black suit: shirt & tie color combos

Discussion in 'The Haberdashery' started by gaseousclay, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. ok, I don't quite have a decent selection of suits to choose from, namely, I only have 2 in my wardrobe, so I was wondering if some of you could offer some basic advice on how to get the most out of what I have rather than go out and spend hundreds on something I don't quite need right now.

    i'm speaking of the omnipresent black suit. i'm not talking about wearing it for interviews or even formal events, but rather just to wear out and about if the mood strikes me. my dilemma, what color shirt/tie combos would work best with a black suit? a white shirt seems incredibly boring regardless of tie color and I don't wanna look like one of the guys from Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction. what about blue? or even a pink shirt? I think I now know not to wear a shirt/tie that match in color but ones that compliment each other.
  2. I have a nice light purple shirt/dark purple patterned tie that I wear with my black suit. It looks sharp. :)
  3. :thumbup1:

    this is what I was thinking. the local weatherman on the news lastnight was wearing a bright yellow shirt and a yellow tie that matched the shirt exactly - it was starting to burn out my retinas. similar colors are ok, but only if they contrast and compliment each other like your purple shirt/tie combo. but what about shirt/tie combos that aren't the same hue? for example, a pink shirt with a black tie or light blue shirt with a red striped tie (as I wore previously)?
  4. +1. A violet shirt (with or without a dark violet tie) looks very nice (but looks even nicer on a dark blue suit).

    Black suits are quite formal - and go in my opinion best with a white shirt and a formal tie. It is by no means boring however. Just classy. You will never be underdressed wearing a black suit and a white shirt.

    Dark blue suits and grey suits (not charcoal) leave more room for improvisation.
  5. You can have a field day with black suit and white shirt-- almost anything goes! But i lean towards a bright, solid tie. A really clean, elegant look is black suit, white shirt, light blue solid silk tie...try it.

    Lavender or pink shirt goes well, but then tie becomes trickier. Lot of guys freaked out by pink or lavender shirts though.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  6. my only problem is that I have very few solid ties -- the ones I do own are black. the brighter colored ties in my wardrobe are made up of the patterned/striped variety (mostly blues) and a red/black/striped tie. I just bought a lot of 5 ties on ebay the other day, one of which is a nice blue with a subtle dot pattern, unfortunately, it probably won't come in the mail til saturday. what about neutral colored ties with white?
  7. Try them on and see how it looks...but you can probably get some nice solids from a local retailer for less than the BB ties. Not sure what you mean by neutral, but it just might look a bit low key. Black suit pretty somber.

    You can also do dark shirts, but that look is a little sinister, trendy. Not conservative. Some men's clothing purists do not like the black suit at all.
    Preppy types avoid them. One of the dangers for Angelenos and New Yorkers is that the black suit has become the mainstay for town car/limo drivers which are very prevalent here and in NY.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  8. I'd go white shirt spread collar and a Hermes Tie such as this....Show Stopper...they are elegant ties and you'll feel like Royalty wearing one.
  9. I'm by no means a mens clothing purest or clothes snob. I have 2 suits: 1 black and 1 charcoal. I tend to play around a bit more with my black suit. I wear it with white, black, silver, violet, pink, light blue, royal blue, and even a deep red shirt. The ties complement the shirt and suit but are not the same color. I'll pair a pink tie with a white, black, or silver shirt, or a red tie with a black, white, or blue shirt, or a silver tie with a black, blue, or violet shirt. I can't for the life of me remember what tie I wear with my red shirt but black should work. These combinations are not traditional or approved of by some and my be a bit sinister looking on occasion, but my wife loves them (she thinks white dress shirts are dull).
  10. I like this idea. I think I'll go with a blue shirt and silver tie
  11. pretty much anything but brown or navy will look good.
  12. I'm not a fan of black suits at all. But if you're wearing one for going out, I would probably just skip the tie and wear a shirt with an open collar. Whatever color shirt you wear, just make sure it's not one that would have you mistaken for staff at the bar, club, etc. you're going out to.
  13. I do this on occasion as well, but not very often. I love the look of a suit and tie. I love my black suit! Good point about not looking like the wait staff.
  14. anything.
  15. I'm going to have to speak frankly and hit you where it hurts.

    The black suit is inappropriate for going out to casual events in. Unless its night time.

    You will look much too formal. Sorry.

    But if you do wear it to the opera or something fancy, try pink or lavender shirts and a colorful tie to lighten the sombreness of the black.
  16. no offense taken. I wasn't really thinking of wearing the suit to casual events anyways. it would ideally be for more formal events, but as some of you mentioned, I wouldn't want people to think i'm going to a funeral either. I guess i'm looking for versatility with black suits and what I can get away with.
  17. They just are not that versatile. You can get away with black at night to formal occasions, but other than that; not really much use for the black suit. Mine it tucked away in the furthest recesses of my closet.
  18. The shirt should be white or at least a light colour and the tie can then really be any colour but cartoon characters should be left to the TV.
  19. I have a goldish color shirt with a tie in that color edged in black...looks great..with a black suit it really is HARD to mess up.
  20. I dunno. I think a black suit can be just have to be creative in how you present yourself. a black suit with an open collar white shirt for example, can be casual but sharp at the same time.

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