The Ultimate Guide to Shopping and Styling Suit Separates

Everything you need to nail a look for any occasion.
Men's suit separates wedding fashion inspiration
Photos, From Left to Right: J.Crew, California Arts, Buck Mason
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
Tres Dean
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
Tres Dean
Associate Menswear Editor
  • Tres writes and edits articles for The Knot, with a specialty in menswear and suiting.
  • He brings over a decade of expertise in the field garnered as a writer, editor, copywriter, and trend specialist.
  • Before joining The Knot he covered menswear for publications including GQ, AskMen, Men’s Health, Sharp Magazine, Highsnobiety, and Spy.
Updated Oct 31, 2023
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Putting together a great wedding suit doesn't necessarily mean putting on a full suit. Enter suit separates, individual suiting pieces that, when pieced together, create unique and dapper fits for everything from weddings to professional settings. A great suit is a no-brainer but I personally love the versatility of separates. Suit separates aren't just a staple of semi-formal wedding dress codes–they're an opportunity to build a look that's all your own, though they require a bit more thought (that's where I come in). For the most part, the possible combinations of patterns, fabrics, styles, and colors are limited only by your own creativity, your actual wardrobe, and of course your sartorial comfort zone. Oh, and of course those pesky wedding dress codes. Read on for some of my personal favorite suiting separates along with foolproof styling suggestions.

In this article:

What Are Suit Separates?

Suit separates are pretty easy to define: they're jackets or pants sold as individual pieces rather than as part of a matching set. Sometimes this means that two pieces of a suit are sold separately so that you can buy the complementing garment as well. In other instances, a blazer or pair of pants is designed to be worn individually without a matching piece.

Why Buy Suit Separates?

Men's suit separates are a vital and versatile addition to your wardrobe. They have a substantial range of wear outside of weddings, working as well for a day at the office as they do a night on the town. And as great as they are for mixing, matching, and building unique wedding outfits, they're also the perfect option for anyone who doesn't want to have to put too much thought into a fit. Having a reliable blazer and one or two pairs of dress pants means you can have your semi-formal wedding outfit locked in year-round, never having to think too much about what to wear or whether or not it'll look good.

Essential Suit Separates You Should Own

With the right quality suit separates, the quantity you'll need to own is pretty minimal. Sure, having a deep arsenal of great blazers and trousers to choose from can be fun when putting fits like these together, but with the right sport coat or dress pants you won't need much to pull off a great look.

J. Crew Kenmare Blazer

Scottish linen Kenmare blazer
Photo: J.Crew

With wide peak lapels and a bold plaid print, J. Crew's Kenmare sport coat is a great foundational suit separate. It's a statement piece that will make any suit separates look pop at a wedding.

Buck Mason Soft Wool Flannel Graduate Blazer

Gray Italian soft wool blazer
Photo: Buck Mason

Buck Mason's West Coast Ivy collection is full of rumpled (in a good way) suiting with minimal structuring that's perfect for mixing with suit separates. Their Graduate blazer in a soft wool and flannel blend pairs great with a well-worn oxford shirt and some smart trousers during the chillier months of the year.

Todd Snyder Gurkha Trouser

Tan Italian cotton trouser
Photo: Todd Snyder

Belted trousers are an ideal choice of suit separates. They're formal enough to pair well with a dress shirt and jacket but look just as good on their own with a great shirt or sweater. Todd Snyder's Gurkha trouser is among the most popular out there today, with a stylish taper and a variety of fabrics and colors available, making it the perfect addition to your lineup of suit separates.

California Arts Dume Wide Leg Ultra-Pleated Trouser

Dume Wide-Leg Ultra-Pleated Trouser
Photo: California Arts

With a lovely sheen from its brushed wool fabric, California Arts' Dume trouser is flowy soft-tailoring perfection. Pair this with a vintage blazer with a generous drape for a look that's all the right kind of retro.

Brooks Brothers Double-Breasted 1818 Blazer

Navy Wool Double-Breasted Blazer
Photo: Brooks Brothers

There are few garments that embody classic prep Americana quite like a navy blazer with gold buttons. If you're going to own one, it might as well be from the 200-year-old OG of formal American menswear. With a double-breasted cut and pointed lapels, this blazer makes an old-school look feel new again. Throw this on over an oxford shirt and some good chinos and your spring wedding wardrobe is locked in.

Bonobos Weekday Warrior Dress Pants

Men's navy dress pants
Photo: Bonobos

Bonobos is all about simple staples done so well that you won't need to buy another one for years to come. Their Weekday Warrior dress pant is a rock-solid no-frills suit separate that can be worn a hundred different ways. In a crisp neutral navy, these pants are a sartorial workhorse you'll be wearing at weddings (and at work, parties, and formal dinners) for years to come.

Banana Republic Caldo Italian Cotton-Linen Suit Pant

White Italian cotton-linen suit pant
Photo: Banana Republic

Mixing suit separates isn't just about mixing colors–it's about mixing textiles. Take these Banana Republic linen trousers, for instance. Made from a cotton-linen blend, when paired with a lightweight wool or seersucker blazer they provide a dynamic combination of texture. It makes for a foolproof warm-weather wedding outfit.

Kit Blake Aleks Grey-Beige Cashmere Flannel Trousers

Gray Cashmere Flannel Trousers Regular price
Photo: Kit Blake

Kit Blake specializes in one thing and one thing only: great pants. Their signature Aleks cut in cashmere flannel features a generous leg, four pleats, and a high waist. It's a luxe trouser adding an Italian tailoring flair to any suit separates ensemble at a wedding.

Grand Le Mar Charcoal Wool Jacket

Charcoal Wool Jacket
Photo: Grand Le Mar

Sometimes a great suit separate is just a classic piece of menswear that goes the extra mile in the details. Take Grand Le Mar's charcoal jacket, cut from a versatile four-season wool. On one hand, it's a menswear classic in a timeless neutral that can be paired with countless other suit separates. On the other, it features a wide peaked lapel and beautiful horn buttons, helping your fit stand out among all the others.

Percival Mini Check Pleated Trousers

Mini Check Pleated Tailored Trousers
Photo: Percival

British rising star Percival makes some of the hippest suit separates out there right now. Their mini check trousers, for example, come in a classic cut (not too slim, not too wide) and a fetching pattern just begging to be worn with a navy or charcoal blazer at a semi-formal wedding.

How to Mix and Match Suit Separates

Mixing and matching suit separates is an opportunity to lean into contrast, variety, and colors. It's also a great way to lock in versatile wardrobe staples by purchasing a single blazer or pair of trousers that can be mixed and matched with any number of other pieces when you need to look sharp. Here are some of our best pointers for nailing a suit separates look.

  • Mix and Match Colors: Don't go for matching colors. Suit separates should look, well, separate from one another. Pairing a navy blazer with a different pair of navy pants not only risks the shades not matching and the outfit looking a bit off as a result but also in missing out on the opportunity to provide some contrast in the pairing. Try chinos, brown dress pants, or even a pair of linen trousers with a navy blazer instead.

  • Use Different Fabrics: Similarly, take the opportunity to mix and match fabrics. Mix a tweed jacket with cotton chinos, or corduroy trousers with a wool blazer. It not only helps you avoid looking mismatched as opposed to mixed and matched but also provides contrast in texture throughout the fit, which will help it look way more dynamic.

  • Throw a Fit: Make sure your suit separates have similar fits. Skinny trousers with a wide-lapeled blazer won't look quite right, nor will a slim-fit blazer with narrow lapels with a pair of flowy pleated trousers.

  • Keep It in Neutral: Suit separates can be a prime opportunity to work a statement piece into your wedding look, something with a bright color or bold pattern. That said, one of your suit separates should be on the neutral side. It anchors the outfit and helps the louder piece (or any bold accessories you're wearing) stand out rather than clash with everything else.

Where to Buy Suit Separates

Great suit separates can be found at most menswear hubs that sell traditional suiting (even matching sets tend to be sold separately). There are also plenty of specialty designers that focus on trousers specifically, which are great places to go for the bottom half of a great suit separates look. From reliable mall mainstays to up-and-coming designers, here are our favorite places to shop for suit separates.

J. Crew

J. Crew is still the most reliable name in accessible suiting, and that moniker extends to suit separates as well. In addition to making a wide range of trousers and blazers meant to be worn individually, the brand's suiting is exclusively sold in separates so you can pick and choose blazers and trousers as you see fit. Their Ludlow cut, which skews on the slimmer side, remains their most popular choice but fans of more generous-fitting and less structured suits should look into the Kenmare. Most suit pants at full price come in around $250 while blazers range from $3-400 depending on fit and fabric.

Banana Republic

Banana Republic's 2022 rebrand has been met with acclaim (we're big fans here, too) and their suiting is an easy standout. With flowy vintage-style fits and fabrics ranging from thick tweeds to summery linens, they're a great destination for suit separates that skew on the slightly more adventurous side. Most trousers come in at or under $200. Jackets tend to start around $360.

Kit Blake

For a great pair of dress pants to pair with your next suit separates look, check out Kit Blake. The brand exclusively produces top-of-the-line trousers, leaning into the flowy pleated look rather than the slim and tapered one (though they do have more tapered selections for those who are more comfortable with that sort of fit). Depending on the fabric from which the pants are made, you'll be looking at anything from $200 to $300 for their wares.


One of the hipper brands to hit the scene in the last few years is the British upstart Percival. The company makes a wide range of menswear, from overcoats to boxy streetwear-inspired tees. Their suiting is an especially reliable mainstay, known for slimmer cuts. First launched in a warm-weather linen blend, offerings have since expanded to a variety of colors and fabrics, making Percival the place to go to mix and match suit separates without having to hit up a different store. You'll be looking at less than $200 for a pair of pants and a little over $300 for a blazer.

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