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Brown in town

Brown in town:

  • Totally acceptable, I love it!

  • Acceptable, but not for business.

  • Yes, but only for shoes.

  • NEVER.


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Alpha11

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In the US it can be more of a shock to see a man actually wear a well fitting suit or a suit at all. So rather it be brown or blue you will stand out regardless.

As far as brown suits in general? Well.. I own one myself and have no problem wearing it when the seasons get cold. I am Latino as such all ready have a warm skin tone therefore, I try to wear a cold color in concert with the blue suit. To me it adds balance to my overall appearance and presents the best option of myself.

This beings me to the point of "presenting the best option of yourself". I read all the comment and have learned that you have all difference of opinion. While you have some that would wear something just because they were told not to. On the other hand you have some that wear something because they think it works well for them.

Then you have some that try and wear clothing that presents the best option of themselves regardless of current fashion or style trends. This is the category I fall into most often. I do not wear black shoes with a brown suit because it does not seem to work for me at all. To my eye I have two dominant colors competing with one another instead of working harmoniously.

Brown,Oxblood ,Tan, chili, and cognac seem to work better depending on the season with the tie and shirt combination adding more depth.

To me, men need to learn where they fall in the color wheel as well as how to balance colors out in their wardrobe. Just because you like a color does not mean it is the best option for you.
 

DesB3rd

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Brown suits - small-towns only, if you're wearing one up-town you're probably an architect, or Gilbert and George.

Black for business-formal isn't without objective reason; with charcoal/navy suiting brown shoes/belts contrast and form an additional level of visual detail, black fades into the background. As business-formal attire, which emphasises a sharp but *restrained* look then black is deemed preferable. That and you might end up being taken for a wannabe Italian; embarrassing whether you do it well or not...
 

Drums

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Brown provides a great opportunity to express a personal statement, and I find that it works best with Separates. That way, you can play around with shades of brown and patterns. Going down the 'spezzato' route also allows you to go bold with a statement tie and pocket square. I own a brown tweed, rust check, chocolate and blue check and a couple of double-breasted blazers, and they work well with navy blue or grey trousers.
 

Terrence O'Connor

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08DADBF7-53A9-4177-A81F-F60B44AA97EC.jpeg
In their 1930’s heyday Esquire Magazine often showed Brown Business Suits.
Here is an example with black shoes, which are shown on occasion.
 

MS13

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Why not? Personally I'm not a fan of brown or other earthy colors, and I look terrible in them to boot, so personally, I wouldn't. Except for shoes and belts, and perhaps a watch. However some guys look great in it,actually some men with certain complexions look better in browns and other earth tones that the usual navy, grey, and black.
 

Bespoke DJP

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Dear Gentlemen,

IMHO a generic discussion upon the subject does not offer concrete results, therefore allow me just to be more specific, and perhaps helpful.

Accessories: of course it is acceptable, we all know gents that have only brown shoes in their rotation, and we do know that chocolate, bitter chocolate brown ties are especially versatile. I think that the main question lies to garments!

Sport Coat: we have numerous fine examples here in SF of a brown SC, either of fall-winter or of spring-summer weight, executed in a very correct manner which produced a very handsome outcome; my favorite are the FW ones. Certainly, this is a garment far from white-collar attire, but can be worn by gents in a more relaxed business environment such as in advertising, publications, academia, in any artistic profession, or in the clothing industry itself to name a few. I believe that its most use lies in the personal time sphere.

Suit: here lies the issue not only of its acceptance in more conservative business environments, but also with the easiness to assort accessories and especially shoes with it; a false decision may easily lead to a sartorial quagmire!

Again, the acceptance of certain cloth composition (for instance linen, or linen-mix), or make-up (for instance Solaro), or even texture (for instance tweed, flannel), is pretty much evident in everyone's corporate environment. Hence, certain suits, are for our personal, family times only; as simple as that!

a) light to mid-brown: this is the easiest because one may opt for dark brown shoes in calf or in suede and be on the safe side. One may also "play" with the hues but this is not without caution: unfortunately there are numerous examples of really bad trousers-shoes combination here in the forum, even by very eminent members.

b) dark, very dark brown: the toughest of all. The darkest the shade, the more one has to use lighter shade accessories in order to achieve the aspired contrast. Dark brown trousers with dark (espresso) brown shoes will be a disaster so the only solution will be the one in the image here below. If this is of your liking or no will finally determine your decisions concerning this suit option.

Cheers,

Dimitris

image.jpeg
 

Ilyakhot

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Brown suit is great, but not for everyone. It has to do with people's skin tone. The coldest color on earth is blue, especially dark blue. Compared to the dark blue, even the most cold-toned pale skin looks warm, lively and fresh. What if you have warm skin? Blue will make it look even warmer. Anyone looks great in blue, even though some people may prefer dark and some medium blue. That's why blue is the dominant color of suits. 50% of all mens suits are blue. Second most common color is gray, because it is neutral and again works for virtually any skin tone. 35% of all suits are gray. The remaining 15% are left for all other colors including brown. Brown is a warm color so it compliments warm skin tone. However, a person with cold skin tone dressed in brown will look tied and sick. If you have cold skin tone and wearing brown today people will ask you if you slept well last night, because you look like you didn't at all. :-(. Btw, suntan does not change your skin tone. Your skin will get darker, but warm one will stay warm and cold will keep its cold undertone. If you don't believe me, read about it. Even people with black skin can have cold tone or warm tone. Just like people with white skin. So, brown is for warm skin only.
 

Dakota rube

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:crackup:
 

dieworkwear

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If you have cold skin tone and wearing brown today people will ask you if you slept well last night, because you look like you didn't at all. :-(.
What happens if you stand next to brown things? Should I not stand next to trees? Brown houses? Brown people? What if I lift a brown hashbrown up to my face? =(
 

dauster

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I guess many have their own set of principles and their own tweaked sense of formality. 2 months ago i wore a rather loud burgundy medallion print madder tie to a classical concert. Absolutely not offensive when considering how 90% of the men there were dressed. And the other 9.5% wore the typical ill fitting suits or blazers. If you had seen what i have seen...The concert was at the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin. It was summer ok, but still..

On the brown: in my opinion brown shoes are acceptable for nothing higher than a good restaurant or a sunday stroll, or sunday coffee if you care to suit up.

So no, bringing brown shoes to business seems a bit juvenile imo.

Dark Brown suits though are freaking awesome, best worn with black shoes. So rare and so amazing when made well, i don't think anyone would mind.
Ahahhaahhah yes sounds familiar, good old memories of stylish people when I grew up in Berlin:)
 

radicaldog

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There are browns that tend towards charcoal. That goes splendidly with black shoes. My dad had a chalk stripe suit like that in an impossibly heavy English cloth, but then he was born in 1932. Warmer browns with black shoes are a disaster unless it's light shade like tobacco. Wore my tobacco linen suit with black penny loafers the other day and it just about worked, but it was iffy.
 

Bespoke DJP

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Dear @radicaldog,

I completely agree with you!

Charcoal brown is a very interesting and different proposition for these gentlemen who have enough charcoal suits. One can easily try black shoes - to "capture" the charcoal element - and very dark brown (espresso) ones; if the suit is a winter weight, then its better iteration is flannel, and there one may go with espresso suede shoes.

Accessories (ties, pocket squares) will be easier matched than in the case of a "regular" brown, increasing the versatility of the garment. Actually, in certain lighting conditions the suit will appear as dark grey/charcoal and this may give it a chance to be worn in town.

Cheers,

Dimitris
 

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