Men’s Blazer Outfit Inspiration: 19 Looks That Are Sharp Not Stuffy
A blazer will elevate any look, smart or casual. Here's how to pick a jacket that you'll get regular use from, and what you should wear with it in 2023.
As far as menswear’s concerned, the blazer is about as classic as it gets. A tailoring icon, the right one will see you through all of life’s major milestones, from weddings, parties and birthdays to job interviews and funerals. In need of smartening up a casual look? A crisp, navy single-breasted blazer has you covered. Want a business-appropriate outfit that’s sharp enough for the boardroom but relaxed enough for the bar afterwards? The very same jacket has your back.
But aside from the 9-5 and other formal events, how can you get more out of your tailoring collection? Here we break down which types of blazers make the most versatile additions to your closet, then showcase 19 stylish ways to wear one in 2023, ranging from off-duty casual to special occasions. It’s time to fix up, look sharp.
How to wear a blazer tips
Make mine a single
A simple, single-breasted jacket with notch lapels is arguably the only blazer you need. It’s certainly the easiest to wear, and the one that will go with most other pieces in your existing rotation.
A well-cut, single-breasted blazer works with every type of trouser imaginable, from jeans and chinos through to tailored and pleated pants. It looks great with sneakers or ‘proper’ shoes, and as a result wouldn’t look out of place at the fanciest of Christmas parties or the pub after work.
You could build an entire tailoring wardrobe full of single-breasted blazers in every colour and fabric imaginable, but if you’re going to go for just one, make it the following: dark navy cotton or textured wool; soft shoulders with little padding; a two-button fastening; twin rear vents that just cover your behind; and patch pockets. This jacket can be worn with everything (and we mean everything), and will never go out of style.
The double-breasted (DB) blazer has long been considered a formal garment, evoking images of Wall Street power dressers and fusty bankers, but this isn’t necessarily true in 2023. Go for a well-cut, unstructured version and you’ll own a jacket that is surprisingly versatile, as well as a lot more fun than its single-breasted counterpart.
There’s just something inherently cooler about the style, which can subvert its old-school associations if styled right. Look to those louche yet elegant Italians if you need proof: teamed with off-white jeans, a linen shirt and tassel loafers, a soft-shouldered DB blazer oozes sprezzatura.
When it comes to lapel type, there are only really two options: notch or peak. Notch lapels are named as such because of the indent at the top of each lapel, which looks like the fabric has been notched. They are by far the most common type you’ll find, being both unassuming and flattering for the majority of body types and face shapes.
For something more out there, you might consider a peak lapel. Featuring a point on the end of each lapel, which points up towards the sky, the peak is commanding and demands attention, meaning it is nearly always found on jackets of a similar ilk – i.e. double-breasted designs.
A peak-lapelled, single-breasted blazer therefore makes for a slightly more eccentric jacket, and one that’s better suited to dressing up or formal attire.
These days a blazer can be as formal or casual (within reason) as you prefer. This difference is achieved subtly, whether through fabric choice, lapel style, additional pockets or the cut and structure.
Go for a heavily structured jacket – one with padded, roped shoulders and heavy canvassing through the chest – and you’ll have an inherently smarter and more formal garment that’s better worn with equally sharp trousers, leather shoes and dress shirts.
Go for something with little to no structure though, and you’ll own a jacket that feels more like a cardigan. It will be way more comfortable, plus look softer, with the shoulders following the natural line of the wearer’s, giving it a relaxed drape.
Unstructured blazers are easier to dress down and can work with sneakers, jeans and casual trousers, as well as polos, tees and knitwear. As a rule of thumb, if you want smart, go structured. If you want something more laid back, go unstructured. Easy.
Men’s blazer outfits for 2023
Camel blazer and black pants
While a full camel suit can quickly become overbearing, a camel blazer makes a striking statement. Find a double-breasted version with patch pockets and peak lapels and it will quickly become your go-to party season jacket.
Team it with a black roll neck and black tailored trousers to create a sharp and sophisticated look that will turn heads for all the right reasons.
Navy trousers with a grey blazer
One of the most timeless separates combinations in menswear is a navy blazer worn with grey pants. Why not try reversing the two though? The lesser seen grey blazer and navy trousers pairing is just as stylish, and will help you subtly stand out on Casual Friday.
Throw a white T-shirt into the mix – tucked in, of course – for an on-trend 80s take on relaxed tailoring.
Tweed blazer with jeans
If you plan to wear your blazer casually, a brown herringbone version is hard to beat. This classic, country-inspired design complements most skin types and is a natural pairing for blue denim, making it ideal for dressing up your weekend attire.
Find one in a suitably robust tweed or woven wool and try it with other heritage pieces such as roll necks, crew neck sweaters, flannel/cord shirts and Chelsea boots.
The knitted blazer
A relatively new product category, spurred on by the WFH movement and relaxation of dress codes across the board, the knitted blazer has more in common with a cardigan than a piece of tailoring.
So, if comfort is a priority then this is the style to go for. It looks its best teamed with equally relaxed pieces, so try it as part of a Riviera-inspired look with off-white trousers, minimal sneakers and blue Oxford shirt, as shown here.
Grey checked blazer with black trousers
If you don’t want to think too much about styling your grey blazer, wear it with black trousers. To avoid looking like a funeral director though, ensure the jacket has plenty of texture and keep it casual underneath by eschewing shirts in favour of soft knitwear, as shown here.
Velvet blazer with black trousers
As far as party tailoring goes, a velvet blazer is widely considered the most elegant and glamorous of all. Black and navy are foolproof options that will ensure you subtly stand out at any event, but if you want to make a real impression then consider a jacket in a richer autumnal shade like burgundy, bottle green or burnt orange.
A sophisticated way of making a statement, anchor the latter with classic black tie attire – black tailored trousers, white dress shirt, black bow tie – to allow it to take centre stage.
Washed cotton blazer with jeans
Blazers don’t have to be formal, or even tailored. If your style is a little more rough and ready, go down the workwear route and opt for something made from a hard-wearing fabric like cotton or twill and cut in a functional, boxy silhouette.
Sitting firmly on the more casual end of the spectrum, you can use this kind of blazer like a makeshift jacket, wearing it with equally rugged jeans, tees, chunky knits and sneakers or boots.
Burgundy blazer with navy trousers
Burgundy is an underrated shade for tailoring. A full suit in the colour is a bit much in 2023 (RIP #menswear), but a slim-cut blazer in a rich shade of merlot makes an excellent alternative to navy or green.
You can wear it in much the same way too – with navy trousers, leather boots and knitwear – as shown in this modern look.
If you want to stand out and have a bit of fun with your look but can’t bring yourself to wear bold primary hues or washed-out pastels, try a brighter shade of blue instead.
A colour most men feel confident in, a cobalt or azure blue blazer looks superb as part of a tonal outfit, as shown here – the navy surrounding pieces setting a dark base for it to shine against.
Grey blazer with drawstring pants
Tailoring plays a key part in the ‘athleisure’ look, which combines sportier pieces with smarter garments to create an interesting high-low aesthetic.
Knitted blazers are perfect for a slightly elevated take on the trend, especially when combined with tailored drawstring trousers and a merino wool roll neck.
The tonal grey and white theme here keeps things simple and understated, making this a perfect outfit for the office and beyond.
Aside from going all navy, one of the most stylish colour palettes for tailoring combines browns with creams and off whites. These natural, earthy shades work for every skin tone and straddle the smart casual divide perfectly.
Here we tuck a brown T-shirt into khaki pleated pants and throw on a striking camel double-breasted jacket to create a look that would work just as well in a creative media environment as it does for a party.
Hoodie with a blazer
This look isn’t for the fainthearted, and only works if a number of factors have been considered. Chief of which is the blazer. To successfully combine a hoodie with a blazer, you need a jacket that’s completely unstructured, while also being cut from a more relaxed fabric like cotton. Otherwise, the contrast between the casual nature of the hoodie and the formal blazer is just too severe.
This is also the time to pull out your sneakers. You want to dress down the blazer as much as possible to keep the feel of each garment as consistent as you can.
You’ll never regret investing in a textured blazer. Opt for one in an interesting fabric and it’s a tell-tale sign you didn’t buy it to wear it as part of a suit.
This grey micro-check design is a case in point, showcasing the adaptability of mid grey. As here, wear it with confidence by creating a contrast against some off-white pleated trousers and a matching turtleneck.
Show you’re a man who pays attention to the finer details by introducing some light brown accents, in the form of suede boots and a woven leather belt, which pick out the subtle brown base tone of the jacket.
Blue check blazer with navy trousers
Sometimes, a simple pattern is all it takes to make a look. This subtle Prince of Wales check, for example, transforms an otherwise pedestrian blue blazer into the focal point of the outfit, giving it a depth and visual interest that would’ve otherwise been lacking.
The navy trousers and white turtleneck act as neutral anchors, cementing the blazer’s leading role.
Tailored cargo pants and a blazer
If you’re in the market for a blazer, it can be easy to fall down a navy and grey rabbit hole. These are, after all, by far the most popular colours when it comes to tailoring, and for good reason – they are ‘appropriate’ for business and you’ll never fall foul of a dress code.
However, when it comes to separates, think outside the box and you’ll be rewarded. Soft blues and greens work perfectly as part of seasonally-appropriate spring and summer tailored looks. For example, try a pastel green design, like above, and combine it with off-white cargo pants, suede slip-on shoes and a darker green polo shirt for a smart casual ensemble that doesn’t have to try too hard to stand out.
Off-white blazer with brown trousers
This off-white blazer would make it look like you’re going to a Miami Vice costume party (Sonny, is that you?) if you combined it with the matching trousers. But break it up with brown drawstring pants and a tonal crew neck and instead it feels extremely contemporary.
Finish with minimal sneakers and you have an outfit that’s perfect for sipping cocktails on a rooftop bar when the sun comes out.
The go-to navy blazer
This is perhaps the only navy blazer you’ll ever need. Softly structured and cut from a textured wool, it will adapt to every social occasion.
Here, it’s the ideal complement to a green turtleneck and off-white jeans, but it would work just as well with blue chinos, black trousers, raw denim, sneakers, OCBDs, polo shirts, and everything in between.
Stroll around any financial district in the world and it’ll likely be full of boring grey suits. But a grey blazer can break free of its boardroom connotations if you pick a version in a heavyweight, textured cloth with little to no padding.
The look above is a case in point: worn with washed black jeans and a tonal turtleneck, it looks smart but not stuffy – ideal for a first date or dinner with friends.
The contrasting beige suede shoes are a nice touch that stops the overall aesthetic from appearing too sombre and adds a definitive punctuation mark to the outfit.
Green blazer with white jeans
If you’re unsure about dressing in the same colour head to toe, why not try a tonal approach for your top half and breaking it up with contrasting trousers?
This would work with navy, sure, but for something a little different, go green. The solid mid-green blazer above gives off slight military connotations, but those quickly fade away with the elegance of a knitted polo worn underneath.
Finish with white jeans and brown leather loafers for a sophisticated, unassuming take on contemporary tailoring.