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The oldest question: suit, shirt and tie combination ideas.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I'm a newcomer here, and I'm seeking for some advice.

 

I have a graduation party to attend that'll happen at night. I only own two suits, one being a light gray and the other being a black one with discreet pinstripes. Since I don't want to stand out from my peers that much, I'm pretty much settled on wearing the black suit (I'm not a longtime reader, but from the few posts I've read I could sense you guys pretty much detest black suits, but what can you do). I also own a black vest, which I was vehemently inclined to wear.

 

I have enough available funds to buy a new shirt and tie. The suit is slim, and I'm aiming at a modern look, so probably the shirt and tie will be as well. I would like some opinions then on which colors I should consider.

 

If my tastes matter, which I think they do a bit, I really do like somber tones. So I'd probably be willing to use a more colorful tie, but not a colorful shirt. I love plum, purple, lilac or any such color in that range. Red is somewhat of a no-no: being a Law graduation, there'll probably be a lot of people wearing that already. I would also prefer to avoid white shirts, if that's possible.

 

Thanks in advance,

MW

post #2 of 5
With a black suit, white is the only option that doesn't look horrible, especially at night. If you wore the gray suit, you'd have more option, because the color isn't as harsh. Darker colors demand more contrast.

And unless the vest is a part of the suit (exact same fabric and came with it), DON'T!.

Black suit means white shirt, but that allows you pretty much any tie you like. A classic stripe in the colors of the school you're graduating from is my recommendation.

Oh, and get used to white and light blue shirts with charcoal and navy suits. You're going to need to learn how to dress conservatively when practicing law, even if your firm doesn't call for it every day.
post #3 of 5

Yes, black suits are pretty much detested here - though I neither understand nor agree with that prevalent point of view.

 

I also disagree that white is a must with a black suit, though it is certainly a predictable choice. I have a solid black suit that I wear with lavender and an assortment of blues - also cream - and none look horrible to me.  I find black quite a liberating backdrop for a variety of shirt and tie combinations.

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post

Yes, black suits are pretty much detested here - though I neither understand nor agree with that prevalent point of view.

I also disagree that white is a must with a black suit, though it is certainly a predictable choice. I have a solid black suit that I wear with lavender and an assortment of blues - also cream - and none look horrible to me.  I find black quite a liberating backdrop for a variety of shirt and tie combinations.

Unlike a lot of SF, I don't really mind black suits as a matter of principle, but I find the harshness of the color limiting. The only shirt that can match the black suit in intensity so as to not look out of balance is white. If you want liberating for any shirt tie combo in the book, choose a charcoal suit. Colors won't be overpowered by the pure darkness of the suit, but it's also a perfect neutral, so you can use the full slate of colors. Put a color against black, and it pops due to the contrast, which makes the light, washed out shades of color you see in shirts look, well, light and washed out. And of course, dark, strong shirt colors that hold their own and don't look weak against the black- like burgundy, have a few associations one should probably try to avoid (Mafia, in case it's not coming to you). Those same shirt colors look subtle and refined with suit colors that are less harsh, which is why we wear them. But with black, white is really the only thing that holds its own as a strong color against the black and doesn't have the loudness and negative associations of other strongly colored shirts that don't look weak against the black.

Black is really the only suit color where you have to worry about saturation to make things work. That's fine if you know how to deal with it or have an intuitive sense, but it's really not a good idea if you don't like white shirts and don't want to look like a high schooler wearing a leprechaun green shirt and white tie.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

A pretty instructive argument so far (and just to clarify, I'm not being sarcastic). I appreciate your inputs, cptjeff and RogerP.

 

As a matter of fact, I somewhat regret not buying a charcoal suit. Fact is, I love gray suits, and that was why the first one I bought was the light gray one - I fell in love with it. But being light colored, everything I've heard so far is that it was not my best choice for any kind of night out (even though' in a less formal environment it works wonders with an open-collar black shirt). For my second I opted for the black considering (and perhaps I was wrong) it to be the standard and obvious choice. Especially taking into account what you yourself raised: the need to dress conservatively in this line of work.

 

Still, my dislike for white shirts is not that extreme. I just find the black suit - white shirt combination way too common, and anticipate several people will be wearing that. Oh well, perhaps I should have thought of that before purchasing a black suit. I will try on a few. With some luck, I may found one I like. But I was initially thinking more in the terms of wearing a light gray shirt with the black suit. You think I'd be way too restricted in terms of finding a good tie?

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