All too often when I go out with friends- whether it's out to dinner, to a bar, over a friend's house, or even when I pass guys out in public during the day or evening, I feel like I keep seeing the same carbon copy of a standard casual guys outfit everywhere I look. Granted, menswear is not nearly as varied as women's attire, but they could certainly mix it up just a bit.
The blazer-t-shirt-jeans combination is one that not only works for just about any guy, but it allows for a bit of personalityas well, which helps prevent the carbon-copy appearance I'm so sick of.
Start with a pair of great-fitting jeans. Dark wash is more dressy than light wash, but faded black can also work. Next, add a fitted graphic t-shirt that shows a bit of your personality. Maybe it's vintage, or vintage-inspired. Maybe it's your favorite band, or an interesting design inspired by your favorite artist. Finally, add a slim-fit blazer over the t-shirt to complete the look. Shoes can vary to show personality as well. Since you have jeans on, a pair of converse is just as appropriate as a pair of slip-on dress shoes or low-ankle boots.
The key to pulling this look off successfully is to make sure all the pieces you are wearing fit you properly. Far too many men wear clothes that are too big and they end up looking sloppy, disheveled and often they even look heavier than they are. A blazer or sport coat should fit in the shoulders which means that the seam where the shoulder and the sleeve are sewn together should rest at exactly the same place where your shoulder and arm connect. If the seam on the blazer extends beyond the shoulder, the jacket is too big. Same goes for shirts- all kinds of shirts.
Here is proof:
Banded bottom aside, this shirt is a disaster on this man. See how the seam is several inches beyond his shoulder? The short sleeve hangs down to his elbow and the shirt actually makes him look bigger than he is.
This gentleman has the same issue- the shoulders are too wide, so the sleeves hang too long, and the shirt overall drapes in an awkward way that makes his body appear larger than it is.
This man is also plagued with the oversize shirt dilemma. In fact, it's most noticeable on him because he has tucked it into his pants. It's too wide in the shoulders, causing the sleeves to be too long, and then it's too blouse-y at the bottom. Major fit issues.
Here's how to do it right:
Notice the placement of the shoulder seams? And the length of the sleeves? Also notice how the shirt fits his body- it's skims it without being too tight or too loose. Some shirts with vertical seaming will fit tighter than ones without, but be careful not to go too far in the other direction. If the fabric pulls across the chest or stomach when buttoned, you might need to go up a size or find a different style fit.
Here's another one that fits nicely.
Now take these rules and apply them to t-shirts and blazers and you'll have a fabulous casual look for the next time you head out on the town.