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1 Piece/3 Ways: The Sweater Jacket

December 18th, 2013

We all know men are creatures of comfort. As tailoredwear has become more and more popular, that hasn’t changed. We have, however, begun to see hybrid designs that cross the formal shape of a tailored blazer with the the comfort and function of knit fabrics.

Turns out the sweater-jacket (swaket? jweater?), when properly executed, is a very versatile and flattering piece. It can be a smart investment to crossover between your office and weekend wardrobes.

Here’s one of my favorites – a textured jersey knit by Giorgio Armani (available at select Saks Fifth Avenue locations) – along with three ways to wear it.

    1. Office Ready


    Sure it’s soft, stretchy and comfortable like a sweater, but it’s still a tailored jacket. Pairing it with a spread collar, dark trousers and sharp wingtips makes it easily office appropriate.

    Try offsetting the casualness of the knit fabric with a serious business shirt, like this banker style number with french cuffs. A textured seasonal tie can be a nice middle ground to tie the two together.

    On a side note; don’t hesitate to pull the trigger on a 3/4 length camel coat. It’s one of those pieces that will fill a lot of holes in your wardrobe and you’ll wear it for years to come. This double-breasted military inspired version by Burberry is the perfect coat for the modern gentleman – whether he’s heading to the office, the bar, or a football game.


    After developing and wearing the Gentlemo for my work with Gillette and Movember, I’ve been loving the old school gentleman feel of the mustache. I’ve also been playing with different versions of it. Here, for example, I’m keeping the original ‘Gentlemo’ but letting the beard stubble slowly catch up.

    Shout out to my boy Jeff and the crew at Blind Barber LA for the fresh cut!

    Another shout out to my agent Andrew Weitz at WME who, when he’s not managing some serious Hollywood talent, he’s designing pocket squares like this one and dabbling in the menswear game.


    These Gucci’s are still kicking after 6 years!

    Aging like fine wine!


    2. Chalkstripe Separates


    To answer a reader question that we received the other day: pinstripes can absolutely be worn as separates (more elaborate post on that coming soon).

    This is an easy middle ground look, perfect for any “business casual” occasion or “semi formal” event. This type of look (tailored but soft, comfy and unstructured) can be considered dressed-up or dressed-down depending on the context and, more importantly, your attitude and demeanor.


    It’s the Holiday season – time to get all warm and fuzzy.

    Time to combine some awesome Fall/Winter TEXTURES:


    I love highlighting affordable shoe brands with solid design and construction. Beckett Simon recently sent me these goodyear welted monk straps that retail for only $139. I can’t vouch for their quality yet since I just started wearing them, but they’re plenty comfortable and feel durable.

    If you’re looking for a pair of shoes in the $100-$130 range, I would check them out. It’ll be hard to do better (at retail price).

    These are a little more casual feeling than my other, more sleek, dub monks. I like the country feel of the rounded toe and larger brass hardware. They feel more like weekend dub monks, if such a thing exists.


    • Paint splatter tortoise frames by Mikli Paris
    • Burgundy knit blazer by Giorgio Armani (available at select Saks Fifth Avenue locations)
    • Handknit wool/silklinen crewneck by Ralph Lauren Black Label
    • White oxford shirt by Thom Browne
    • White linen pocket square
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Nato Striped grosgrain watch strap by Corvus
    • Navy flannel chalkstripe trousers (part of 3-piece suit)
    • Goodyear Welted Chestnut Double Monk strap loafers by Beckett Simon

    3. Weekend Chill


    This is a simple sweater and jeans weekend combo, it just doesn’t look like it.

    Sweaters don’t have to look schlubby and jeans are not always made of denim (these wool flannel jeans are one of my favorite pairs).


    Consider limiting your color palette. You don’t need more than 3-4 colors in an outfit, your better off with different shades and textures of the same colors. Here for example, it’s just burgundy, grey and black.

    A touch of burgundy in the lenses was a lucky coincidence. Shout out to Lookmatic for the new shades; a classically shaped go-to that you can customize on their website. That said, I have been into more unique and expressive eyewear lately…post on that coming soon as well.


    Speaking of new footwear, these sleek leather ankle strap ‘Jodphur‘ boots are among the sexiest footwear I own. I’m telling you, everybody appreciates these. From rocker/biker guys, to hood dudes, to hot chicks…very few people can deny that these are a great looking pair of shoes. And people love great looking shoes.

    Thanks to Tobias and the good folks behind the German brand ShoePassion.com for reaching out. Check them out!


    • “Ricky” shades by Lookmatic
    • Burgundy knit blazer by Giorgio Armani (available at select Saks Fifth Avenue locations)
    • Beige/Black/Red Patterened Silk Scarf by Etro
    • Burgundy diagonal-rib crewneck sweater by Saks Fifth Avenue
    • Grey wool flannel 5-pocket jeans by Z Zegna
    • “Jodhpur” leather ankle boots by ShoePassion.com


    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Articles of Style


    Photography by Alex Crawford 

    • Frank

      A little polish on those shoes would not have gone amiss. Scuffed shoes kill the look.

    • Matt

      Don’t mean to be too picky but it’s jodhpur not jodphur. Understandable since shoepassion seems to have it spelled both ways on their website.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Great catch. Thanks Matt.

        • http://www.shoepassion.com Tobias

          Hi Matt,

          thanks for the hint … I changed it, so from this point we will only talk about `Jodhpur´.


          Tobias – SHOEPASSION.com

    • Steven Santander

      Smart piece Dan, and great color and layering!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks player

    • Thomas

      I am really liking that #3 look… gave me inspiration for tomorrow :)

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier


    • Gazman

      I notice that many #menswear blogs show men wearing ties with not only suits, but sports jackets, denim jackets, long sleeve polos, sweaters, rugby jumpers, quilted jackets, field jackets…and what have you. But in my neck of woods, I hardly see men wearing a tie with a business suit let alone with the aforementioned outfits.

      • Adam E

        That’s like my office, hardly anyone wears ties, and when they do, it usually looks like an accessory for eating lobster (or for sailing the 7 seas…). Nothing to stop you from bucking the trend. I’ve been wearing ties most days for years, and at first I would get the “what? do you have an interview today?” comments, but now there is much less of that and I even have started to see more ties creep in on people… Better to be a professional among slobs than a slob among professionals…

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        For a guy who reads so many menswear blogs (you’re one of our most consistent readers and commenters – so thank you!) Gazman maybe you should consider moving to a place where fashion and style are a little more celebrated in everyday culture. The internet is cool, but real life inspiration is so much better, I promise.

        This isn’t a fashion show, we live it. Everyday.

    • Jason

      Seriously guys, I like the content of your articles.
      Still, you’re not so good at grammar, and that is just sad.

      Like clothing, language is an important factor when it comes to outward appereance. Don’t ruin good looks with texts looking like some hillbilly wrote them…

      • Nick

        If you want to chirp grammar, maybe proofread your shit.

        • Jason

          Unlike the author of this article, I may not be a native speaker. But thanks for being defensive.

          • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

            I’m the sole author of TSBmen. My first language was French Canadian.

            Although I did study creative writing and english literature as part of my Psychology degree at Columbia University, so no excuses.

            I’m juggling a lot of different expansions for TSB right now…so naturally typos will occur. My philosophy with blogging is 90% done is better than not publishing.

            Cheers mate.

        • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

          When you get mad at the grammar police, they win.

      • Khaled

        Hey Jason. I think your comments regarding grammar are fine.

        I just think you would be better served by sending them an email directly about it. I think posting it here only seems to draw attention to those mistakes as opposed to the hard work these guys are putting in regarding content.

        We sometimes seem to forget these are only four dudes doing their hardest to make great content. This isn’t Vogue or Esquire magazine. They are doing their best and calling them out here is just a way to embarrass them as opposed to support them.

        • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

          Thanks Khaled. Agreed.

          For the record. I’m the only person who writes on TSB. So any of the grammatical errors are solely mine. Lately I’ve been rushing through the writing of the posts, because I’m working aggressively on some collaborations and other “big picture” expansions for TSB and the brand.

          In the new year we will be bringing on some help to proofread the editorial content.


      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Sorry dude, this one was rushed. I published this article from my iphone during my flight from Los Angeles to the farm in Canada.

        In a sense, therefore, you’re right – it was some hillbilly who wrote it :)

    • Jakob

      Awesome post. Dan, do you know where you can buy affordable wool flannel jeans?

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Their kinda tough to find, I picked up these Zegna’s a coupe years ago and had them tailored by Franklin in NYC.

        Just gotta keep your head up – Levi’s had a air of flannel 511’s not long ago… If I catch something, I’ll tweet about it for you Jakob.


    • TO

      What a great lineup of outfits.

      Look #2 (one of my favourite ever on the site) reminds me some about how GQ has said you “can’t” mix a pinstripe suit with khakis, which I know you have been doing, at least in some close iteration, since the days of the Esquire contest. Just love that chunky crewneck sweater paired with the chalkstripe.

      …The shades’ colour ties in with the jacket beautifully and ditto the sweater and shoes, and then the pants add elegance to the whole thing.

      The jodphur boots are remarkable; with that style I find shape is especially key, because the versions I have seen with any semblance of a square-ish toe I have not been a fan of.

      • TO

        I saw a green “terry” sweater jacket that TSB feature Sabir Peele was rocking that looked great from Frank and Oak- wish I knew of more low-cost options for this sort of thing.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        TO, always breaking it down in the comments. Thanks for continuing to sharing your opinions brother!

        In other news, I’m trying to pull some strings for you… Also, if you’re in Windsor, we’re balling tomorrow! Email me.

    • cam

      hey dan lookin sharp as always. regarding the pants in look 2…I’ve always liked a flannel chalkstripe versus a wool pinstripe. I feel that there is a huge difference aesthetically between the two. can you speak to this?

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        I also prefer chalk stripes in the F/W. The chalkstripe has a much more ‘country luxe’ feel that is a little less pretentious, in my opinion. Typical worsted stripes, especially bold ones, are more harsh and serious which is why they are usually reserved for business.

        That said, any style of pinstripe can be worn as a separate. We’ve featured several guests breaking up their pinstripes, and we have another great post on the topic coming soon.

        Cheers Cam – hope you’re gearing up for a fantastic Holiday season!

    • Miguel

      Great looks Dan,also thanks for pointing out some of the accessories you use so we can shop around.

    • https://twitter.com/TheFarquharHill Alan

      http://www.moss.co.uk/Farrell-Camel-Prohibition-Coat-965182370 might be considered a good option for Brits on a budget looking to replicate Look #1. I just picked up a trench coat (with detachable felt lining) from the same range and am digging it.

      That said, I’m going to say what I said last year – these Winter coats take up a lot of wardrobe space and in London this year, I am finding myself not wearing a coat every day even now (yesterday I layered a big wool-angora cardigan over a Gap X Gq Baldwin Nylon Jacket). Is a camel overcoat really a superior choice to a navy one in that outfit? (“You don’t need more than 3-4 colors in an outfit”).

    • http://anorexicescapades.com BougieHippie

      Awesome colors in look 2, but he Camel coat in look 1 is beyond brilliant, the full-length coat is the must have accessory of the season for men. The ankle buckle boots are smashing in look 3.


      • https://twitter.com/TheFarquharHill Alan

        The coat is not full-length.

        I can’t 100% tell the irony level here, but anorexia is a disease and not a particularly funny one.

        • Jimi Brady

          Thank you, Alan – I’ve tried calling him out on the offensive blog title (and offensive content) before, but to no avail. That blog is severely triggering for many people who would visit this site regularly. I believe I’ve tried to contact the TSB about it, too.

          • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

            We’re obviously not promoting anorexia. The TSB staff eats and drinks plenty, trust me.

            If the commenter in question wasn’t leaving worthwhile opinions or commentary, and simply promoting his questionable blog, his comments would not be published. But I don’t feel right not allowing his comments simply because of a link to his blog. It’s a free world. If he wants to starve himself in the name of fashion, that’s up to him. But remember that we’re over here grilling steaks and drinking 24 racks on the daily, like our fathers did, and our sons will.


      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks my man. 2 things:

        1. A full-length coat would be at the floor/ankles. This is 3/4 length
        2. Can you please stop pasting your blog link in our comment section? You wouldn’t believe the emails and tweets I have to deal with over this. I appreciate your commentary and don’t want to moderate your comments, but the nature of your blog (promoting the disease of anorexia) is sending some of our loyal readers bad vibes.

        Thanks and happy holidays.

    • Joe

      Great Post! I have a sports coat from Uniqlo that’s really a blazer shaped cardigan made from jersey (easy to tailor). One of my favorite coats/sweaters. I keep it hanging in my office in case I need to look adultish on a moments notice. Nice enough to carry a tie if I need to, casual enough to pair with jeans and a t-shirt for last second attempts at respectability.

      I like all the looks, and even the burgundy on burgundy in the last look (missed opportunity on the Anchorman tie-in) which I wouldn’t have thought would work, but gets broken nicely by the scarf. But what if you go inside and take off the scarf, would it be too much? Or would that work with such a casual outfit? Or who cares – it’s the weekend?

      • Adam E

        I also have one of the Uniqlo ones in Navy, got it for less than $40 on sale while down in NYC (and fit like a glove off the rack, no tailoring needed, fits as well as my made to measure blazers), and honestly wear it 2x/week. Can very easily dress it up or down. It’s almost like a fashion mullet, business in front (looks like a blazer) but party in the back (feels like a sweater). Obviously it’s not a style for very formal settings, but for the office (at least my office), more laid back parties, or simply with jeans and a t-shirt…

        • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

          haha #fashionmullet

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Nice move Joe.

        Absolutely, it’s a solid look with our without the scarf. The two shades and textures have a nice subtle contrast.


    • Drew

      Hey I’m confused as to when you say “jeans are not always denim” because I thought that was the sole definition! What qualifies your wool pants as jeans and not just pants? What’s the definition of jeans if not “pants made out of denim”?

      • cam

        @ drew – not attempting to speak on behalf of the tsb team but my understanding is that a “jean” is a pant with 5 pockets. that can be cotton (chino/denim/corduroy), wool and other cloths/fabrics. without the 5 pockets, of course they are trousers which again can be multiple types of cloths/fabrics. essentially a jean is a style of pant.

      • TO

        Drew- jeans are the “style” of “trousers”.

        Typically, that means a classic 5 pocket design: two patch pockets at the back, two on the top of the front thigh, and one within the front right pocket for change;)

      • John B

        The 5 pocket pants are called jeans and are usually made of denim which is a fabric.

        I have the Ralph Lauren jersey blazer you featured a couple of years (although mine is grey) ago and I’ve been looking for a knit one. In my opinion, they’re a great way to dress up more casual looks!

        • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

          Thanks John B. Agreed.

      • Joe

        Not to be a provocateur (oh, well maybe a little, but it’s good for conversation), here’s the wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeans, the first sentence of which reads:

        “Jeans are pants made from denim or dungaree cloth”

        I don’t think jeans are understood by most to be 5 pocket pants. I can’t imagine someone wearing denim pants without a change pocket and going around correcting everyone who referred to them as jeans.

        That being said, there is a typical construction to jeans and I like the idea of making pants with that construction and pocket layout in non-denim materials. Out of context, the prevalence of denim can seem odd.

        • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

          I would be careful using Wikipedia as your source, or worse yet, agreeing something is true because most believe it to be.

          In the garment industry “jeans” are a style of pant (that can be made from any type of cloth) and “denim” is a fabric (that can be cut into any garment, including dress trousers and suits, as we’ve featured in the past).

          Thanks for reading,

          • Joe

            Are you trying to imply that Wikipedia might not be the last authoritative word on all subjects?! Well, you know what Abraham Lincoln used to say, “Don’t trust everything you read on the internet” (he was really ahead of his time).

            I think my point was that the argument over the definition of jeans is a bit silly. It may mean a certain type of trousers in the garment industry, regardless of fabric, and in general usage refers to denim pants. So neither side is wrong.

            Like Neil Young said (at least according to Wikipedia), keep on rockin jeans in the free world my friend.

    • M-O

      Killing it as always. Look #2 is utterly stunning; great use of textures!

    • http://wideeyestightwallets.com Adam

      Great post. You cover a lot of things that I’ve yet to dabble in but am definitely interested in, from the sweater blazer itself to the Jodphur boots. A quick question on terminology, what makes the wool pants in look 3 ‘jeans’? Is it the 5-pocket styling? I’ve always ‘gotten’ that ‘jeans and ‘denim’ aren’t interchangeable terms, and that not all jeans *are* denim, but wasn’t sure where the line is drawn.