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Jeans+sportcoat: the new worst look?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
I used to think the jeans and sportcoat was a good look. Tweed jacket + dark jeans was a staple. Recently, i have lost faith that this can ever actually work (Andy Warhol notwithstanding).

So, the question, can the jeans and jacket be redeemed, or has its popularity doomed it to caricature?
post #2 of 53
If you want your faith restored search for pics of NOBD on this site.
post #3 of 53
Depends on the jacket. I like em fine in cotton and linen and other 'casualizing' details e.g. elbow patch
post #4 of 53
Don't see a problem with it.
post #5 of 53

I think you are mistaking lots of people doing something without much thought for things being done well. You might as well say that suits are the worst look because lots of people wear stuff from Men's Warehouse.

post #6 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post

I think you are mistaking lots of people doing something without much thought for things being done well. You might as well say that suits are the worst look because lots of people wear stuff from Men's Warehouse.

This is always true for anything that might be posted or worn. It seems that this is much much easier to screw up relative to slacks and a sportcoat. The volume of disaster that I recently witnessed just made me rethink the whole thing. Now this was in Nashville and perhaps there is a propensity for orphaned suit coats and bedazzled jeans in this part of the country. Nashville natives care to weigh in?
post #7 of 53
i'd certainly say that combo is always a staple. I've just been on holiday in Florence, Rome, Paris, and London, and I can certainly tell you, executed right (forget about color or material coordination, at least get the fit right first), this combination gives a certain flair. Italians seem to do it pretty well generally.
post #8 of 53
Gus (PSG) tasteful as always....

post #9 of 53
Here's a punch-list I use. I like to think I pull it off pretty well, but I'll let those on here who have met me/seen me wearing the combo weigh in on that:

Jacket
  • Soft construction (natural shoulder, generous drape, etc)
  • Shorter length (not #menswear short, but shorter than a suit jacket)
  • Casual material (no worsted wools [unless they are an extremely open or high twist weave], tweeds, linen, cotton, interesting wool-blends, or highly patterned wools)
  • Casual details (patch pockets, elbow patches, throat latches, etc -- the jacket really needs to put the "sport" in sport coat)

Shirt
  • Open-necked, two buttons undone, worn wrinkled (or at least not pressed/starched) in a casual fabric
  • If you have to wear a tie, only wear a dark solid knit or a dark solid with a lot of texture (flecked Donegal wool, raw silk, slubby cashmere, etc)

I only wear dark, raw denim with natural fades (while I've seen pre-washed jeans pulled off, I find that look is best left to Italian magnates). Shoes should be a casual style (penny loafers, driving mocs, chukkas, etc) from a more casual material (suede, cordovan or beat-up/not-polished calf).

That's my check-list for sport coats and jeans and I find it's the only way to mitigate failure. I'm sure there are other ways, but this is my internal thought process. Really, the key to doing it well (in my mind) is to distance yourself as far from the office as possible. I generally only wear shirts and shoes that are too beat-up (or casual) to wear to the office or wear them in a manner that would never communicate that I got home from work and threw on a pair of jeans before heading out.

The main reason people fail is that they are seeking to dress up jeans rather than to dress down tailored clothes.
Edited by bourbonbasted - 11/6/13 at 10:28am
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bourbonbasted View Post

Here's a punch-list I use. I like to think I pull it off pretty well, but I'll let those on here who have met me/seen me wearing the combo weigh in on that:

Jacket
  • Soft construction (natural shoulder, generous drape, etc)
  • Shorter length (not #menswear short, but shorter than a suit jacket)
  • Casual material (no worsted wools [unless they are an extremely open or high twist weave], tweeds, linen, cotton, interesting wool-blends, or highly patterned wools)
  • Casual details (patch pockets, elbow patches, throat latches, etc -- the jacket really needs to put the "sport" in sport coat)

Shirt
  • Open-necked, two buttons undone, worn wrinkled (or at least not pressed/starched) in a casual fabric
  • If you have to wear a tie, only wear a dark solid knit or a dark solid with a lot of texture (flecked Donegal wool, raw silk, slubby cashmere, etc)

I only wear dark, raw denim with natural fades (while I've seen pre-washed jeans pulled off, I find that look is best left to Italian magnates). Shoes should be a casual style (penny loafers, driving mocs, chukkas, etc) from a more casual material (suede, cordovan or beat-up/not-polished calf).

That's my check-list for sport coats and jeans and I find it's the only way to mitigate failure. I'm sure there are other ways, but this is my internal thought process. Really, the key to doing it well (in my mind) is to distance yourself as far from the office as possible. I generally only wear shirts and shoes that are too beat-up (or casual) to wear to the office or wear them in a manner that would never communicate that I got home from work and threw on a pair of jeans before heading out.

The main reason people fail is that they are seeking to dress up jeans rather than to dress down tailored clothes.

 

That's a good list, but:

 

1. I'd argue that almost any tweed or rougher patterned wool jacket, whatever its construction details, could do - after all, shoulder structure is at least partly to do with what suits you and what you prefer - not everyone like the natural-shouldered, let alone the unstructered look - and this doesn't mean going all the way to 80s power shoulders! But you'd have to try it and see. Not sure about the length issue - again, it really depends on the particular jacket and also on the rise of the jeans.

 

2. Two buttons on the shirt undone? I'd only do this in summer, if ever, and even then the shirt cut and fabric is as important too. Just a normal dress shirt worn 'casually' often looks bad, and falls into the 'just left the office' caregory. Something with some texture or pattern - e.g. chambray, gingham, tattershall - is good, but you also have to be careful on pattern clashing with the jacket. Agree on the knit / textured ties only.

 

3. Shoes - I hate loafers with a passion and driving mocs are for driving, they are really unsuitable for much else - chukkas are fine, but brogues, and especially brogue boots are my favoured shoe for this kind of fit.

 

4. I agree that the denim has to dark and raw, and worn in through your own effort, but that's my attitude to denim in general.

 

The last sentence is the key.

post #11 of 53
A few of my favourites. Add anything by NOBD to this too -







post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post

That's a good list, but:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. I'd argue that almost any tweed or rougher patterned wool jacket, whatever its construction details, could do - after all, shoulder structure is at least partly to do with what suits you and what you prefer - not everyone like the natural-shouldered, let alone the unstructered look - and this doesn't mean going all the way to 80s power shoulders! But you'd have to try it and see. Not sure about the length issue - again, it really depends on the particular jacket and also on the rise of the jeans.

2. Two buttons on the shirt undone? I'd only do this in summer, if ever, and even then the shirt cut and fabric is as important too. Just a normal dress shirt worn 'casually' often looks bad, and falls into the 'just left the office' caregory. Something with some texture or pattern - e.g. chambray, gingham, tattershall - is good, but you also have to be careful on pattern clashing with the jacket. Agree on the knit / textured ties only.

3. Shoes - I hate loafers with a passion and driving mocs are for driving, they are really unsuitable for much else - chukkas are fine, but brogues, and especially brogue boots are my favoured shoe for this kind of fit.

4. I agree that the denim has to dark and raw, and worn in through your own effort, but that's my attitude to denim in general.

The last sentence is the key.

Admittedly, my list is personal and is a reflection of my thought process. And I agree with a lot of your conjectures.

I think the main underlying idea behind all my decisions is to keep from wearing something that is acceptable for the work place + jeans. Your own preferences and inclinations will form how you do that, but at the end of the day I really do think staying away from anything too formal, too polished or too perfect is the best way to make a successful, louche look.
post #13 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racing Green View Post

A few of my favourites. Add anything by NOBD to this too -
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)








These are pretty good. The third is my favorite, though a slightly darker jean would be better, imho.

I agree with both FM and BB in terms of the basic guidelines, BB's last point on dressing down tailored clothing is probably key. I wonder if this is all internal attitude, when almost everyone is walking around in sneakers and sweatpants at work, throwing on a sportcoat with jeans is now officially ''dressing up.''

Maybe this is all attitude and less execution. Could also be I'm getting irrational in my old age...
post #14 of 53

For me, the issue with the pairing is that the jacket is usually much looser than the jeans. When that's the case, they just don't seem to work well.

post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by black_umbrella View Post

I used to think the jeans and sportcoat was a good look. Tweed jacket + dark jeans was a staple. Recently, i have lost faith that this can ever actually work (Andy Warhol notwithstanding).

So, the question, can the jeans and jacket be redeemed, or has its popularity doomed it to caricature?

Slim jeans with a sportscoat is a staple look. As with all combinations, fit and color defines all.

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