Men’s Outfit Ideas: The High / Low Look

by Barron Cuadro  |  in Smart Casual

I’m a big proponent of understanding basic style rules, and then bending those rules (maybe even breaking a couple) to make them your own. Doing so will help you create a personal style that’s completely yours.

The idea of a high / low look isn’t a new thing when it comes to men’s outfit ideas, but if you haven’t yet incorporated this style into your daily life, why not?

In this quick article, we’ll break it down for you so you know how to use the high / low style for yourself.

What is High / Low Style?

High/low (or high-low) style is this general idea of:

  • combining high-fashion, tailored, and custom pieces with more casual, everyday pieces, or,
  • the combining of the higher-priced items in your closet with your less expensive items

Most people have outfits in mind for certain occasions. So, jeans and a t-shirt for going to the store, suit for work or a wedding, etc.

The idea behind high / low style is blurring the lines between formal and casual, or expensive and affordable (something else I’m a big proponent of) so you take on a more smart, sharp casual look. That way, you’re never too overdressed for any occasion, but never underdressed either.

Common High / Low Outfit Ideas

Probably the most basic high / low style mixture out there? Denim with a sport coat. Looks great, classes up the denim. Throw on some great leather shoes and in 95% of situations, you’d be dressed appropriately.

Waistcoat, denim, dress shirt, sneakers. BOOM.

Some other ideas? A waistcoat and dress shirt with denim and sneakers, suiting trousers with a simple, fitted sweatshirt. suiting trousers with sneakers and a thick cardigan sweater.

Think mixing high and low can’t look good? It sure can. Remember, if everything fits well, you’ll have a much easier time putting things together and making sure your look is polished.

Other Reasons To Have a High / Low Style

1.) Perfect way to utilize both casual / dressier clothing in your closet

If you’re like most dudes, the suit you bought and had tailored sits in your closet for most of the year, only seeing the light of day when a special occasion arises.

You need to make use of that suit more often. Break it up and use parts of it throughout the week.

  • Throw on your suit jacket with your favorite pair of denim
  • Wear the trousers with a sweater and some sneakers

Mixing a suit in with other, more casual pieces, keeps it interesting, and adds another dimension of awesomeness to your everyday style.

Here’s a great article (with images) from Dan T at Articles of Style. He does the high / low, dressy / casual thing really well.

2.) Lets you be more creative with your combos

It’s easy to get into a routine with your clothing.

And there’s nothing wrong with a uniform, but if you’re still figuring out what defines your personal style, you don’t want to get stuck early on.

You want to experiment and try as many things as possible, so you can land upon something that’s uniquely your own.

Ready to use this outfit idea?

It can take a bit of getting used to if you’ve never mixed two seemingly different types of clothing together before. But I believe in you!

Wondering if you can pair X with Y? Not sure how to pull off slim trousers with anything but the suit jacket it came with? DM me on Instagram.