Suits are considered the ultimate staple for a gentleman’s wardrobe as they transcend time and culture. There are many occasions when a man doesn’t want to fit in or wear something traditional or conformist. This is why the ability to style mismatched blazers and trousers will come in handy. Below we take you through the best ways to wear separates for a look that is modern and stylish.
Men’s Separates Combinations
The bread and butter of separates, navy and neutral, are complementary colors. The biggest issue with navy and neutral is that it can be a little too expected. To ensure your navy blazer and trouser combination doesn’t look too clichéd, introduce other colors to switch up your look. Add accessories like pocket squares in emerald green, deep burgundy, and rich browns to amplify a navy blazer and neutral trouser combination.
A Navy blazer and grey trousers are also an obvious pairing but nonetheless easy to perfect. For this pairing, stick to staple colors like white and powder blue for your shirt choices, as this will allow a more classic interpretation of the trend. Also, be conscious of the type of grey you select for your trousers. You don’t want a light shade, and you should avoid going for a pair that is too dark so that there is no distinction between your blazer and trousers.
While this guide deals mostly with different colored separates, our pick for a navy blazer and blue jean pairing rests on the distinction between the materials of the separates. The critical thing to remember is to combine good-quality denim with a casual blazer. This will ensure that the separates don’t look too mismatched with one another, and they will both possess the same level of formality (or lack thereof). For a different take on this color combination, try out mid-wash denim jeans with navy blazers to contrast the separates for a more dimensional look.
Grey Blazer + Dark Wash Jeans
Dark-wash jeans work very well with grey blazers. The key to perfecting this combination is to ensure that the material of your blazer is not too formal. Remember that separates only work if they are similar regarding their level of formality. For example, denim is a more casual material, so opt for lightweight cotton grey blazers to keep things consistent and not too out of place.
RELATED: How to Wear a Grey Blazer
Grey Blazer + Black Trousers
Grey blazers and black trousers project a classic aesthetic, so this pairing is an excellent option for semi formal looks. The palette that black and grey work from means that this combination is failsafe and easier to style. Stick with monochrome accessories to sustain the simple color story. To acclimate this color combination, pair your grey blazer and black trousers with a white Oxford shirt.
While we advocate a fitted, slim-cut silhouette, it is most crucial to sustaining youthful tailoring with brown and navy color combinations. Browns and navies are classic and visually work well together and complement a quasi-formal style perfectly. For shoes, opt for an Oxford, brogue, Chelsea boot, or monk strap in dark brown.
Black Blazer + Grey Trousers
A black blazer and grey trousers work tremendously well for formal and casual looks. This separate combination is also a great option if you want to balance out your proportions. As with a grey blazer and black trouser combination, stick with simplistic colors to preserve a classic aesthetic. Patterned pocket squares will brighten up a solemn black blazer and will breathe life into this color combination.
RELATED: How to Wear a Black Blazer
Tweed + Denim Trousers
Combining tweed and denim is a balancing act that requires great tailoring and mindfulness of the type of tweed you opt for. Tweed and denim lend more of a traditionalist vibe to your look; think of preppy brands like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger for inspiration. This separate combination is also an appealing option for business casual events. Tweed and denim calls for layering and incorporating cable-knit sweaters and traditionally patterned scarves that work well for the upcoming colder months.
Coloured Blazer + White Trousers
White trousers are a favorite choice amongst bloggers and street style stars. Wear blazers in classic colors like navy or a muted grass green. Pastels can also work, but ensure that you have other darker tones in your look to ground the lighter colors. Also, keep in mind where you will be going. White trousers are a great option for weekend looks and more relaxed days, and a colored blazer can dress your trousers up.
How to Wear Separates
The problem with styling separates is that there is much room for error. You are working with pieces that may not have been designed to complement one another and are made from different materials and colors. The first thing you will need to ensure is that your color combinations are complementary to one another. Focus on the tones of your separates – some colors will not work with others. A good rule of thumb is to invest in neutral pieces – this will afford you much more versatility when matching them. Another important tip is to ensure that your blazers and trousers are tailored similarly. You should be going for a well-fitted, streamlined look. This will ensure that your separates look like they belong with one another as opposed to looking like you’re wearing them because you couldn’t find a matching pair of trousers and their corresponding blazer.
Men's Seperates FAQs
How do you wear separates?
The best way to wear separates is to opt for complementary colors that are similarly tailored. Try classic combinations that mix dark and light, such as navy and neutral, grey and black, tweed and denim, or brown and navy. A fitted but elegant profile is the best option for both the jacket and trousers; that way, it looks very intentional, and not like you couldn’t find a matching set.
How do you match suit separations?
The best method is to match silhouettes together – so slim-cut with slim-cut, classic with classic. If you mix the two, it’ll clash in all the wrong ways. When it comes to color, combining light and dark neutrals that complement each other is the safest best. Good choices include navy and neutral, grey and black, tweed and denim, or brown and navy.
What is meant by suit separates?
Suit separates refers to a formal jacket or coat, that is a different color to the trousers. It’s the same shape and silhouette as a traditional suit but just made up of two separate pieces. Generally, it’s a more casual vibe as well, making it perfect for less formal occasions where there’s more creative leeway in your outfit choices.
Is it OK to mix suit jacket and pants?
It is ok to mix your suit jacket and pants, so long as you follow a few simple rules. Ensure the cut of the jacket and trousers match, for example, slim-cut with slim-cut, classic with classic. Then select two colors that complement each other well, and keep everything in between simple. Grey and black, navy and neutral, brown and denim, and navy and denim are all great, easy-to-accomplish combinations.
Roger Grinstead is a senior apparel designer for X2U with over 25 years of expertise in the fashion industry. He has expertise in menswear and womenswear trends and product development. When Roger is not designing the latest fashion garments, he enjoys writing about men's fashion, hairstyles, and grooming.
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