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How to Wear a Suit Jacket Casually

September 18, 2020 6 min read

There's something effortlessly fashionable about a casual suit jacket outfit. It feels perfect for the office or a date, running errands during the day or partying at night. A casual suit jacket outfit is the ideal thing to wear when you're not sure of the dress code. And learning how to casually wear a suit jacket expands your options and helps you get the most wear out of this closet staple.

So how do you wear a suit jacket casually? We've gathered outfit inspiration and other tips for creating looks that combine dressy with relaxed. Check out the guide below and maximize your wardrobe's potential.

What to Pair With a Suit Jacket for a Casual Look

Maybe you want to fill your wardrobe with versatile new options that will pair with a casual suit jacket look. Or, perhaps you're going through your closet now, planning casual suit jacket outfits. Either way, get inspired by these ideas for what to wear with a suit jacket.

1. Jeans

You may see this suggestion and wonder, "Can you wear a suit jacket with jeans?" We think the answer is a resounding yes! With this pairing, the looser the fit of your jeans, the more casual the style will be. But avoid wearing bottoms that are too baggy or long. Instead, try slim-fit, straight or regular jeans. The resulting casual suit jacket outfits will be clean, yet relaxed at the same time.

2. Joggers

Joggers are essentially sweatpants or drawstring workout pants with a tapered leg. The slim fit near your ankles makes them suitable for casual outfits with a dressy jacket. To pull off this look, you'll want joggers in a neutral color without any logos. They shouldn't be too bulky or oversized, and you'll want to keep your suit jacket unbuttoned if you pair it with these pants. The result is a comfortable outfit with a high-fashion, yet casual, feel.

3. Khakis or Chinos

These pants offer a neutral addition to your casual suit jacket outfit. You can easily dress these bottoms down or up based on the rest of your look. Because khakisand chinos are typically more fitted, they make an ideal addition to your casual suit jacket ensembles.

4. T-Shirts

Plain T-shirts are a wardrobe staple, so why not pair them with your dressy outerwear? Select a tee that doesn't have a pocket for a smooth and clean look under your outerwear. Avoid wearing tees that are loose under your suit jacket if you go with this style. It could result in uncomfortable and unstylish bunching.

Go with white to let the outerwear stand out or pair a neutral suit jacket with a pop of color underneath. If you're not afraid to show off personality and want an extra-casual look, wear a graphic or patterned tee under the garment. Be sure to coordinate the colors. Pull the accent color from a graphic design or pattern and use it in your pants, jacket or shoes.

5. Button-Up Shirts

It may not sound like a button-up shirt paired with a jacket would make a casual outfit. But the result will be a business-casual look. This top-and-jacket combo is ideal for work environments because if you decide to take off your outerwear, you'll still look dressy enough for the office. You can make this style more casual, though, especially when you leave your tie at home. Use the rest of your outfit to tone down your look and make it more relaxed.

Wear a solid-colored shirt if your jacket has any pattern, texture or color variation. If you have a solid-colored jacket, consider adding a pattern underneath with your button-up shirt.

6. Hoodies

Bundle up with a hoodie layered under your suit jacket. This option will work best with either a slim-fitting hoodie or a slightly oversized suit jacket. You don't want tight outerwear over a bulky hoodie. Be sure to avoid wearing a hoodie with logos to maintain the best balance between casual and dressy.

How Your Suit Jacket Should Fit

Whether you're buying a new garment or digging one out from your closet, you need to know one thing — how should a suit jacket fit? If you plan to wear your outerwear for both casual and formal occasions, it's essential to consider the fit. If it's too big, you won't look put together. Too tight, and you'll be too uncomfortable to show off your new style. As you consider how your suit jacket should fit, think about each part, including the following.

1. The Shoulders

Leave the square-shouldered silhouettes to the '80s. Instead, your suit jacket should fit your shoulders naturally without being too tight or too loose. The shape may be somewhat squared, but it should still look natural.

You'll know a suit jacket is too big if the line of the shoulder hangs over your arm. You want this seam to match up with the edge of your shoulder. The proper fit will accentuate your frame without constricting your movement or looking like there's too much fabric hanging over your arms.

2. The Length

Once you check the shoulders, move down to the length on your arms and torso. The bottom of your jacket should skim the top of your pants pockets. That'll likely hit somewhere around your wrists or palms when your arms are at your sides.

Consider the sleeve length, as well. If you have a dress shirt on when you try on the jacket, place your arms at your sides. You should be able to see about half an inch of the shirt sleeve poke out from the outerwear. That means your sleeve should hit right before your wrist, rather than getting close to your hand.

3. The Chest

Button your jacket when you try it on. If it feels tight or barely buttons, it isn't big enough. If it does button, slip your hand inside the garment over your chest. Any struggle to do so means it's too tight. Your hand should fit between you and the outerwear and be snug, but not swimming.

4. The Waist

While you'd think a boxy look would be masculine, the modern style is a jacket that tapers slightly at the waist. The appropriate cut should give your figure definition and a V-shaped torso. When you're wearing casual suit jacket outfits, you'll likely have the outerwear unbuttoned more often. But a structured garment will maintain a more defined waist, even when it's not buttoned.

Casual Suit Jacket Outfits

Now that you know what to wear with a suit jacket and how your suit jacket should fit, it's time to create your outfits. What you wear will depend on your wardrobe, your style and the occasion you're dressing for. Find ideas for how to wear a suit jacket casually with outfits like these.

1. Button-Up, Jeans and Boots

Get a business-casual feel that's perfect for fall with this outfit. Go out in shades of blue with a navy jacket, light blue button-up shirt and medium-wash jeans. Not so sure the blue palette works for you? Wear a gray jacket over a white button-up and dark-wash jeans. No matter your color combo, pair it with short boots in a neutral color for a comfortable and functional accessory.

2. T-Shirt and Trousers

Elevate your casual outfit with a matching suit jacket and pants. For a fresh and young look, try a blue-gray suit and a white T-shirt. Pair that with all-white, low-top sneakers to emphasize the casual feel. Stray away from the matching set if you want your outfit to be extra-casual. Instead, wear dark pants, a lighter color tee and a gray jacket.

3. Hoodie, Joggers and Sneakers

Put a jacket or sport coat over your casual hoodie outfit to kick the look up a notch. Pull the hood out of the outerwear, and your outfit combines an effortless feel with a touch of style. Your hoodie can either be a pullover or a zip-up with a T-shirt underneath.

Pick a solid-colored or neutral sneaker to pair with the outfit for even more comfort. For your bottoms, consider slim-fit joggers. Get a matching set with your hoodie and break up the colors with your suit jacket. You could also pair something like black joggers with a gray hoodie and coat. But make sure the colors in your outfit go well together.

4. Khakis and Dress Shoes

Get another business-casual look with classic khakis. Add a button-up shirt in white or a simple checked pattern under your jacket. Or, you could make the outfit more casual with a solid-colored T-shirt underneath. Pair with dress shoes in a shade of brown that's darker than the khakis to elevate the outfit.

Have fun with the color in your suit jacket to add personality to your outfit. A dark green complements the tan khaki color, but navy blue would also provide a bold contrast.

Create Casual Suit Jacket Outfits With Penner's Quality Clothing

At Penner's, we want you to look and feel your best, whether you're dressing up in something formal or going for a more relaxed style. We also believe that your clothing should not only fit your style and personality, but it should fit your body right, as well. That's why we offer free alterations on any item at the time of purchase, whether you shop in-store or online. Get the perfect fit for your suit jacket, tops and bottoms when you shop with us at Penner's.

Browse our stylish pants, shirts and shoes, or give our professional staff a call at 210-226-2487. We'd be happy to help you expand your wardrobe and your style!