We’re coming off of a few years filled with shlubby outfits — sweatpants and slides, hoodies and pajama pants, and so forth. For special occasions, maybe you donned the occasional dress shirt to get through a meeting without looking like you'd rather be in bed (even though you probably would).
This was fun for a while...but, honestly, I’ve been yearning for change lately. It’s time to start dressing again. I’m here to advise you on the simplest way to bring a touch of class back to casual days without sacrificing comfort. The answer: pair a blazer with your favorite pair of blue jeans. Boom, problem solved.
Above all else, my rule is to keep it simple. You may be tempted to get gussied up to the nines, rocking every odd piece you have ever bought in an attempt to take back what sartorial nous you had before the pandemic. Maybe you just think it’s time to ditch the loungewear and get dressed for real. Either way, you can’t go wrong if you go for something timeless and deceptively easygoing.
How to Wear a Blazer with Jeans — the Right Way
I’ve been rocking a blazer with my favorite vintage Levi's for a while now; my favorite blazer is a Chaps Ralph Lauren number I got on eBay for $20. By today's standards, it's probably about one size too big, but for me, it fits like a classic blazer: just wide enough in the midsection to not hug my hips and with enough room in the arms to flex without busting out of the thing (looking at you, Daniel Craig). It’s the perfect fit and it came at, basically, the lowest cost imaginable for a quality blazer.
You don't have to listen to me, though. Some of the most stylish guys around swear by this particular pairing. In a recent conversation with Brendon Babenzien, Creative Director at J.Crew and founder of Noah, he told me that he'd been wearing blazers with jeans for as long as he can remember. Indeed, take a look at Noah's lookbook and you'll see the brand's stellar DIY suiting, which is the perfect antidote to stuffy menswear.
I also checked in with podcaster and menswear multi-hyphenate Chris Black, who co-hosts the podcast How Long Gone, to get his thoughts on the style — one which he wears all the time.
Blazer and Blue Jeans: an Actor-Approved Outfit
"Jeans with a blazer is such a classic look," he says. "The best examples are '90s actors traveling, most often in the airport. Keanu Reeves, River Phoenix, Kyle MacLachlan, Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, the list goes on. Simple blue jeans with a T-shirt and a blazer worn casually. The footwear can go from loafers to cowboy boots. Most of it works."
Black also put the two together in a campaign he did with Palmes Society, sporting one of the brand's blazers with some vintage denim. Black does fail to mention my personal favorite, though, Harrison Ford, who made a blazer and jeans his go-to look back in the day, pairing it with a metal-tipped western belt and a perfectly worn button-down.
It's not just '90s actors, though. Elvis star Austin Butler was seen rocking a navy double-breasted blazer with a denim shirt and jeans at Cinemacon in Las Vegas. As Butler proves, just because the look was popular a few decades ago doesn't mean it's going anywhere now. If anything, we're about to enter a golden era of casual suiting, sport coats and blazers. Whether you're choosing to scour eBay for vintage Armani or Ralph Lauren (which I highly, highly recommend) or want to cop something right off the rack, a blazer and jeans will always be there for you.
The Best Blazers to Wear with Jeans