How to Choose a Colour for Suits

2016 04 13

When you are wearing a suit, the very first thing that anyone will notice is the colour, which means it will be the largest factor when making a first impression. There are many factors that go into suit colour selection. Suit wardrobes should be built on a foundation of versatile, conservative suits. Because charcoal grey, navy blue, and black suits can be worn in nearly every circumstance, they should be the most common colour in your wardrobe. Here are a few simple rules for how to choose a colour for suits.


Restrict yourself to foundational colours when buying your first suit.

Some colours can be worn in nearly any instance without consequence, while other colours will clash horribly depending on the environment. For example, wearing a white suit to a funeral is generally considered unacceptable.

If you are purchasing a single suit (a suit that is acceptable to wear at any formal occasion, thus allowing you to own only a single suit), then you need a suit that is broadly appropriate. You will want to buy one with dark, conservative colours. Black, navy blue, and charcoal grey are socially acceptable for nearly every formal situation. If you are having trouble deciding between those three colours, favour the charcoal grey because it is the most versatile.

Choose charcoal grey for maximum flexibility.

The colour complements any skin tone and body build, though men with medium build bodies look best in this colour. Furthermore, the colour can be paired with black or brown elements, lending to more flexibility with your wardrobe. Charcoal grey is particularly good for younger men, as the colour does not accentuate youth as much as other colours.

Choose navy blue for the office and for interviews.

The colour blue best complements men with lighter skin tones, and men of all body builds look fine in the colour, though thinner men will appreciate it more. When it comes to suits, navy blue is a very common and traditional colour, so you will never feel out of place.

Choose black for formal events and occasions.

The black suit works well at any formal event, including funerals, weddings, and proms. The colour matches all skin tones and body builds, though it can make the wearer appear slimmer. When worn outside of a formal occasion, the black suit can project an air of authority.

Choose brown for casual events and occasions.

Some men look best when wearing suits with earth tones, and brown is the staple earth tone. When choosing to wear brown, you should be aware that some people will not consider brown to be a socially acceptable colour for business settings.


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