What Jacket to Wear With a Pair of Tartan Trousers?

21 February 2023

Where once one would need express permission from the Queen to wear the Royal Stewart tartan, today, tartan’s distinctive personality is known across the world. Ancient tartans run in the same crowds as aristocrats and punk icons, and new variations appear constantly.

Man wearing Andrew Brookes Tartan trousers

Tartan trousers have succeeded in staple status in any sophisticated man’s wardrobe, but often gentlemen find themselves unsure how to pair the right jacket. The best thing is, there are over 5000 tartan weaves available, so you’re always guaranteed to find a design that suits your individual taste, no matter the occasion.

Andrew Brookes Tartan suits

Tartan itself is defined by a multitude of factors. A crisscrossing of rich primary, secondary and tertiary colours, runs symmetrically in both the warp and weft (left and right) of the cloth to create ‘stepped’ diagonal lines. The fabric’s first appearance is documented in 3rd century China before making its way into the Scottish highlands in the 4th century where it became eponymous with Gaelic heritage and entered into the wider public’s consciousness.

Since then, the Scots quickly and sincerely adopted the tartan with unfeigned loyalty to its bold and booming colours. Today, it is a symbol of patriotism and above all else, it’s unequivocally sophisticated.

But whether you’re a monarch, punk rock band member or Prime Minister, we’re here to guide you on how to wear and pair your tartan correctly.


For a laid-back, casual look, pairing your tartan trousers with a tweed jacket or waistcoat is a fail-safe way to look polished enough whilst still maintaining a slightly more casual style.

Tweed jackets are a great contemporary option as they have a similar cut to a modern suit-style jacket, adding subtle structure and refinement to a daytime look. We recommend choosing a navy or grey tone tweed to give you more versatility with your look as they will compliment a range of tartans whether they be bright and bold or subtle and understated. With a tweed jacket or waistcoat, you can also choose to wear a bow tie or straight tie in a colour that matches either your jacket or tartan.

Man wearing Tartan trousers & grey suit jacket


If you’re looking to take your tartan into the corporate world then the rules change slightly. First, we recommend choosing a muted tartan so to keep the look professional and workplace appropriate. Dark-hued greens, greys and blues work best.

As for your jacket, opt for wool for structure, and layer over a classic, crisp white shirt. Keep your jacket within the professional colour palette with dark navy, classic blue or grey. We recommend avoiding black as it can be too stately in this setting. Add a straight tie that is also a similar shade to give it a business finish. Muted colours for both the trousers, jacket and tie make the look cohesive and suitable for corporate activities.

Black Tie or wedding

Going to a formal party, black tie event or wedding? Then a Prince Charlie jacket is an undeniably great choice. The Prince Charlie is a decorative double-breasted jacket with peaked lapels. It was designed as a modern alternative to the formal doublet for younger gentlemen and has since become synonymous with formal black tie highland dress. Paired with either a traditional or contemporary tartan will give you an authentic Celtic look for your formal events.

Couple on their wedding day

We’re also partial to a black velvet tuxedo jacket. The velvet adds a touch of luxury and a plush standard to your tartan. Keep it slim, trim and taut and add a bow tie that coordinates with the colour of your tartan and you’ll lead your next event with unrivalled sophistication.

Men wearing Tartan trousers & navy suit jackets

We hope you’re feeling inspired and confident to take your tartan out for a spin. As a whole, tartan makes for a versatile and suiting fabric, allowing for great variation in styling. Our recommendations make for a great starting point if you’re new to styling your tartan trousers, or simply in the case of looking to update your wardrobe attire.

At Andrew Brookes, we are a leading supplier of bespoke suits in Edinburgh. Through decades of experience, we have cultivated a reputation for creating modern, handmade and timeless suits for any need and requirement. If you’re looking for a bespoke suit that accurately reflects your individuality and taste, book an appointment with us today. We look forward to our journey together.


At Andrew Brookes Tailoring, we offer a wide range of luxury tailoring services to our customers. Offering bespoke suits, designs and accessories suitable for every occasion, check out our collections below.

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Casual or smart? Whatever the occasion our range of versatile polos and T-shirts has something suitable for every event.



Want to add some stylish accessories to your new look? We can help with this, too. We’re home to a vast selection of stunning belts, ties, pocket squares, sporrans and much more.