What's wrong with black?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jyook, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    16,118
    Likes Received:
    1,088
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    I just wanted to get a very nice suit for funerals, weddings, and nice evenings out... I guess I should find an inexpensive fused black suit and only use it for funerals...

    Don't feel obligated to buy a black suit at all, unless you just want a black suit. Charcoal works just fine for funerals AND other events.
     


  2. Sartorian

    Sartorian Senior member

    Messages:
    1,080
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Location:
    Harlem
    From the advice of users here, I bought a MTM charcoal suit. I wear it almost every day, for every occasion. I would feel no worries about wearing it to either a wedding or funeral.
     


  3. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

    Messages:
    4,078
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    This thread was really just a ruse to flush Manton out of his hidey hole, right?
    Yep.

    [​IMG]
     


  4. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

    Messages:
    25,745
    Likes Received:
    238
    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Location:
    Constantinople
    I have a black velvet suit which I suspect might offend some here if not simply for the rather flamboyant matching bell-bottom trousers.
     


  5. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

    Messages:
    26,133
    Likes Received:
    1,626
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    FOLKESTONE
    Black is very 90's with the cold and minimalist Tom Ford ,Gucci and others designs and silhouettes...The sexy nineties with emaciated male models in Prada ,Versace or D&G in slim black suits ...

    Black is going with everything and looks good on nearly everybody with minimal efforts...No faute de gout possible with a white ,blue ,pink ,solid ,striped shirt and so on therefore i call black the lazy colour...

    Now ,charcoal is as versatile and a far richer alternative to black....
    Brioni is offering a superb charcoal...If you do like power suit ,buy some midnight blue ....It is a strong tone ,matching sartorial elegance and personality ...
     


  6. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

    Messages:
    25,745
    Likes Received:
    238
    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Location:
    Constantinople
    Black is very 90's with the cold and minimalist Tom Ford ,Gucci and others designs and silhouettes...The sexy nineties with emaciated male models in Prada ,Versace or D&G in slim black suits ... Black is going with everything and looks good on nearly everybody with minimal efforts...No faute de gout possible with a white ,blue ,pink ,solid ,striped shirt and so on therefore i call black the lazy colour... Now ,charcoal is as versatile and a far richer alternative to black.... Brioni is offering a superb charcoal...If you do like power suit ,buy some midnight blue ....It is a strong tone ,matching sartorial elegance and personality ...
    I don't know about anyone else, but I personally like that look; some of us need to be proud of their 27 waist. Dior Homme did it the best, I think. [​IMG]
     


  7. Jared

    Jared Senior member

    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    [​IMG]
    Ah see there you go refuting yourself: mid-grey is currently seen on the runways more than black, is it not?
     


  8. kronik

    kronik Senior member

    Messages:
    3,944
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Not a goddamned thing.
     


  9. jyook

    jyook Senior member

    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Location, Location


  10. The False Prophet

    The False Prophet Senior member

    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    66
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    As I've insisted on a few prior occasions, black has always been correct daywear at least for barristers, the field into which I am tentatively entering.

    One upon a time you'd have seen black jacket and waistcoat with solid or striped grey trousers, now I understand this is considered a bit gauche at least for juniors, and black all over is common.

    The alternative is to wear charcoal and change into a "bar-jacket" which is like a waistcoat with sleeves, used in some jurisdictions but not others.

    As for appearances, I think a very matte, light fabric is best, black worsted or flannel does look a bit stodgy but a high-count twill or voile is a different thing entirely...
     


  11. UTVol085

    UTVol085 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    In Korea, where I am studying at the moment every suit is black. Blue is not available except for custom made. Every RTW is black or black pinstriped. Hell you can buy a suit for $35 here...in black of course. The suit thing is way overdone, perhaps due to school uniform requirements conditioning folks to wearing a coat for everything

    And some are so "interesting: mixing suit pieces or horrible jacket/pants combos such as black velvet pinstripe jacket with grey pinstripe pants, etc. I did buy a single button black velvet sport coat and dark grey flat fronted pants last month for a more casual look. Needed a coat and pants real quickly and the fit is very nice for being completely OTR. Is this acceptable? But a black suit? Nah...
     


  12. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

    Messages:
    26,133
    Likes Received:
    1,626
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    FOLKESTONE
    South Korea is not exactly Milan ,London or Paris,innit? [​IMG]
    Not being funny but we have to compare the same things if we do not want to finish comparing a Traban to a Ferrari or an Aston Martin...

    In certain societies ,unifirmity is seen as a sign of social cohesion ,the cement of society....I'm more than happy that we do search a bit of personality and creativity in our decadent societies..

    For $35 ,you're not getting a suit or a jacket but a sack and a terrible one....Are you talking suits well-made or cheap fused bought for few pounds,euros or dollars?
     


  13. lakewolf

    lakewolf Senior member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    I have a full canvas black suit, kind of a "light black", it is not charcoal, it is definetly black but with some subtle shine on it.

    I wear this with a pristine white or a deep black shirt and ultra shine shoes and belt, that are calf but look near to patent.

    The fit is right and it looks dashing. really great.

    I see this as my modern days formal outfit, to go to night events when I want to look formal and great and I know nobody would wear a tux, so If I do I'll look out of place. I have the tux and also the patent shoes btw, but there are almost no "black-tie" events this days.

    So in a short answer,

    There is nothing wrong with black, but it should be worn in the right way and occasion.

    This same outfit looks lame on daylight.

    for daylight and business I have many better options.
     


  14. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

    Messages:
    6,134
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Whether or not one thinks that there is "something wrong" with black, it's quite true that the black suit, like the brown one, the navy one, the white one, etc., has had (and continues to have) its own special meanings. And it has long been part of the special meaning of the black suit that many men regard it is as "wrong."

    The idea that something is "wrong" with a black suit dates to waay before internet message boards.


    I never came across this before. I had come across people in the fashion biz who didn't like them but I had always thought that was to distinguish themselves from those "High" fashion people who do like black suits or in the belief that if men chose plain black suits, there would be a limit to what they could sell. I had never seen anyone comment about black suits who did not have a pecuniary interest involved.

    The most convincing argument I have ever heard about a black suit is that it is too strong for most male professionals- particularly if they already come on too strong. The reason the English like black is because these suits are supposed to intimidate people. In America, we seem to want to come across as more casual and likeable.

    T
    his is all good and true, especially the last part. Nonetheless, there is a tradition to thinking particular thoughts about black suits. And most men who are aware of that tradition come to see some wisdom (as well as some folly) in the tradition. And that wisdom is the kind of stuff from which we build our own sense of style. The OP asked what's wrong with black. If you know much about the history of men's clothes, you ought to be able to answer the question -- at least hypothetically -- in depth. Black is somber Sunday brunch, black is for the waiter, black is the poor man's tuxedo, black is for mourning, black is for the band/orchestra, black is Armani, black is for women pushing up the corporate ladder, black is for AmJacks, etc., and so forth. You can answer the question -- and generally be against black suits for daytime workaday use -- without being some kind of conservative reactionary who worships some previous and mainly imaginary golden age of men's fashion.


    You don't have to be a conservative reactionary; I believe I also left room for the insecure that need to quote someone else's imaginary statement in order to sound profound or discriminating. [​IMG]

    I believe that black can be Armani and for waiter etc.. But I have always maintained that texture and quality play a part. A waiter will not wear the same cut or quality or even fabric choice that I will and Armani will as likely use crepe as a 100% cashmere worsted. Also, there are different shades of black-some richer than others.

    Perhaps a useful style exercise would be to imagine yourself limited to just black cloths and design a suit that would be the right choice for our man of taste.


    If there is a wisdom and a tradition against black, I wonder exactly how that is applied. Surely people making judgments at this level will not stop there and will make judgments based on my speech patterns, my schools and a myriad of other factors that the right charcoal suit may never cover up.
     


  15. Dewey

    Dewey Senior member

    Messages:
    3,485
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    "Light black" is charcoal, Lakewolf.

    Whites/grays/blacks are measured in percentages, yes? Anything more than 0% or less than 100% is a gray. Most eyes in most conditions would identify a dark gray as "black." But in my experience a "black suit" with a hint of lightness is much easier to wear. This is the "charcoal" that the anti-black-suit people propose as an easy improvement. If you wear a suit like you describe among a group of men in truly black suits, your suit is going to look more gray by comparison. It's softer, the fabric has more depth, it's more appealling to the eye, it's warmer, young women will want to stand next to you, etc.

    More power to anyone who wants to go out and get themselves the blackety-blackest suit and wear it everywhere. Anyone who has read all these black suit threads and still wants a stark black suit should be able to pull it off.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by