I previously wrote a piece in which I contended that it was time to give up the blue jean and sport coat trend. I am still avoiding wearing my designer denim with sport coats, but that is a personal choice and I do believe that the look is appropriate for other guys. The key to properly donning denim with a sport coat rests in the details of the blue jeans. Pairing a pair of poorly-chosen blue jeans – think mom jeans or work jeans – with a sport coat can make you look like a putz, but well-selected denim can make you look like you walked off the pages of GQ or Esquire.
Blue Jean Fit
Sport coats are tailored pieces of clothing and should always be paired with other well-fitting clothing items. Just as you want the fit of your dress slacks to be proportional to the fit of your sport coat in order to maintain a balanced silhouette, you want the fit of your blue jeans to coincide with the cut of your sport coat. Do not wear taper-leg skinny jeans with a sport coat, or ever, because you could quickly find yourself being confused for the fairer sex. Conversely, sagging pants look very unflattering, especially when paired with a sport coat. A pair of designer jeans with a straight leg or boot cut should be favored when shopping for jeans to wear with your sport coat. Moderation is key when choosing fit. You do not want baggy jeans but you also want to leave a little to the imagination.
Designer Denim Finish
Generic denim finishes like those found on mom jeans should be avoided when wearing a sport coat. Look for dark, dressy washes or jeans that have an expensive look. The safest option is dark blue jeans without any embellishment; it is a timeless look that is conservative and safe for all occasions. Light whiskering can add a designer look and vertical crease marks on the legs can make you look taller and also make the jeans appear dressier. Shy away from washes that look like work jeans.
Jeans with Fancy Embellishments
Some designers embellish the pockets of their jeans with trademark stitching. Seven For All Mankind typically does so very discretely and the company’s trademark pocket stitch is acceptable for all work and social situations. True Religion takes the trademark stitching up a notch with thicker stitching and a bolder pattern, but it still looks dressy and is okay for most occasions although you should avoid it in some overly conservative locales due to the prominence of the logo and the flap-style pockets. Large pocket stitching that takes up the whole pocket or a majority of the pocket’s area should be avoided when donning a sport coat as the look is just too casual to exude classy cool.
When wearing a sport coat, you are wearing a finely tailored garment with professional stitching. Why would you want to pair it with a pair of overly distressed jeans with rips at the knees and frayed hemlines? Keep your look classy by wearing fresh denim devoid of distressing when you are donning your fine sport coat.
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