Clothing Matching: What is the Right Jacket to Pair with Casual Trousers?

by | Mar 31, 2013 | Image consulting for Men

“I love wearing casual pants but I also want to be more sophisticated and add a jacket?”

Casual trousers, defined as jeans, cords or khakis (please no cargo’s anymore!?)  are beautifully “suited” for jackets.  Adding a sport coat to a jeans or chino trouser ensemble is a terrific way to add polish, sophistication, panache, and style without formality. The trick is to keep the formality of the jacket on the lower side.  You can do this through pattern, color and fabric choice.

1. Patterns that are the least formal are solid and checks and plaids.  Stripes, particularly very defined stripes like this bold pin stripe will look like you stole the jacket from your suit and threw it on over jeans.   Avoid this – striped suit coats are only for suits. This soft plaid is a great jacket for a wide range of casual from true casual to business casual. There is a very helpful range of all the browns, tans, beige’s in your closet as well as navy. This by the way is my favorite, most versatile J Hilburn sport coat fabric.

Plaids can be whimsical as well as is this bolder summer linen option.  Just great with linen, cotton pants or jeans – this jacket will put a smile on your face every time you wear it!

2. Colors that are the most formal are dark.  Black is the most formal color followed by charcoal grey and midnight blue.  A jacket that looks great over casual pants is usually lighter or if not lighter, than brighter, with more color. 3.  Fabrics that are less formal are cottons, linens and wools that have texture.  A cotton jacket can be a smooth polished cotton, or it can be corduroy.  Linen (or a linen blend) is a great seasonal jacket and a must have in every wardrobe.

Wools that have texture can include the wooly softness of cashmere, or tweeds. Take every opportunity you can to toss a sport coat over your polo shirt, your frayed oxford shirt, your Italian silk tee shirt and your jeans or chinos – it’s a 30 second addition to your look that adds a million bucks!

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