At this point, we trust you already own black and navy suits — they’re versatile and office-appropriate, and will look good with pretty much everything. But they’re also, well, somewhat expected. Broaden your tailoring horizons this season by embracing unexpected patterns and colours: whether it’s bold stripes and checks, shades of green and red, or a bit of added sheen, your suiting game will never be stronger.
The first suit a man buys should be grey. Depending on the colour of your shirt (and, really, any colour works), a grey suit fits any setting, in any season. But grey contains multitudes. Consider a darker shade to add power and formality without losing any versatility. Or for a contemporary update, pick a grey suit with just the right amount of sheen. Nothing that could be mistaken for sharkskin: just enough lustre to inject a bit of edge.
Left: Silk suit ($2,095), cotton shirt ($315), silk tie ($145), leather shoes ($445) by BOSS. Right: Wool suit ($4,500), cotton shirt ($700), silk tie ($290) by Dior Homme.
Green suits are, as the kids used to say, money. Get one. But, if you’re confident enough to wear green, choose a more unexpected hue than emerald or Kelly. Teal is bright and bold and best for the day, while olive is great for a night out. Because forest green is tonally similar to a dark grey or navy suit, it’s perfect for showing everyone at the office who’s boss. (Hint: it’s you)
Left: Mohair blazer ($1,595), mohair trouser ($795), leather shoes ($750) by Burberry Prorsum; viscose shirt ($995) by Lanvin; silk scarf ($255) by Sacai. Middle: Cotton jacket ($975), cotton shirt ($295), cotton pants ($595) by Calvin Klein Collection. Right: Wool jacket ($325), cotton shirt ($140), cotton pocket square ($50), wool pants ($130) by Tommy Hilfiger; acetate sunglasses ($575) by Leisure Society; leather shoes ($445) by BOSS.
Patterned suits used to be de rigueur in offices across North America — until we got navy-happy and boring. Patterns have been staging a comeback and are brasher than ever. Think plaid with bigger, more colourful checks, or chalk stripes over unexpected colours, like olive and bright blue.
Left: Wool suit ($2,850), leather shoes ($970) by Gucci; cotton shirt ($750), satin tie ($260) by Dior Homme. Right: Wool suit ($4,335), cotton shirt ($4,015), wool tie (price upon request) by Versace; wool pocket square ($15) by The Tie Bar.
Do we expect every man to start rocking a red suit? Of course not. But that’s also exactly why you should. Bold and aggressively idiosyncratic, red suits get noticed. And because there’s a range of tones and styles to choose from, red doesn’t need to be intimidating. Start with a classic cut in a wine or burgundy. With more confidence, you can add some sheen for a suit that’s perfect for a night out. Of course, you can ditch your inhibitions altogether and opt for a suit fit for a tycoon vacationing in France.
Left: Silk-linen blazer ($5,290), silk-linen blend trouser ($1,070) by Berluti; cotton shirt ($450) by Paul & Shark; silk scarf ($250) by John Varvatos; leather sandals ($315) by Michael Kors Mens. Middle: Wool suit ($2,795), silk-linen blend jacket ($1,995) by Ermenegildo Zegna. Right: Silk suit (price upon request) by Perry Ellis; multiyarn Chine polo ($1,890) by Bottega Veneta; leather shoes ($195) by Kenneth Cole.
Pinstripes are classic and chalk stripes are boss (see: last page), but if you’re saying you want to go bolder? Then thick stripes are the next step. Whether vertical or horizontal, they make a statement — looking both minimalist and modern. But avoid black and white, or you risk comparisons to Beetlejuice, or worse, Robin Thicke.