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How To Wear A Suit With A T-Shirt: 15 Perfectly Balanced Outfits

Get more wear from your tailoring rotation by dressing it down with a crisp tee. Here's how to get the look right in 2024.

Modern, easy and the very epitome of smart-casual tailoring, wearing a T-shirt with a suit has the dual benefit of looking elegant while also making your stuffy tailoring infinitely more wearable.

Yet only a few years ago, this was an act of sartorial rebellion, turning your back on decades of menswear rules and norms to throw your lot in with Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice.

More recently, however, as menswear as become more and more casual, wearing a T-shirt with a suit has become more popular and accepted. And with that acceptance comes options.

Unless you spend your days in black tie attire, there will be a way to wear a T-shirt with a suit that works for you. From Scandi minimalism to preppy throwbacks, you can get more wear from your tailoring simply by wearing a tee and making it more versatile and casual.

Below, you’ll find all the short-sleeved inspiration you need to revamp all your formal outfits.

When to wear a T-shirt with a suit

Man wearing dark navy suit with a tucked in white T-shirt and sunglasses


Wearing a T-shirt with a suit automatically makes your tailoring more casual, but that doesn’t mean it’s not smart. Weddings, job interviews and well-dressed parties are all fair game if you believe the happy couple / company / hosts would think it’s appropriate.

We wouldn’t try it if you’re interviewing at an investment bank or historic law firm, for instance, but anywhere with a smart-casual dress code should be fine.

Beyond these formal events, wearing a T-shirt with a suit is a distinctive way to elevate your everyday dress. Tailoring is in an experimental phase as guys try to work out its place in a post-Covid world, where casual dress is king.

Pair a simple black suit with a plain tee and a belt for an artsy take on the look, or lean into something more dishevelled with a loose T-shirt worn under a linen suit.

The types of suits to wear with a T-shirt

Close up of a man wearing a lightweight unstructured beige suit with a tonal tie and neckerchief

Buck Mason

The short answer to this one is, all of them (with the aforementioned exception of a dinner suit). This is a casual take on tailoring so you might think that it only works with unstructured, laid-back suits with soft shoulders. But a T-shirt also adds a nice contrast to more formal blazers, from slim-fit two-button suits to roomier double-breasted jackets.

With more casual suiting, you could even argue that a T-shirt is a more natural partner than a starched shirt. Try one with all or any of your linen, seersucker, cotton jersey or unstructured wool suits. If your tailoring includes patch pockets, a drawstring waist or other notably casual details, a T-shirt will work nicely with it.

It’s also worth noting that tees also complement suits of every colour, adding contrast to formal black and navy styles, and something more natural to a two-piece in green, light blue or off-white.

The types of T-shirts that work with suits

Close up of a man wearing a light blue double-breasted summer suit with a tucked in white T-shirt and sunglasses


Plain crew necks are the easiest T-shirts to wear with a suit. The block colours give some laid-back contrast to the details of a jacket and neutral shades like white, black, grey and navy are the easiest to style.

If your suit is something more colourful, like a tan or olive, try similar-but-different shades to add depth and create an interesting tonal look.

There are also variants on the plain crew neck that you can try. A knitted tee gives a more polished look, while the addition of a breast pocket dials the formality down. Breton stripes are about as daring as you can go in terms of pattern, but they double-down on the nautical theme if you pair them with something like a navy double-breasted jacket.

One extra note: wearing a T-shirt with a suit is similar to wearing sneakers with a suit. It needs to be box-fresh, or near enough. Faded colours and shapeless necklines simply don’t work with the sharp lines of tailoring.

15 modern suit and T-shirt outfits

Light blue double-breasted suit with white T-shirt outfit

Men's light blue double-breasted suit, white T-shirt and brown suede espadrilles outfit


One of the perks of wearing a T-shirt with a suit is that the plain tee takes a supporting role and lets the tailoring shine.

Take this statement double-breasted number. The icy blue colour, wide lapels and soft, textured finish wouldn’t be as prominent if it was worn with a shirt and tie, but the white tee just accentuates the suit’s colour.

The T-shirt also chimes with other casual touches in the outfit. Suede sockless loafers and statement sunglasses make this a modern take on summer wedding attire.

Cream suit with white T-shirt and black V-neck sweater outfit

Men's cream suit, white T-shirt, black v-neck sweater and tan suede tassel loafers outfit

Brunello Cucinelli

Who says you can’t layer a suit? Not Brunello Cucinelli for one. This look combines a lo-fi 90s aesthetic with sumptuous Italian tailoring for an unexpected way to wear a T-shirt with a suit.

It’s as much about colour as anything else, the black V-neck sweater creating a break between the white of the tee and the off-white tailoring.

The T-shirt does nothing to downgrade the elegance of the outfit, either, with subtle touches like the trouser turn-ups and the matching grey socks and pocket square making sure this works for a strictly sartorial summer.

Men's navy double-breasted suit, beige T-shirt and black Chelsea boots outfit


A plain white crew neck is probably the most popular T-shirt option to pair with a suit, but it’s usually a move from the spring-summer playbook. For a moodier take on dress-down tailoring, try a T-shirt in an earthy shade of brown, cream or olive.

As this outfit shows, a slightly darker shade is arguably more interesting and masculine. Create a louche vibe by tucking a knitted tee into your suit trousers and leaving your double-breasted jacket open over the top.

The combo also lends itself to a broader range of footwear than traditional tailoring. A Chelsea boot is ideal for a creative take on the man-about-town look.

Olive green suit with off-white T-shirt outfit

Men's olive green suit, white T-shirt and khaki suede shoes outfit


An olive green suit is the other year-round staple in your tailoring wardrobe – a subtle standout option that adapts to both the season and the occasion. In spring and summer it works perfectly with a crew-neck tee, especially in off-white tones that bring out the earthy character of the green.

The outfit above doubles down on the natural palette, creating a tonal look with the addition of a beige belt and loafers.

Men's double-breasted navy suit, striped T-shirt and black tassel loafers outfit

Brunello Cucinelli

Tailoring and sailoring make good shipmates, whether you’re on the deck of a super yacht or just waltzing around the Mediterranean.

Metallic buttons on a navy, double-breasted suit will always call to mind the traditional officer uniforms of the British Navy and their later adoption by prepsters the world over.

Combining this kind of jacket with a striped Breton top runs the risk of looking a little dress-up but you can downplay it by switching up some of the details. Swap gold or brass buttons with something silvery and instead of a traditional navy and white Breton, try a grey or red instead.

Those trusty stripes will also work with any number of other suits you have hanging in your wardrobe, too.

Grey drawstring suit with beige T-shirt outfit

Men's grey drawstring suit, beige T-shirt and beige/brown chunky sneakers outfit

Hugo Boss

Luxury leisurewear is relatively new phenomenon, but its influence on menswear at large is undeniable. Exhibit A: this jersey-style suit, complete with drawstring waist from Hugo Boss.

Using this soft material with tailoring gives a slouchy silhouette so it pairs naturally with a crew-neck tee (and even chunky sneakers).

The outfit is also another example of how T-shirt in a slightly darker shade than the suit adds a polished, layered feel to your look.

Light blue suit with white T-shirt outfit

Men's light blue suit, white T-shirt and white sneakers outfit


Pastel-coloured suits are some of the easiest to pair with a T-shirt, not least because men have been wearing this exact combo since Miami Vice made it cool in the 80s. There’s something gently Scandi about the look – slim, minimalist, unfussy – which makes it work for the office, weddings and summer strolls through the city.

The minimal styling also carries through to the footwear, with stripped-back white sneakers replacing more traditional loafers.

Pink suit with white T-shirt outfit

Men's pink suit, white T-shirt, pink silk neckerchief and burgundy loafers outfit

TM Lewin

Let’s be honest, if you’re wearing a pink suit, the T-shirt you’ve paired it with will be the last thing on people’s minds.

Nevertheless, a tee works perfectly with this dandy take on tailoring; the white crew neck again letting the other elements do all the talking.

Not least among these is the neckerchief, which is an option any time you wear a T-shirt with a suit. It’s flamboyant and artsy, so not everyone will be onboard, but it can serve a similar job to a tie by bringing another colour or detail to your look.

Khaki suit with white T-shirt outfit

Men's khaki suit, white T-shirt and brown suede penny loafers outfit


Khaki suits are a tailoring colour most often found in the ‘other’ category. But it’s a perfect shade to invest in for this age of dress-down suiting, and it complements pretty much every skin tone, too.

Again, a plain white tee is your easiest option, not only because it pairs naturally with khaki but also because it let’s the details of the suit – like the wide lapels and turn-ups – shine through.

The same suit would also work with tees in heather grey, navy or black, as well as a traditional Breton stripe.

Cream striped suit with off-white T-shirt outfit

Men's cream striped drawstring suit, white T-shirt and black leather loafers outfit

Todd Snyder

If your suit is deliberately non-traditional, wearing a T-shirt with it is a no-brainer. This cream linen suit, adorned with Bengal stripes, is a sartorial mile away from a staple navy two-button: crinkled, unstructured and with a drawstring waist, it’s part-tailoring, part-PJs.

With this style of suit, throwing on a T-shirt in a similar shade creates a relaxed tonal look. And rarely will tailoring feel this comfortable or look this laid-back.

Ivory double-breasted suit with grey T-shirt outfit

Men's ivory double-breasted linen suit, grey T-shirt and brown suede penny loafers outfit


Double-breasted suits are often considered more formal than their single-breasted cousins, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work with a T-shirt. In fact, the contrast will usually work in your favour, especially if the suit is relaxed in its fit and fabrication.

This ivory linen option is a prime example. It’s luxuriously cut with a dramatic, shawl-like lapel and a pleat in the trousers, but the simple grey tee adds a little depth to the light, elegant palette.

Grey double-breasted drawstring suit with a grey T-shirt outfit

Grey double-breasted drawstring suit, grey T-shirt and grey sneakers outfit


Here’s another sporty take on tailoring that benefits from the addition of the T-shirt. The trousers fit like track pants even if the double-breasted jacket brings more of an unstructured 80s feel to the outfit. Whichever vibe you think wins, the lilac T-shirt brings it all together.

The colour is a clever touch. Lilac and light grey work as a tonal pairing, even if purple tones aren’t the first that spring to mind to pair with tailoring.

Open navy double-breasted suit with black T-shirt outfit

Men's navy double-breasted suit, navy T-shirt and black shoes outfit


If outdated style rules are to be believed, black and navy don’t mix. But wear a black T-shirt with a navy suit and you’ll quickly realise that’s nonsense. Moody, masculine and refined, the dark look retains a luxurious feel even without the shirt and tie.

It works particularly well if your suit has a satin-style finish. The matte black cotton tee contrasts with the natural shine of the suit adding some extra depth and sartorial brownie points to your look.

Mid-blue suit with black T-shirt outfit

Men's petrol blue suit, black T-shirt and black shoes outfit


Here’s another example of how a dark T-shirt can make your suit stand out, especially if you’ve chosen a more vibrant colour than the usual staples. In this case, the petrol blue pops against the black tee, while the matching loafers pull the look together.

The cut is quite traditional, too. The lesson? If you have suits hanging up that you haven’t worn for years, pull them out and try them on with a range of plain crew necks. You’ll be surprised how many re-enter your rotation.

Light purple suit with off-white T-shirt outfit

Men's purple suit, off-white T-shirt and white sneakers outfit


For an ice-cool combination, try this mix of purplish-grey suit with all-white accessories. The T-shirt works in unison with the sneakers and pocket square for an easy-to-style, easy-to-wear look.

Professional enough for most offices, it’s a modern take on tailoring that will also take you through to after-work drinks or dinner.

For bonus menswear points, create some depth in the look by opting for an off-white tee rather than a brilliant white one.