Most people have had to bear the pain of walking past a group of people and hearing them whisper “What on earth is he wearing?” There is nothing quite as deflating as realizing that you have made a bad fashion choice. You tend to slink around all day with only the thought of getting home fast!
Broken suits, or suit separates as they are fondly called, are a combination of colors in the men’s formal wear category with the intention of still looking trendy and fashionable. Wearing a broken suit is both risky and daring because one small color mismatch can totally miscommunicate your intentions.
However, once in a while we have to mix it up a bit and in this article we want to help you make the right choices, by giving you some general tips on what suits and pants can go well together.
Before we go into some color advice, here are 3 basic rules of thumb:
- Ensure that your color combinations are complementary. It’s not enough to just know that white works with blue. You have to focus on the tones of your separates as well.
- You can’t get it wrong with neutral pieces, either in your jacket or pants.
- Pay attention to your tailoring. Your clothes don’t just have to complement in color, they have to match in style and fitting. You want to go all slim fit or all loose, otherwise you may pull off the color combo, but still look like you wore that combo because you couldn’t find the right pants for the jacket.
Okay, now here are some color combination ideas for you.
THE NAVY-BLUE SUIT
For most in the fashion world, navy blue is now considered a neutral or achromatic color, joining the old guard of black and white. The deep tone of this color is responsible for this and is also the reason why navy-blue suits can go together with a wide variety of pants colors. However, to not assault the visual senses too much, we often advise that you not experiment too much with a navy-blue suit. The reason is simple; “no matter how deep a blue may be, it ain’t black.” Navy-blue suits tend to blend more effortlessly with lighter tones.
Here are some suggestions of pants colors that go well with a navy-blue suit;
This is a rather common trend that we have seen among celebrities and fashion people over the years and so can get a little cliched. However, you can always make yourself unique by spicing up with original shirt choices and pocket squares or ties.
Grey is another color that goes well with a navy-blue jacket. Again, this works really well because grey pants are a light tone which easily complements the darker and thicker tone of navy-blue. However, these colors also tend to be dull and therefore this separate is in desperate need of brightening up. We often advise a bright colored shirt, pocket square or tie to add that special glint to the attire. Typically, red or pink will do the job and if you’re a guy that doesn’t mind some flowery patterns, they will kill the look as well!
THE GREY SUIT
Grey is basically a color balance between white and black and so has already come to be accepted as an achromatic color for many years. The grey suit is a lighter tone suit and there are pants that go well with lighter color suits more than most. A grey suit is flexible and trans-seasonal in nature, and it’s perfect for both office time and after hours on Friday nights.
Grey has the ability to feel summery as a pastel or more like winter’s fog in a charcoal. Its smoky hue makes it both official and casual at the same time. The key to getting it right with a grey suit is to make sure you never wear it the same way twice! It’s so versatile that not switching it up will frankly be a form of underutilization.
The grey suit is perhaps the suit that accommodates the classic black and white the most. A grey suit, black pants, white Shirt and black tie, is a look that has refused to go out of style and probably never will. However, with black pants you can also experiment with different shirt hues...from blues and greens, to magenta and cherry.
Use its versatility to your advantage, wear striped socks, flowered shirts or scarfs with the grey suit. Its flexibility is so amazing that it is even considered more neutral than black and white! The only warning we give is to not use too many colors and tones at once.
The navy-blue color also goes quite well with the pale grey suit (as in the picture) and has that office formal feeling with a touch of jazz. You can always use a navy-blue tie on a white shirt or with a pink shirt. Either of these combinations can accommodate any flowery patterned pocket square that has doesn't sport colors that are too removed from your color of choice.
Red to Oxblood Pants
I just had to throw this into the mix, because it is a really refreshing separate. This is a much brighter alternative to the choices we have discussed and is way more eye catching without needing more. You can sport it with a pink or white shirt and a red tie. You can also sport a variety of pocket squares, from white, to red, to black.
This is the last suit we will be discussing and it also falls in quite nicely in the newly accepted achromatic color category. Burgundy has a reputation for appearing rich and affluent. As a variation of the red color is has that brightness of the red color with the solemnity of the black color, giving it a rich and royal vibe.
Mixing it up with pants can be a little tricky, so many people just go for black pants when they want to try separates. Here are a few safe alternatives to black pants (which is an awesome separate by the way...see picture above).
Grey is one pant color that blends effortlessly with the burgundy colored suit. You can’t go wrong with a black or white shirt either.
With a lighter tone like beige, the contrast between the colors is discernibly refreshing and warm on the eyes. It's a very great option as long as your shirt and tie choices are not too far removed. Colors like cadet- or sky-blue combinations (as seen in the image) are usually a safe bet.
I must warn you that this separate is not for the faint of heart! However, if you are inclined to appear on the scene of a party screaming against convention, burgundy and pink is a color combination that is guaranteed to give you the attention you need. A pink shirt and pants with a flower patterned pocket square will help settle in the look.
Our collection of suits for men offers you a rich variety of colors, fabrics and sizes. You are also welcome to look at different separates in our collection.
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