Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dark jeans and a navy blazer: too much navy?


Image from Rugby (not actually me, believe it or not)

While jeans and a navy blazer seems like a pretty sure-bet combination, I find myself unable to ever pull it off. My jeans are pretty dark, and when I put on a blazer, regardless of what shirt I'm wearing, I feel like there is too little contrast and am afraid that from a distance it will look like I'm wearing a navy suit. I recognize that there is a difference in texture, but that seems like something that would only be noticed upon closer inspection. Am I the only one who has this problem? Am I over-thinking it? I'd love to hear your opinions.

26 comments:

Titus said...

Here's one: just don't. Don't wear jeans with a blazer. It's cool, it's hip, it's whatever you want to call it. It's also crass, unnecessary, obnoxiously trendy, and inimical to good taste. Get some slacks.

David M. said...

wear jeans a shade lighter (it's okay!). or wear a different sport jacket like herringbone/tweed, corduroy, or a brown/tan linen.

componentsofenthusiasm said...

Titus, I wouldn't exactly call jeans with a blazer crass, unnecessary, or obnoxiously trendy, seems a bit cynical doesn't it? Depending on how you style it, it can definitely be trendy, but men in America, Italy, France, England, etc. have all been pulling off this basic look very well over the last few decades. I get what you're saying, especially if you're referring to the whole J.Crew blazer and jeans look, but let's not be so extreme about it haha.

Personally, I do both: a navy blazer with jeans or a pair of cotton pants. Don't think too hard about it, it should be effortless and reflect your personal aesthetic, but really the navy blazer and dark blue jeans look is something that I personally pull off a lot and with success. It's a good look, Trip, just don't over think it!

Skip said...

I'm in the don't do it camp but I do like the look of jeans with a tweed or herringbone jacket in the fall.

Scott said...

I agree with Titus. Why? flannels or chinos work so much better. Slim(ish) flannels or chinos are just as hip. That guy pictured looks terrible. If that can even be called a blazer, it's tiny. But hey, what do I know? He got the girl.

James Redhouse said...

I suppose that if one insists upon this particular manifestation of Anglo-American synthesis, one could experiment with different tones of faded jeans until one hit upon the combination that produces the right contrast.

K.S. Anthony said...

I don't think a blazer works with jeans. White ducks, chinos, gray flannels...but not jeans. As you suggest: too much navy.

I've successfully worn an ensemble of a black sport coat, crisp white shirt (sans cravate), blue jeans and Gucci loafers. I accessorize with an insouciant air of sprezzatura and a look of disinterest. (ha ha ha)

DAM said...

I'm going to be lone one, I think, and say it works.

I've worried at times about it being too much navy, but quickly abandon all worry when worn with a crisp shirt, polished shoes and a belt strap with engraved slide.

Or with a rumpled oxford, ribbon belt and boat shoes/drivers.

I think if the fit of the blazer and the fit of the pant are on the same page, it won't look like an ill fitting or mismatched suit.

Drake said...

I feel your pain. I just got the new Lands End Canvas Chino Blazer in Navy and I feel like it dresses down my khakis and looks too much like the canadian tuxedo with jeans.

KFad said...

I do it all the time. It seems to work better with a more tailored navy blazer to offset the jeans rather than a cotton blazer.

That being said, the contrast of a tweed or flannel sport coat tends to look better with denim.

JRS said...

I'm with DAM - I think it looks fine. It's a more formal look than a tweed - therefore the shirt/belt/shoes should be more 'polished' as well.

Bunny Elder said...

I say 'yes' - but best with jeans in a sllighty lighter shade, and on a chap under 25. I used to do it all the time, with a crisp white shirt and weejans (sockless) when I was dressing down at a college cocktail/frat/tailgate party. But never if my date was wearing a dress!

ADG said...

Too dark. But I'm an old fart.

K.S. Anthony said...

I think one of the major problems with the ensemble in the photograph is the brown shoes. They add an unsettling dissonance to all that navy.

I have nothing against brown shoes per se, but I think they're an inappropriate choice here.

swirvin said...

I am with DAM & JRS. A navy blazer paired with dark 501's are my uniform. I work in a cell phone design group with a bunch of hipsters. So, slacks are way too formal. Also, I pair my navy blazer with my khaki & stone 501's. I do think a white shirt is too much of a contrast with the navy. I usually pair it with a large gingham print shirt (navy, blue, orange, yellow) and a pocket square. I always get loads of complements when I wear pair it with a navy gingham shirt & small plaid print pink pocket square (say that 5 times).

I think the GQ picture of Sid Mashburn's Pete & Matt would have been a good image to use ---

http://startwithtypewriters.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/10_most_stylish_men3.jpg

But the girl in the rugby picture is more easy on the eye than Pete..

Patrick said...

Too dark. I too am an old fart.

Light brown sportcoats with jeans, a cautious yes.

Nicholas said...

Count me in the "don't wear jeans with a blazer/jacket period." It may be cool in theory and looks good in Sartorialist shots of gents in Milan or employees at Sid Mashburn but usually falls short for everyday wear.

Nicholas said...

My favorite look is still Nantucket reds or some other colored chino (green or yellow usually looks cool) with a navy 3/2 blazer.

Anonymous said...

I'm old fart number three.

I really like the blazer on this model, especially the lined, popped collar.

I knew this wasn't you, because you would have had the sleeves shortened.

Chinos or flannels with a blazer are a given classic.

Pairing a blazer with jeans gives for an interesting, dressed-down look.

I think the jeans in this photo are too dark. Lighter jeans would look great with this blazer.

Anonymous said...

I think the jeans in the picture are too dark.

I think the jeans hanging in the third photo of your March 11th guest post about Imogene+Willie would be perfect.

Will said...

I love the combination of these two items that are so rich in American history. I agree with DAM regarding the fit of the blazer and jeans. I think a a colorful oxford and pocket square are also key in pulling the look off. I have a wonderful green and lavender pocket square I pair with a pink oxford and feel bulletproof every time I put the outfit together.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is correct:

Indigo blue jeans, which are not ultra dark, pair well with a textured or weighty navy blazer--think flannel--or with a heavy tweed jacket.

But, jeans with the classical constructed, worsted-wool, navy blazer just doesn't work. The fine texture of the jacket clashes with the coarser weave of the jeans.

--Lord Peter Wimsey

reub-envision said...

don't go any lighter with your denim find a pair that has a more metallic sheen to them the difference will be more classy & noticeable. (while not easy to fin a good pair of jeans with sheen are hard to beat)

Kyle said...

Trip, the key is the color of the jeans. You need to have some contrast going on, just as you don't want to wear a blazer with gray pants that are so dark it looks like you flubbed and picked the blue coat when you were supposed to pick the gray coat.

Mimi said...

You are over thinking it, I think you look pretty darn hot!

jack said...

The basic rule here is that an odd jacket and trousers should contrast. So either the jeans or the jacket had to be lots lighter.