Enter: men’s suit separates. Suit separates allow you to mix and match pieces and dress them up or down, depending on the occasion. With the right combination, you can have the perfect balance between smart casual and traditionally dapper. Still, it can be confusing to figure out the right combinations on your own. Here are some helpful hints and ideas to get you started.
Just like the name implies, suit separates are any tailored item that doesn’t come as a suit. They’re typically blazers and trousers that appear more casual than a two-piece suit, but more formal than a simple sports jacket with jeans. Still, suit separates can be mixed with other pieces from your closet, like chinos or premium denim.
Suit separates work on many occasions. They’re most applicable when the dress code for an event is unclear - for example, “business casual” or “cocktail attire.” They’re great for dinners, drinks, weddings, and the like. As long as the host doesn’t explicitly say “black tie,” you can depend on suit separates.
As you put together different combinations, keep the following style guidelines in mind:
If you want to wear matching suit separates - that is, trousers and blazers made from the same material - you can dress the look down a bit by wearing a sweater. Be sure to pick a sweater that isn’t super chunky or heavy so that you can tuck it in. Opt for a fine-gauge knit crewneck or turtleneck that is clever but relaxed. The sweater will seamlessly work in with the separates and give you a modern, cool look.
If you’re headed somewhere a bit more relaxed on the weekend, make a statement by pairing a colorful suit jacket with white trousers. Our burgundy or red suit jackets work perfectly with this look. While the white trousers may normally appear casual, the colored blazer elevates them. Wear a neutral button-down underneath or go bold by wearing a checkered shirt that pulls in the color of the blazer.
There are a variety of color combinations that just work time and time again. These are timeless looks that can make you appear put together for any occasion. You can dress them up with a collared shirt, or down with a thin sweater underneath. Anytime you’re feeling unsure of what to wear but you need to look smart, these are your go-to's:
Layering might seem complicated, but it can elevate your style to new dimensions without much effort. Opt for a neutral pair of trousers first. For the layering aspect, pair a sweater with a complementary dress shirt. For example, go for a burgundy dress shirt under a black sweater with grey trousers. Or try out a white dress shirt with a brown sweater and navy trousers. You can choose to add a blazer over top or go without.
Denim can add a much-needed casual touch to your blazer. Still, there are different levels of denim, with some being more elevated than others. Generally speaking, the lighter the wash, the more casual the look. As long as the denim fits properly (be sure to have the hems professionally tailored) and is of good quality, it will meld perfectly with your jacket. Try the following combinations:
You might not think of t-shirts when you think of men’s formalwear, but it’s actually widely accepted today. The t-shirt and blazer combination is, at this point, a classic way to look clean, confident, and smart - all at the same time. You can opt for a matching blazer and trousers or swap out the trousers for a more casual chino. Complete the look with white sneakers or crisp athletic Nikes. The key here? Every piece must be clean and perfectly fitted to give you that effortless look.
Pairing tweed with denim gives off a traditional, preppy look that can suit any business casual situation. You’ll need to make sure that both the denim and the blazer are flawlessly tailored to avoid looking sloppy. However, when pulled off correctly - especially if you choose to layer in a sweater or knit scarf - you’ll look effortlessly cool.
When in doubt, pair your men’s suit separates with each other! While you can break apart matching trousers and blazers, you don’t have to. Pair your matching pieces with a dress shirt, add a pop of interest via your accessories, and get to your event looking classic and crisp.
Men’s formalwear doesn’t have to be boring, traditional, or old-fashioned. By opting for suit separates, you can personalize every outfit, adding your own fun flair while fitting into any occasion.
What’s your favorite updated way to wear men’s suits? Let us know in the comments below.
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