Home > Blazers and sports jackets > How to Match Blazers and Shirts

How to Match Blazers and Shirts

April 11th, 2011

gray blazer white shirt

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. The second thing you need to remember is to create contrast between your blazer and your shirt.

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.

men style ebook

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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  1. June 9th, 2011 at 12:25 | #1

    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.

  2. June 9th, 2011 at 12:28 | #2

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

  3. June 9th, 2011 at 12:33 | #3

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

  4. June 11th, 2011 at 00:26 | #4

    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.

  5. November 21st, 2011 at 22:29 | #5

    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..

  6. December 4th, 2011 at 14:34 | #6

    George,

    I’m not sure I get it. You’re saying that blazers are out of style? I hope not. :)

  7. Carlos
    February 22nd, 2012 at 01:37 | #7

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

  8. February 25th, 2012 at 02:34 | #8

    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).

  9. Ross Hilton
    March 30th, 2012 at 23:51 | #9

    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…..

  10. March 31st, 2012 at 01:53 | #10

    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.

  11. praveen
    April 2nd, 2012 at 15:50 | #11

    Hi,

    I have a faded blue jeans

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

  12. Swapnil
    April 3rd, 2012 at 22:05 | #12

    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

  13. April 3rd, 2012 at 22:13 | #13

    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 ;)

  14. April 3rd, 2012 at 22:14 | #14

    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.

  15. Jeremy
    April 7th, 2012 at 18:33 | #15

    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.

  16. May 10th, 2012 at 17:09 | #16

    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

  17. Brian
    June 28th, 2012 at 09:30 | #17

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

  18. Michael
    July 13th, 2012 at 19:47 | #18

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

  19. Rachelann
    July 15th, 2012 at 03:41 | #19

    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?

  20. Roberta
    July 27th, 2012 at 16:48 | #20

    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?

  21. September 9th, 2012 at 11:20 | #21

    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!

  22. October 26th, 2012 at 13:48 | #22

    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

  23. October 26th, 2012 at 13:50 | #23

    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]

  24. October 26th, 2012 at 13:58 | #24

    u can wear black or white mate @Michael

  25. November 13th, 2012 at 00:43 | #25

    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.

  26. Fox
    December 26th, 2012 at 01:28 | #26

    Can I wear all black with a cream color blazer?

  27. ANTHONY PHILLIPS
    May 23rd, 2013 at 18:19 | #27

    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?

  28. June 2nd, 2013 at 04:22 | #28

    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?

  29. June 2nd, 2013 at 04:26 | #29

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

  30. vaishnavi
    June 26th, 2013 at 15:23 | #30

    can women wear a half sleeved shirt inside the blazer?

  31. Raisun
    June 28th, 2013 at 21:05 | #31

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

  32. sudan
    July 1st, 2013 at 18:49 | #32

    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.

  33. anu
    October 6th, 2013 at 15:40 | #33

    which color shirt is suitable for baby blue blazer

  34. anu
    October 6th, 2013 at 15:41 | #34

    is navy blue shirt is maching for baby blue blazer?

  35. Trad
    October 9th, 2013 at 00:32 | #35

    @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.

  36. October 9th, 2013 at 15:10 | #36

    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.

  37. Dan
    October 9th, 2013 at 18:37 | #37

    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?

  38. Richard Hoepfner
    November 15th, 2013 at 06:38 | #38

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

  39. Fasahat Malik
    November 20th, 2013 at 02:16 | #39

    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…

  40. krishna
    November 20th, 2013 at 05:51 | #40

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

  41. sourabh
    November 24th, 2013 at 08:16 | #41

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

  42. Joe
    December 7th, 2013 at 02:36 | #42

    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.

  43. Kenny
    December 7th, 2013 at 09:01 | #43

    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.

  44. jack
    December 16th, 2013 at 21:51 | #44

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

  45. suhail shaikh
    February 14th, 2014 at 08:03 | #45

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

  46. March 20th, 2014 at 13:30 | #46

    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.

  47. March 20th, 2014 at 13:32 | #47

    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.

  48. ismaell
    April 10th, 2014 at 13:46 | #48

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

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