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How to Match Blazers and Shirts

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When it comes to matching blazers (or sports jackets) with shirts, guys get a little confused. The bad news is there’s no straight answer to this. The good news is that there are dozens (even hundreds) of combinations you can try.

Blazers have “casual” written all over them.

That’s why the choice of shirt is very wide. Very wide indeed. So let’s start with the blazer, because I assume you’ll buy less blazers than suits (obviously).

The “big idea” is to get one or two blazers and 5 or 6 shirts that you can wear interchangeably. All shirts should match either one or both blazers.

When choosing a blazer, you can opt for one with or without a pattern. Personally I recommend you get the first one in a solid color and the second one in either pinstripe or checks.

This way you’ll achieve two things:

1. Keep you on the safe side when matching blazers and shirts
2. Give you more freedom of choice when matching patterned shirts (otherwise you would have to match two patterns – not an easy thing to do)

The solid colored blazer

OK, so you’re off to buy a solid color blazer. You can go for a “safe” color or for something a little edgy – your choice. Safe (non)colors include: black, navy blue, dark blue, dark brown and different shades of gray.

If this is your first blazer, I recommend you go for one of these colors. The best part is that these “safe” colors are in fact neutrals, meaning they will work with pretty much any shirt in your closet, as long as they contrast with them.

If you’re wearing a black, navy or gray blazer, a light blue or a white shirt are the obvious choices.

The Golden Rule of Blazers: always try to make a contrast between the blazer and the shirt. Always. Yes, there are exceptions but unless you’re trying a more advanced outfit, you shouldn’t worry about them. For now, stick with a good contrast.

So if you’re wearing a black blazer, you have to remember that black works with everything except brown and navy blue.

With that said, you can wear a wide variety of light colors. You can stick with a simple white shirt but that would be pretty boring (unless you add a white pocket square). You can go for pale colors such as pale blue, pale yellow etc.

colors for a black blazer

Another thing you can do is go for patterned shirts with your black/blue/gray blazer. I usually wear my black blazer with a checked shirt (white shirt blue checks) or a striped shirt (light blue and blue alternating stripes).

Sometimes, when I want to go crazy, I like to wear a pink shirt. The combination is eye-popping but the blazer’s color is there to make sure my outfit is still on the safe side. This is something you might want to wear when going to a club, for instance.

What about a brown blazer? A white shirt is the best thing you can pair it with (white shirts are very versatile, by the way).

brown blazer and a white shirt

Now let’s talk a little about blazers in bold colors. If the blazer is in a bold color, the secret is to wear a shirt in a “safe” color. You don’t want to mix a red blazer with a bright blue shirt – trust me.

So what color choices do you have?Here’s a few and I recommend that you stick with them. If the bold color is not in the list – don’t buy the blazer:

– white
– red
– light blue

Wear a white or a red blazer with a black shirt. Wear light blue blazers with either a black or a white shirt.

Patterned blazers

Wearing a patterned blazer can be difficult but the final result will most likely impress everyone. Take a look at the photo below.

By far the easiest pattern you can wear is the pinstripe. Pinstripes are very thin vertical stripes on a blazer or a suit jacket:

hugo boss pinstripe blazer

Matching a pinstripe blazer with a shirt is just like matching a solid color blazer. The pinstripes are almost invisible BUT…

the really cool thing you could do is to repeat the color of the pinstripes. Color repetition is great in any outfit.

Some really cool patterns…

Let’s take for instance this checked blazer. It’s made of tweed so you wear it on colder autumn and spring days. In the picture below, the guy paired it with a madras shirt (not a bad result though I’m not a fan of the madras shirt).

tweed diesel blazer

Here’s another checked blazer with a simple white shirt:

checked blazer with a white shirt

photo: curiousgraffiti.tumblr.com

If you’re a newbie, simply wearing a patterned blazer with a uni shirt is enough. But if you want to go for a two patterns (pattern over a pattern), I definitely encourage you to try it before dismissing it as not being for you.

To contrast or not to contrast

If you’re somewhat advanced, you might get bored following the same old style rules. Some folks like to break them every once in a while. So how about you match, just this once, a blazer and a shirt of the same color? Mmmm, maybe the colors can be of slightly different shades.

Well, as long as you don’t do this with black or with bold or with colors that are too light, this might actually work.

For example, how about a dark blue blazer with a slightly lighter shirt? Or, the same thing only with brown?

I’m not even gonna show you photos of these, I want you to try experiment on yourself and, if you want, you can share the results with everyone else by placing a comment below.

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George Lavas

George is dedicated to fashion and style for men. Based between London and Tucson, Arizona he enjoys writing about lifestyle and fashion from both sides of the pond. George created BeStylish.org to help readers create a strong sense of style with minimum effort believing that everyone can look and feel good, all day, every day.

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64 Comments

  1. Avatar
    O Mafia June 9, 2011

    The Match of Blazers and Shirts are bit difficult, but not for me. I used different contrasts and one them get fixed & makes me happy that’s it.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    O Mafia June 9, 2011

    A gorgeous looking black and white checked toned Blazers and white Shirt.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    O Mafia June 9, 2011

    A white full sleeve shirt on a blue denim jeans is very popular, but the brown blazer makes its own identity into them.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    George June 11, 2011

    O Mafia :

    A white full sleeve shirt on a blue denim jeans is very popular, but the brown blazer makes its own identity into them.

    Agreed. Few men wear brown so it’s all the more interesting. The best colors to pair with brown are blue and green. Just make sure they have the same luminosity.

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    P George November 21, 2011

    Whoa! I am not sure of recommendations of the colors for a solid blazer. I can’t see anyone wearing those unless you are a church usher. or you are still living in the 70’s… some pictures would have been nice to show..

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    George December 4, 2011

    George,

    I’m not sure I get it. You’re saying that blazers are out of style? I hope not. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Carlos February 22, 2012

    Hi, i llike you article, i have quiestion can i use a black suit blazer with jeans? or with gray flannel trousers?

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    George February 25, 2012

    Carlos :

    Hi, i llike you article, i have quiestion can i use a black suit blazer with jeans? or with gray flannel trousers?

    Absolutely. You can see the second guy from the top in a black pinstripe blazer and jeans.

    However, you can take this to the next level (accessories, more patterns, more color).

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    Ross Hilton March 30, 2012

    Errrrrr…. No.

    A Blazer is a specific jacket, not a generic name for a suit without pants. Blazers are black, (infrequently) bottle green (even less frequently) and shades of blue. They have no stripes, no patterns, are not brown or grey, and do not look like the top half of a demob suit.

    They have gold or silver buttons at the cuffs and front, often with descreet club, regiment or university logos. They sometimes, but rarely, have a similar logo on the pocket.

    Anything else is a fashion blunder…..

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    George March 31, 2012

    Hi Ross,

    Agreed on the blazer thing – thanks for bringing all the details to our attention.

    I was actually referring to sports jackets but I’m using the term “blazer” because it’s SOOO misused that I have to.

    It’s a pain to always talk about “sports jackets” because people have them and they refer to them as blazers. So, when I talk about sports jackets they don’t really know what I mean.

    Reply
  11. Avatar
    praveen April 2, 2012

    Hi,

    I have a faded blue jeans

    What color of shirt and blazer looks good for this color of jeans?

    Reply
  12. Avatar
    Swapnil April 3, 2012

    Hi can we Wear a White Color Blazer on a Cargo …Suggest …please
    Dark clor Cargo pant with a Bllack T shirt and white Blazer

    Reply
    1. Avatar
      George April 3, 2012

      Hey,

      I’d only wear sports coats and blazers with chinos, khakis and jeans. Cargo pants are too casual. But if you like the combination, go ahead. Maybe you can show us a picture?

      Also, try to wear colors instead of just black and white – it’s harder but you get more attention πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  13. Avatar
    George April 3, 2012

    praveen :

    Hi,

    I have a faded blue jeans

    What color of shirt and blazer looks good for this color of jeans?

    Pretty much anything. Jeans work well with almost all colors and clothing items.

    Reply
  14. Avatar
    Jeremy April 7, 2012

    Just wanted to say thank you for all of the great advice you give, it helps out more than you can imagine. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  15. Avatar
    Armando Guzman May 10, 2012

    The most important question to me is if when wearing solid blue or black blazers, wearing cuff linked shirts is appropriate. Especially when the blazer has metal buttons, and if so, should the cuff links match metal and color, gold, silver and so on… with the metal buttons in the jacket.

    Comments and answers will be appreciated

    Reply
  16. Avatar
    Brian June 28, 2012

    What color blazer would you recommend wearing with a solid black shirt?

    Reply
  17. Avatar
    Michael July 13, 2012

    I have a light blue sports coat that I want to wear with white slacks…what color shirt should I go with?

    Reply
  18. Avatar
    Rachelann July 15, 2012

    I am wearing a Royal blue dress to an opera and I need to dress my husband. Its in Santa Fe so I was thinking of going with a solid black shirt and a Royal blue tie black slacks. Without a coat? Is this kosher?

    Reply
  19. Avatar
    Roberta July 27, 2012

    Hi, I am looking for a bit of help. My husband-to-be is wearing a navy suit teamed with a plain silk french navy tie. The suit is a three piece. What colour of shirt does he wear?

    Reply
  20. Avatar
    George September 9, 2012

    Armando Guzman :

    The most important question to me is if when wearing solid blue or black blazers, wearing cuff linked shirts is appropriate. Especially when the blazer has metal buttons, and if so, should the cuff links match metal and color, gold, silver and so on… with the metal buttons in the jacket.

    Comments and answers will be appreciated

    Hey Armando,

    yes, you can wear cuff links with dark colored sports jackets and blazers. That’s how they’re usually worn, since most men don’t wear light-colored suits and blazers.

    You’re right on the money with how to match them!

    Reply
  21. Avatar
    dana October 26, 2012

    hi.i’ve a big party at this soon ,so i just have a white jacket ,and iam what happen do ,are wanna buy some things,i need one shoes and shirt and trousers ,too

    Reply
  22. Avatar
    dana October 26, 2012

    so my face little bit dark black but no more,are wanna be so perfect someone at this party,plz when you replay me send for my facebook[dani huston]from arbil[iraq]

    Reply
  23. Avatar
    dana October 26, 2012

    u can wear black or white mate @Michael

    Reply
  24. Avatar
    Ethan November 13, 2012

    hi I have a black blazer, I wonder if you could help me,
    What is the best color of pants and shirt do I need to pair with the black blazer? my complexion is tan.

    Reply
  25. Avatar
    Fox December 26, 2012

    Can I wear all black with a cream color blazer?

    Reply
  26. Avatar
    ANTHONY PHILLIPS May 23, 2013

    Can i wear a black shirt and pink vest with a off white blazer? neutral or black pants? also a pink bow tie, if not what color shirt do you recommend?

    Reply
  27. Avatar
    Kenneth C.Geathers June 2, 2013

    Hi, George,i couldn’t help reading your article own blazers,and sport jackets,and the rules of amount you should own;however,i didn’t realized that because i accidently purchased three one black with silver buttons,charcoal grey,and one brown.What should i do in thid situation? In esquires book the handbook of style’ it stated the rule is for a man two own two blazers.What about suit jackets,and sport jackets?

    Reply
  28. Avatar
    Kenneth C.Geathers June 2, 2013

    charcoal grey ,either light or dark color is the best!!!@Ethan

    Reply
  29. Avatar
    vaishnavi June 26, 2013

    can women wear a half sleeved shirt inside the blazer?

    Reply
  30. Avatar
    Raisun June 28, 2013

    I HAVE A BEIGE BLAZER. WHAT COLOR SHIRTS AND PANT SHOULD I CHOOSE.

    Reply
  31. Avatar
    sudan July 1, 2013

    I have a yellow(medium, not dark, not pale) cotton shirt.
    and i want to wear it on a blue jeans.
    Please suggest me, which type of jeans, blazer color and shoe (type &color) looks good.

    Reply
  32. Avatar
    anu October 6, 2013

    which color shirt is suitable for baby blue blazer

    Reply
  33. Avatar
    anu October 6, 2013

    is navy blue shirt is maching for baby blue blazer?

    Reply
  34. Avatar
    Trad October 9, 2013

    @anu
    Yes, most likely it’s the best match, the only chance it doesn’t fit is if the blazer is electric baby blue. With normal, pale baby blue it’s totally fine. Other possible matches for baby blue blazer are beige/light brown and light to medium grey [metallic looking] shirts, which may be a better choice if you are wearing indigo jeans. Or you can wear a graphic t-shirt under the blazer, white T with black print (especially good if you wear it for clubbing) as the blazer in such a light color is definitely a casual item [non-traditional and non-formal]. When choosing a proper shirt, pay attention to your skin tone, if you have pale skin, don’t wear too dark shirt as the contrast may be too strong.

    Reply
  35. Avatar
    George October 9, 2013

    anu :

    which color shirt is suitable for baby blue blazer

    anu :

    is navy blue shirt is maching for baby blue blazer?

    You can wear white or dark blue for starters. A baby blue blazer is gonna stand out a lot, you might want to watch it.

    Reply
  36. Avatar
    Dan October 9, 2013

    Hi,

    I plan on wearing a charcoal blazer with dark navy jeans, but what colour shirt?

    I was thinking either plain white or light pink?

    Reply
  37. Avatar
    Richard Hoepfner November 15, 2013

    Plaids & stripes DO NOT go together… They clash / compete. They only thing worse is to wear Converse sneakers with a suit.

    Reply
  38. Avatar
    Fasahat Malik November 20, 2013

    I do have Black shade coat & trouser & i have to wear at the occassion of my marriage sis
    please suggest whi=at should be shirt colour & ties combination…

    Reply
  39. Avatar
    krishna November 20, 2013

    I have a grey colour Blazer. Plese suggest which color pant and shirt and Tie can be worn to look unique.

    Reply
  40. Avatar
    sourabh November 24, 2013

    can i wear gray coat(blazer) with black jeans with black shirt..how it will look?? for parties..

    Reply
  41. Avatar
    Joe December 7, 2013

    Hey, I have a black blazer, gorgeous brown shoes (medium brown), matching brown belt. I am looking to see what color shirt your recommend and pocket square color, and if you could comment on a cufflink possibly.

    Reply
  42. Avatar
    Kenny December 7, 2013

    Welldon George,I like your conceptcoz it has really helped me. I have a sky blue blazer but I wanna know the kind of shirt and pants that match it. And again I wanna know what goes with cream blazer.

    Reply
  43. Avatar
    jack December 16, 2013

    Can I wear a red shirt & khaki trousers with a black blazer.
    Or which colour shirt & trousers should I wear with a black blazer. ?

    Reply
  44. Avatar
    suhail shaikh February 14, 2014

    hii i have a navy blue blazer which colour shirt should i wear inside?

    Reply
  45. Avatar
    George March 20, 2014

    jack :

    Can I wear a red shirt & khaki trousers with a black blazer.
    Or which colour shirt & trousers should I wear with a black blazer. ?

    Jack,

    That’s a bit too much in my book. I would replace those khaki pants with brown or something. The blazer should also be brown but it should also contrast with your pants. Oh, I suggest you make the brown on the blazer the same level if brightness as the shirt.

    Reply
  46. Avatar
    George March 20, 2014

    Kenny :

    Welldon George,I like your conceptcoz it has really helped me. I have a sky blue blazer but I wanna know the kind of shirt and pants that match it. And again I wanna know what goes with cream blazer.

    Thanks Kenny,

    Sky blue blazer, a dark blue one, maybe something with stripes or checks? You can even wear one that’s pale green, for instance.

    Cream – try a brown blazer.

    Reply
  47. Avatar
    ismaell April 10, 2014

    I have a white ping blazer and black jean,wat color of shirt
    Should I wear with it

    Reply
  48. Avatar
    Bharath April 21, 2014

    An interesting & useful blog George. I have a black shirt & black shoes. I want to complete it with a blazer and jeans. What color blazer and jeans should I wear to make a style statement? I have a low contrast skin tone.

    Reply
  49. Avatar
    Jared May 14, 2014

    I have a blue blazer that looks nice with a pink
    Shirt but I don’t know if I should wear khakis, or jeans.

    Reply
  50. Avatar
    Jay October 21, 2014

    hi friends i bought a black blazer with baby blue shirt and now i wanted to buy a pant so please give your suggestion which pant gonna suits it batter . . .

    Reply
  51. Avatar
    Abhinav December 1, 2014

    I have a dark blue color blazer with small checks on it…nd i m thinking about wearing a light red small check shirt and blue jeans with it…can u tell me if this combination works or not…nd some suggestions will be appreciated too…ND PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT THE KIND OF SHOES TO WEAR WITH THEM…TY

    Reply
  52. Avatar
    Vishesh January 20, 2015

    I have a chocolate brown velvet blazer and i’m thinking to wear it with white shirt, black pants and black shoes but it’s tough to decide color of a tie and pocket square, any suggestions?

    Reply
  53. Avatar
    Patel February 13, 2015

    Hi, I have light grey blazer for my husband and we are going to reception Party. What color pants and shirt can I pair it with?

    Reply
  54. Avatar
    muneeb February 18, 2015

    Hello bro …. its my farewell and i have a bright blue blazer and i thought of wearing it with a white shirt with fancy anchors and a black jeans skinny one and a black bow tie …. is it a good combination ? If it is not pls suggest which shirt and pant wear with bright blue blazer and even which color shoes pls thank you pls reply soon as my farewell is in 3 days

    Reply
  55. Avatar
    Saiprasad Mahuli February 19, 2015

    Tell mee the different colours of the shirt that can be paired with a brown blazer along with a brown formal trouser…i know white will work…but are there any other options??

    Reply
  56. Avatar
    Shubham March 14, 2015

    My skin colour is medium fair. I want suggestions for a blazer colour, which i could wear on black trouser. Also suggest the shirt colour.

    Reply
  57. Avatar
    Sachin March 31, 2015

    Hi I have got a light pink coloured shirt , which color summer blazer i should go with..

    Reply
  58. Avatar
    arpana porey April 22, 2015

    Which tie I should were with black shirt black pant and light brown white stripe blazer

    Reply
  59. Avatar
    Danny September 6, 2015

    Hi, I’ve read your article and I must say it’s very enlightening..real good one. I’ve got a brown checkered sport jacket it’s got some black lines and details mixed in a burbery-like kinda pattern. I plan to combine it with a sky blue shirt on navy blue pants with brown accessories as in belt and shoes…I’m a bit edgy on it….what do you think about this combo?

    Reply
  60. Avatar
    Adam October 23, 2015

    Hey.if I got a pinstripe silver blazer.what colour should match it for the dress shirt

    Reply
  61. Avatar
    aman October 28, 2015

    i purchase light grey checked blazer and white shirt with light brown trouser…..is it looks nyc?

    Reply
  62. Avatar
    Rob December 9, 2015

    Where can get this blazer

    Reply
  63. Avatar
    kazim November 25, 2016

    Hi,
    I want to wear White sports jacket with white jeans and white shirt. Also, there will be bright blue waistcoat and same colored tie. Will that be OK? I want to give a casually formal look.

    Reply

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