Perhaps I shouldn't say they look weird, but I do not think they are tasteful as such--again, outside of big, shaggy herringbones you'd see in tweed or overcoating.
I 100% think he shouldn't buy herringbone for his first/only suit. If he's really dead set on it, go for 2 or 3 as they are pretty close to solid, but I still think solid is a much better option.
I already have a solid navy (well, pretty solid -- bird's-eye) suit, so this wouldn't be my first or only. I also wear suits maybe 6 times a year max, so this may not necessarily be a situation where I'm going to get the evil eye for wearing the same thing over and over again. (Maybe if I was going to only StyleForum conventions, but in the real world, it seems to me that most people -- even at white-shoe firms these days -- don't know or don't care about the differences in fabrics or suits.) I work at a big tech company where people wear pajama bottoms and clogs to work (and this is in NYC), and my friends are video-game and beer-pong types, so the bar is pretty low here.
Anyway, I was really looking for a solid charcoal suit that had some texture close up -- to mix it up a little -- and the herringbones seemed like the most interesting choices, especially considering I already have a bird's-eye. I was already leaning toward 2 or 3 but couldn't decide between them.
On a related topic, is there any situation where a small pattern would be acceptable as your core "solid" navy or charcoal suit?