What Color Shirt Goes with a Black Suit

The men's black suit is often forgotten as a style forerunner, though it is classic formal wear. Most men worry they won’t be able to pull off such a dark style. It can be tricky to do so if you aren’t wearing the right shirt.

The question becomes "What color shirt goes with black suit options?". You’ve got every color of the rainbow available to you, but which one looks best? The answer could surprise you. We'll look at a variety of shirt colors and options to help you make the right decision.

Why Choose a Black Suit?

The first thing to determine is why you want a black suit. You’ve got other suit colors available, such as navy blue and gray. You can also mix colors, such as having a gray suit jacket and black slacks.

Do you want to go full black suit at work or a social event? Only you can answer that, but the black suit for men is a classic for a reason. It goes with anything, and it can be very slimming.

If you have a little beer gut or a few extra pounds around the stomach, you can hide it with a black suit. Plus, you can create a style based on the event or your mood that day.

Rules to Follow When Wearing a Black Suit

There are a few "rules" you may want to follow or at least consider when wearing a black suit. Of course, it's your wardrobe and your choice, so you can bend or completely break the rules if you choose to do so.

  • Keep It Simple

As a rule, you should keep the suit style simple. However, this rule can change depending on the occasion. For black-tie and other formal events, you may want to stick with the traditional black suit and a white button down dress shirt.

If you’re going for smart-casual, you may want to exchange your button-down shirt for a tee-shirt or a roll-neck sweater. Just make sure the pattern of the shirt isn’t too crazy (think contemporary geometrics or Breton stripes). Also, make sure that you keep the layers neutral (navy, beige, and olive).

All black suit styles can look slick and sharp, especially for a party. Just make sure you add some contrast and depth to the style. Pair different shades of black together for the ultimate all black styling.

  • Accessorize

Just because you’re doing something bold by wearing a black suit doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with accessories. Consider a lapel pin or silver tie pins; choose a bold cufflink style or go for something more classic. If you’re going for an all-black ensemble, add a touch of color with the accessories you choose.

Of course, you can consider pairing an all-black outfit with white accessories for the classic black-and-white feeling. If you’re dressing it down, consider funky or multi-colored accessories.

It’s also important to consider your footwear. The all-black style can be played up a bit by adding wingtip shoes.

You can also dress it down by wearing black loafers or white tennis shoes. Just make sure that the shoe matches the event; you don’t want tennis shoes at a black-tie occasion.

  • Dress It Down

Pairing your black suit with a brightly colored tee-shirt may seem a little strange, but it can be fun to dress down such a dressy outfit. Just make sure that it meets the expected dress code requirements.

For example, a black-tie affair may not be the time to wear a tee-shirt. You may find that pairing a black suit with a tee-shirt works well at work or at other casual events. You’ll look dressy without being dressed up.

  • Dress It Up

Black-tie events can include galas, weddings, and other luxury occasions. In this case, you shouldn’t dress down the outfit with your accessories or shirt. If you want the most formal appearance, consider a button-down dress shirt in any color you like.

If the event has a color theme, such as a wedding, you may want to find out what colors are used. It's considered tacky to wear the wedding colors if you aren’t part of the wedding party. Any other color is suitable.

If you want to go with the ultimate dressed-up style, it might be best to wear a white button-down shirt with your black suit. This is the most classic color combination, but you may want to choose a color based on your personality instead.

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Best Color Shirt to Wear with a Black Suit?

While black does go with everything, there are some stipulations and exceptions to the rule. If you plan to brighten up your black suit, you need to consider your features. A color that looks good on your friend may not look good on you.

Make sure you play to your strengths to make the most out of your black suit outfit. Complementary colors for your particular features are essential. When you find the right color, you can play around with shading.

If you don’t know your skin type and don’t want to try on dozens of shirts to see how they fare with your skin, there are a few colors which always look good. These include white, blush pinks, grays, and powder blue.

Most men don’t feel like they can pull off pink, either because they think it is too feminine or they don’t know how to wear it confidently. However, it’s a popular color for a reason. It looks good with any complexion and styling, and it can add a touch of femininity to such a dark, bold suit.

  • Patterns, Textures

In most cases, traditional dress shirts won’t have textures. Nevertheless, you may choose to wear a wool or cashmere sweater or tee-shirt to dress down the style at times. If you do this, make sure the texture is light and matches the overall style sense of the suit.

For example, if you have a smooth silk suit and wear a cashmere or wool sweater, it’s going to look out of place. You should try to match the materials. For example, a wool suit would pair well with a cashmere or wool sweater while a silk shirt would go well with a silk suit.

Your shirt can also have patterns on it. The most common is the pin-stripe. You can also find wider stripes, geometric shapes, and other patterns. If the suit you're wearing has no pattern, it's usually okay to wear any pattern with the outfit.

You may want to tone down the pattern for super-formal events. You may also want to keep the same pattern as the suit or go with a plain dress shirt if your suit has a pattern, such as pin-stripes.

Most people believe they have to wear the suits pattern color for the shirt color. However, this isn’t the case; you can wear other colors, as long as they match the pin-stripe color. If you have white pin-stripes, you should wear a white shirt. 

  • Brown

Yes, there's a whole section devoted to the color brown. We know that it's the style to wear brown shoes with black and navy blue, but it's incredibly difficult to pull off such a look. You have to make sure you use the right dark brown color shoes to go with the black suit.

If you like to be bold and unique, go with the brown shoe with a black suit ensemble. Just remember that it's always safer to pair black dress shoes with a black suit. It’s easier to do, and you don’t have to purchase a variety of shoes to wear.

If you do want to try the look and be your bold self, make sure you always choose a dark shade of brown. Tan is not an appropriate shoe color to wear with black. If you’re wearing an all-black ensemble, you should select the darkest brown shoe color you can find.

It’s also essential to choose the right color shirt. While black goes with everything, the same isn’t true of brown. It might be best to stick with a white shirt or a powder blue, as both go well with brown and black.

Final Words

It can be hard to choose the right suit style to wear. Once you've decided on a black suit, you may be worried about what shirt to wear with it. It’s easy to make a fashion faux-pas without realizing it, so we’ve done our best to help.

We've talked about what color shirt to wear with a black suit option, and which ones might be most suitable for you. We also touch upon the best shoe colors and choices, as well as accessories. Hopefully, this article will help you to choose the best shirts that go with your black suits.

Last Updated on May 8, 2020 by Comfy Soles

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