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Resolved: The Black Suit - Page 3

post #31 of 48
This again

I personally like the minimalist black suit, a la Helmut Lang. I do agree that they are very austere though, and that really, only go with white, silver, and maybe cream (but for accents only). Anything else never really quite works, that I've seen (the worst, by far, are those guys who wear French Blue shirts and rep ties with a black suit, usually ill-fitting. Oy ) So, they are great for the whole "Men in Black" look, but that's about it. Not versatile the way a midnight or charcoal or mid-grey suit is.

As for Manton's book, he certainly doesn't like black suits, but I think that you are all just taking the whole thing a little too seriously. After all, "The Suit" was meant to emulate "The Prince" down to the contradictions and overstatements.
post #32 of 48
I have worn black suits with a conservative but colorful butterfly bow tie, and antiqued brown shoes.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy
This again

I personally like the minimalist black suit, a la Helmut Lang. I do agree that they are very austere though, and that really, only go with white, silver, and maybe cream (but for accents only). Anything else never really quite works, that I've seen (the worst, by far, are those guys who wear French Blue shirts and rep ties with a black suit, usually ill-fitting. Oy ) So, they are great for the whole "Men in Black" look, but that's about it. Not versatile the way a midnight or charcoal or mid-grey suit is.

As for Manton's book, he certainly doesn't like black suits, but I think that you are all just taking the whole thing a little too seriously. After all, "The Suit" was meant to emulate "The Prince" down to the contradictions and overstatements.

Grey shirts and bright red striped shirts also go well with a black suit, as does a wedgewood blue.

I disagree that we are taking this statement too seriously by Manton. His opinion is he doesnt like black suits. OK, but that's about as far as that rule extends. He put it in his book and made a huge point of it, damning Hollywood in the process. Hollywood has a much more powerful influence on clothes. And if men think it looks good, guess what... There was a time people thought Charcoals and navies too severe, over time they became the standard. Men wear striped ties with striped shirts and suits. That's objectively an aesthetic cluster .... but we consider those standard now too.

As for the author himself, Ive had first hand experience at his lack of elasticity about his positions on things, especially when feeling threatened. Why would I suppose that he suddenly gets positively giddy in this book? He makes many sweeping assertions in the book, perhaps to sound confident. He can back his statements up, just like I, and presumably anyone else, can back their statements up who wants to be taken seriously.

I suppose the bottom line is it doesnt really matter what role we want the black suit to play. Black suits are becoming more common whether or not anyone likes it or not. Im not sure there are any professionals under 60 who make a distinction between black and the darkest charcoals or navies. Falls under the category of shaking one's fist at the darkness, or blackness as the case may be.
post #34 of 48
I'll agree with the grey and to a lesser extent the wedgewood, but not the bright red stripes. The contrast is too garish, but without the requisit drama to make it appealing, imo. Maybe a maroon silk shirt, but only in Vegas, when you're doing Vegas I actually have a black and purple silk paisley shirt with an oversized collar by Etro (where I developed my love of the paisley) that I do actually wear with a black suit in Vegas. But then it's pure costume. I also wear the whole thing with sliver accents and large framed sunglasses. It's fun, but I do look like (with my shaved head) some Asian gang soldier. I do think that there is a marked difference between even the deepest charcoal and darkest midnight blue, and black. The former two are *much* easier to match things with, and I expect that someone like you would see the differences. I disagree with you about Manton. Anyone whose read through early posts know that Manton and I disagree about a great many things, but I think it unfair to take the book as something other than what it is: an entertaining book about suits written in the manner of "The Prince". Of course the book is going to sound slightly strident. He is writing about suits in the same manner that someone wrote about politics, after all. I mean, c'mon, that's part of the joke. If you think that the joke is not funny, well, that is a different matter altogether, but I think that some people are either really not getting it, and are getting hung up on details that they disgree with. For the record, I wear designer suits, black suits, like the French silhouette, and am surely bringing about my own ruin. (Actually, I wear jeans and teeshirts and sneakers pretty much everyday, so I imagine that I'm already thoroughly ruined.) I don't have to agree with the points in the book to enjoy it thoroughly. As for Manton, the man? I consider him a friend, and I'll leave it at that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Film_Noir_Buff
Grey shirts and bright red striped shirts also go well with a black suit, as does a wedgewood blue. I disagree that we are taking this statement too seriously by Manton. His opinion is he doesnt like black suits. OK, but that's about as far as that rule extends. He put it in his book and made a huge point of it, damning Hollywood in the process. Hollywood has a much more powerful influence on clothes. And if men think it looks good, guess what... There was a time people thought Charcoals and navies too severe, over time they became the standard. Men wear striped ties with striped shirts and suits. That's objectively an aesthetic cluster .... but we consider those standard now too. As for the author himself, Ive had first hand experience at his lack of elasticity about his positions on things, especially when feeling threatened. Why would I suppose that he suddenly gets positively giddy in this book? He makes many sweeping assertions in the book, perhaps to sound confident. He can back his statements up, just like I, and presumably anyone else, can back their statements up who wants to be taken seriously. I suppose the bottom line is it doesnt really matter what role we want the black suit to play. Black suits are becoming more common whether or not anyone likes it or not. Im not sure there are any professionals under 60 who make a distinction between black and the darkest charcoals or navies. Falls under the category of shaking one's fist at the darkness, or blackness as the case may be.
post #35 of 48
Black is for minister.
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy
I'll agree with the grey and to a lesser extent the wedgewood, but not the bright red stripes. The contrast is too garish, but without the requisit drama to make it appealing, imo. Maybe a maroon silk shirt, but only in Vegas, when you're doing Vegas But I think that there is a marked difference between even the deepest charcoal and darkest midnight blue, and black. The former two are *much* easier to match things with, and I expect that someone like you would see the differences.

I disagree with you about Manton. Anyone whose read through early posts know that Manton and I disagree about a great many things, but I think it unfair to take the book as something other than what it is: an entertaining book about suits written in the manner of "The Prince". Of course the book is going to sound slightly strident. He is writing about suits in the same manner that someone wrote about politics, after all. I mean, c'mon, that's part of the joke. If you think that the joke is not funny, well, that is a different matter altogether, but I think that some people are either really not getting it, and are getting hung up on details that they disgree with. For the record, I wear designer suits, black suits, like the French silhouette, and am surely bringing about my own ruin. (Actually, I wear jeans and teeshirts and sneakers pretty much everyday, so I imagine that I'm already thoroughly ruined.) I don't have to agree with the points in the book to enjoy it thoroughly.

As for Manton, the man? I consider him a friend, and I'll leave it at that.


I do see the differences between darkest charcoal and black, me and 200 other people. Everyone else (especially men who tend towards color identification problems) cannot tell the difference.

Actually, until I hit these MBs, i never wouldve considered a black suit for daywear. Now I think Im going to get one or two made.

I think that youre right about Manton's book, it is parody. I observed that he sometimes took himself too seriously and sometimes found himself in what always appeared to me a flustered posture. True, it is my failing that I cannot remove his MB persona from his book persona. Youve appreciated a different version of him and perhaps that affected your approach to what he wrote. I speak only from what ive observed.

When I read his book, which i enjoyed, I could usually tell where it was either tongue-in-cheek or could simply disregard a comment as far too restrictive. I was thinking more of the the thousands upon thousands who will not have accesss to your logical explanations.

He put those things in his book about the black suit. He wanted to say them and some want to discuss them. Rich, robust public debate is part of our national social tapestry and it makes this cyber analysis of style more interesting. The black suit is an area of controversy. Manton took a stand, and he has accepted that not every reaction will be favorable. I would imagine your friend, working in the media as he does, would be proud that he's contributed so much to further the sensationalism surrounding le complet noir.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Film_Noir_Buff
I do see the differences between darkest charcoal and black, me and 200 other people. Everyone else (especially men who tend towards color identification problems) cannot tell the difference.

What makes you say this? I'm pretty colorblind and can distinguish between charcoal and black. Even a fully colorblind man, who sees in shades of gray, would be able to distinguish between the two. If anything, it would be easier for him to tell the difference in charcoal and black than, say, navy and charcoal, wouldn't it?
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel
Black is for minister.

I'm with JLibourel. My problem with black is that it's so predictable these days. Seems like 80 percent of young guys wear black suits. A few (including our forum members, I imagine) do so because they want to make a certain statement, and because they have ideas to make the black interesting. But many guys default to black because they have no clue how else to dress themselves. Black seems easy to match and they think it makes them look cool. Boring.

Too often, black suits = stripey shirts = square-toed shoes = excess hair gel.
post #39 of 48
i personally onlt wear black and grey(in various shades) why? well for 1 i have too for work and sencondly i always represent navy blue with mao suits which i hate! i can understad those who live and die by the rules of the the past, but but times change, fashion and style changes and laws change, rules change the get broken or modified so why limit ourselfs it is like driving over the spped limit or underage drinking but we have all done and perhaps a lot worse still. if we aplied the law of then even the same atitude then we would all be racist, sexist and many other things i guest - so lets not get all high and mighty about this who right and whos wrong, if you like black then wear it if not then dont but i think this same old topic keeps coming up once a month is gettting boring and of no point!
post #40 of 48
I just don't get it. I guess it's like if have to ask what is jazz then you will never know what jazz. Must be the same with the black suit/shoes issue--I just can't see an issue or problem. To me it's called personal choice and style to wear/not wear black (or any other color for that manner).
post #41 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitonbrioni
I just don't get it. I guess it's like if have to ask what is jazz then you will never know what jazz. Must be the same with the black suit/shoes issue--I just can't see an issue or problem. To me it's called personal choice and style to wear/not wear black (or any other color for that manner).

I agree !! I like the black suit and the Jazz too
post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by luk-cha
i personally onlt wear black and grey(in various shades) why? well for 1 i have too for work and sencondly i always represent navy blue with mao suits which i hate! i can understad those who live and die by the rules of the the past, but but times change, fashion and style changes and laws change, rules change the get broken or modified so why limit ourselfs it is like driving over the spped limit or underage drinking but we have all done and perhaps a lot worse still. if we aplied the law of then even the same atitude then we would all be racist, sexist and many other things i guest - so lets not get all high and mighty about this who right and whos wrong, if you like black then wear it if not then dont but i think this same old topic keeps coming up once a month is gettting boring and of no point!
To sum up, if you are against black suits you are a racist and sexist. If you like them you are for speeding and underage drinking.

Gotcha.
post #43 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday
What makes you say this? I'm pretty colorblind and can distinguish between charcoal and black. Even a fully colorblind man, who sees in shades of gray, would be able to distinguish between the two. If anything, it would be easier for him to tell the difference in charcoal and black than, say, navy and charcoal, wouldn't it?

I dont think it's colorblindness. I dont think it's even necessarily an optical impediment. It's a lack of an understanding of the dire importance that exists between charcoal and black that leads many men to refer to a charcoal suit as black. It's an observation of mine.

And times change, even for those permanent elements of men's style. A few years ago a one button suit or peak lapel SB jacket meant something different than they do all of a sudden. Imagine the difference between wearing the horizontally striped shirt a year before Wall Street came out and a year after its release.


I also believe one is wasting one's time worrying about the distinction. I dont think their are many people who care who arent on life support or in need of therapy. Still, I suppose that's the nature of fanaticism. One might as well get vials of blood and patrol the city streets splashing black suit wearers as a warning, PETA style.
post #44 of 48
If there was any stridency in Manton's explanation of the rules against black for lounge suits, it has certainly been eclipsed by FNB's stridency in advocating them. If you like black suits, wear them. Just know that the professionals over 60 and we 200 guys who can tell the difference between charcoal and black will be laughing at you on the inside.
post #45 of 48
I don't understand the allure of a black suit, even for eveningwear a deep midnight blue suit is far more appealing than a black one.

Plus, you can never wear brown shoes darker than a very light tan with a black suit.
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