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8 Casual and Formal Ways to Wear Men’s Suit Separates

August 12, 2022

8 Casual and Formal Ways to Wear Men’s Suit Separates

    Life is full of many occasions on which you need to dress both casual and formal. Perhaps you’ve got a date or a dinner with a potential client. Maybe it’s a semi-formal party or drinks with someone you want to impress. Regardless of the occasion, you must walk a fine line between being too formal in a full men’s suit and being too casual in premium denim and a nice button-down.

    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.

    What Are Men’s Suit Separates?

    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.

    Consider the Style Elements

    As you put together different combinations, keep the following style guidelines in mind:

    • Texture: The fabric texture Be sure to avoid mixing summer textures (like linen or pique cotton) with winter fabrics (like corduroy). Instead, combine like with like.
    • Pattern: Men's formalwear is mostly plain navys and charcoals, so have some fun with patterns. If you’re newer to the fashion game, avoid mixing multiple patterns in one look. Choose one to lead the outfit. If you’re unsure of how to choose patterns, stick with larger patterns like windowpane checks.
    • Color: While a two-piece suit matches perfectly in terms of color, suit separates leave you to decide what colors to mix and match. Pick one color as the staple of the outfit and then choose pieces to match it. For example, you might opt for a blue plaid blazer, then add in cream chinos and a white button-down. Avoid wearing colors that are too similar, like multiple shades of blue or grey.
    • Accessories: Have fun with accessories! Since suit separates are more casual in nature, you can opt for more fashion-forward details like white sneakers, a designer belt, or a brimmed hat.

    8 Ways to Wear Men’s Suit Separates

    1.   Opt for a Sweater

    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.

    2.   Pair a Bright Blazer with White Trousers

    Men's White BlazerMen's Red Blazer

    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.

    3.   Go For a Classic Color Combo

    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:


    4.   Make a Statement with Layers

    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.

    5.   Pair It with Denim

    Men's Blazer with Denim Pants

    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:

    • Grey blazer with dark wash jeans
    • Navy blazer with mid wash jeans
    • Grey blazer with black denim

    6.   Dress Down with a T-Shirt

    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.

    7.   Tweed and Denim

    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.

    8. Go Classic

    Classic Men's Suit Separates


    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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