Different Suit Colors: What They Mean and How To Wear The Right Colors?

Suits are available in an endless variety of colors, but this means that many people avoid considering color choice when choosing a suit.

Several individuals avoid thinking about whether a certain color suits them or not, deciding to purchase a suit if they like the style or fit of it. 

Different Suit Colors: What They Mean and How To Wear The Right Colors

The color of a suit can convey various connotations to others that view it. If you want to be taken more seriously in the workplace, relaxed when in a social setting, or confident when on a date, you need to start taking colors into account. 

Wearing a suit in a color that doesn’t suit your coloring or the event in question can make you stand out, and not in a good way.

Others might think that you don’t care about style or fashion sense, but you might also risk others thinking that you don’t care about the event at all.

If you aren’t clued up about how different colors matter, we can help! You’ll find all you need to know about choosing suit colors below.

Our advice includes guidelines on the right colors for your skin tone, appropriate tones for events, and shades that make you stand out from the crowd. 

If you’re ready to learn more about different suit colors, keep reading!

Points To Think About When Selecting A Suit Color

You might like a certain suit, but your color preferences aren’t the only thing you should consider when purchasing one.

Suits can cost a lot of money, so it’s important to make sure that your choice makes you look and feel the best you can. 

Dress codes and environment matter a lot. Even if the setting doesn’t have a written dress code, there’ll likely be unspoken rules as to the way people dress. 

For instance, your workplace may require you to dress in a certain fashion. Some offices need their employees to wear formal clothing, while others are fine with a laidback dress code. 

Another point to consider is the clothing that’s already in your closet. If you already have several navy suits, choosing a different color will give you more options when choosing outfits later. 

We’ll cover some important things to consider when choosing a suit color below. 

Skin Tone 

Everyone has colors that make them look amazing, and ones that can wash them out. Unfortunately, your favorite color might not be the best one for your coloring. No one wants to spend money on a high-priced suit, just to find that it makes them look ill. 

Skin colors come in endless shades that have several variations among them. Suit colors that contrast a little with your coloring can make your features stand out more. 

For instance, deeper skin tones can look amazing in paler suits. Conversely, paler skins can look great in suits of darker shades. 

Undertones also matter. There is a lot of information available about how to find your undertone, but generally speaking, people have either warm or cool-toned skin. 

If your skin has yellow undertones, you are warm. Warmer tones tend to look good with warm colors, like gold, oranges, and yellows. 

Cooler skin tones will have red undertones. These individuals look good with cool colors, like blues, greens, and silvers. 

These are just guidelines, so you might find that some colors look good on you regardless of your undertone.

Nevertheless, you can use your skin coloring and undertone as a guide on what colors to look out for. 

Trial and error as much as possible when searching for suits. Look at how your face looks in certain colors compared to others.

The goal is to find colors that make your skin look brighter, not dull. 

The Event

A general rule of thumb is that deeper colors convey formal energy, while lighter ones have casual connotations.

These are good guidelines to remember when selecting an outfit to match the formality of an occasion. 

In the case of a professional setting, black is the darkest color, so it might be too formal for your place of work. Similarly, beige is quite light, so it can be too casual for the office. A nice balance is a deep gray or navy.

These are dark colors that are formal enough for work, but not too dark to look out of place. 

Wearing the right color for an occasion indicates that you care about the event in question.

You might not like to dress the same way as everyone else, but it matters, as it shows respect for your peers. 

Blending In or Standing Out 

Blending In or Standing Out 

If you are attending an event and look at everyone else wearing suits, there’s a good chance that most of them will be wearing similar shades. 

One of the most popular suit color choices is navy blue, as over half of the suits available to purchase are made in navy or another blue tone. 

The next most common suit color is black, as 40% of suits are made from black fabric. Black is a common sight on many occasions, but if you prefer to stand out, black suits are probably best avoided.

The remaining 10% of other suit colors are available in several different shades. These are often shades of brown, like tan or maroon, though you can find bolder shades of red, pink, and green too. 

When you start choosing your suit, you should decide whether you want to be noticed, or if you’d prefer to blend in.

Bright or bold colors can help you stand out from the crowd, though it’s best to save these for events like cocktail parties instead of professional environments.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself, stick to the classics, like navy and black.

It’s best to keep to these at the office too unless your work has a particularly relaxed dress code. 

Navy Colored Suits

As mentioned above, navy suits are one of the most common suit colors that people wear. Putting on a navy suit can make you blend in, but they’re a good choice to buy if you don’t have a suit in your wardrobe. 

Navy is an extremely versatile color, as you can wear it in the workplace and social settings without looking out of place.

Navy blue suits are also good for smart-casual occasions, as you can make them look more or less formal depending on the other accessories you wear with them. 

White dress shirts are a classic option that’s ideal if you want your suit to look traditional. Add a darker tie to keep the look suitable for semi-formal occasions, like a deep blue or dark gray.

If you want your navy suit to look more relaxed, but still put-together, wear a light blue dress shirt instead of a white one.

This is a friendly look that’s suitable for the office, as well as smart-casual events.

A navy suit and a red tie also look stunning. Red is a bold color that can display a confident personality proudly.

Despite this, instead of distracting from the navy tones, it brings out the blue instead.

These colors contrast well without taking attention off one another, so don’t shy away from this combination!

Blue Colored Suits

Blue suits are great if you want to keep a contemporary look. Navy suits are classic, but as they are so popular, they can easily blend in.

Blue suits in cobalt or royal blue shades are very modern and can make you stand out from the crowd. 

The color blue can be worn throughout the year, and come in several different shades that suit various skin tones. In most cases, there will be a shade of blue that suits everyone, no matter what your coloring is.

Bright blue suits might look trendy, but they can still be worn for several different occasions, ranging in formality.

You can dress one down for a completely casual look, or add accessories to keep the look suitable for professional settings. 

You can wear many different colored shirts with a blue suit. White shirts are traditional and offer a deep contrast with the blue.

This will make a statement, but if you prefer a softer look, pale blue or light pink shirts will work too.

However, keep in mind that these pastel shades are better for relaxed outings instead of formal ones.

Remember to pair your blue suit with a pair of mid-brown shoes to tie your whole look together. 

Black Colored Suits

Black Colored Suits

Black is a classic color, and black suits will always look beautiful. Despite this, black suits don’t have much range as to how one wears them. 

As black is the darkest color, these suits are connected with funerals, formal events, and black-tie occasions. It’s hard to soften a black suit down and wear one outside of a formal setting, but not impossible!

You can make a black suit look less bold by swapping a white shirt for a colored one. Depending on the color you choose, this is a look that’s great for relaxed work meetings.

Black looks good with practically every color, though you might want to avoid orange, unless it’s Halloween. 

Pairing a black suit with a colored shirt will naturally have a lot of contrast, so choose your shirt color with care.

Remember our advice above about picking the right colors for your skin tone, then make sure the shirt works well with your skin and undertones.

Charcoal Gray Colored Suits

Charcoal gray is a color that looks fancy and classy. These deep gray suits aren’t as harsh as black, which makes them more versatile. 

Most people look good in charcoal gray, as it brings out features in darker and paler-skinned people. It also works well in the office, as charcoal is a professional and mature color. 

You can also wear these suits at weddings as they are a nice change from blue. Charcoal suits will make you look elegant, but won’t take the focus off the main wedding party. 

This is a formal color that can be dressed up and down, but despite charcoal gray’s versatility, it’s better to avoid wearing these suits during casual events or activities. 

Keep the look formal by pairing your suit with a white shirt. Keep your shoes black to avoid them blending in with your suit.

Black ties are a natural choice for this look, but you can wear ties that are any other dark color instead. 

Charcoal suits can easily look overdressed during cocktail parties and in the office, but you can soften the look by wearing a different color shirt.

Blue is a nice choice for this, as it will soften the gray without detracting from the outfit as a whole. 

Mid to Light Gray Colored Suits

Suits may have a traditional appeal, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be formal! It’s important to have a relaxed suit that can be worn during the day in your wardrobe. Light and medium gray suits are perfect for this. 

Unlike the charcoal suit, which is dark enough to seem formal, medium and light gray suits feel more easygoing when worn.

They are still work-appropriate though, just not for significant business affairs. These gray shades are also ideal for summer outings and outdoor activities. 

Many colors go with medium and light gray, so you have a wealth of shirt options to try.

White gives a professional look, while pale pastel shades showcase a fun personality.

You can also go for black shirts that deliver a confident, bold, statement. 

Colorful ties like purple, bright blue, and red can also make you stand out, but you can also go for other shades of gray to create a neutral look instead.

Brown Colored Suits

Brown Colored Suits

Brown suits were very popular in the previous decades, but they can still have a place in today’s wardrobe! 

Brown is a color that isn’t as harsh as charcoal, navy, or black. There’s a shade of brown to suit every skin tone, though it can bring out the best of paler skin and red hair.

There is a danger of brown suits looking dated, but as long as you make sure your suit fits you well, brown suits can look elegant and classy. 

Brown shades can simultaneously look relaxed and smart, but if you’re worried about whether your brown suit is formal enough for an event, opt for darker shades of brown instead of lighter ones.

Dressing up in these suits is also very easy to do. White shirts will always pair well with brown, as well as pastel tones, like pale pink and blue.

Brown also goes well with interesting shirt shades, like mint green, salmon, and teal.

However, keep in mind that pastel-colored shirts will always dress down a look to make it more casual. 

Maroon and Burgundy Colored Suits

Burgundy and maroon suits are perfect for those that want to stand out! These shades are ideal if you aren’t up to wearing red, as they are mixed with a little brown to tone them down. 

Maroon and burgundy have warm undertones that invoke cheery feelings when worn. These are dressy enough for a professional setting, but they still feel relaxed enough to avoid feeling stuffy. 

Maroon and burgundy do well when worn with white shirts, as they create a nice contrast between the darker red tones.

You can also go for the opposite effect by adding a black shirt. Add a black tie to tie the look together, or depending on the shade, a brown one that matches your shoes.

Olive and Green Colored Suits

Green suits aren’t as popular as some of the other colors on this list, but they are slowly making a revival in the world of men’s fashion.

Green can seem like a scary color to pull off, but as there are so many shades within the green spectrum, there’s a tone of green for every skin tone.  

It’s best to stick to deeper green shades for formal events and professional environments.

Forest greens and pine shades are elegant and work well in the office. Pair these with a black shirt and shoes for a classy look. 

Brighter green suits are daring, but they can make a statement at parties and evening occasions, providing that formal attire isn’t required.

Muted neutral-colored dress shirts can keep the look simple, but if you’d prefer something bolder, colorful shirts like pink or blue can be a fun addition to your green suit. 

Beige and White Colored Suits

If you want to make a statement, white suits will definitely stand out from the rest! White-colored suits aren’t the most versatile, as there are only a handful of occasions where one is appropriate. 

White, along with beige suits, is ideal for weddings in hot climates, like in the South, or overseas in the Caribbean.

However, in this case, these suits are only appropriate for day wear. White suits can look out of place in the evening.

These bright and light colors look best when the suits are made from light materials.

Cotton and linen suits will keep white suits looking relaxed instead of stuffy. Avoid polyester whenever possible, as well as heavier fabrics like wool or tweed. These will trap heat in and make you feel warmer in hot weather. 

The Bottom Line

As you’ve seen from the advice above, color choice matters! Before you choose a suit, you need to consider whether the color is appropriate for your skin tone, the formality of an event, and whether it makes you stand out or blend in. 

Always try on your suit before you buy it, and buy any accessories and shoes afterward instead of before.

It’s easier to find accessories and attire that match your suit instead of finding a suit that pairs well with your accessories.

Joseph Pais