A dark blazer is something that every guy, regardless of whether he works in a corporate environment, casual office, or even a zoo, should have in his arsenal. It’s a great way to make just about any outfit look a tad more formal just by making a quick grab off the hanger. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should throw it on with anything. We’ve seen a nice blazer tossed on with baggy dress pants that ruined the whole look. On the other hand, we’ve also seen a properly fitted jacket look absolutely amazing with a pair of trim-fit sweats, a polo shirt, and great sneakers. As always, pay attention to proportion and be sure your clothes are fitted properly to your body type.
For a statistical perspective, we turned to the team at Knot Standard, a custom clothing company with a high-tech bent.
“When men buy a dark blazer, they are often looking to pair it with a contrasting trouser to complete their outfit. About 62 percent of Knot Standard customers purchase a pair of lighter trousers or chinos with a dark blazer,” says Lewis Malivanek, the brand’s Creative Director. “This number jumps to 74 percent during the spring/summer season. If he wishes to wear the blazer more casually with jeans, a lighter color shirt couples well with the dark blazer. Around four in every five of our shirts at Knot Standard are made from a lighter fabric color.”
Clearly, you don’t need us to tell you that a classic navy or black blazer is going to look awesome with a solid dress or sport shirt, and certainly with a nicely starched plaid button-up. A necktie is also optional in this particular scenario, as is a nicely stuffed pocket square. See below for some additional accompaniments that will help maximize the mileage on this wardrobe workhorse.
Freshen things up a bit without going full-tilt Hawaiian: the floral shirt—a big hit last summer—is making its return for Spring 2019. Grab a long-sleeved version with a simple pattern and color to that brightens an otherwise somber combo without shouting “look at me!”
A great pair of jeans looks sophisticated and cultured with a blazer. Maintain the civility with a dark denim jean in a slim or straight cut. These have just a bit of stretch, too, so they’ll feel comfortable right out of the box.
Particularly on a cold winter’s night, a great turtleneck and blazer combo has just the right hint of 1970s chic. Brighten up a dark jacket with a jolt of color like this mustard version in extra fine merino wool from David Hart.
This clean, jean-like style is great to pair with blazers, but works equally well with trucker and track jackets or beefy cardigan sweaters. We’re partial to the cashew or the white for some contrast with our duskier blazer, which really makes a bright top pop, too.
Can we be specific here? Find a polo shirt with a little heft to it…one that looks a little more like a sweater than a golf shirt. In the middle of the summer, a classic pique might work. But don’t you dare show up in a baggy-sleeved, polyester golf shirt.
A perfect pair of charcoal trousers are as much of a standard as the dark blazer. Dressier than navy, but not as severe as black, they are the perfect complement to a navy blazer but put them with a rich chocolate brown jacket and you’ve just won the men’s style equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
This look smacks ever so slightly of Middle Eastern royalty, but we love the pairing of a banded collar popover shirt with a blazer. It’s a perfect look for an intimate dinner party or a night out on the town.
Assuming that your dark blazer is a solid, we love coordinating it with a pair of plaid pants. They can be as subtle or as bold as you dare. We like these because the trimmer cut and zippered ankle add a touch of punk attitude to an otherwise traditional tartan.
We like dark green as a non-neutral neutral to pair with classic jackets for a sophisticated look. The corduroy provides soft texture that complements the 5-pocket styling nicely.
We’re partial to British Khaki, the slightly richer, muddier color originally developed in India, and then conscripted into the use of the British cavalry. Khakis are an expected combination with a blazer, but sometimes there’s a reason why tried and true really works. Take even a casual pair to a tailor to get them fitted properly from the start, then keep them neatly pressed.
Looking for another blazer to add to your jacket rotation? We’ve put together a few of the best here.