stylist tips + tricks

how to wear: jackets without matching pants

how to not look matchy match

Happy Monday Afternoon!  uh-em…evening!  It's always tough to pick just one reader question for the week but this particular question comes up a lot with my clients. I felt it really deserved some attention so here's our reader question of the week:

Reader Question:
I recently bought three blazers: light gray, light brown and black. They were bought as separates (not with pants.) How do I match them to my existing dress pants? Can I simply wear the gray blazer with any gray pants? They vary from light gray to darker gray to pin stripe gray dress pants. And can I do the same with the brown blazer? Just wear it with brown pants? I guess my bottom line question is: do blazers have to be the exact same color as the pants or do they just have to be from the same color family?

Wardrobe 911 Style Prescription:
Blazers do NOT need to be the exact same color as the pants nor do they have to be within the same hue (eg light gray, med. gray and charcoal.)  I am constantly splitting up suits in my clients closets (much to their horror) so that they can see the versatility in wearing their suit jackets with other pants.  It's really a paradigm shift for a lot of women but once you start doing it, you will really start wearing more of what's in your closet and you'll never go back. 😉

Here's a quick tip: You can wear different colored jackets with different colored bottoms as long as they are the same color temperature. (To get ideas for what colors are warm and cool and how to pair them, refer to our shop for warm and cool palettes and our wardrobe planners.)

silver hair masterclass Wed Aug 9!
  • Top Jacket and Pants: Here, I show a light grey belted blazer paired with a white pant, a navy pant and a black pant.  All work well with the light grey jacket.
  • Bottom Jacket and Pants: For the light brown jacket by Alvin Valley, pair it with either an ivory pant, a toffee colored pant (that matches the fabric of the jacket) or an espresso pant from JCrew (which matches the buttons.)

Browns can be a little tricky so make sure your pants match with something in the jacket or it will look off.

As for a black blazer, it goes with EVERY pant shown. The only color to be careful of is navy — if it's too dark of a navy it could look like a mistake.  I've seen some gals go to work wearing one navy and one black shoe so be careful!

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    is this the same rule with skirts? I have a brown blazer and I have a gray skirt. Will it still be okay? (I’m applying for a cabin crew position and I’m worried that they might find my outfit sloppy)

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    Need help!

    So I have this dotted navy blue dress shirt that I’ll be wearing with my gray dress pants, but I don’t know what color blazer that will go well with this outfit.

    Any ideas?

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