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How to wear suit separates

There is no denying: the suit remains the ultimate business wardrobe staple for any gentleman.

But there are times and situations where a different approach to a traditional suit may be a better choice. Perhaps you want to stand out at a cocktail party, play with mismatching on casual Fridays, or simply take a less conventional approach when the situation is asking for it. 

Enter suit separates, aka mismatching blazers and trousers for a relaxed, style-adventurous effect. We tried and tested separates for you, so you can mix and match your separates with confidence.

Contrasting colours

The easiest way to start combining your suit separates is by aiming for a colour contrast. Think colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel. There is something safe and comforting about contrast. There will be no confusion about your intention, and done well, it will look sharp.

Zink & Sons bespoke cream and jacket and navy trousers

Navy blazer and grey trousers is an almost classic mismatch combination. Or take contrast a bit further in summer with a cream jacket with navy or black trousers, or vice versa, a dark navy jacket with cream trousers. Your outfit will have an edge, so you’re sure to make an impression. 

But don’t stop at navy and cream. Look at what other colours you have in your wardrobe and start experimenting. Maroon jacket and charcoal grey trousers is another tried and tested Zink & Sons favourite.

Wear similar tones

A modern way to take mismatching experimentation up a notch is to choose colours that are close in tone and warmth. Terracotta and oatmeal is one of our favourite summer combinations. Add a light blue shirt and it becomes a fresh, stylish combination that will please any eye. This is a style pro move, so no one will confuse you for an amateur.

Zink & Sons linen oatmeal jacket with terracotta line trousers

Combine checks with plain fabric

This is another perfect and easy way to dip your toes into suit separates combinations. Checks can often look even better when given the canvas of a plain jacket or trousers to bounce off. Make sure there is enough contrast in the base colour of the check and the plain fabric. A grey check matched with plain grey may not bring the contrast harmony you’re after. Trust your instincts and don’t forget to accessorise. 

A well matched (or mismatched) shirt or a pocket square can complete a combination you didn’t feel so sure about. 

Zink & Sons red check jacket with a cream shirt and trousers.

Match the formality

There’s something to be said about matching the level of formality of your separates. It works. That goes for fabric weights too. Linen and cotton work well, so do flannel and herringbone. Keeping things consistent on another level when you’re mismatching is a good rule to keep in mind.

Zink & Sons white tuxedo with navy striped trousers.

Interrupt the pattern

We’ve just told you to match the formality of your separates, and we meant it. Our next experimenting tip is to…mismatch the formality. Formal blazer and jeans is probably one of the most popular combinations when mismatching formality, but don’t stop there. Experiment with a safari (or a chore) jacket and suit trousers. The safari jacket was originally workwear, it’s functional and comfortable, but who said that you can’t add style to those qualities? And what better way to interrupt the pattern?

Zink & Sons bespoke safari jacket and denim trousers

Another way to shift the matching formality is to add a pair of immaculate sports shoes to a blazer and trousers combination, so your outfit tells the story that you’re not trying to fit in.

So what do you think? Have we inspired you to try some separates combinations on your next casual Friday at work? What is your favourite tried and tested mismatched combination? 

Make a booking to talk bespoke suits and separates combinations. 

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