There's no escaping it. Not that you would want to. The grey suit is a timeless piece in the modern gentleman's wardrobe. Many men own a grey suit, but not all of them know how to style it right.
Sure, you can reach for loud ties and weigh yourself down with a multitude of accessories. But there are better ways to stand out while staying true to the grey suit's classic aesthetic.
A grey suit and a burnt orange tie is an eye-catching but tasteful combination. As long as you have the right suit and tie. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. We'll talk about accessories and details later. First, we have to talk about the suit itself.
About the 3 Shades of Grey (Plus Patterns and Textures)
Like other suit colours, the darker the shade, the more formal the suit. A charcoal grey suit is a traditional shade that you can wear to formal business offices. This shade of grey can make the wearer look older, so keep that in mind when you shop for your grey suit.
A medium grey suit is slightly more casual, but it's still appropriate for the office. A light grey suit is the most relaxed, and it looks great in the warmer months.
You can find a shade of grey that works for your purpose, but so will everyone else. To stand out in the crowd of grey suits, consider patterns and textures.
A houndstooth grey suit looks stylish and adds an eye-catching but tasteful texture to your outfit. Or you can use a pattern to separate yourself from the other grey suits. A windowpane grey suit uses a subtle design to create an elegant outfit that's eye-catching for the right reason.
Choosing subtle patterns and textures for your grey suit sets the tone for your whole outfit. With that tone set, select the rest of the elements, starting with your shirt.
Colours and Collars: Finding the Ideal Dress Shirt to Wear with a Grey Suit
You may be tempted by celebrities and influencers to wear a black dress shirt with a grey suit. It's a trendy pairing, but it brings a heavy-handed element that's difficult to complement. Add multiple dimensions to your outfit and wear a lighter shirt colour to provide a subtler contrast.
It's tempting to reach for a deep red or pale pink shirt to add excitement to a grey suit. But these bold statement pieces can overshadow your whole outfit. Instead, choose a classic and timeless colour like blue or white.
Pair a blue shirt with a light grey suit, and you have a pleasing contrast between your shirt and blazer. You can't get more classic or elegant than a white shirt and grey suit. It's a combination that never fails whether you're going to the office or to a wedding.
Other than your shirt's colour, you need to choose the right collar. Create the right proportions and balance. Consider slightly taller collar bands if you have a longer neck. Stick to standard height collar bands if you have a short neck.
For a more dynamic touch, wear a cutaway collar. The collar points finish farther apart, which helps your tie peek a little underneath your collar.
Speaking of ties...
A Grey Suit and Burnt Orange Tie, Plus Other Accessories
A black tie, a white shirt and a grey suit will never steer you wrong. And a solid navy tie, a blue shirt and grey suit is a classic. But if you want to go against the grain while staying true to a classic and timeless style, take a more colourful route.
A sky blue tie pairs well with a light grey suit. It looks bright and fresh any day of the week. For a little more contrast with your grey suit, consider an orange tie. But not just any orange tie, a burnt orange tie.
Take a look at Aklasu’s Burnt Orange Grenadine Tie. The grenadine's refined texture and understated design gives the tie versatility. The earthy shade of orange will complement a light or charcoal grey suit and make you stand out for the right reasons.
Ties aren't the only accessories you can use to elevate your grey suit. You can also wear a pocket square that complements your tie. Remember, we said complement, not match. Don't show up in a matching pocket square and tie. It’s distracting so it draws attention away from your outfit as a whole.
An elegant watch is another accessory that's always a welcome addition to any outfit. As are cufflinks. But avoid tie clips and lapel pins since they can damage your tie or suit.
Polish Off Your Look with the Right Shoes
Suit? Check. Shirt? Check. Tie and accessories? On point. Let's finish off this look with the right shoes.
Your suit's shade of grey and your plans should determine the shoes you wear. A light grey summer suit would look great in blue espadrilles at a beach wedding.
But if you're on your way to a formal or semi-formal event, or the office, your best bet is to choose brown Oxfords. Choose a shade to match your suit. With the simple and elegant Oxford, you have to make sure your shoes are clean and polished. You don't want scuffed up shoes to undermine the outfit you've put together.
It's the small details that elevate your style above others: the right shade of polished shoes, the right tie, the ideal shirt collar. Yes, the grey suit is a standard outfit for modern men. But there are nuances that you can add to put your personal stamp on a grey suit. That level of sophistication and elegance makes you look better than the other guys in grey.
Read more about elevating your style. Browse other topics in our Journal like Details as Important as the Essential, and Spice Up Your Essential Suit: A Burgundy Tie and Navy Suit.