The blazer is one of the many defining symbols of the classic gentleman. Most of us can agree that there is something undeniably stylish about this reliable piece of formalwear. When paired with a sensible outfit, a blazer can make anyone look like a cultured gentleman.
A blazer can work well in more casual settings, too, as long as it is incorporated sensibly. When worn correctly, a blazer can make any casual outfit seem both refined and relaxed.
The casual blazer 101
Here are a few rules to go by when rocking your casual blazer to make sure you exude confidence, style and look good;
1. Ditch the suit jacket entirely
You may have a few good suit jackets that deserve a lot more love however wearing them out as part of a casual look may end up being a flop. Most of the time, we can tell that you separated a jacket from its pants due to the structure of the jacket. Instead, invest in standalone blazers that give you the laidback look while elevating your outfit.
2. Experiment with color and patterns
Casual blazers are exclusively for informal settings which gives you a lot of room to experiment with your style without getting the weird look from HR. Don’t be afraid to step out in colors and patterns you would normally shy away from as they can elevate plain looks and give you that extra oomph. Just remember to keep the colors flattering to your skin tone and patterns classic so that they can easily be tied together with multiple looks.
3. Watch out for the fit
Your blazer should be long enough to give you the coverage you need while sitting shorter than the average jacket. The general rule is to have your hem reach your thumb knuckle. You may also need to layer outfits when it gets colder so finding a blazer that gives you enough room to add a sweater inside may be a win for all-year-round wear.
4. The more the merrier
Blazers come in multiple fabrics, colors, and patterns and the more blazers you have, the more looks you can create. After all, some fabrics are seasonal.
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way let’s talk about the most common types of blazers ;
This is perhaps the most popular fabric for blazers. It is perfect for summer as it is lightweight and breathable and it fits the body naturally for a low-effort sleek look. It pairs well with jeans and sneakers and it’s easy to see why it’s a go-to.
This is a classic and good to have on hand for colder days. It’s also a statement piece that allows you to display exquisite taste without going all out.
This blazer never seems to go out of style. Maybe it has something to do with the convenience of having a warm go-to for winter. This blazer will keep you warm while exuding style and might just be the standard.
This is a light blazer designed exclusively for summer. It is enough to keep the breeze at bay while tying together an outfit. This blazer could end up a complete win or a complete flop so make sure to style it correctly.
While you need to pay attention to how you wear your blazer, you do not need to be a fashion expert to do so correctly and with confidence. Here we will provide you with some outfit ideas to get you started. So, if you are looking to reinvigorate your wardrobe and your style, keep reading.
How to Wear a Casual Blazer for Men
To create the casual look you are going for, every piece of clothing in your outfit needs to appear relaxed. When it comes to your blazer, you want one that has a more unstructured design and is made from lightweight materials, such as linen. These considerations will contribute to a more effortless aesthetic overall. The rest of your outfit should adhere to this casual styling sensibility too. These options are highlighted below.
Casual Blazer with Jeans
By pairing your blazer with a pair of smart-casual jeans, you have an outfit that will look perfect for parties, dinners, family gatherings, dates, and just about any other event.
To wear this outfit, select a casual black blazer, then pair it with blue jeans if you want a more classic look or black jeans if you want a contemporary style.
Casual Blazer with Polo Shirt
It may not be the first thing you think of, but a polo shirt is excellent to pair with a casual blazer. Although the polo shirt’s collared style is more sophisticated than a regular T-shirt, when paired with the casualness of the blazer, it achieves a trendy laidback look. Plus, polo shirts give your outfit a more athleisure aesthetic to the look that is very “in” right now.
To wear this outfit, choose a darker-colored blazer and pair it with a lighter colored polo shirt. We recommend a navy blazer paired with a grey, white or blue polo shirt. Add a pair of chinos or casual jeans and some sneakers to the mix, and you will be ready to take on the world.
Casual Blazer with Chinos
If the look you are going for needs to be a bit more polished and refined while still being smart-casual, a blazer with some chinos is a great combination. To make the outfit more casual, select a T-shirt and a neat pair of sneakers.
To wear this outfit, select a navy casual blazer and a pair of white or beige chinos. Add a light blue shirt underneath to complete the look.
Casual Blazer with a T-Shirt
We have already covered some outfits above that incorporate a T-shirt, but it is such an incredibly stylish way to wear a casual blazer that we wanted to go a bit more in-depth. For this outfit, you want to ensure that both the blazer and the T-shirt are slim fit.
To wear this outfit, choose a pair of navy, white, or black jeans or chinos. You can wear a lighter or darker colored blazer, but spruce up the outfit with a fun shirt color, such as green, orange, or light blue.
Casual Blazer with Shorts
If you want to have a bit more fun with your blazer, pairing it with shorts will allow you to show your playful side while being stylish for summer barbecues or by the pool.
To wear this outfit, select a pair of chino shorts in the same color as your blazer. Pair this with a T-shirt in a contrasting, bright color, and add some casual shoes like sneakers, boat shoes, or sandals.
Tips on Wearing a Casual Blazer
- For summer, choose lightweight fabrics like linen or cotton
- For winter, choose heavier fabrics like tweed or wool
- Always opt for an unstructured blazer
- For tops, switch a button-up for a polo shirt or T-shirt
- For bottoms, select chinos, jeans, or chino shorts
- For shoes, laidback always wins, so go for loafers, sneakers, or boat shoes
FAQs on Wearing a Casual Blazer
Can a casual blazer be paired with jeans for any occasion?
You can pair a blazer with jeans for events that are more smart-casual, such as dates, dinner parties, and casual work gatherings. Make sure that your blazer is a lightweight, unstructured design to achieve a laidback aesthetic.
How long should my casual blazer be?
As a rule of thumb, your blazer should end in line with the middle of your crotch. Blazers that are too long or too short will result in a frumpy, sloppy look.
What color should my casual blazer be?
Going for a versatile color, such as navy blue, grey, or neutral darker tones will allow you to dress your blazer up or down. In these colors, you can also pair them with various shirts, shorts, chinos, and jeans.
What must I consider when purchasing a casual blazer?
The first thing to look for is a proper fit in the shoulders. You also want to pay attention to the fabric’s quality, as this speaks to its durability. Next is the type of fabric – select lightweight materials for summer and heavier materials for winter. Lastly, when it comes to a casual blazer, an unstructured design will always work best.
Should I tuck my shirt in with a casual blazer?
The purpose of a casual blazer is to achieve a smart-casual, laidback, stylish aesthetic that suits most occasions. For this reason, leaving your shirt untucked is the best way to achieve a relaxed look.
What shoes should I wear with my casual blazer?
This depends on where you are going, but a general failsafe for any occasion is a pair of loafers or sneakers. If you know you will be outside by the pool or at a backyard barbecue, sandals or boat shoes work well too.
Those are all the things you need to know about wearing a blazer in a casual outfit, all the factors you need to consider, and all the details you need to pay attention to. Keep our suggestions in mind if you are struggling, but do not be afraid to experiment!
Samoel Ovanessian is the founder and creator of StylishAlpha.com – a website dedicated to men’s fashion. As a proud owner of more than 200 ties, he loves digging through new clothing combinations for everyday use, formal events and even just for fun. You can read more about Samoel here.