Can you wear a t-shirt under a jacket?

The jacket is a piece of men’s clothing capable of bestowing elegance to the wearer, but at the same time it is quite “demanding”. It refers to etiquette that every man, wishing to be a true gentleman, must know and respect. Although contemporary fashion often proposes images of models wearing jackets and t-shirts, if you are also thinking of opting for this combination, know that it can only work under certain conditions. We will explain them to you.

Can an elegant man wear a jacket and a t-shirt?

Let’s begin with a statement as strong as it is true: a t-shirt under a jacket is a poetic license. This is because the first is by nature an informal garment, designed for occasions mostly related to leisure, as the reconstruction of the meaning of the term made by some would suggest. The letter ‘T’ placed before the English word ‘shirt’ would allude to ‘training’, or training and/or to ‘teen’, or teenagers. Therefore, a garment tied to the use in sports and/or suitable for a teenage look. On the other hand, a jacket is formal, made and worn to make any type of look elegant and refined. Just think of James Bond.

Do you remember the iconic tuxedo worn by the agent with a license to kill? Well, imagine replacing his shirt with a t-shirt and tell us: with this change, has the charm of the outfit remained unchanged or did something got lost? I’m sure that just like us, you picked the second answer.

To judge this poetic license, however, we must understand how it is formed and evaluate whether it can work or not in a specific context. There are, in fact, cases in which this oxymoron of the masculine style can work and be pleasant and others in which it absolutely must be avoided.

Can a t-shirt be paired with a knit jacket?

man knitted jacket with t-shirt
Lardini jacket with Drumohr t-shirt

Destructured and of knit fabric. This is the identikit of the jacket to pair with a t-shirt. The lack of construction and the type of fabric that is less ‘compact’ make it less formal than it is by its nature, meaning that it is suitable to be worn with an admittedly comfy garment. The context will suggest whether or not to derogate from the rules of elegance. Choose this type of look in convivial occasions with friends and show it off until aperitif time, but especially on occasions when a formal dress code is not explicitly requested. A marriage, for example, is not the best time to choose to dare with this combination.

Take a look at our recommendation. We have selected the Lardini hazelnut coloured jacket with a navy-blue striped pattern. We have paired it with a short-sleeved, solid blue knit t-shirt, by Drumohr, in a crepe cotton blend, with a round neck (crew neck?) and without pockets. Why didn’t we choose a patterned t-shirt? We wanted to emphasize the pattern of the jacket and create a “neutral” base on which to let it stand out. Why did we select a round neck (crew neck?)? Because, even though the latest trends also offer low-cut versions, it is preferable to wear one that allows you to be at ease in different situations. We have always preferred style to the call of fashion! Finally, the absence of further finishing elements on the garment is aimed at seeking, as much as possible, a simple elegance that brings the t-shirt more and more towards the charm of the jacket. As Coco Chanel used to say, “Less is more” and on this occasion, it is really the best explanation!

When to wear: you could choose to wear this look that we suggested at a cocktail with friends in the city, or you could choose it for this Easter Monday’s trip to the sea or the mountains!

Whether in a knitted jacket or in a classic jacket, prefer polo shirts

If you prefer a more classic jacket to the knit version, but don’t want to give up the possibility of replacing a men’s shirt with a less formal item, the most correct combination is undoubtedly the one with a polo shirt. Take an example from Paul Neumann.

The polo, that appeared for the first time on the tennis and golf courts and then became the symbol of an easy-chic style, is, in fact, a t-shirt with a collar closed with two or three buttons, sometimes with a pocket. It exists in the short and long sleeve variants and is usually made of cotton piquet. Perfect star of the summer wardrobe, it is suitable for both casual and business use.

Why is the polo-jacket combination correct and why does it work? Because a polo, unlike a t-shirt, has an “aristocratic” soul that goes well with the classic look of a jacket, whether it’s single-breasted or a blazer. It, therefore, combines the pleasure and comfort typical of knits with the wearability and elegance of a shirt, recalled by its neck.

Not only; a polo is preferable to a t-shirt due to its versatility. It can also be paired with destructured garments such as the jacket we recommended, especially if worn with a pair tailored cotton trousers; and it can also be worn in the evening. An example? The total-white look with polo is a classic of summer evenings by the sea.

So, to answer the question from which we started, if you want to respect the etiquette of male elegance, without giving up the possibility of being more casual in your free time, you can create a look where you can combine a knitted jacket or a shirt-jacket with a t-shirt or a polo. Or a classic jacket with a polo shirt. If you want to try some different options we are waiting for you in our store!