Men's Fashion Basics - Part 21 - The Black Suit
Fade to Black

So I definitely think I’ve received enough e-mails from you beaners out there to know that you would like me to write an article on how to wear a Black Suit! I don’t know what it is, maybe you guys have been watching Reservoir Dogs too much or have way too many weddings and funerals to attend, but it appears to be in high demand. And I can see why. Classic and classy but never in an over the top or overstated way, the black suit is a go-to for most guys who need smarten things up a bit. Hopefully the previous two articles have shown that there are other options out there that are just as good, but it obvious that the Black Suit is here to stay.

It is probably due to its versatility. Regardless of what material you buy it in, black is always going to make you look good (yes and slimmer! We know…) which makes it great for all year round. Stick to wools and tweeds in the winter and cotton for the summer and you can’t go wrong. You can also pair nearly everything with it except for two important colours. The first being navy, we covered this already in the previous article but I will say it again. Due to their similar tones of colour it’s difficult to match black and navy together because of the black hole effect they have on the rest of your outfit. Everything gets sucked into them. And with something as dominating as a black suit, it’s best to leave navy out of the combination all together, so no navy ties or accessories or anything, OK?

The second colour – and use this at your discretion because I am about to be radical and hypocritical here – is brown. I know, I know, I’m always saying out with black, in with brown but hear me out. Brown and black as a colour scheme is not a good look, it’s too dark and far too earthy and muddy. Brown shoes with a black suit when you have an alternative coloured shirt and tie combination is a different story. That looks classic, stylish and still very business-like. All brown and black on the other hand… not so much. But obviously don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself and see how you feel about it. I may be wrong…

Ways to Wear

And as always here are some fool-proof ways of wearing a black suit: –

  • Go tonal – for the office think of the colours that compliment your suit and then stay within that family. So try a cement grey shirt with a darker charcoal tie. Or a pink shirt with a red striped tie. If you’re going with a blue shirt try and match it with a black tie or go with a classic white oxford-cloth for the ultimate business look. Why not then add a patterned handkerchief into the mix? Try and have a similar colour to the shirt or tie so as not to distract from the suit too much.
  • Amp up your tux – pair with a white tux shirt and crisp bow tie for a deceptive black-tie event look without having to spend all your savings on the real deal. Or for less black-tie but still formal situations, try a well fitting white shirt with the same bow tie but this time put on a slim pair of black jeans and Chelsea boots instead. Or if you want to be a bit or fashion forward try some black high-tops. I recently got a nice shiny patent pair from H&M for about ?30.
  • Out On The Tiles – for the times that you want to dress down the suit, you can’t go wrong with a white v-neck t-shirt. Try it with some neutral espadrilles and straw hat from casual drinks down by the river or swap it for a colourful polo shirt, black flip flops and a canvas drivers cap for the evenings out. Go crazy with the polo shirt, the colour of the suit means that it can anchor even the loudest of palettes out there. The same can also be applied to your shirts too, why not try some shirts in yellows and greens and keep them anchored with the suit and similarly muted neutral tie?

So there you have it, another suit to add to your ever growing collection. There was period of time not so long ago when the black suit seemed to drop off and be replaced the navy pinstripe but it seems that it has made a comeback in the office and evening environments again. It always purveys a sense of style and class and can be achieved with relative ease so long as you know what colours to pair it with. My personal favourites are tonal greys and reds and I have one particular red and white striped tie that I wear with it all the time. Do not forget that they aren’t joined at the hip, if you love the jacket or the trousers in particular, why not start wearing them with everything else you already have in your wardrobe?

Next week, summer suits!

Matt Allinson

Black Suits
The High street

Black Tailored SuitBlack Peak Lapel SuitBlack Skinny SuitBlack Skiny Suit

Mid Priced

CAMDEN SUIT: Grey Wool SuitKIER - Single breasted 1 button suitRELEASE - Single breasted 1 button Endurance Party Animal suit

Designer

Prada black SuitPrada New Shape SuitDior Homme Suit