The shirt and blazer combination has been a significant style in men’s fashion for years. 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?
It’s all about staying on trend. Not sure which colours, fabrics and patterns got together? Check out our shirt and blazer guide for style tips and tricks.
Everyone acknowledges what colour a suit is, so this is one of the most important features to get right. Essentially, you can go down three avenues to pinpoint the perfect suit colour: block, tonal and statement.
People are into block colouring at the moment, and you’ll definitely stand out. 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.
Tonal colouring is completely different though, as you opt for one colour and wear similar hues for other areas of the outfit. 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.
Similar to tonal colouring but focusing on a single shade surrounded by neutrals — like brown, grey, white, and black — statement colouring style exudes understated confidence. Pair a wine-coloured Oxford shirt with a rich, chocolate men’s blazer or go for a teal, seersucker suit with a white shirt and skinny black tie.
Now, it’s all about the fabrics you choose. 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.
For that timeless look that suits casual events, we’ve got the ideal outfit for you. Go 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.
What about relaxed outdoor events? Well, opt for brown or khaki tweed has an unmistakeably rural gentleman appeal and looks ideal with a plain white, cotton shirt and tweed waistcoat, while a clean and crisp white or silver jacket in linen delivers a laid-back vibe that goes great with a fine pinpoint Oxford cloth shirt. 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.
Velvet or satin are ideal luxury 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.
When it comes to completing your entire look, you need to be wise with your pattern choices. Either go for a patterned blazer or keep this plain and enhance your look via your shirt.
If you plan on being the star of the show, window-pane checks are a must. 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.
If you’re wearing a smart jacket on your night out, vertical stripes can tie together the entire look. 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.
This season is all about tropical print shirts for men. Alternatively, panel shirts let you combine multiple block colours that you can tone down with a neutral, wool-blend blazer.
Be the modern man with our ultimate style guide. Combine the patterns, fabrics and colours above to create a look of your own at your next social event.