Casual to Formal: Step 3 Adding a Jacket

This is the last post of a 3 part series on using normal casual clothes and hacking them to becoming formal. 

Here we are with the last installment of this little series! So we started off really taking some time picking the right shirt, pants, and shoes of casual clothes that you can make into some formal wear. Then we went to adding just a simple tie to make it semi-formal.

The last step that I want to add here is a jacket. It makes for a really nice summer/spring formal outfit.




To be honest I’m using the phrase “formal” a little loosely here for this outfit. This may not be a formal outfit you want to wear for business settings. But in a setting like a friend’s wedding where you want to look formal but you got some freedom for creativity, this type of outfit should work. the colors are bright and light like summer, the fit here is nice and slim, and the patterns here are all solid except for my shirt. These three elements put together in my opinion are the high level concepts to help you create your style.


Here is the outfit . Now, to be honest for consistency sake, if I had pants that matched the color and material of my jacket it would definitely look a lot more put together. But I chose this outfit because, well, it is what I had in my closet. Part of finding out your style for me is embracing what I already have and making it work. This outfit might not be the most consistent and it goes against my earlier posts on color positioning (link), but nonetheless whats important here is I feel comfortable wearing it and the outfit reflects me. Sometimes the best thing you can “wear” to make your outfit is the confidence you have in your heart and mind. That references again my foundation of choosing your style. (link)

Here are some thoughts about being careful on mismatch pants and Jacket.

Be Careful of Mismatch Pants and Jacket:
Typically the rule is you want to have the same color and material for your jacket as well as for your pants. But these days I’ve seen and heard that idea is not so strong particularly in a non business formal setting. I like that because being a practical fashion guy I want to be able to wear pants that I can wear both for formal and casual times. But nonetheless I try and be careful when I do mismatch pants and jacket. I think this outfit works because the jacket is really close to white making it work well in harmony with my light brown pants. Remember to make sure your pants and your jacket are complementary colors. I know that might be vague but talking about how to match colors is like a whole another post. For now, check out my wonderful friend Audrey Tom’s style blog on the color wheel if you are interested (link). She does a great job of breaking things down on what to do.

One Honest Critique:
One critique that I have about this outfit that I could have done better wearing better socks. You can notice the low cut white socks that I’m wearing and its probably not the best thing to wear. There are ways you can wear shoes without socks but unfortunately these shoes are really rigid and will most likely hurt my feet (I feel like I got a little taste of what girls go through wearing heels haha). What would probably be best with this outfit is just go with some nice and colorful business style socks.



All in all I hope I was able to show you some practical things you can start thinking about when you buy clothes. It is a great feeling being able to wear the clothes that you love in casual settings and then give that impression that it looks totally different when you add some formal stuff to it. I believe the comfortable casual clothes you choose to wear in public says something about your strength and essence. So being able to wear that in formal settings I think can help you be more confident in an environment that can at times feel intimidating.

What do you think about my outfit? Any other thoughts or comments out there about making your casual wear more formal? Picking the Right Casual Wear

Check out Part 1: Picking the Right Casual Wear

Check out Part 2: Adding A Tie

The Look:

Jacket: H&M

Pants: Fusai (bought off of Jackthreads)

Shirt: H&M

Tie: Clifford Tie

Shoes: Paul Chardon Shoes bought at a Vintage store somewhere in Kensington San Diego

Sunglasses: H&M (yes, I get a lot of stuff at H&M)

All pictures were taken and edited by the beautiful Elisha Fong :D Please check her out at

One thought on “Casual to Formal: Step 3 Adding a Jacket

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