You’ve wasted enough time trying on a range of different dresses, but it’s time to style your man. The staple men’s blazer and shirt outfit has been at the forefront of men’s fashion for decades. From casual get-togethers to formal affairs, this look has carried men effortlessly through almost every style of event — but are you maximising its full potential?
If you’re looking for the on-trend look, we’ve created the ultimate guide on styling a stylish jacket and shirt. Not sure which colours, fabrics and patterns got together? Check out our shirt and blazer guide for style tips and tricks.
The colour of your suit is the first thing that people will notice. Essentially, you can go down three avenues to pinpoint the perfect suit colour: block, tonal and statement.
If you’re looking to fit in well with AW18 trends, block colouring is a great option. When you colour block your outfit, you go for bright panels of contrasting, solid colours. Think electric blue blazers with canary-yellow ties and pure-white shirts. This is a tough one to perfect, but the trick is to contrast warm and cool colours and then tone it down with a neutral shade. Something like a steel-grey suit jacket with a blush-pink shirt and lemon tie or a red tweed blazer over a forest green shirt.
However, tonal colouring is completely different and only consists of a single shade. Say you go for purple. You could throw on a velvet jacket in a rich, dark plum shade over a lighter, mauve shirt and polish off the palette with a bright lilac tie or dickie bow. Pick your favourite colour and just turn up or down the pigments on your shirt, blazer, trousers, etc.
You want to stand out. Similar to tonal colouring but focusing on a single shade surrounded by neutrals — like brown, grey, white, and black — this colour style exudes understated confidence. Pair a wine-coloured Oxford shirt with a rich, chocolate blazer or go for a teal, seersucker suit with a white shirt and skinny black tie.
Once you’ve decided on colour, you must consider fabrics. You probably already have a favourite blazer texture, but if you usually stick to the same kind, maybe it’s time to switch it up. Fabric plays a big part in how formal or not an outfit looks, so make sure you get the combination right.
There are many options for you to choose from too, depending on your style of course. Try going for the staple, lightweight polyester suit jacket and cool cotton shirt for a comfortable outfit during long occasions or try a boxy wool blazer and flannel checked shirt for a touch of old-time style that’s suited for casual events.
Tweed is another option that is becoming more popular and will give your man a rural look — accompany this with a plain white shirt and a tweed waistcoat. If you’re after something formal but slightly against the grain, corduroy and velvet are spot on. The former is a type of woven cotton with a distinctive, raised texture that looks especially good in a rust or maroon shade with a white shirt in a twill fabric — the slight shine of the shirt will contrast perfectly against the thicker corduroy.
For a touch of luxury, opt for velvet or satin materials. If you’re going for this fabric, make sure you do it in style by opting for a dinner suit or smoking jacket in a rich, elegant shade — like royal blue or emerald green. As a thin, light, modest fabric; smooth broadcloth shirts look best with luxe velvet or satin blazers — scarves and pocket squares also look incredible with this jacket fabric.
If you’re trying to nail the jacket/shirt combination for your man, the trick is not to be too adventurous. Either go for a patterned blazer or keep this plain and enhance your look via your shirt.
If you’re going to an event with your other half, windowpane checks are coming back. Pair this style with a block-colour shirt and plain tie for maximum effect. Smaller checks are also in-season, so switch it round — keep your blazer plain and go for an Oxford shirt with a burgundy base-colour with navy gingham checks.
Has your man considered vertical strikes? High-contrast shades are best for stand-out impact — think two-stripe coral and white or multi-stripe red, navy and white — and remember to consider the weight of your stripe choice. The thicker the stripe, the less formal the event.
If you’re looking to keep it casual, pick a tropical print shirt for your man matched with cotton jackets. Alternatively, panel shirts let you combine multiple block colours that you can tone down with a neutral, wool-blend blazer.
For the modern man look combine the patterns, fabrics and colours above to create a look of your own at your next social event.