Why a blazer and T-shirt combination is the perfect smart casual look

As the notion of the work wardrobe is constantly reinvented, there's never been more of a push for a more relaxed, semi-casual style in the office. You tend to spend the best part of your week under uncompromising bright lights of your workspace, so you may as well be comfortable (without compromising style) while you're at it.

Enter the tee and jacket combo. One that's fun to work with, but comes a fair amount of risk to get it right.

Despite a somewhat dubious period during the early noughties, the T-shirt and blazer remains a simple way to weave smart style and casual comfort with minimal effort.

A fitting look

The first rule to keep in mind is fit, for both jacket and tee. There's nothing worse than a super loose, baggy tee under an ill-fitting jacket. On the other end of the spectrum is a super tight tee that clearly doesn't fit your body shape.

Opt for an appropriately sized, well fitted tee. Make sure it's not too long either – you want the bottom of your tee to be the same length, if not slightly shorter than your blazer.

As far as cut is concerned, keep it classic. A long, scoop neck isn't going to work for this look, no matter what you might see on runways. Stick to a simple, timeless crew neck.

While you can't go wrong with a lighter T-shirt under your blazer, or even matching the colour, create some contrast by playing with prints. A Breton stripe like this one by Burberry is going to do you well in this instance, with a black or navy jacket over the top.

Finishing touches

To finish off the look, a straight leg (not stovepipe skinny) jean such these ones by Lee is your best bet. Aside from the fact that the skinny denim trend is officially over, a straight leg denim keeps the look from veering off course and looking too casual.

If you want to keep it a little more classic, choose a tailored chino in a lighter colour as it will keep the combo sharp with no risk of rocking any of those sailor vibes. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, as long as it's appropriate for your work environment.)


Keep your footwear similarly simple – a white sneaker or brown boot will retain the right silhouette.

Advanced options

Another look that works perfectly for summer is the use of a T-shirt with you linen suit.

In this instance, choose for a plain, light coloured tee, tucked in, and keep your jacket unbuttoned. Here, you can choose to add a belt, where many will go without and keep that '80s New York vibe coming in hot. Footwear for this type of look will only really be complete with a moccasin style leather or suede shoe…you pick what works for you.

Branded content

With the relatively safer versions of the trend out of the way, for the serious risk taker try for one of the current slogan tees or even clashing prints. With dark coloured jeans, combine a faint pin striped jacket (or any other slight weave or print) with a slogan tee for full, clashing effect.

Keep the cool factor by sporting a pair of the latest sneakers.

This look is probably best left for a Friday when the laws of the office a little more lax. But then again, why not live a little and treat every day like it's Friday.

What's your take in this trend's resurgence? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.