with sport coat

Here I wear one of my favorite sport coats. It is made of wool-silk fabric by Italian Lardini and features a nice Prince of Wales pattern. In my opinion this is one of my most versatile sport coats as I can combine it with many kind of trousers from casual denim to dressier wool slacks. And as you can see here, I can also combine it with my some of my suit trousers.

When you combine your suit trousers with sport coat there are a couple of things to keep in mind. As always, make sure the weight of fabrics is on balance. In other words you can’t combine your heavy tweed sport coat with your most refined suit trousers. Another thing is the contrast. Try to come up with an outfit that has enough of contrast. You don’t want to look like you accidentally took a jacket that is from a different suit than your trousers. Therefore it not good to combine your suit trousers with a suit jacket that is made of very similar fabric than the trousers.

Suit trousers with sport coat - Lardini checked sport coat with gray trousers side angle
This is how you can combine the pleated suit trousers with more casual sport coat.

Choose the righ shirt and tie

The safest choice is to combine a patterned sport coat with a plain colored shirt. With white, light blue or denim you really can’t miss. And if you wear a tie, keep it restrained. In terms of neckwear I personally recommend to pick a plain one with small texture. Another option is a tie with small and subdued texture such as houndstooth or small checks.

For this set I decided to choose a plain white button-up shirt made of soft and washed oxford fabric. The shirt is one of the DLA-shirts that will be coming up soon.  The collar is semi-spread and again, very soft.  I personally don’t like stiff collars as I think they are only appropriate to wear for formal or strict business occasions. Well-made and cut soft collars on the other hand are versatile as they can be worn not only at work with a chalk stripe suit but also with sport coats and even without a tie.

Finally another option – gray suit trousers with blue suit jacket. And the DLA Defense of Sampo pocket square.

See other post about wearing the patterned sport coat:

Checked sport coat for weekend casual

Casual and sharp -patterned sport coat with brown tie

Shantung silk tie – between formal and casual