Guys: you don't need to wear black so much.

I've noticed that a lot of guys feel like the best suit they could ever own is a black one.

When working with clients, I ask them about their lifestyles, and what they need a suit for. During the process of getting to know my clients, they often arrive at the need for a black suit. Some actually do need one for logical reasons (like the ones I list later), but most of the time they don't know why they think it's so necessary. I've asked a friend before, "why do you need one so much?" He said very simply and confidently, "Black goes with everything."

The Problem

It's safe to assume this has come about because of pop culture. James Bond (infamous tuxedo scenes), the dudes from that show Suits, and most TV shows or movies with a leading man wearing a suit. And usually, the unintended goal of its appearance becomes ostentatious for guys not on camera.

Understanding that black isn't as versatile as one may think is what the root of the problem is, while usually what's on camera is done tastefully, guys will just say that black works without seeing the small details that make well-composed, black outfits tasteful.

Understanding the Problem

The truth is the opposite of what my friend above said: black does not go with everything. Black looks too final and unapproachable, while it's usually best for funerals and black tie events like traditional tux weddings, high-end galas or fundraisers, red carpet events, etc. where most men are wearing the same thing. I'd like to help gentlemen avoid prioritizing and idolizing the black suit in real life.

How to Solve the Problem

"But I want to stand out," you might say. Ironically enough, black won't help you visually stand out, it'll make your presence recede. Also, part of being a true, sartorial gentleman requires that a man knows the time and place to stand out; loose dress codes are fair game, friends!

The solution—especially for first-time suit-buyers—is to go with a rich, dark navy or a charcoal gray. These colors are the most versatile suits a guy can own, and by being the most versatile, they create the most value out of dollars spent on them. They can be used for casual weddings, networking events, most fundraisers, luncheons, casual company dinners, common office workplaces, date nights, guys' nights, and more. They're also much more approachable depending on how you style them. If you need help with styling, I've got you covered.


Final Thoughts

Save the black suit for a second or third purchase down the line, or if you actually are going to need one for a particular event. Otherwise, it's best left at the store or kept in your closet for specific occasions.

What to Do Next...

Check out my online catalog of custom, made-to-measure (MTM) suit options. Next to the more expensive, bespoke option, MTM is the absolute best kind of suit to own. They do require an appointment to get fitted for, but it's completely worth it. If you're located in LA or the greater LA area, contact me to get started.

Sean Ireton