Styling Guide: Matching Colors for Suit

When putting the Core color and Accent color chart to specific practice, these are Colors that traditionally go well together, but remember this is only a guide.

Jacket Color Shirt
(and/or Pocket Square*)
Tie (and/or Pocket Square*) Trousers for Sports Jackets Belt/Shoes

Navy

white, blue, yellow, pink blue,  gold, yellow, burgundy, red, purple gray, tan black, brown or cordovan
Gray white, gray, yellow, pink, lavender, blue black, white, gray, green,  blue-green, burgundy, navy, any primary or pastel colors gray, black, navy black, brown or cordovan
Brown white, ecru, blue, yellow tan, black, brown, rust, orange, red, gold, yellow, green, burgundy tan, gray,
a different shade of brown.
brown or cordovan
Tan blue, ecru, white tan, brown, rust, orange, red, navy, black, navy, gray, brown, darker tan brown, black or cordovan
Olive white, ecru, gray, pale yellow, pale blue burgundy, rust, green, tan, yellow gray, tan, navy, brown brown or cordovan

Black

white, light gray, yellow, blue black, white, grey, blue, olive, burgundy, any primary
or pastel colors
gray, tan black

*A note on Pocket Square coordination:

Compliment, don’t match, your shirt and/or tie with your pocket square.  If you do have a yen to match go for the shirt, never the tie.  For a very conservative look try plain white, even if it is a little stuffy.  There was a brief period such as the early 1940’s when men did match tie and pocket square, but thank goodness we’ve moved on.

There is some school that believes that the tie or jacket and pocket square should contrast in fabric.  If you’re wearing a silk tie opt for a linen square, or a tweed jacket is best worn with a heavier more casual square of wool or cashmere.  White linen would appear too formal.   This theory has some merit, but silk still looks great with any fabric.

Andy’s Tip for matching trousers to sports jackets:  The bone buttons of your jacket have a range of colors.  You can choose trousers that match any of the colors of the buttons and they will go perfectly.

Caution: You must pay attention to tone (adding gray), tint (adding white) and shade (adding black) of a hue (pure color).  Green and red are complementary colors, but if you match pure green and red you’ll look very holiday like, which is fine for December.  But burgundy and hunter green are quite stunning together.

1. Navy Jacket (see first & second from left)

2. Gray Jacket

3. Brown Jacket
 4. Tan

4. Olive

6. Black

You can also opt out of mixing and matching color and go:

Monochromatic: all one color, but different shades, tones or tints. All blue attire could consist of a Navy suit, light blue shirt, dark blue tie, blue pocket square, etc.  Add some contrast to this combination by using texture and pattern.  Some of your clothing items should be smooth; others rough in texture.  Some items could be patterned; others solid.

Some additional considerations:

Seasonal Colors: Some colors are more appropriate at certain times of year than others.  Like the pastels of yellow, are usually associated with summer, while autumn colors are rust, brown, green, and burgundy.  Wearing rust in the summer, or light yellow in the fall looks out of place.

Think Contrast:  Try one light element with two dark, or one dark with two lights, such as a charcoal suit, white shirt and red tie, or tan suit with yellow shirt and green tie. Or khaki pants and a dark blue shirt.

Color Value: Dark colors recede thus making you look thinner, and light colors project, which tends to bulk you up.  Dark colors are more formal than light colors.

Monochromatic: all one color, but different shades, tones or tints. All blue attire could consist of a navy suit, light blue shirt, dark blue tie, blue pocket square, etc. Add some contrast to this combination by using texture and pattern. Some of your clothing items should be smooth; others rough in texture. Some items could be patterned; others solid.

Neutral: We talked about neutral colors, but you can dress in shades of white, black, gray or beige.  Khaki pants, a white shirt, and a gray dress shirt are all neutrals.  It may not be a dynamic look, but it is sophisticated.

Seasonal Colors: Some colors are more appropriate at certain times of year than others.  Like the pastels of yellow, are usually associated with summer, while autumn colors are rust, brown, green, and burgundy.  Wearing rust in the summer, or light yellow in the fall looks out of place.

Color Value: Dark colors recede thus making you look thinner, and light colors project, which tends to bulk you up.  Dark colors are more formal than light.

Source: http://askandyaboutclothes.com/clothing/style-tips/practical-color-help

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3 thoughts on “Styling Guide: Matching Colors for Suit

  1. Funny, when I got married, I wore a black on charcoal microgrid suit with a black-as-sin Venetian cloth shirt and silver silk tie. It worked quite nicely. My bride was convinced it could not look good until she saw me put it together. Perhaps my dark gaze made it all work.

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