Men’s Fashion: 3 Alternative Outfits to Wear Instead of a Suit

Wearing an expertly tailored suit with the right accessories and dress shoes will always make you look smart, sophisticated, and pulled-together. Though after years of wearing the same variations of the same suit, your look can get very tiring, and boring, leaving you completely uninspired. We’re here to say men’s fashion isn’t limited to this classic look. These outfits appear just as sophisticated, but give you a little more freedom.

1. Never underestimate the perfect pair of jeans

Man posing in jeans

Man posing in jeans | iStock.com

Chunky Knit + Oxford Shirt + Dark Denim Jeans + Brogues

The go-to casual legwear for any guy is a pair of jeans, though they’ve become quite the wardrobe staple to the extent that the right fitting, dark wash pair can be worn almost anywhere. Exchanging your suit for a pair of jeans may sound like a step too far, but it’s a simple and comfortable way to take your outfit’s personality level up a few notches.

There are a few ways to make the denim-based outfit work: If you’re a denim devotee, then you can pair your favorite dark, tailored pair with a sleek pair of monk-straps, brogues, or Derbies. On your upper half, add a chunky textured knit over an oxford shirt to take you from day-to-night with ease. The formalwear elements to the outfit help to bring the more contemporary elements of your outfit back from the brink of looking too casual.

A note about the knit: Stick to a solid knit that’s fitted. For textured ones, make sure they’re still slim. Simply put, this is a look that threatens the suit’s extinction.

2. The new classic combo: knitted blazer and a shirt

wearing a blazer and jeans to work

A man wearing a blazer and jeans | iStock.com

Knitted Blazer + Lightweight Oxford + Lighter Trouser + Neutral Suede Trainer

High-quality knitwear is one of those essentials to dressing smart without suiting up. Whether you choose a cotton shawl cardigan, a chunky merino wool sweater, or even a lighter crew neck, when it’s paired with a knit blazer, it helps to give your body shape and definition. Though not a regular blazer because it’s knit, they’re a smart, comfy option that you can wear all day, but light enough to layer. It’s an easy swap out for your regular go-to suit jacket. Throwing the knitted blazer over a T-shirt may come across as too casual — though a great option for another casual outing — but wearing one over a lightweight Oxford shirt works perfectly for spring. Pair these with lighter color trousers.

Bonus: For a true office-ready approach, button-up your oxford and put on a textured tie. No one will notice you’re not wearing a suit.

3. Change things up with chinos

Two pairs of chinos

Two pairs of chinos | Nordstrom.com

Blazer + Crisp T-shirt + Chinos + Minimal Sneakers

Just because you’re going for that smart and refined look doesn’t mean that a good tee is out of the question. A good T-shirt, and by that we mean ones that are fitted and 100% cotton in a subtle neutral color, can actually make a suit look smarter and cooler than the same ‘ol formal shirt. Instead of pairing yours with a full two-piece suit, wear it with just the blazer and swap your trousers out for a pair of slim chinos. Go for a blazer in a black or navy, with a pair of dark grey chinos and that crisp white shirt with a pair of minimal leather trainers. In short, this is the perfect pairing for spring.

Now you’ve got yourself outfit options that don’t look like you’re trying too hard and allow you to look effortlessly cool, and lets not forget, smart.