How to wear a blazer and t-shirt without looking careless blog graphic

Wondering how to wear a blazer and a t-shirt without looking careless? Glad to hear it, you’re in the right place.

Styling a t-shirt with a blazer or suit jacket is a wonderful way to elevate an otherwise casual look. Plus it means you can showcase your graphic tee collection more often. 

To wear a t-shirt and blazer, put on a t-shirt and add a blazer on top. 

To pull off a t-shirt and blazer look, pay attention to the details. I’ll tell you what to look for

Wearing a blazer and t-shirt without looking careless boils down to attention to detail

The key to pulling this look off is making sure it looks clean and put together. Intention is the name of the game, and it mostly comes down to making sure that your shirt isn’t bunching up weirdly under your jacket. 

Here are three tips to mitigate your shirt bunching under your jacket: 

Tip 1: Pay attention to the lining of the jacket

If the lining of your jacket is of a slippery material, you’ll get less accidental shirt bunching.

This is part of the reason suit jackets are traditionally lined with lightweight silk. 

Often less expensive jackets will use polyester instead of silk, but polyester can lead to sweating. A desire for breathability has brought about the rise of cotton linings in many jackets. 

Cotton linings have a ton of benefits, but tend to be less slippery than silk or polyester, which can lead to more bunching. 

If you’re just dipping your toe into this style, look for a jacket that has a smooth lining that feels silky to the touch. 

Tip 2: Avoid the collar-shoulder-sleeve shirt bunching 

This happens when you just put on a jacket over a t-shirt and let the sleeves ride up creating wrinkles and folds around the collar. Needless to say, this is generally not intentional styling. 

To fix this: smooth down the shoulders of your t-shirt after you put on your jacket. Just stick your hand into the top of your jacket sleeve and smooth down the sleeves of your shirt on both sides. This shouldn’t feel like a huge change, but it makes a sharp difference.

This is the short-sleeved shirt equivalent of tugging at the cuffs of your button-up shirt after you put on your jacket.

Another option/variation on this: if your t-shirt sleeves are long you can fold up your t-shirt sleeves before you put on your jacket. Take the bottom edge (pro aside: on clothing this is called the hem) of your t-shirt and fold it to meet the top of your shoulder. This will also help keep the t-shirt sleeve from bunching up around your bicep. 

Tip 3: Size your t-shirt down

Wearing a tighter more form fitting t-shirt under a jacket does a couple of things: 

First, a tighter t-shirt fits closer to your body so there is less fabric to bunch up under your jacket

Second, closer-fitting t-shirts tend to lay flatter, especially in the neck area, which means there will be less gaping at the neck, creating a cleaner look.

And third, a more fitted shirt creates more space between your shirt and jacket, making you look slimmer. This is because the viewer’s eye can move between your shirt and your jacket. (Kind of like a low-key version of pairing a bodycon dress with an oversized jacket, which I talk more about in BODYCON! 35 Outfit Recipes for Bodycon Dresses.)

Basically, save your oversized t-shirts for other outfits. When you’re styling a shirt under a jacket, stick with more fitted shirts. 

Styling a t-shirt with a blazer or a suit jacket can be a fantastic look. Just remember to pay attention to the details, avoid accidental shirt bunching under your jacket, and have fun. 

As you’re experimenting with this style it can be helpful to build a handful of outfit recipes specifically for your closet and this look – that way you have something on hand to reference. This post explains what an outfit recipe is, and this one talks about why they are useful and when to use them.


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