In the 2004 film Layer Cake, Daniel Craig wears striped suit jackets with jeans instead of the matching suit trousers. It was a popular fashion trend at that time, and it is still popular in some circles. Just as the mullet hairstyle has been described as “business in the front, party in the back”, wearing a pinstriped suit jacket with jeans has a similar effect. The suit jacket on the top is all business whilst the denim jeans on the bottom are as casual as trousers can be. Those who favour the mullet may see some appeal in this unorthodox combination, but like the mullet, this is not a conventionally attractive look. It’s difficult to make any tailored jacket look good with jeans, but rustic tweeds come closest since they match the rough, heavy look of denim. Robert Redford shows a great example of how to pair a tweed jacket with jeans in the 1975 film Three Days of the Condor.
Craig’s jacket in Layer Cake can by no means be called a sports coat. Sports coats are, as the name suggests, sporty, whilst pinstriped jackets are business wear and part of a suit. The main thing that separates a suit jacket from a sports coat is the cloth it is made from. Sports coats are made from a material that has texture, whether it’s tweed, hopsack, cashmere, silk, linen, corduroy or any number of other materials. These materials are either solid or have a checked pattern. Suits can also be made of any of these textured materials, but they would informal sports suits and not business suits. Business suits are typically made from smooth worsteds and sometimes flannel. They may be solid, semi-solid, striped or have a subtle check.
Certain cloths can work for both business suits and sports coats, like solid navy serge, bolder checks and woollen flannel. Jackets in these materials, however, need sporty details to make them work as sports coats, These details may include contrasting buttons, swelled edges, patch pockets or slanted pockets. But most worsteds don’t work well as odd jackets, especially not jackets with pinstripes or chalk stripes. And you can’t just put contrasting horn buttons on any suit jacket and turn it into a sports coat.
Daniel Craig’s navy pinstripe jacket is a suit jacket because it is made in a worsted business suit material. The button two jacket is tailored with straight shoulders, gently roped sleeveheads, a lean chest and a suppressed waist. It was most likely purchased ready-to-wear from an English brand. The jacket has a high button stance, straight flap pockets, four buttons on the cuffs and double vents. The jacket mostly fits well, though the sleeves are too long.
Craig wears the suit jacket with medium wash denim jeans. The jeans have a medium-low rise, five pocket design and straight legs. A wide brown belt holds up the jeans. Craig’s shoes are dark brown chelsea boots.
Craig wears two different shirts with this outfit, a white formal shirt and a grey t-shirt. The white shirt has a tall two-button spread collar, two-button cuffs, front placket stitched 3/8″ from the edge in the traditional English fashion. The placket means that the shirt is from an English brand, and the tall collar likely signifies a brand with a slight fashion edge or a special fashion line. Craig wears the shirt tucked into his jeans.
When Craig doesn’t wear the white shirt, he wears only a grey crew neck, raglan-sleeve t-shirt under the jacket. Unlike with the white shirt, Craig does not tuck the t-shirt. Though the body of the shirt drapes over Craig’s body, the short sleeves fit tightly around his upper arm. Though t-shirts go well with jeans, it makes the suit jacket look even more out of place with the jeans. T-shirts have a practical disadvantage with tailored jackets. Whilst shirts with a collar and long sleeves protect the jacket from the body’s oils and shedding, t-shirts offer the jacket not protection. Because jackets are considerably more expensive than shirts are, it makes sense to protect them.