The shirt and blazer is a timeless pairing that every man must learn how to match to look great at any occasion. While it may take some time to fully grasp, once you learn how to do it right, you’ll forever have the tools to confidently pick out your outfit and know you look fantastic.
Follow these three steps to match flawlessly and look sharp
Shirts and blazers come in all sorts of colors which can make it confusing to decide which go together. So, let’s start with choosing a blazer color. Just remember there are three main categories of color: tonal, statement, and block.
Tonal coloring is about choosing one color and wearing similar hues throughout parts of your look. Essentially, you’re just selecting a color and turning up or down the color pigments of your pants, shirt, blazer, tie, etc. Say purple is your favorite color and you really want to pull off wearing it. You could easily achieve this by throwing on a velvet jacket in a rich, dark plum over a lighter, mauve shirt. To really polish the look and continue with the color palette, a bright lilac tie or bow tie would look perfect.
Statement coloring is similar to tonal coloring but it focuses on one shade surrounded by neutrals (brown, grey, white, and black). It’s a really great coloring style to master because it emanates understated confidence. Here are some suggestions: Pair a teal seersucker suit in a nice stripe or check with a simple white shirt and skinny black tie. Or, pair up a chocolate brown blazer with a Merlot-colored Oxford shirt – it’s a match made in heaven.
Block color, or “color blocking” is really in right now. The idea with color blocking is to stand out, and it can be a hard one to get right, so we don’t recommend it if you’re just learning to pair your outfit together. This type of coloring is using bright panels of contrasting, solid colors. To make it work, the trick is to contrast warm and cool colors and tone them down with a neutral. So here are some examples for you: a steel-grey suit jacket paired with a blush-peach shirt and lemon yellow tie; a red tweed blazer over a hunter green shirt; or a bright, cerulean blue blazer with a canary-yellow neck tie and a simple white shirt.
Playing With Textures
OK, now for a lesson on textures. With textures, it’s all about choosing fabrics to suit the occasion. The fabric will play a large role in how formal an outfit looks, so getting the combination of the right texture for your blazer or shirt is important. For instance, if the occasion is formal, you can wear any number of dress shirts in cotton or silk. The perfect blazer to pair with your dress shirt could be an Italian cotton or wool blazer.
Corduroy would not be an ideal texture choice, on the other hand. Instead, go for velvet or satin if you like a soft, luxurious feel. We love satin and velvet in dark shades like royal blue or emerald green. To dress up your outfit even more, choose a nice pocket square for your jacket in a white or neutral silk.
If the occasion is casual, we have some great suggestions for you. In spring or summer, opt for a lightweight polyester suit jacket and cotton shirt. It makes for a comfortable outfit that still looks polished and put together. In the fall or winter when you need some added warmth, try a flannel checked shirt paired with a boxy wool blazer. If the event is outdoors you can get away with corduroy. Try pairing a corduroy blazer in a rust or maroon shade with a white shirt.
Patterns can really make or break your outfit but we’ve got some simple tips to make them work for you. Always pair a pattern with a solid. For instance, if you have a patterned blazer, find a great solid shirt to match in a color that’s complimentary. We really like the look of window-pane checks – they are so easy to dress up or dress down. Pair this style with a block-color shirt and plain tie for maximum style effect. If bold isn’t your style, you can always find shirts or blazers in smaller checks.
And, another tip: invest in a plain blazer. It can be paired with countless shirt combinations. Also, remember patterns can be your friend or enemy. Choose a patterned blazer or a patterned shirt but not both. Patterns create interest and bring the eye in closer, so if you use too much pattern in too many places, you’ll just look like too busy and people will be focusing on your outfit, not on you.
For a slimming effect, choose a blazer in a vertical stripe pattern. To really stand out and look fashionable, choose one in high-contrast shades like navy and white, black and white, navy and red, or something even bolder, a coral and white striped linen blazer – the combinations are endless. Keep in mind, however, thicker stripes have a more formal effect, while thin stripes have a more casual vibe.