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Midnight blue jacket style question

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    Midnight blue jacket style question

    Can I (fashionably) wear my midnight blue suit jacket as a separate with chinos for a European 50th anniversary work related reception at an elegant hotel? Instructions simply say business casual, but I’d rather be overdressed slightly than under.

    My company is very casual (I can wear shorts to work and often do) but th setting and event lead me to believe slightly different rules apply here.

    I only have the one jacket that fits currently.

    What would I wear with it?


    If you care enough about menswear to realize ahead of time that there is something “off” about wearing a suit jacket with chinos, then I think you already know the answer to your own question.

    Whether you should go ahead and dress this way because you’ve got nothing better to wear under the circumstances is a somewhat different question. Just because you don’t own an ideal outfit for any particular occasion doesn’t mean you can’t make do with what you have.

    Personally, if I were in your shoes I would either go ahead and wear the full suit, perhaps sans tie as a grudging acknowledgement of the actual prompt of “business casual,” or else just follow the business casual prompt and wear chinos with an OCBD or something. Like you, I would rather be overdressed than underdressed, so why not just opt for the suit rather than weirdly splitting the baby by pairing it with cotton chinos? Worst that happens is you feel wildly overdressed and self-conscious - so then just take off the damn suit jacket and hang it on the back of your chair, and voila, there you are in wool trousers and a dress shirt - an outfit that falls well within the vague umbrella of business casual.


      I wasn’t aware that wearing a suit jacket as a separate was such an automatic no.

      Is this an opinion or a well established fashion truism?

      If I knew it was “off”, I wouldn’t bother soliticing advice. I wasn’t seeking permission.
      Last edited by ElDub; September 1, 2018, 10:38 AM.


        Depends on the jacket - the more casual features it has (patch pockets, unstructured shoulders, looser weave, etc.) the easier it would be to pass as a sport coat.

        If it’s more business formal leaning, it’s going to look like an orphaned suit jacket.

        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


          Originally posted by ElDub View Post
          Is this an opinion or a well established fashion truism?
          In general, a suit jacket is formal and a pair of chinos is casual so they don't go together.

          Midnight blue sounds too dark for a pair of chinos--too much contrast.


            Got it, thanks!


              Business casual would indeed be trousers and a button-down shirt, but your mention that it's a) European and b) at an elegant hotel raises concerns. Business casual may not mean the same as it does in a North American event at a chain hotel.

              Outside of the runway, a fashion faux pas is less doing something unusual than it is doing it badly.

              Midnight blue is close enough to navy to achieve the classic navy blazer and slacks look, but as noted the details of the jacket can betray its origin as part of a suit. A formal suit jacket and chinos (probably uncreased) are not just a clash in themselves, the chinos emphasize the orphan status of the jacket.

              Given the setting, I'd be inclined to wear the full suit. You can always take the jacket off if you feel too out of place. Bonus if it gives you a chance to impress people who normally see you in shorts.

              However, I'd also use the shirt and accessories to lighten the formality. A coloured shirt, something other than white or pale blue, even better if it's in a pattern. Lighter shoes, in a derby/blucher rather than a balmoral. A bright, patterned pocket square in a pouf, as opposed to a square-folded solid.

              And good collar stiffs if you're going tieless.
              Last edited by Galcobar; September 1, 2018, 07:11 PM.


                It's much, much better to be overdressed than to be poorly dressed. Wear the suit.


                  +1 everyone else. Wear the suit.


                    I'd say come prepared for both. To the core of your question, my approach is that of Winters. It depends on the jacket and the pants. I think your question is less about style and more about appropriateness with your audience. They say it is better to be overdressed, in your setting, this might not be the right approach. Consider your relationships, your goals and what you want to get out of the anniversary event and most important of all, ask your colleagues what they will wear. I would go as far as asking and close female colleagues too - this could be the key dynamic to consider. Dress as well as the ladies. Being over dressed can lead to any setting. (My first post so be gentle. )


                      If you have time, this is the perfect opportunity to find a sports jacket you like and have it altered to fit well.