How do I wear this blazer and not look like an idiot?
February 14, 2012 5:54 PM   Subscribe

How do I wear this blazer and not look like an idiot? I have absolutely no idea how I am going to wear this. I'd like to dress it up, with maybe a white shirt and tie, but what colors? And what color pants? I am totally confused as to why my mom would buy this for me as a gift.
posted by sushi69 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (32 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: That's a nice blazer! Go black and white: black trousers, white shirt. Or grey flannel or corduroy pants. Tie could be any color, really, but I'd probably tend to keep it monochrome with a grey or black patterned tie.

That blazer is a classic wardrobe staple. You can also wear it with jeans. Your mom has good taste!
posted by trip and a half at 6:00 PM on February 14, 2012 [16 favorites]

If you don't want it I'll take it off your hands!!!

Honestly, that's a great herringbone jacket. Personally, I'd wear it with nice dark jeans, great brown shoes, some kind of oxford button-down shirt.

Try this.
posted by fso at 6:01 PM on February 14, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Most important question for making this look good. Does it fit you? I mean, really, really fit you?

Now, for colors? Any damn color you want. If you're the type of guy that can pull off red pants and hipster accessories, go for it. Otherwise, maybe stick with black pants? Jeans would be great too with that jacket. I think it will be a classic piece if you care for it well.

If you're at all unsure about the fit, take it to a tailor that you trust (word of mouth is good for this, ask someone who is always dressed very well!), have them tell you if it can be made to fit. And while you're there ask what they'd suggest pairing it with. If you're not comfortable with that, take it to Nordstrom and visit with a personal shopper. There's not (usually) pressure to buy right then, and they'll give you a range of options. Bring pictures of looks that you like, even if they don't include jackets.

Maybe share some images here of outfits that you like, so we can suggest things in line with your taste, or at least not super far from it?
posted by bilabial at 6:04 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

What's the confusion? Dark tshirt and jeans. It couldn't be more neutral, which means it goes with almost everything in your wardrobe and I've never even seen your wardrobe. Choose any dark pant and pick a shirt to with it . This jacket will probably look just fine with it.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:04 PM on February 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Chiming in with the dark pants, white Oxford shirt, and I'll add that you could wear just about any solid-color bow tie you'd like.
posted by carsonb at 6:09 PM on February 14, 2012

This guy looks awesome in a casual outfit with that jacket. There are tons of Google Images for men's herringbone jacket and they all look great.
posted by jabes at 6:09 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Pink shirt.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:10 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

That is an awesome blazer! If it fits well, you can hardly go wrong. There's already good advice here. Jeans are great, but if you wear slacks, I'd be more inclined toward something with a little texture as opposed to a slick finish.
posted by The Deej at 6:11 PM on February 14, 2012

Seriously, that is an awesome jacket. If it's a 40 or 42R, send it to me. I'll even cover shipping!

The above are fine suggestions. To dress down, wear jeans with a plain t-shirt or polo. An oxford shirt would move the notch up a bit. To dress up further, wear some chinos (navy would be great; so would charcoal. Frankly, you could probably go the other direction with some white pants, too, but it'd be a summery look and the wool herringbone is too warm for summer use). Shirts, white or light blue, or something with a small to medium check pattern (maybe like this). Since the jacket is patterned, if you wear a patterned shirt, go with a plain(er) tie or maybe a repp stripe; if you wear a plain shirt, a striped or plaid tie would rock.

It's definitely a look—pseudo preppy/heritage—but a look that is very "in" in menswear right now. But really, just send it to me.
posted by The Michael The at 6:12 PM on February 14, 2012

Best answer: You may need to be a little bit more put together (like nicer, darker and fitted jeans although most T-shirts -- as long as they're not too oversized -- should work). If the blazer fits well, just wear it as your jacket. Like ... would you put a hoodie on over what you're wearing? Then put the blazer on instead! It's usually that easy.

I've had many conversations with my lady friends about how all men need to do is put on a blazer and they look like they know what they're doing. So I say just wear it and see what happens.
posted by darksong at 6:12 PM on February 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

I took a look at the jcrew site to find that jacket, they carry it in a darker color, and while I wouldn't suggest putting a blue shirt under yours, this guy has a good look.

Flat front pants - not pleated.
Tie. (I second bow tie, they're hot)

how all men need to do is put on a blazer and they look like they know what they're doing...well, it certainly helps. It just looks like you...tried. Which is so awesome. That hoodie? We think you fished it out of the bottom of the hamper 20 minutes ago, or might have. The jacket? In our minds, you take it it the dry cleaners, and you hang it up, and you care about it.
posted by bilabial at 6:15 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

"...all men need to do is put on a blazer and they look like they know what they're doing"

Nailed it.
posted by fso at 6:16 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I took a look at the jcrew site to find that jacket, they carry it in a darker color, and while I wouldn't suggest putting a blue shirt under yours, this guy has a good look.

This is the link you want.
posted by John Cohen at 6:20 PM on February 14, 2012

"...all men need to do is put on a blazer and they look like they know what they're doing"

Yup. I love that blazer. I pull the jeans and blazer look off at work all the time, even though jeans are supposedly off-limits. If you look good, you look good.

This one, nthing the any dark pants. Black or brown shoes with a matching belt, and a solid blue or white shirt until you get a feel for what you're doing.

The biggest mistake to make with a jacket like this is to wear it with a shirt that has a pattern in a similar scale. You could pull off a broad, large-scale check like a gingham but a prince of wales or another houndstooth would clash.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:31 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

You could wear almost anything with this blazer. If it doesn't fit correctly, take it to a tailor. If you don't want the blazer, I'd love to take it! Your mom has wonderful taste, and this is a versatile piece.
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:31 PM on February 14, 2012

I don't know guys. I think herringbone sports coats are outerwear. It also looks fairly heavy. I don't think I would wear that like I would wear a typical navy or black blazer.

I don't think I would wear a check shirt with it either.

I really think optimal wearage for that is. Outdoors, Fall, Solid light colored but not white shirt, I vote for pink. navy cachmere roguly looped through and under the blazer. Dark jeans , brown boots.

Herringbone sports coats are just incredibly informal and can't just sub in for a navy blazer.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:32 PM on February 14, 2012

John Cohen has nailed it. But honestly, that's a great jacket, anything but an Ozzy t-shirt and you're good to go.
posted by facetious at 6:33 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wow. That is a beautiful blazer. You could wear it with just about anything!
Question: do you wear blazers, usually? Are you just not sure how to wear any blazer? Just start. The compliments you get from people will inspire you!
posted by SLC Mom at 6:34 PM on February 14, 2012

You're reading this as a busy pattern, I am guessing, but herringbone is kind of an honorary neutral.

For casual, with a solid dark tee and jeans. For office wear, white or pink or light gray shirt, tie in a solid dark color.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:51 PM on February 14, 2012

try it with a (solid color) hoodie...
posted by sexyrobot at 6:52 PM on February 14, 2012

Personally I'd go with this look.
posted by jade east at 6:54 PM on February 14, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: That's a nice-looking blazer! It's not for formal wear, or for offices where most men wear serious suits. It's a "country" fabric, thicker, fuzzier and more robust than the flatter and drapier fabrics you'll see on your basic office suits. You can wear it to work, you can wear it to a religious service, you can wear it to dinner at any restaurant where most of the men are not wearing very formal suits (which is probably just about everywhere nowadays). You could wear it to school events.

You could wear it as outerwear in cool months over a fine sweater which itself is over a button-down. A nice scarf would look good here. Herringbone is indeed a neutral. If you got really fancy, why, there's very little you couldn't wear with it - as long as your color intensities look good together, you could wear fine checks or tattarsalls or stripes.

The one thing I wouldn't do? Some kind of irrational eighties-ism of wearing it over a tee shirt. You can do that with certain blazers - not recommending it, though - but not with a country fabric.

But before you go about wearing it, ask yourself whether it fits correctly. Are the sleeves the right length? Are the shoulders comfortable? Does the collar of the suit fit closely against the collar of your shirt, neither choking you nor sitting back and leaving a gap? Does it button easily? (Remember that men's jackets are designed to be worn with the bottom button undone.) Does it remain comfortable when you move your arms, fold them, sit, etc? If not, you may need to exchange it (although sleeves can be shortened by a tailor.)
posted by Frowner at 7:00 PM on February 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

I would argue that Redford is wearing it as outerwear :)

I'll shut up now.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:01 PM on February 14, 2012

Thank your mom because that is a great blazer! I think it would look good with dark jeans.

"...all men need to do is put on a blazer and they look like they know what they're doing"

Agree 100%
posted by fromageball at 7:03 PM on February 14, 2012

Your mom bought it for you because a herringbone blazer is a staple of menswear for your wardrobe.

This is a little dressier than "business casual" but might be good for work if you have to give a presentation or attend a client meeting when wearing a suit and tie would be considered going overboard. I don't generally wear lighter colors like that, but I'd wear it with a light colored Oxford shirt and dark pants. This would make good "cocktail party" attire or something to wear at a restaurant that was nice but not "suit and tie" nice. The last time I wore an outfit like that, I went to my friend's birthday party being held at a trendy bar on a Saturday night. A particularly deft use of the jacket is when it's just cold enough that it keeps you warm, but not so cold that you would need to wear a winter coat over it.

I understand your discomfort-- wearing a blazer can be tricky for a young guy because you want to wear it in a circumstance where someone will look at you and sincerely say, "hey, you look good!" rather than a sarcastic, "what's with you, looking all dressed up?"
posted by deanc at 7:12 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think a tweed or herringbone blazer looks like a million dollars over a heavyweight long-sleeved tee. Or light sweater, like a fine merino flat knit.

Agree that you don't want to go all Don Johnson, though.

Also never wear this with a polo shirt. Or, worse, two polo shirts, layered.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:13 PM on February 14, 2012

Just go for it. Take some of the pairing advice above (I think something more casual will help it look super stylish) and own it.
posted by Bunglegirl at 7:21 PM on February 14, 2012

That is a fantastic piece. If it's a 38S, I'll pay you $100 to cover shipping it to me! :)

Seriously, you can get away with jeans+white oxford, or jeans+dark shirt, or almost any kind of (non-pleated) pants. The trick to herringbone, or really to any blazer, is that it's somewhere between a casual and formal outfit. You cannot substitute it for a suit, but if you want to look smart and sharp, put it on and you're going to look Good.

Call you mom and thank her.
posted by ellF at 8:16 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nice blazer! I agree with the general drift of this thread, that there's not much you can't wear it with. It won't pair well with more formal stuff like gabardine suit pants or fine sateen shirts, but it will elevate less formal stuff, like turtlenecks and jeans. For some reason I'm seeing it with an orange Oxford shirt. Don't try to dress up the blazer too much—let it dress up everything else. Here's an example from The Sartorialist. Here's some advice from Esquire.
posted by Orinda at 9:05 PM on February 14, 2012

Great jacket -- but it's a sports coat, not a blazer.
posted by Ranucci at 9:16 PM on February 14, 2012

Mint green oxford shirt, preferably from J crew as well, and a pair of dark black jeans. No blue jeans though! Save that for the tan colored blazers. Darker khakis and even the red/salmon-ish color slacks they sell at J Crew too. If that's your thing though. If not, a shirt color that really pops but is more on the pastel side of things would look fantastic behind that blazer. A thin crew neck sweater underneath it would look great too.

It's a casual look for a formal piece of clothing so you really just need own it, however you choose to wear it. Also, no t-shirts!
posted by murkywaters at 10:37 PM on February 14, 2012

Best answer: Just this morning I happened across this useful (though strict!) set of posts about suits that explains quite a lot. Post 14 is about "odd jackets", jackets like this one that are not part of a suit.

Now, I think that these posts are a little strict and maybe a bit intimidating if you're accustomed to wearing a sweater and jeans. I also think that there's a culture of sort of trainspotter "correctness" in online men's style communities where people like to pretend that a serious person would never wear brogued shoes with a worsted wool suit (or some other very trivial and arguable detail) and that you will reveal yourself as risible or whatever if you do. So don't, you know, take this too seriously. It's perfectly possible to put together a good-looking outfit that is loosely related to but not totally governed by traditional men's style practices.

I also think it's super problematic the way men's style blogs basically center having/getting a "correct" wardrobe as quickly as possible, which is just ridiculous since we don't exactly have vast supplies of free clothing in infinite styles and sizes down at the utopian free clothing depot. It centers materialism and acquiring stuff...and if you put things at the center of your daily life, you'll have exactly the kind of life you'd expect from that.

But! They're really neat posts if you're ever asking yourself "just what do I wear with this jacket/tie/pair of shoes?"
posted by Frowner at 8:29 AM on February 15, 2012 [5 favorites]

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