What is the Art of Non-Matching? It is a way of creating extra outfits and looks by combing mostly tailored clothing that is not matching, and this is mainly the jacket and the trousers. It will allow you to come up with a great number of new casual smart or formal looks.

It is not as straightforward as just putting two pieces together, there is an art to it. We take a look at six examples where the pairing works and that can be found in most men’s wardrobes.

The Grey Jacket x Dark Blue Navy Trousers

This combination is very common and can be worn as a grey jacket with nay trousers but also the other way around with a dark blue jacket and grey trousers. Really all you need are a single-breasted dark blue suit and a single-breasted grey suit to pull this combination off. With the price of two suits, you get already four different looks. Combine this with a white shirt and a tie and oxford shoes to get a more formal look. You can easily switch to a casual look for after-office drinks with a T-shirt and some smart-looking sneakers. This will make you the chameleon in your office, both at home in the corporate and formal world as well as in casual outings.

dark blue jacket grey trousers

No sock loafers and no tie make for a more casual look.

grey jacket blue trousers

As you can see from both examples above this is a look that works both ways really well, a grey jacket with blue trousers as well as the other way around.

Black Jacket x Dark Grey Trousers

Black suits are less common in a men’s wardrobe, and if you do not want to invest in a whole black suit you could just buy the jacket to pull off the black jacket and grey trousers look. This is more of an understated look for those that want to appear smart. Combine this look with a shirt and tie or a roll neck in winter. For smarter night outs you should switch to a polo or some knitwear. This is a look for the cooler season, do not try to pull this off in summer.

black jacket grey trousers

This combination works also good the other way around with a grey jacket and black trousers.

Unstructured Jacket x Trousers

The unstructured jacket is a shirt that comes with jacket style features like lapels or it is a jacket that has no lining and no shoulder pads. The style of the jacket combines well with all sorts of trousers. As this jacket is lightweight it works perfectly as a summer outfit. It is super casual and what comes to mind is the 90s with don Johnson in Miami Vice.

don johnson

The unstructured jacket is best paired with a pair of chinos or in summer some linen trousers. As it is a summer outfit it is best to stick to light colours, beiges, light blues, light greys, khaki etc.

Chore Jacket x Wide Leg Trousers

The art of non-matching does not only apply to suits or blazers. You can also use items like the buttoned chore jacket. This will create a more casual look in the office but it is still elegant. But for this combination to work the sleek suit trousers should be changed to more wide-looking trousers. Check out men’s flair if you need any help putting outfits together.

chore jacket

Textured Jacket x Trousers

The art of non-matching does not mean you have to have different colours for the top and the bottom. You can also work with different textures to mix things up. If you go this way it is safer to go with blue than with grey. It also works better is if there a colour change at play, e.g a light blue jacket with dark blue trousers.

textured jacket with nayvy trousers

As seen in the above combination you can match it with a blue shirt or white shirt. The above combination works well as it uses different colour blues and textures to create contrast.

Blazer x Jeans

The Blazer with jeans is one of the most common and casual looks that you can pull off. This outfit works well with skinny jeans and where there is a contrast between a darker jacket the lighter jeans. For the office we would recommend a white shirt without a tie. For an even more casual night out experience, you should combine it with a t-shirt.

blazer with jeans

Still look smart casual – Jeans, blazer and white shirt

blazer with jeans casual

Go completely casual with a t-shirt, blazer and jeans.