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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it appropriate to wear different color/pattern trousers with a different color/pattern sport jacket? Of course, the question assumes that the sport coat will look nice with the trousers (i.e., nice contrast, not too busy, etc.) Alternatively, if it is appropriate, must the trousers be a solid color with no stripes etc. (no matter how subtle)?

I don't want to appear as though I am breaking up two suits to create a new, third look. It this an inherent danger in wearing separates?

Thanks for the input.
 

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I suppose the answer is: you can wear whatever combination you want, as long as it looks good:icon_smile_big:. One thing to keep in mind is that the look will be more casual than a suit. Also, try to wear the jacket and trousers roughly equally as separates, so that they don't wear differently.
 

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I'm not a big believer in breaking up suits unless it's absolutely by necessity (i.e., an extended business trip in which you only had room to pack two suits and some odd trousers). This is mainly because, oddly enough, most people I encounter these days are savvy enough to spot an orphaned suit jacket and distinguish it from a sport coat or blazer. The pants aren't as big of an issue, but again, you run the risk of wearing out one before the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Greenplastic,

Totally agree with you re: splitting up suits. The only reason I am even contemplating it is because I purchased two suits a couple of years ago that are so ill-fitting, I hate wearing them (did not know what I was doing and unfortunately neither did the salesperson). However, the pants fit great and I like the idea of having a couple of sport coats that aren't just variations on gray or navy. My thinking is the even if the pants wear out, I can get new pants made up to go with the sport coats, as I think the color/fabrics I am contemplating are pretty versatile.
 

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Have you tried getting the jackets tailored again? If they can't be saved, they can't be saved, and you might as well salvage the pants as you want to. But I would at least explore the feasibility of making the jackets work before giving up on them.
 

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This is mainly because, oddly enough, most people I encounter these days are savvy enough to spot an orphaned suit jacket and distinguish it from a sport coat or blazer.
How would one go about discerning whether a solid navy worsted jacket with inset pockets, or a mid-weight flannel POW pair of pants, was "orphaned" from a suit?

Seems to me the giveaway is usually that the orphaned item has pinstripes. If it doesn't, I don't think there's much way to tell a suit jacket or pair of trousers from an odd jacket or pair of trousers.
 

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How would one go about discerning whether a solid navy worsted jacket with inset pockets, or a mid-weight flannel POW pair of pants, was "orphaned" from a suit?

Seems to me the giveaway is usually that the orphaned item has pinstripes. If it doesn't, I don't think there's much way to tell a suit jacket or pair of trousers from an odd jacket or pair of trousers.
Pinstripes or patterns are obviously a giveaway. And as you said, with a solid navy or grey it's harder to tell. But people seem to be able to do it. Don't ask me how; I've had it happen to me on more than a few occasions (and I wasn't committing any stylistic "errors" while wearing the suit jacket separately, such as too little or too much contrast with the trousers). My best guess is that people have a good eye for the fabric weight and fineness. Inasmuch as most blazers are heavier or thicker than a lot of Super 100+ suit jackets, they can be distinguished to some degree.
 

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Pinstripes or patterns are obviously a giveaway. And as you said, with a solid navy or grey it's harder to tell. But people seem to be able to do it. Don't ask me how; I've had it happen to me on more than a few occasions (and I wasn't committing any stylistic "errors" while wearing the suit jacket separately, such as too little or too much contrast with the trousers). My best guess is that people have a good eye for the fabric weight and fineness. Inasmuch as most blazers are heavier or thicker than a lot of Super 100+ suit jackets, they can be distinguished to some degree.
Except that there's nothing wrong with having a light-weight odd jacket made up, and people do it. Nor, for that matter, is anything wrong with having an entire suit made out of hefty tweed, and people do that, too. I just don't see why anyone would bother trying to guess, much less how they could be confident of their suspicions. And so what if someone did know the item was part of a suit? What does that signify, except that the owner decided to use his own judgment on what trousers or jacket looked best that day?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Greenplastic:

The suit jackets both pop across the chest and are too long, which makes me look shorter than I am (I stand 5'8"). Two of the pants have a subtle pinstripe; I have a pair of navy pants with an almost undetectable blue stripe and a gray pant with a subtle light blue and a tan stripe (both subtle). Would it be better to just wear the pants with a dress shirt and no jacket, rather than wearing a sport coat with them?
 

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Except that there's nothing wrong with having a light-weight odd jacket made up, and people do it. Nor, for that matter, is anything wrong with having an entire suit made out of hefty tweed, and people do that, too. I just don't see why anyone would bother trying to guess, much less how they could be confident of their suspicions. And so what if someone did know the item was part of a suit? What does that signify, except that the owner decided to use his own judgment on what trousers or jacket looked best that day?
Look, I'm not really interested in a debate. I'm just saying that I don't like breaking up suits for X reason, and listed X reason (i.e., people hassle me about it). Why they hassle me about it, or how they can tell, are things I can only guess about. I'm not sure what else I can say here.
 

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Look, I'm not really interested in a debate. I'm just saying that I don't like breaking up suits for X reason, and listed X reason (i.e., people hassle me about it). Why they hassle me about it, or how they can tell, are things I can only guess about. I'm not sure what else I can say here.
Hey, fair enough. I just can't comprehend why anyone would care, provided the "orphaned" item looked good on its own. If it doesn't, then that's the basis for criticism - not the "orphaning." JMHO, of course.
 

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I thought, apparently mistakenly, that this thread was going to be about "suit separates." Those allow folks with size differentials that can't be accommodated by the drops or available lengths in conventional suits to buy a coat that fits and a matching (at least as far as fabric style and color) trousers in a size they couldn't get with that coat in a suit. Very practical for those with ultra-athletic, weightlifter, basketballer-tall guys that have a hard time getting fitted, even in the "Big and Tall" shops.

As far as the OP goes, anything goes except a "near miss." By that I mean where the coat and trousers are so close in color, pattern, and/or texture that they almost, but not quite, look like a suit. Otherwise, the individual taste in colors and patterns, etc., is "what makes the world (of fashion) go 'round" in my opinion.
 

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I just can't comprehend why anyone would care, provided the "orphaned" item looked good on its own. If it doesn't, then that's the basis for criticism - not the "orphaning." JMHO, of course.
Because maybe some people think that it doesn't look good for the pure reason that it is orphaned? Maybe some people think that a suit coat should be worn only with the suit and sport coats should only be worn with odd trousers? That would be my guess.

I don't know exactly what it is, but I can sometimes tell an orphaned suit jacket when I see one. Pinstripes make it obvious, but sometimes when I see a real light-weight solid navy or gray jacket, it just looks like an orphaned suit jacket to me. Of course with solid navy, you could put metal buttons on it and it should work as a blazer.

For me, however, it is the difference between caring and noticing. I may sometimes notice, but don't really care or would ever criticize anyone for doing it. I mixed and matched a few times when I was 23-24, but probably wouldn't do it know. Maybe if it was a certain color or pattern that I really liked.
 

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I have read some confused (not to mention, confusing) discussions, but this one deserves a prize.

The short (not to mention, correct and time-honoured) answer to the question - if I understand it correctly - is that a gentleman should NOT wear the components of a suit separately. As a practical matter, it affects adversely the longevity of a garment and one component (say, the pants) may in time show greater signs of wear than another (say, the coat).

The aesthete's primary objection will be that a well trained eye can spot such a mismatch. I can always tell, even when the 'felon' is wearing grey flannel pants and a navy hopsack coat (which he'd like to pass off to those of limited aesthetic sensibility as a blazer).

Having said this, if one MUST mismatch, please don't wear a striped coat; make it a solid or check; and, if checked, please wear solid pants.
 

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As long as the jacket looks like it is a standalone jacket, and the trousers look like they are individual trousers, then you should be fine. Nothing looks worse than a split-up from two separate suits.
 

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I sense some confusion in the OP in what separates are. The purpose of separates is to sell the jacket and trousers of a suit indiidually so the wearer can pick the best fitting jacket size and trouser size, and not be stuck with an unsatisfactory fit in one or the other that may result when a suit is sold together. Separates are NOT meant to be worn separately.
 
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