Buying a simple black suit—and knowing what to wear with a black suit—is possibly one of the best fashion investments a man can make. Black suits are highly versatile and you can change your whole look by wearing different shirts, ties and accessories. A well-fitting black suit can be dressed up or down. By wearing the right shirt and shoes, a black suit can be the basis for a casual look or can be worn to a formal event. A black suit can take you from the office, to a business meeting, to a party, a wedding or other events (like funerals) where suits are required. Black suits can even be worn year round if you pair it with an appropriate weight shirt for the season. If you'd like some ideas on what to wear with a black suit, read through the tips below.
- Formal evening events: Wear a black suit with a crisp white shirt and a bow tie to an evening, black-tie affair. Be sure to wear a nice pair of black dress shoes and a black belt. For a formal affair you should also have a handkerchief tucked into the breast pocket of the suit. Complete the look with an elegant pair of cufflinks.
- Job interviews or meetings: While a black suit with may seem too dramatic for a business meeting, it can be made more casual by pairing it with a light blue shirt and a complimenting tie. Avoid wearing a tie with bold colors or crazy patterns. Opt for something with a subtle pattern and stay away from ties with a shiny look or texture.
- Weddings, parties and other events: A black suit can come to life when worn with patterned shirts and ties. For an elegant look, consider wearing a shirt with stripes that are widely spaced. To compliment the shirt, wear a patterned tie that pulls the colors of the stripes. For example, a shirt with gentle blue stripes can be worn with a tie that has a small diagonal print. For a more formal event, pair a simple white shirt or gray shirt with a strong, solid tie and a pocket handkerchief to match. If you're going for a bolder, more festive look, pair the black suit with a solid colored shirt and a bold patterned tie. Just be sure that your look corresponds with the event (don't wear vivid or bright colors to somber affairs, like funerals).
General tips: A tie should be about three-inches wide at its widest point. Be sure to wear black socks; it's OK to wear socks with a small, spaced out pattern that matches your shirt or tie, but it should be invisible from afar. When in doubt, wear plain black dress socks. Invest in a nice black belt to go with your suit as well as a quality pair of black dress shoes.