When Can You Wear a Tailored Jacket with a T-shirt?

When Can You Wear a Tailored Jacket with a T-shirt?

Alright, here is one for the smart casual readers among you. A question we’ve received frequently is as to when, how or if you should wear a tailored jacket with a T-shirt. The short answer to that is, well, it depends.

There are just a few factors that you should consider before donning that tailored jacket of yours over your T-shirt. Let’s go through them, and a few more style tips here.

The factors

1. What type of suit jacket are we talking about?

2. What type of T-Shirt are we talking about?

3. Where are you planning on wearing this?


The suit jacket type

First ask yourself, does it fit you? If no, then read no further. An ill fitting jacket can’t be worn with anything. Period.
The next thing you should ask yourself is whether the style is classic or not. Not classic as something made in the 1950’s or 1960’s, but rather timeless in its design. Think more of two or three button, single breasted, notched or peak lapels, pockets, etc. If it’s something taken from your best disco nights, when Saturday Night Fever was still a thing, then again, skip the idea.

Never wear any clothing that doesn’t fit you well. Not too large and never too tight.

A well fitting suit jacket should sit comfortably on your shoulders, allowing the wearer to move his arms back and forth easily. Nothing on your jacket should appear loose or baggy.


The type of T-Shirt

Now, let’s look at the T-Shirt. If you’re holding your favourite Star Wars- or funny T-Shirt in hand, put that right down again. Put it down. Seriously. What are you thinking?
The T-Shirt of your choice should rather be an unicoloured piece without emblems, stickers, buttons or….funny quotes and sayings. Leave that for the night out, or even better – leave it in your wardrobe for, well, later.

If you’re wearing a light coloured blazer or suit jacket, try to opt for a color that matches or adds contrast to the look. Depending on the weather you can make a qualified choice in terms of fabric. Is it cold? Opt for wool. Is it warm? Then Linen is a good option for you (same applies to suit jackets). Now, you’ll probably find a lot of mixes in fabrics, but try a few on to see how they feel.

One thing that you should always remember is that no matter how you dress it up – T-shirts will always remain informal. A good thing for some events, a no-go for other events (who said black-tie event?)

When to wear this look

Well, as we just wrote, the T-shirt and blazer look doesn’t go well everywhere. You can’t wear it to formal events, weddings, board meetings or networking events, but you can wear it at the office (on casual Fridays, or depending on the dresscode at your company), you can wear it after work, to still remain a stylish look – but you can also wear it for a night out, making your look playful, but still dapper.

Last, but not least – always wear this combination with confidence!

Quick tips to get you started

  • A jacket with a lot of structure or sharp angles is often better matched with similarly formal shirts and accessories
  • It doesn’t need to be trim
  • Make it fit. It doesn’t make much sense to wear a comfortable T-shirt with a suit jacket or blazer that you can barely button
  • Pick a decent T-Shirt. Choose a Linen blend shirt, a henley shirt or perhaps a striped one with just a hint of details, if plain coloured is too boring for you
  • Do never opt for a V-neck T-Shirt
  • Consider casual footwear to round up the look
  • Lastly, if the T-shirt reaches the hem of your jacket, you may want to tuck it in