Man Monday: cool sportcoats that work with jeans

These days, a ton of guys (and gals) work in business casual environments that allow jeans or similar casual pants. Sweet deal, right? Well yes and no. It can be tricky to navigate the weird world of what to wear to a biz casual office. A general rule is to pair denim or chinos with a blazer/sportcoat. So I wanted to devote this Man Monday to talking about the kinds of sportcoats that work best with jeans and the like. Yes, it is acceptable to do a suit jacket with (dark wash!) denim for a casual office setting. However, if you want to take it a step further up the awesome ladder, then consider investing in a sportcoat that stands apart from your suit jackets. You can look cooler that way.

Below are three characteristics to look for when seeking out a nice non-suit type jacket that’s still work-appropriate.

john varvatos USA sport coat

Subtle details.

John Varvatos is the definition of hip yet laid back when it comes to men’s designers. Anyone who uses Iggy Pop to sell clothes gets the cool award in my book. His pieces are pricey, yes, but kind of awesome. Check out his lower USA line for ever so slightly cheaper choices. The reason his sportcoats work in that ‘not too dressy but still polished’ kind of way is because they’re made in textured, darker fabrics, with understated modern details. The one above has leather piping that’s super subtle, but makes all the difference. Keep in mind they are cut very slim, so you may want to go up a size (or two).


jcrew herringbone sportcoat

Old school tweed. 

I love J. Crew for preppier¬†sportcoats. These English fox-hunting-countryside-dwelling types are ideal for biz casual because they look great with more modern pants and button-downs. If it’s a lighter neutral color, like above, you can play around with different colors underneath.

perry ellis corduroy blazer from macy's

Non-suit fabrics. 

You can also experiment with different fabrics in a more standard suit jacket cut. Both corduroy and velvet are fun textures to wear with separate bottoms. Just make sure the corduroy is a fine wale (meaning not chunky 70s style) and the velvet is not royal purple. Unless you’re into making that kind of statement. This one above from Perry Ellis looks sleek with grey denim too.


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