Wearing a blazer with jeans is a business-casual staple. It’s the easiest way to dress up an outfit and look professional without coming across as too stuffy.
But that’s not the only way to wear the combination. There are surprisingly many ways to pair the two items for different effects. Wearing a shirt and navy jeans with a gray blazer will result in a look that is far more formal than if you just throw a blazer over a t-shirt or sweater. And the great news is that both looks can work just as well as each other.
Here’s all you need to know about how to wear a blazer with jeans.
5 Steps to Wearing a Blazer With Jeans
1. Consider the Look You’re Going for First
Wearing a blazer with jeans can be surprisingly flexible. The pairing can create anything from a casual weekend outfit as in the image above, to something you’d happily wear to the office, like most of the other examples in this article. So first of all, consider where you want to wear your outfit and the look you are going for. This will influence the rest of your choices.
2. Choose the Right Blazer
The next step is choosing the blazer. Ideally, your jacket will be on the casual side of suiting. Look for relaxed fits, matt finishes, or even patterns. If you plan to buy a blazer specifically for the look, then you’ll have a ton of choices for what to buy. Consider a color or material that you wouldn’t normally choose if you were buying a suit.
You can use an existing suit jacket as a blazer if you don’t want to splash out on a new one. But the look will work better with some jackets than others. For example, I have a light gray slim fit blazer that I bought as part of a suit and it goes great with jeans. But I also have a dark navy jacket that is part of a much more formal suit and it has always looked awkward whenever I tried to pair it with a jeans.
3. Choose the Right Jeans
The safest bet when pairing jeans with a blazer, especially if your blazer is on the formal side, is to choose a pair that’s dark and slim. Black jeans or raw denim typically go great with blazers. The jeans in the image above are a great example: they are pristine and pair nicely with the relatively formal double-breasted blazer.
In most cases, you should try to choose jeans without signs of wear such as fading or tears. Having said all that, you can choose a more casual pair of jeans if your blazer is on the casual side too. The first couple of images in this article are testament to that.
4. Footwear is Key
The footwear you choose should reflect the rest of your outfit. Anything from minimal sneakers to shoes or boots can work as long as the rest of your outfit is in check. If you’re wearing the blazer from your suit and a pair of black or dark blue jeans, then you might be best off with shoes. While sneakers will fit best with a casual blazer and washed jeans.
5. What to Wear Under the Blazer?
Once again you have options. A fine knit sweater or shirt (or fine knit sweater over a shirt) are obvious choices for more formal outfits. While a quality t-shirt will work at the other end of the spectrum. Other options include polo shirts, turtleneck sweaters, Bretton striped tops, and chunkier jumpers if the blazer is roomy enough. Just experiment until you find a look you like!