How To

What should you wear with a grey suit?

By on February 8th, 2018

This is a common question that we are asked. And rightfully so. Second to the proverbial dark suit, a grey suit usually comes in as a close second in most guys’ closets. So, how do you go about building out a look? With this article we want to give you some guidelines on choosing a dress shirt, tie, and pocket square to wear with a grey suit.

To start things off, you really have quite a few different options available with a grey suit since it is a bit of a blank canvas. However, here are some guidelines to bear in mind when finding something to wear with a grey suit:

  • Keep your dress shirt in a lighter color like white, light blue, or some sort of check on white. The whole idea here is that you don’t want to wear a shirt that’s darker than your suit fabric as it will create a bit of an odd visual effect.
  • Regarding your tie and pocket square, go a little lighter in color for casual and/or summertime occasions.
  • Wear a darker tie for more formal occasions.
  • Save your striped ties for the office.
  • And wear fun prints like paisley ties for celebratory events like attending a wedding.

Let’s break this down a little.

The dress shirt

You have quite a few options here, but we really like white for its simplicity. Plus, it makes matching your tie and pocket square easier.

But shades of blue are also great options.

The tie

Regarding color, I think that shades of blue are always good, and black even works well for a sophisticated look. But my absolute favorite color of tie for a white dress shirt and grey suit is purple.

Here are a couple of examples:

a purple tie with a grey suit

This one would work well for the office with the striped tie and square-folded pocket square. In fact, this particular tie works especially well because of its white stripes.

By the way, this is a sharkskin suit.

a formal neck tie with a grey suit

Here’s the same suit and shirt, but with a solid neck tie in dark purple and a festive pocket square. In my opinion, this would be more of a “going out” look.

As you can see, changing the tie can have quite the impact on the overall look. And remember to choose a pocket square that refers to your tie and/or dress shirt, but that doesn’t match it exactly.

And the pocket square?

When choosing the color of your pocket square, it really depends on your choice of dress shirt and/or neck tie.

One of the common mistakes most men make when choosing a pocket square is that they match it exactly to their neck tie. A better method is to choose a pocket square that refers to your dress shirt or neck tie.

But if you still want a recommendation on color, here are two of my favorites:

First, blue. Or shades of blue. I think that it’s just a great color to wear with a grey suit.

Here are some guidelines to bear in mind:

  • Go a little lighter in color for casual and/or summertime.
  • And fun prints like paisley for celebratory events like attending a wedding.
  • Whereas, a crisp white pocket square is always appropriate.

But my absolute favorite color of pocket square for a grey suit is purple.

Wrap up

Does this help clarify how to build a look around a grey suit? Here’s another article on matching if you would like to dive deeper.

I mentioned that the grey suit, whether shark skin or otherwise, is a common 2nd suit for many men. A 3rd is often a sportcoat and a 4th, a tuxedo.