The Surprising Versatility of the Off White Odd Jacket

A colour to set you apart.

The off white – or cream – or beige – or (any one of 50 different names for a different shade – odd jacket may quickly conjure images of James Bond-esque dinner suits when you think about it. It’s perhaps the most common use of the colour above the waist. That, or the natural coloured linen jackets you might see on the occasional punter at the races in the summer.
The colour is a natural staple in trousers, however.
You’ll have undoubtedly noticed that shades of white are some of the most popular trouser colours, after grey and blue. Perhaps this leads you to wonder; if this colour is so versatile and wearable as trousers, why don’t more people wear it in jacketing?

Largely, in Australia at least, it probably owes in part to lack of RTW options in this colour. Apart from in chinos, shades of white suffered somewhat of a recession in popularity, and thus availability, in recent years.
But I want to make a case why it shouldn’t suffer from that any longer.

Because an off white odd jacket is quite a versatile wardrobe piece.

Most popular jacket colours work with white trousers, and the same happens vice versa.

A few months ago, I picked up a white odd jacket by Anthony Squires. It’s a simple piece in plain fabric, with notched lapels and horizontal flapped pockets. I didn’t expect to get such a variety of combinations out of it, but it’s been surprisingly versatile.
I should have known, of course. Just like I mentioned above, white trousers go with just about everything.
So why shouldn’t it be the same for jackets?

I’ve noticed that it works well with both warm tones and cold tones.

Warm tones in particular tend to bring out a warmer shade from the jacket, which gives it a more summer-oriented character. This works well for both business wear…

…and it works quite nicely with casual wear and bright tones, too.

Pairing the jacket with cooler tones often seems to bring out a starker white from its colour. This makes it handy for pairing with business oriented shades of grey, and emphasises highlights in high/low contrast outfits.

I pair these outfits with a variety of shoe colours, including various shades of brown and black dress shoes.

The white jacket provides an excellent platform to combine with navy trousers as well. It gives additional advantage for men who wish to wear bolder shirt, tie and pocket square combinations, as the white provides no competition to loud combinations. I don’t often wear loud shirts together with loud ties, but I’ve found that I can do it and retain a semblance of taste when I throw the white jacket on top.
For example, here’s a horse racing themed outfit from a few months ago:

Just like with white trousers, the options for wearing white jackets are vast. To me, its versatility is almost on the navy blazer level.
I don’t think this would cooperate with jeans as well as a navy blazer though.

The colour is easy to wear, but naturally caring for it can pose more of a challenge. It does show the creases more, so you have to keep it regularly pressed if creases bother you. And of course, you have to be careful where you put it, and where you sit!

Concluding Thoughts: Give it a go!

Wearing a white jacket has been quite fun, and unique too. Since there aren’t many RTW options for it available in Australia, it’s a nice unique flair for your outfit.
If you can get your hands on a white jacket, give it a go!

Hope you found this useful,

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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