Men's Fashion Basics - Part 19 - The Grey Suit
Shades of Grey

With the last couple of week’s articles done and dusted, you should now know what you’re looking for when purchasing a suit and have a rough idea of how to make it suit your body type as well. But now the real question is which suit are you going to buy? Because let’s face it, there are plenty out there! With this being fashion basics, I’ll try to keep things as simple as possible on our way to building a respectable business wardrobe to compliment your beautiful casual one.

So we should start off with the most versatile and indestructible suit of them all; the grey suit. An amazing piece of tailoring that can see you through from your first day on the job all the way to your final presentation to the board. There is nothing it can’t do. Even if you’re only going to need your suit for weddings/funerals/special occasions, this is still the one suit you should always have in your wardrobe. I would suggest that you get it in a medium grey colour because lighter shades will suggest Southern American Lawyer From Louisiana and charcoal is reserved for Cary Grant and Michael Caine. A medium grey can sit itself perfectly in the middle, making it as appropriate for a summer wedding as well as your daily office work.

But what can you wear with it? Well, if I’m being honest, what can’t you wear with a grey suit? It is such a versatile colour anyway so as long as the fit and feel of it are bang on then you can’t go wrong. As anyone will tell you, pairing it with a crisp white shirt with black tie and shoes is a great look, if a little too easy and obvious at times. But it will also go well with soft blue and pink shirts for simple way of adding colour into your suit and almost any colour tie under the sun will look great next to grey. However, my personal favourite to pair with a grey suit are items that add a pattern to an otherwise subdued outfit. Gingham shirts especially in black, blue or red/pink will always look great and stripe ties really help bring it to life. Just remember to stick to one pattern for now, so if the shirt has a pattern keep the tie solid so as to anchor the whole look and vice versa.

Ways to Wear

So here are some fool-proof ways of wearing your new grey suit: –

  • Wear a black and white gingham shirt with a knitted dark red tie and black shoes. Maybe even throw in a grey waistcoat for those Mondays where you need to look a little more ‘put together’. A tie bar wouldn’t go a miss either!
  • For those early spring days when it’s too hot for the overcoat but too cold not to layer, reach for a v-neck jumper. I’d go for one in either black or navy because they really compliment this colour suit. Lose the tie as well to separate yourself from the rest of the tied masses and the jumper will retain the style and elegance. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous why not try a cardigan over the shirt? Or maybe a more exciting colour like red or blue?
  • Get Striped! An easy way of adding an exciting element to your suit is by adding stripes to it. In line with the prep look that is getting bigger and bigger this summer, reach for a striped blue shirt and a navy rep tie. So long as the stripes aren’t the same width as each other and colours are still in the same family, you can apply this to any colour. Just always make sure you make the tie darker than the shirt colour, you want to keep some class involved.
  • Finally, for the times when you may want to wear your suit somewhere other than the office or a formal occasion, wear it with a solid black shirt. Lose the tie and belt (see Brad Pitt in the Ocean’s films), loosen the top button and swap your black shoes for some chocolate brown loafers, brogues or this summer’s go-to shoes, Boat Shoes. In fact, you all know policy on brown shoes… always wear them!

So there you have it, some reasons on why having a grey suit is such a great investment and some great ways to wear it. But don’t limit yourself to using the suit as a whole, feel free to wear the jacket and trousers separate. Throwing on the jacket on your way out of the door is a great way to add structure to whatever outfit you have on. Similarly, suit trousers are great items to wear with your t-shirts to create a slightly different take on smart-casual (try wearing them with leather jackets too, it looks amazing). But really guys, have fun with it because the options are endless and it will soon become a favourite piece in your collection.

Next week we’ll be covering the next best thing; the Navy Suit.

Matt Allinson

Editor: New Season Grey Suits

So as always I like to be able to show you some of the suits that are available online at the moment. I have stuck to the grey shades so hopefully you can get a better idea of which colour tone would work best for you.

The High street & Low Cost

Topman Grey Slim SuitTopman Grey Black Trim SuitBurton Grey Regular SuitBurton Grey Tonic Slim Suit

New Look Grey Suit JacketNew Look Grey Suit JacketASOS Tailoring Grey Pindot SuitASOS TAILORED CHECK SUIT

Mid Priced

French Connection Parker Beatles Sharkskin SuitFrench Connection Parker Coldplay Cotton SuitReiss Timeless Two Button Classic Suit

Ted Baker JUGGEL - Single breasted 2 button Global suitTed Baker JOKERS - Single breasted 2 button Endurance Slick Rick suitTed Baker JOPALL - Herringbone stripe blazer

Ben Sherman Camden SuitBen Sherman City Fit SuitKenneth Cole Peak lapel mohair suit jacket

A39 Savile Row Plain JacketNew & Lingwood Herringbone jacketBen Sherman Plain Kings fit suit jacket

Designer

Paul Smith Westbourne 9565-L02 Light Grey SuitPaul Smith Westbourne 9565-L51 Grey Pindot Suit Hugo Boss Formal slim fit textured weave suit

Maison Martin MargielaBrownslanvin

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