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.
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.