No matter how fly your sneakers are, or how limited-edition your T-shirt is, it's really difficult to trump a guy in a perfectly-tailored blazer. J. Crew has always bridged that gap between casual and formal, and their Unconstructed Ludlow Jacket can be worn with a button down and jeans or a T-shirt and slim chinos. This time, they've made it a single-button silhouette—so there's no question as to which one you should button up.
Of course, a style risk like this can leave many guys wondering how to rock it well. You can take your cues from these three dudes on J. Crew's blog, or go straight to the source like we did. Frank Muytjens, Head of Men's Design, gave us some practical tips on how to wear the single-button jacket, whether it's to smarten up for the office or out to the bar.
Why go single-button? Three-button jackets work well for taller guys, two-button stances do wonders for shorter men, what kind of effect does the single-button have on the body?
A one-button gives a more vertical, clean impression, and the 'V' shape is deeper, so it's very slimming.
These unconstructed jackets are made a bit shorter, with a casual feel, can you wear them with a T-shirt?
Absolutely! I really like a T-shirt under a sportcoat because it loosens things up a bit. A striped Saint James tee is great as well. I also like the idea of a crew or v-neck shape under a sportcoat because it makes for a cleaner, more modern look.
What are some ground rules from taking the sportcoat out of the office and into the wild?
You can take it literally into the wild by wearing a sportcoat, especially if it’s tweed, as a piece of outerwear with a scarf. You can also pair it with something unusual like layering it with a denim jacket.
On the flipside, how can a guy smarten up in a sportcoat without having to go "full suit?" What occasions does a look like this work for?
There's nothing wrong with a pair of khakis, but make sure that they're on the slim side. Keep the underpinnings in the same color family, like a navy jacket, light blue chambray shirt and dark blue knit tie. Go for a classic Oxford shoe or wingtip and make sure that the soles are substantial.