Whether a blazer with a T-shirt look is acceptable or not is a regularly debated issue and one that’s rarely concluded. But, and that’s a big but, if you plan to pull it off successfully there are a few key things to bear in mind to avoid looking like Roy from The IT Crowd.
Blazers are one of those staple pieces of clothing that are a lot more versatile than people give it credit for. Easily matched with formal outfits and an endless array of Oxford shirts, it’s something that’s ideal for smarter occasions, but it also works great with a lot of casual pieces as well. “Blazers and jeans work great together and are a go-to combination when creating a casual, yet put together look,” said Danny of Dandy in The Bronx. “Makes sense then that something as equally versatile as a slim fit T-shirt will work just as well with a blazer.”
Of course, there are some things you should probably keep in mind before you start throwing random T-shirts on with any old blazer, but these are mainly things that you need to remember for any outfit – fit, color, pattern and length.
To get this look right there are few things you need to make sure you’re doing right. To start off make sure both your blazer and T-shirt are slim fitting and you stick to a simple crew T-shirt with minimal to no branding.
“Anything that’s too loud is going to take away from the formal look and make it seem like you’ve just thrown a blazer over your casual wear,” said Danny “If you absolutely have to go for some detail keep it small with either a subtly textured material or with a minimal logo in the corner of the T-shirt.”
If you’re going for bright colors make sure you’ve either got it on your t-shirt or your blazer, not both. “Combining two sets of loud colors is going to look confusing and clash awkwardly, and also take away the clean, smart look,” says Danny. Keep it simple, and if you want to go for a bright blazer make sure your T-shirt is in a neutral black or white.
If you’re wearing a blazer keep the length of it in mind. Anything too long is going to look like you’re a kid wearing your dad’s jacket. Anything too short and it’ll look like you’ve had an impromptu growth spurt.
As a general rule, “your blazer shouldn’t end past your hand or above your waistline, and depending on your body shape can fall somewhere between the two,” Danny advises. Sleeve lengths, however, aren’t really up for debate. As with all jackets, your sleeves should never drown your hands or bare your wrists and should fall somewhere in the middle of the wrist.
The rule on fit for blazers is more or less the same as with a suit jacket. “A blazer is supposed to be more slim fitting, but if it’s too tight and there are creases around the buttons where the material is straining, then you need to bite the bullet and go for a size up,” Danny preaches. Likewise, if your blazer isn’t following the shape of your body or pinching in a little at the waist then it’s not fitted enough, and you won’t get the sharp look you’re going for.
Explore the look and try out different styles. Match formal tops with casual bottoms – try out loafers or plimsolls, and play around with color. With T-shirts being so versatile, there are so many different ways to pair them with a classic blazer. Whatever look you’re going for, you’re bound to find something to suit you!