Adam asks: In one of my best thrifting trips yet, I snagged a Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece suit jacket for just a couple of dollars. It’s wool, navy with thin charcoal stripes, single breast with 3-roll-2 buttons, and fits me like a glove. The only problem is that I wasn’t able to find the pants to go with it. I was hoping that you guys could advise me on how best to wear odd jackets like this. Should I try to find some pants to match, or just avoid that altogether and wear it like a sport coat?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Adam, but this was not one of your best thrifting trips yet.
Outside of bold blazer stripes, which are almost never seen in the United States, a striped jacket is part of a suit. A business suit, specifically.
If you’re particularly cool, the fabric isn’t too formal, you’re in Italy, and everything else is going your way, you might be able to pair a suit jacket like this with dark jeans. Be advised, though, that this is a sartorial power move. Ralph Lauren can do this, but I’m not so sure you can.
As far as looking for the matching trousers… the time to do that was when you bought the jacket. Thrift stores often separate suits, so the pants to a suit coat can be located, I’d say, three out of ten times. (Often a suit coat is donated when the pants wear out.) Post-facto, though, your chances of finding a match are slim to none.
If you’re not sure, in future, what kind of jacket you’ve got in your hand, try reading our article on the difference between a blazer, suit jacket and sport coat.