Last year I wrote a piece about pairing a sport coat with jeans but I thought perhaps it was time to revisit this topic. As I have mentioned in the past, I don't wear a sport coat with jeans too often. Jeans are ultra-casual and for my personal taste, I generally am not wearing them unless I am doing something ultra-casual. Nevertheless, sometimes, albeit rarely, I do wear this combination. It actually would suit my lifestyle quite well, nevertheless I rarely wear it.
I think a certain key to pulling off this look is matching the sport coat to the jeans. Not in color, but in texture and direction. Jeans are rough and thick. The sport coat you pair with your jeans should be the same, ideally. Tweed, wool, thick, heavy. There are certain contrasts, and frictions, or a kind of pushing and pulling that works well and is a part of a well put together outfit. But when it comes to pairing a sport coat with jeans, driving in the opposite direction and choosing a jacket which is more more fine, smooth and delicate is not the best choice.
When going for this look, I think it is best to keep it all pretty rough. The jeans are the odd piece in this outfit. They are, in a way, the most bold, oddly. Just by bringing jeans into an outfit with a sport coat, you are making a distinct choice that is a bit attention grabbing. They make the rules at this point in the outfit. The jeans are rough and tough so your shirt and sport coat should be as well. You don't wear a broadcloth shirt with jeans. The broadcloth is smooth, sheer, fine and thin. This doesn't make any sense with jeans. You wear an OCBD. You don't wear a thin, fine sport coat. You wear nubby tweed. You don't wear thin socks. You wear some socks with some weight.
In the case of this outfit I chose a blue OCBD. A white OCBD would work just fine. But the blue OCBD is a bit more casual. White is always more formal than blue, or at least it feels that way more often than not. For this outfit I even forgo a tie. I am bringing it all down to as casual as possible. It works well. It doesn't feel forced. It doesn't look confused. There is nothing particularly stunning, nothing daring. This outfit is casual, rough and sturdy.
These are all obviously just guidelines, not rules. I am never a big fan of making rules when they are not necessary. A blazer is not as rough as this sport coat, but you can wear a blazer with jeans. You could do jeans, a blue and white university stripe, navy blazer, red and yellow - ketchup and mustard rep tie. This would be beautiful Polo Ralph Lauren early 2000s advertisement preppy. It would look amazing. It would look best with light jeans. That is a great look. But it is a more bold look. It is more daring. It is more extreme. This look that we see in the photograph above is none of those things. It is darker, heavier, rougher, steadier. It is in the background, it is not begging for your attention, it is is not grabbing your eye. It is steady and serious, rough and casual.