Emma Hemming with husband Bruce Willis wearing a suit jacket with tapered pants.

What to Pair With a Woman's Suit Jacket

by Danielle Jennings

A well-fitted suit jacket is a wardrobe staple that can take a woman throughout various seasons and outfit choices. Easily dressed up or down, the way you choose to wear your suit jacket is all about personal style and endless fashion possibilities. Odds are, if you take a good look inside your closet, you are bound to find a host of ways to give your suit jacket new life.


One of the most conservative and polished ways to wear a suit jacket is to pair it with trousers, if for no other reason than it being a traditional office uniform. However, certain trousers or pants give off a different look just by their cut and fabric. For instance, tapered or cigarette pants with a satin finish are best suited for evening wear, boot-cut styles are great for weekends and wide-leg designs are equally appropriate for the office, as well as for after hours and weekend fashion looks.


Pairing your structured suit jacket with a feminine skirt is an ideal way to incorporate contrast into your outfit by combining harder elements with softer ones. Styles like pencil skirts are ultra conservative when paired with a suit jacket, but when you add a skater skirt, one with a high-lo hemline, a daring mini or a fashion forward tulip style, you give your suit jacket a fun and flirty look. Additionally, maxi skirts look great with a suit jacket, but this look can be severe at times, so wear with caution.


Dresses and suit jackets follow pretty much the same rules as skirts do, especially if you want to tone down a dress that may be too dramatic or revealing for daytime wear. One of the first dresses that comes to mind is a mini, which is certainly inappropriate for the office, but when you throw on a suit jacket over it, it becomes acceptable for creative office settings. If your suit jacket is in a bright color, contains a bold print/pattern or is adorned with embellishments, then you should opt for a dress that is more understated in cut, color and length to avoid an overdone appearance. Also, incorporating contrasts, such as a lace dress with a suit jacket featuring strong shoulders, is a fabulous look.


Suit jackets are largely thought of as a dressy item, but they don't have to be, if you pair them with the right casual garment. One of the best fashion garments to pair with a formal suit jacket is a pair of jeans. The perfect jeans are not only a wardrobe staple, but also have the ability to transform select items in your wardrobe when paired together for a chic, new look. The combination of jeans and a suit jacket is a style marriage of casual, yet polished, making this the type of outfit ideal for casual Fridays and weekend lunch dates. Whether you opt for dark denim, distressed or bleached washes, and even various cuts like boyfriend, boot-cut or skinny, it's hard to go wrong with this look.

About the Author

Danielle Jennings began writing professionally in 2005 and is an expert in fashion, entertainment and lifestyle journalism. She has written for "Jezebel," "Creative Loafing" and "Haute Living." She attended Clayton State University, earning her bachelor’s degree in communications and media studies.

Photo Credits

  • Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images