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blazer t shirt combination
blazer t shirt combination

A Few Rules For Wearing A T-Shirt With A Blazer

June 16th, 2017

So you don’t look like a 1980s throwback

Wearing a t-shirt under a blazer can be a contentious issue. While it may not spawn a debate as full of vitriol as going “sockless” or whether or not the rules of style are made to be broken, it nonetheless does divide the community of sharply dressed men.

We happen to be in the camp that says there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t wear a t-shirt with a blazer. However, there are definitely some guidelines to follow to make sure you don’t look like a 1980s throwback. Let’s get right to it.

blazer t shirt combination

Before diving in, it’s worth discussing why one would substitute a t-shirt for a traditional button-up under a blazer. I personally like the combination for a few reasons. First, it’s casual – an even more casual take on sharp casual. Sure, a button-up with an extra button unbuttoned looks casual and relaxed, but a t-shirt has a completely different kind of relaxed vibe. It’s a bit sportier.

Second, it’s hot during the summer. A t-shirt’s short sleeves remove a layer of fabric on your arms, which makes donning a blazer that much easier. Now, you might ask why wear a blazer in the first place if it’s so hot? It may be required to be dressed appropriately for a particular restaurant or bar. You could certainly try just wearing a button-up, but for me, a button-up without a blazer doesn’t look as put together. And if the vibe seems to be casual but not too casual, opting for a jacket is the best choice.

blazer t shirt combination

| WEARING | Suitsupply blazer, All Saints t-shirt, Saks Fifth Avenue pants, Ermengildo Zegna pocket square, Garrett Leight sunglasses, Common Projects sneakers

Now let’s talk about how to do it right. If the goal is to look put together, choose a crew neck over a v-neck. You’ll look more respectable and a lot less douchey. Give the neck of your t-shirt a little tug to stretch it out and give it more of a casual edge.

Fit. Keep it loose. I’m not talking baggy, but make sure it’s not form-fitting. The goal for this combination is for it to look cool and easy. A tight tee will appear as though you’re trying too hard and too eager to show your gains at the gym, which again will make you look like a douchebag. Nobody likes a showoff.

When it comes to style, it’s almost more instructive to talk about what to avoid. Stay away from bright colors. Same goes for overly bold patterns. And, of course, don’t even think about a graphic or ironic t-shirt. Play it safe with a solid or thin stripe.

blazer t shirt combination
blazer t shirt combination

Finally, when is a blazer and t-shirt combination appropriate to wear? As a summertime-only combo, here are several situations that this would be a great look: a weekend brunch, early evening drinks or dinner al fresco, a casual second or third date, on vacation for a meal at your resort, airport travel.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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Photography by Rob McIver