A simple blazer is often all you need to spruce up a casual outfit. But can you really wear a blue blazer with jeans?
A blue blazer can easily be worn with jeans in casual and smart-casual settings. Consider a casual blazer fabric or weave such as linen, seersucker, tweed, or flannel to reduce the risk of a formality mismatch between the blue blazer and the casual-looking jeans.
That’s the quick and easy version, but as always, there’s more to it.
Here are some important tips for getting this combination right, each and every time.
Let’s get to it.
7 Tips For Wearing Blue Blazers With Jeans
Consider all of these tips before combining these two classic items. There’s a good chance that one or two of them will make all the difference for you.
Ensure It’s OK For The Dress Code
A blue blazer and jeans combination should only be worn in casual and smart-casual settings.
While a blue blazer alone would fit seamlessly into even the more uptight business-casual settings, a pair of jeans will always come across as casual.
In fact, jeans are the epitome of casual attire – a global icon of the laid-back and rugged aesthetic.
Yes, it’s true that a blazer can make any pair of jeans look dressier. But at the end of the day, a blue blazer and jeans pairing will always be “smart-casual” and nothing more than that.
Never wear a blazer and jeans combo to a formal setting and be very careful about wearing it in a business-casual setting.
More often than not, a business-casual event would benefit far more from a blazer and chinos/dress pants pairing instead.
Go For A Casual Blazer Fabric
When wearing a blue blazer with jeans, consider choosing one of the more “casual” blazer fabrics.
What you want is a blazer with a texture that’s rugged enough to blend well with the rugged texture of the denim jeans.
It’s no secret that certain blazer fabrics have a more formal look to them, while others have a more casual texture and construction.
As a general principle, shiny, wrinkle-resistant fabrics such as worsted wool look more formal, while more rugged and wrinkly fabrics look more casual.
Examples of casual fabrics/weaves include tweed, linen, seersucker, serge, and flannel.
A blue blazer in any of these fabrics would sync better with a pair of jeans than a shiny worsted wool blazer would.
In fact, a formal-looking worsted wool blue blazer worn with a pair of jeans will often look a little awkward and poorly matched.
Consider The Shade Of Blue
A blue blazer can look very different depending on the shade you choose.
In general, the darker the shade of blue, the dressier the blazer will come across. Ultimately, both dark and light blue blazers could potentially look great with a pair of jeans.
The main reason why the shade of the blue blazer is important, however, is that it determines how much contrast you have between the jeans and the blazer.
Let me explain.
A light blue blazer worn with a dark blue pair of jeans would lead to a high-contrast combination.
The same would go for a dark blue blazer worn with a light blue pair of jeans.
On the other hand, a low-contrast combination would be a dark blue blazer worn with a dark blue pair of jeans.
In general, low-contrast combinations are more subtle and understated, while high-contrast combinations are more eye-catching and attention-grabbing.
There’s no “right” answer here.
But it’s worth knowing that the dressiest option would be to wear a dark blue blazer with a dark blue pair of jeans.
Consider A Contrasting Jeans Color
We’ve talked about shades of blue blazers and blue jeans. But what about choosing an entirely different jeans color altogether?
For example, a blue blazer worn with grey or black jeans?
It can work very well.
It’s another great way to produce an eye-catching contrast between the blue blazer and the jeans.
Once again, the darker the colors, the “dressier” the combinations will come across.
If you’re dressing for a dressy smart-casual event, consider a dark blue blazer worn with a charcoal grey or black pair of jeans.
When there’s no real risk of underdressing, lighter shades can work just as well.
Go For A “Dressy” Pair Of Jeans
Dressy pairs of jeans often look better with blazers than more casual-looking ones.
We’ve talked a little bit about choosing a more casual-looking blazer- one that’s casual enough to pair well with a pair of jeans.
What that does is reduce the risk of a formality mismatch between the blue blazer and the jeans.
Another way to do this would be to choose a dressier-looking pair of jeans.
While jeans should never be considered formal, there are definitely some that look less casual than others.
Here are some “dressy” features of jeans to look out for:
- Tapered fit
- Darker colors
- Seam details not as visible
- No distressing (eg. rips, frays, acid washing)
Choosing a pair that has some or all of these features makes it even more likely that it’ll look great with a blazer.
Casual Shirt Styles Work Well
Casual shirt styles such as OCBDs, linen shirts, and T-shirts often look great under a blue blazer when wearing a pair of jeans.
It’s yet another way of reducing a risk of a formality mismatch between the items.
A 100% cotton dress shirt worn with a blazer and jeans can work, but there’s always a chance that the formal-looking shirt will look awkward when worn with jeans.
A quick word on polos.
While it’s possible to wear polo shirts with blazers, the collar and placket of the shirt often looks strange under a blazer.
In general, it’s generally best to avoid the combination because of this.
Wear Smart-Casual Shoes
A blue blazer and jeans combination is the ideal smart-casual ensemble.
It’s only fitting that a pair of typically smart-casual shoes would be the perfect way to round things off.
Examples of shoes you could consider wearing (in order of reducing formality):
- Suede Derby shoes
- Penny, tassel, or Gucci loafers
- Leather Chelsea or chukka boots
- All-white minimalist sneakers
Sneakers should only be worn when you’re dressing down and there’s no real risk of underdressing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a couple of frequently asked questions on the topic to finish up.
Can You Wear A Blue Blazer With Jeans To A Wedding?
Avoid wearing a blue blazer with jeans to a wedding, as the combination would come across as too casual for even the more laid-back and non-traditional ceremonies.
It’s important to make it clear to the wedding couple that you’ve made an effort for their big day.
For formal and traditional weddings, it’s generally best to wear a 2-piece suit at a minimum.
If the couple has explicitly stated that it’s “smart-casual”, it’s still generally best to avoid jeans, simply because of how casual they can look.
You don’t want to be the most underdressed person in the room and you don’t want to ruin the wedding photographs.
A good alternative would be a blue blazer worn with a pair of dress pants or chinos.
Can You Wear A Blue Blazer With Jeans And Black Shoes?
A blue blazer can be worn with jeans and black shoes quite easily. The color of the shoes is less important than the style.
As mentioned above, go for a smart-casual pair of shoes such as loafers or suede Derby shoes.
It’s also worth mentioning that while black shoes can work, brown shoes tend to work better, simply because they’re a little more casual.
Black shoes can sometimes come across as slightly too formal for jeans.
It’s a combination that could easily work in a variety of settings, but reserve it for casual and smart-casual settings.
Consider the colors, the fabrics, as well as your shirt and shoes. Get these steps right and you’re well on your way to pulling off the blue blazer and jeans combo in the most effective way possible.