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Light/medium gray as a suit color

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Svenn, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. Svenn

    Svenn Senior member

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    I was told that light or medium gray suits (as opposed to charcoal or black) lend an impression of maturity and seniority in the workplace, especially for young guys. I'm in my early twenties and will start working soon (in the law field) once I graduate and I wanted to choose the right suit. I know if I get a black suit I'll end up looking like a doorman, plus my skin is pale/reddish so black doesn't go well. I have a relatively slim but muscular frame with broad shoulders... so I was thinking I should show that off with a slim british-cut suit in order to gain a little more gravitas (though maybe it has the opposite effect?)

    I'm in Tokyo now and the big fat european tie knots everyone has look pretty cool too... I'd just get black/silver ties to go with gray since light gray suit and colored tie might look too whimsical?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Gherkins

    Gherkins Senior member

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    I don't see a connection between the shade of grey and the impression of maturity you leave. But I absolutely like the looks of a light grey suit - as long as the fit is really good. The lighter the grey, the more any fitting problems will be visible. A perfectly fitting light grey suit is simply a statement.
    On the other hand I am not too sure about the idea of wearing a grey tie with it. It reminds of cheap european wedding dresses I've seen. (some outrageously bad suit in any colour with matching silver tie and silver pocket square ... blech). You might be right regarding the whimsy-ness (sp?) of a coloured tie. I'd just try several colours and shades. Chance is that you'll find something nice eventually.
    One thing I don't like in the picture you've posted are the shoes. Don't go with black - a light grey looks even better with a lighter shade of brown or just perfect with burgundy red.
     
  3. Modernist

    Modernist Senior member

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    I don't see a connection between the shade of grey and the impression of maturity you leave. But I absolutely like the looks of a light grey suit - as long as the fit is really good. The lighter the grey, the more any fitting problems will be visible. A perfectly fitting light grey suit is simply a statement.
    On the other hand I am not too sure about the idea of wearing a grey tie with it. It reminds of cheap european wedding dresses I've seen. (some outrageously bad suit in any colour with matching silver tie and silver pocket square ... blech). You might be right regarding the whimsy-ness (sp?) of a coloured tie. I'd just try several colours and shades. Chance is that you'll find something nice eventually.
    One thing I don't like in the picture you've posted are the shoes. Don't go with black - a light grey looks even better with a lighter shade of brown or just perfect with burgundy red.

    +1

    Try navy or any shade of blue for the tie. Something with small patterns also works. Or some darker shades of purple.
     
  4. Champagnelifestylenomoney

    Champagnelifestylenomoney Senior member

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    Nice suit - I agree that whilst black shoes will always work with grey suits, you could take the opportunity to try shades of brown/burgundy shoes which can also look really individual and elegant.

    My personal preference of tie would be a solid colour or bold stripes if your suit is subtlety patterned.
     
  5. yfyf

    yfyf Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Light gray is one of my favourite colours. In fact, I'm not sure why I don't own more light gray suits, I suppose good ones are a bit hard to come by.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Also, I'm not a fan of black shoes with a light gray suit. Seems to really kill the joy of the colour.
     
  6. Modernist

    Modernist Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    Light grey was my first bespoke suit. And it's still my favourite suit. And the most versatile.

    I also wear mine with deep purple or burgundy shirts. Sans tie, of course. I like that look for going out.
     
  7. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    My light and medium gray suits are among my favorites for all seasons, but especially my light gray in the summer.
     
  8. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    In the USA, the medium grey suit is a very well-to-do sort of suit. The rest of the world doesn't like lighter suits as much except to make statements with or socially. Here medium grey flannels, sharkskins, birdseyes and stripes have the American old money look. I think one of the reasons Bertie in "Jeeves and Wooster" wore medium grey suits was to show he was a wastrel and a dilletante.


    Light grey suits which have some texture or pattern in them such as a PoW, sharkskin are alright for the duldrums of a humid summer but they get dirty easily. I even have a length of light grey flannel from Smiths if I ever get around to making it up.

    Problem with light grey suits for work is you have to start worrying too much about appearance which may come off as a feminine trait. Industry people Ive spoken with also point out that light grey suits are prone to discoloration over time from urine stains. So if you have a lot of suits or it's purely for casual, I like it a lot more than for your workaday.
     
  9. bigbris1

    bigbris1 Senior member

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    I agree with mos of the comments thus far, a gray/light gray suit is very versatile, in fact, I have so many I have one for sale right now.

    I think the OP's connection to the aged stems from the fact that the gray/white haired look good in a gray suit.
     
  10. Spatlese

    Spatlese Senior member

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    Industry people Ive spoken with also point out that light grey suits are prone to discoloration over time from urine stains.

    [​IMG]

    I really like light - medium gray suits either way.
     
  11. 0b5cur1ty

    0b5cur1ty Senior member

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    As far as I am concerned, the grey suit is mankind's highest achievement. Not sure about making you look mature but if it fits well, you'll look great.

    Make sure the tie is not too close to the suit in colour.
     
  12. bc78

    bc78 Senior member

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    Industry people Ive spoken with also point out that light grey suits are prone to discoloration over time from urine stains.

    Really? I would never have thought that to be the case.
     
  13. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    Really? I would never have thought that to be the case.
    When I consider the sources they serviced a very old school westchester crowd who are probably quite thrifty; men who keep their suits a long time and dont have a lot of them. These were Custom and MTM workers who saw articles of clothes evolve and the results. I have no issues with medium grey suits, either striped or solid. Actually, even the English seem to moving into medium grey. Light grey I see as a social choice. A light grey mohair suit would be very nice. I have a light grey large herringbone crepe from Zegna but that would definitely be for social occasions. I cant oover every base but in general I would have a negative reaction to a light grey suit when conducting business. I admit that a lot of it would have to do with how it's styled, worn, with what accesories by whom and for what purpose but light grey is controversial. I would imagine it comes up a lot here because it has a taboo about it.
     
  14. Gherkins

    Gherkins Senior member

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    The rest of the world doesn't like lighter suits as much except to make statements with or socially.

    Problem with light grey suits for work is you have to start worrying too much about appearance which may come off as a feminine trait.

    light grey suits are prone to discoloration over time from urine stains.

    Uh?
     
  15. Artigas

    Artigas Senior member

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    Maybe someone can enlighten me as to the urine stain problem, but the uneducated question I ask now is why would your urine be coming in contact with your pants in any case?
     
  16. bowtielover

    bowtielover Senior member

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    I have never heard this before, the lighter the suit the less of a year round use your going to get out of it but as far as the color having anything to do with senority is bogus. I don't know who or where you got this information from but they obviously haven't a clue what their talking about.
     
  17. bmulford

    bmulford Senior member

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    I Industry people Ive spoken with also point out that light grey suits are prone to discoloration over time from urine stains.

    wait, what?
     
  18. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    wait, what?
    yeah, I know... wick-ed pissah.
     
  19. bmulford

    bmulford Senior member

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    yeah, I know... wick-ed pissah.

    the real reason Navy and Charcoal are favored colors.
     
  20. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    the real reason Navy and Charcoal are favored colors.
    Maybe, but they pick up different types of dirt. The suit is partly designed to allow men to be anonymous, to b powerful. That's why there arent a lot of light grey suits around which in turn makes people think they might be "special" wearing it. I could see a spikey haired, Guci boy wearing one. Light grey is not a work suit unless your work involves underscoring how you are not from the typical concept of white collar worker. But for social, wear waht you like, I think you might be pissing your money away.[​IMG] Medium grey is a good color. Medium blue or blue grey is alright for men who's coloring it underscores but for most it looks too showy. "Look at me, I gotz me a custom made jobber" I think light grey is popular on here because it is near to the white suit, maybe it has become the white suit. Americans associate white clothes with all things expensive, high and pure.
     

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