Selecting the right suit style and suit colour is key to making a statement in any setting. Besides choosing the right suit fabric, the colour of your suit plays a significant role in determining your overall appearance. Not only does it affect your visual height and maturity, but it also reflects your personality and sense of style.
While matching a suit jacket and trousers of the same colour fabric is a classic choice for a more formal look, modern trends favour mixing and matching casual suit jackets and trousers to create a unique look that showcases your personality.
Whether you're heading to a wedding or a job interview, selecting the right suit style and suit colour is crucial to leaving a lasting impression. So, don't be afraid to experiment with different colours and styles to find the perfect suit that reflects your unique sense of style and personality.
In this article, we'll delve into the importance of suit colour and how it can affect your overall appearance. We'll provide you with tips on how to match your suit jacket from shallow to deeper colours, so you can mix and match your wardrobe with confidence and create eye-catching looks.
- The concept of wearing a suit in neutral colours
- The concept of colour
- Wearing a suit
- In monochromatic colour
- In polychromatic colour
To better understand colour, let's start with the concept of wearing a suit in neutrals. From there, we'll explore the concept of colour, including same colour and mixed colour outfits.
It's said that the colours perceived by men and women can differ. What do you think?
Based on my experience, the image above is in fact quite accurate. Men are generally less sensitive to colour, so we suggest taking a few minutes to read the following.
The concept of wearing a suit in neutral colours
（Image source：Pinterest, Black Label）
Black, white and grey
Colour plays an important role in our perception of the world around us, and this is especially true when it comes to choosing the right suit colour. When it comes to suit style, there are a wide variety of options to choose from, each with its own unique look and feel. However, it's important to pay attention not only to the style of the suit, but also to the colour.
Neutral colours like black, white, and grey are not part of the visible spectrum, but they are often considered to be holy grail for men when it comes to dressing because they are versatile and easy to match with any other colour. These colours are also great for more formal occasions where a classic look is preferred.
That being said, it's important to remember that there are other options available as well, including bold and vibrant colours that can make a statement and help you stand out in a crowd. Ultimately, the right suit style and colour will depend on your personal taste and the occasion you are dressing for, so don't be afraid to experiment and try out different combinations to find the one that works best for you.
The concept of colour
Hue is the visual quality of color, typically represented by the hue circle which displays different hues in each row. When it comes to matching suit colours, it's generally safer to avoid combining multiple bright or highly saturated colours, as this requires a more advanced level of styling expertise.
Brightness, also known as lightness, refers to the depth of colour. It can be understood as the proportion of black/white mixed in the colour. Adding white will make the colour lighter, while adding black will make it darker.
On the other hand, saturation, also known as chroma, refers to the intensity of colour. The higher the saturation, the more vibrant the colour will be due to the higher ratio of red, yellow, and blue primary colours. Conversely, lower saturation means the colour is closer to black and white.
It's important to remember the concept of low saturation in suit colour.
As you can see from the low-saturation T-Shirts in the picture above, these colours have a subtle and understated effect. The best thing about low-lightness and chroma colours is their versatility in matching with other pieces. Even colours that are typically difficult to match, such as red and green, can work well when the saturation is reduced.
This will be discussed further below, so keep in mind the importance of low saturation when choosing your suit style and colour.
How to wear a suit with style?
Now that we've covered the basics, let's talk how to put everything together. Your suit outfit can consist of several items, including the suit jacket, trousers, shirt, t-shirt or turtleneck, and accessories such as ties or pocket squares.
When it comes to matching colours, I suggest you start by considering how many hues you want to wear. Generally, it's best to limit yourself to three hues to avoid overcomplicating your outfit. Keep in mind that wearing more than three colours can be tricky, and is best left to those with more experience in styling suits.
Single colour outfit
Monochrome outfits are under-utilised but highly effective when it comes to suiting up. Typically, darker and neutral tones are used to create a sharp contrast with the skin tone of your face. For example, a black or dark grey suit jacket paired with a shirt of the same hue creates a brightening effect (particularly for those with darker skin tones) and makes men look taller.
Same colour outfit
Matching your outfit with the same colour is similar to monochrome but with more options available as you can make use of a gradient level of the chosen colour. The process is straightforward, select a hue that matches your skin tone and then adjust the brightness slightly to create your outfit with style.
Mixing and matching colours is a common way of wearing suits in daily life. It involves pairing suits and shirts of different colours, and adding accessories like ties to achieve a three-colour combination. In recent years, the formal sense of wearing suits has declined globally, with more people opting for casual suit jackets and mix-and-match suits and trousers in the workplace.
To avoid mistakes when mixing colours, remember these two dressing principles:
- Try not to mix more than three colours unless you're confident in your colour palette.
- Try not to mix more than one high chroma/saturation colour.
If you're unsure what chroma/saturation means, go back and read it again! Below, we'll look at several examples of suit colour and style combinations, starting with simpler matches and gradually increasing difficulty. This should be sufficient for most men.
Mixing Neutrals for Suit Style
Mixing and matching neutral colours is a popular choice for suits, such as a two-piece grey or black suit with a white shirt. The white shirt is a versatile neutral colour that can be paired with almost any suit colour, making it an excellent choice for a professional look. Neutral colours are also widely accepted as a business image. Whether you choose to mix and match two or three colours, neutral colours are a safe and stylish option.
If you are new to mixing and matching suits, try experimenting with different combinations of jackets, trousers and shirts using neutral colours. Using neutral colours will help you achieve a formal and professional look, even when mixing and matching.
Mixing Neutrals and Colours for Suit Style
Mixing neutral colours and a pop of colour is an unbeatable way of achieving a great outfit. Choose a colour that matches your skin tone and mix it with one or two neutral colours like black, white, or grey. This combination can be achieved easily for a stylish look. You can also wear a difficult-to-match colour with a neutral-coloured shirt for an effortlessly chic outfit.
If you want to try this style on a budget, you can purchase black, white and grey trousers as neutral-coloured basics and pair them with your current suit jacket. This way, you can triple the number of styles for less than $5,000.
Colour mixing and matching for your suit
Matching the right suit style and suit colour can be a challenging task, but it doesn't have to be a headache. I'll give you some practical tips to help you get started.
- The magic of reducing colour saturation
When it comes to matching tricky colours, like red and green, reducing the saturation of the colour can make a big difference. By using low-saturation outfits, you can even mix and match more than three colours with ease. For example, in the casual suit photo above, all except for the one on the far right are mixed and matched with more than three colours, yet they still look great. If you want to use a bright colour, try limiting it to one high-saturation colour and pair it with neutral or low-saturation colours.
If you really want to incorporate bright colours, we have two suggestions:
- Do not exceed one high-saturation colour and use a neutral or low-saturation colour as a match.
- Unless you're very confident, we suggest using plain colours as the main tone and using high-saturation colours as accessories such as ties or pocket squares.
By following these simple tips, you can mix and match different suit styles and suit colours without feeling overwhelmed or confused. Remember, it's all about finding the right balance and pairing complementary colours.
- The ultimate mastery: Wearing contrasting colours in suit
Contrasting colours can be difficult to use in suit colour combinations, but when done well, they can make you look energetic and unique. However, it is important to note that it can be challenging to pull off. To help you out, here are some successful examples of contrasting colours in outfits:
Yes, I can’t find successful examples of contrasting colours in men's suits, if you do come across one, feel free to send it my way! It's always interesting to see unique and successful suit style combinations.
Colour matching is an ever-evolving field, and the tips mentioned above are just a summary of some of the more commonly used dressing methods. While these tips provide examples for reference, it's important to note that there's always room for creativity and experimentation when it comes to suiting up.
For formal occasions where you're wearing a suit jacket, it's best to start with the same colour or neutral colours such as black, grey or navy blue. Neutral colours paired with a pop of colour can also be a good choice.
If you're looking to make a statement at a casual event, you can try mixing and matching low-saturation colours for a unique and eye-catching look. Remember, the key is to find a balance between colours that complement each other while also expressing your personal style.
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