Q&A: Is an Orphaned Suit Jacket Ok?

Q: I have an upcoming August wedding, and need a little guidance. I've seen a number of grooms featured on your site (Nostalgic Nuptials, Classy Casual, and Treetop Trendy) whose looks are inspiring me to go away from a tux or matched suit. The venue is a refurbished barn, and we're going for a more laid back vibe, so the less formal look is perfect.

My problem is that I'm not sure where to start looking for the individual pieces. I've seen a suit jacet that I think would look great apart from the matched suit pants. I've been warned away from the "orphaned suit jacket" look. Is this a genuine concern? How should a fashion neophyte start to put a look like this together? -Justin
Well-Groomed | Q&A: Is an Orphaned Suit Jacket Ok?

Well-Groomed | Q&A: Is an Orphaned Suit Jacket Ok?
Well-Groomed | Q&A: Is an Orphaned Suit Jacket Ok?

A: The "orphaned" suit jacket will always find a home. In general, I'd say buy the entire suit because you never know when you'll need a good one at a moment's notice (job interviews, funerals, etc.). Even if you do buy the entire suit, don't feel pressured to wear the pieces together. You'll get more mileage to mix and match if you buy a solid jacket in a neutral hue. Consider this linen (since it's August) H&M suit jacket, this chambray (a good trendy option) J.Crew jacket, or a traditional lightweight wool version. Both are sold separately from the pants for a reason. Because more and more guys are going rogue when it comes to their wardrobe. Dark, fitted (not tight) jeans are a great pant option, and so are these Gap khakis.

You've already seen a couple of examples on the blog, but I'll give you a little more visual evidence to present to the naysayers. Here, singer Trey Songz styles a navy suit jacket three ways, neither requiring matching pants.
Well-Groomed | Q&A: Is an Orphaned Suit Jacket Ok?

image 1: Mathy Shoots People, image 2: Maui Creative, image 3: welovepictures
Trey Songz via GQ


Drew said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't those brass buttons of Trey's jacket? Looks more like a blazer to me.

Darren said...

Hey Drew,

Thanks for writing in. Those are three different jackets and they don't all have brass buttons. But the point I was trying to make is that a jacket without the matching pants can easily be worked into his wardrobe later. If you click through to the article, you'll see an instance of Trey wearing a double breasted suit jacket and a navy suit jacket solo. A suit jacket can absolutely be worn as a sports jacket.

Drew said...


Must have missed that. I totally agree that it can be pulled off, the biggest thing is the tailoring and making sure the length of the jacket isn't too long. Great post as usual!

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