How Men Can Dress Their Favorite Jackets Up (or Down)

A quintessential staple of every man’s wardrobe should be jackets, which are simple and incredibly versatile. Almost any jacket can easily be dressed up or down, and today we’re featuring five that you can wear for almost any occasion. Keep reading to discover tips and tricks for how to make your favorite jackets suitable for fancy and casual settings.

1. Leather jacket

Source: iStock

Man wearing a leather jacket | iStock.com

Leather jackets are guaranteed to give you some cool-guy swagger. They’re a fantastic casual jacket option with your choice of styles ranging from the bomber jacket to fitted moto jackets. Since this piece tends to be more casual, you won’t have try too hard to give off a laid-back vibe. Wear it with jeans and a T-shirt (and when it gets extra chilly, add a small cardigan underneath), along with a nice pair of sneakers. To dress it up, try this: Pair your jacket with a button-down shirt, a pair of darker jeans or slacks, and a pair of dark lace-up dress shoes.

2. Jean jacket

Colin Hanks wearing a jean jacket

Colin Hanks wearing a jean jacket | VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

Jean jackets are in every season, yet they aren’t always considered to be very high fashion. They are available in so many styles and shades and look great with slacks, corduroy’s, and in some cases, darker denims. Proceed with caution when mixing denims to make sure you maintain a lighter shade on top and a darker shade on the bottom. Jean jackets, inherently casual, can be dressed up by trying this pairing: a white button down (with a thin black tie if you’re really adventurous) with a slim-fit pair of back slacks or jeans and a nice pair of shoes — instantly cool and instantly interesting.

3. Sports jacket

Key pieces make looking good easier | Source: iStock

Sports jackets are perfect for fall | iStock.com

Sports jackets are the new go-to fall jacket, but they work during winter with a topcoat as well. They are probably also the easiest way to dress up any casual outfit. By simply throwing on a sports jacket or blazer, suddenly you’re classy and on-point. Try a newer concrete/grey color that looks good on top of almost any outfit. It can add some unique flair to your outfit. For a dressier look, wear with a nice pair of shoes and a slim-fitting pant (anything but jeans).

4. Blouson jacket

Model wearing a bomber jacket

You can easily dress these jackets up or down | Clemens Bilan/Getty Images for Bread & Butter by Zalando

This military-like jacket is a tight-waisted descendant of WWII-era field jackets and is a fantastic option for times when a sports jacket with lapels feels a little too dressy. A blouson jacket is more of a casual item that should be worn with a pair of your favorite jeans, but if you’re interested in dressing this item up, try this: Wear it over your work attire if the color of your slacks is not severe, or try pairing it with dark jeans and again, a pair of nice leather dress shoes.

5. Barbour jacket

Nigel Farage donning a barbour jacket

Nigel Farage wears his customary Barbour jacket | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

This jacket got its start as wet-weather gear from England. It is made with waterproofed cotton with a quilted lining. Barbour jackets look rugged and outdoorsy, while keeping you dry. These jackets are perfect for the fall and spring seasons, when rain is commonplace. Because this is more of a weather jacket, feel free to pair it with any casual or dressy outfit if the weather calls for it, or layer it over any casual or dressy jacket.