The Best Business Suit Colors for Office – Dress Code 101

Developing the proper style for the corporate environment will do wonders for your career advancement. Being a “great employee” is not enough to survive these days – you must look apart and represent your company’s brand to the fullest. Especially if you meet clients every now and then.

Two Suit Jackets on Racks in Store

Before the 80s, the office was the last place for high fashion – well, Silicon Valley changed it all. Americans began the 20th century in bustles and bowler hats and ended it in velour sweatsuits and flannel shirts – the most radical shift in dress standards in human history. At the center of this sartorial revolution was business casual, a genre of dress that broke the last bastion of formality – office attire to redefine the American wardrobe. In today’s article, I’ll try to help you with how to pick a suit for the office.

Table of Contents

What is business casual?

If we want to understand the current situation of office wear, we first need to learn the concept of business casual. Business casual attire is broadly defined as a dress code that combines traditional business wear with a more relaxed style, which remains professional and suitable for an office environment.

This attire for men is typically straightforward. Acceptable options fall between a full suit and dress pants paired with a professional shirt, button-down, sports coat, or sweater.

White Shirt Navy Pants Outfit
Photo by Waldemar Brandt

Do you need to wear a suit to the office?

Although about 95% of everyday jobs do not require you to wear a suit style – especially nowadays when most of us transitioned into working from home. If you want to stand out with your outfit and show self-confidence – picking a stylish suit is the easiest way to achieve it.

But which suit fits the office the best? You’ll find out from this article. Drop your sweatpants and polo outfit and be the most fashionable person when you return to the office.

Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams Suits
Gabriel Macht (left) and Patrick J. Adams (right) photographed for Suits

Should you wear suits every day for the office?

As mentioned in the previous point, it is not necessary to wear suits to the office at all – at least for most jobs. However, if you decide to wear it to the office, should you wear one day to day?

The answer is – it depends. It depends on your wardrobe and your attitude. If you are ready to wear a suit daily, iron your shirts, and clean your formal shoes every morning – then go for it.

Taron Egerton Wearing Suits Featured in Kingsman
Taron Egerton Featured in © Kingsman Wearing a Gray Suit

In addition, if you want to learn more about suits and how to take care of them, check out our article about the topic. You can learn many tips and tricks, like how to dry clean your suit, now onto the next point.

Man Lint Rolling a Navy Blue Suit
A Man Cleaning a Navy Blue Suit © Suits Co

However, most people like to wear more comfortable casual clothing on most days in the office, hence the business casual attire. On the other, for serious meetings or for days when you are giving a presentation, the best way to seem confident and professional is to wear a well-fitting suit.

What makes a suit look good?

The number one factor when picking the perfect suit is the fit. The right one must look perfect on you – you can calculate space for an additional pound or two, but it shouldn’t look loose on you. In the past, many suits were made in a classic fit which can look baggy on some. The modern ones have a slim fit. The second factor is fabric, but I will talk about it in more detail later in the article.

Suits on Racks in Store
Photo by Alexander Naglestad

Which suit colors are the best for the office?

When choosing the right suit for the office, one of the main factors to consider should always be the color. Think about neutral and plain colored materials such as navy, charcoal, and darker shades. All these colors are considered formal and make for a safe choice. Not only that but they can also be easily matched with other pieces and adapted to your wardrobe.

A well-chosen suit separates you from everyone else in the office. That’s why it’s a must to find the perfect one for you.

1. Black Suit

It is the most modest and cleanest option you can pick. It is one of the fundamental colors you can never go wrong with. A black suit is not too showy and can be the perfect option for the office, high fashioned venues, weddings and even funerals.

Man Wearing Black Suit With Red Tie and White Pocket Square

2. Navy Blue Suit

It is often the second most commonly chosen suit color for men. There is no question as to why, as the color blue represents confidence and elegance, qualities that most men aim to achieve in their workplace. Navy is a suitable choice for the office, as it can be complemented with stylish accessories, enhancing the color’s prominence.

If you pair a red necktie with a navy suit, the color of the necktie will definitely stand out. It also allows you to mix it up from the classier black suit, which is always a bonus.

Navy Blue Suit With Red Tie

3. Charcoal Gray Suit

Many people assume that gray colors are blended and saturated. While it might be true in certain cases like cars and accessories, you wouldn’t believe how rare a charcoal grey suit is. People wearing earthen tones colors like Gray, Brown, and Tan get the most compliments for their attire. These colors will make you look more approachable and fashion-forward in the workplace environment. 

Man Wearing Charcoal Gray Suit with Blue Tie

Earthen tones are perfect for staff meetings, training sessions, and other occasions. It is one of the most esteemed color choices for office wear. Pairing earthen color clothes with matching accessories will really enhance your appearance. Make sure you use off-white color for shirts to enhance the beauty of earthen tone coats.

4. Dark Brown Suit

A dark brown suit can be an excellent option for both light and dark skin men. If you want to wear it for the office, make sure the fit is perfect. Pair it with a white shirt and a darker tie such as gray, black, or brown, and you will be good to go for the office. If you want to pick a safe option, go for the black tie.

Black Man Wearing Dark Brown Suit

5. Tan Suit

Tan is a controversial suit color and won’t work for just any event. It is a casual color and is typically only appropriate in spring, summer, or warm climates. If you are looking to step out in a suit yet are heading to a casual event, consider wearing a tan suit. Of course, if it’s a slightly darker beige suit and you pair it with the right tie and shirt, it can be appropriate for the office.

Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux in 007
Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux in 007

Pick the right tie

Not strictly connecting to the colors of suits, but just as important as picking the right suit. Just like the rule for clothing colors, you must follow the same rules for ties.

Flashy and bold colors don’t look well in business attire. The most important rule is that your necktie should not be lighter in color than your shirt. If you are unsure what color to choose, colors like black, blue, or some shades of green or red will never go out of style.

For more detail, read: How to Pick the Perfect Tie for Your Outfit: 6 Tips

Man Wearing Watch and Adjusting His Tie
Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman

A monochrome look with a shirt and tie is not a bad option either. Make sure the fabric you choose for the necktie is mostly silk or satin. This small tip will make a huge difference in your appearance. If you are looking for a new tie for yourself or as a gift, make sure to check this deal on Amazon:

Where to buy suits?

Picking the right suit is a big deal for us men. There comes a time in every man’s life when they need to purchase a serious suit – whether it is your wedding day, an interview, or an event you attend. Unfortunately, picking the right one is not as simple as going to your local clothing store to buy a plain white t-shirt.

Choosing the right suit has many additional steps – from color choices to taking the required measurements. You can buy suits off the rack, but you need to find a tailor to make adjustments – so they can look perfect on you.

Cloth Store
Photo by Clark Street Mercantile on Unsplash

Best fabrics for suits 

There are several fabric options available for suits, but you must consider various factors before making a choice. To simplify, for summer weather, Cotton or Linen is the ideal choice, while Wool or Cotton is preferable for colder weather.

Furthermore, the weight of the fabric could impact the breathability of the suit more significantly than the fabric type itself.

The Best Suit Fabrics for Men


So, do you have to wear a suit in the office? The answer is no, you don’t have to wear a suit in the office. At least, most of us don’t have to. However, if you want to stand out from the New Balance sneakers, T-shirts, and jeans, put on your smartest-looking suit, add some subtle accessories, polish your formal shoes, and wear them with pride.

Trust me, if you pick any of the mentioned professional suit colors, you will seem like the most confident person in the room.

Man in Blue Suit Jacket Wearing Gold Analog Watch
Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman

At last, try to keep your look subtle. Overloading yourself with a lot of accessories will make a negative impression. A simple suit will give you a more professional look.

Having a few accessories like a nice watch, tie, and pocket square is fine, but do not go overboard. Now, dust off your suit jacket and wear it proudly in the office.

Keep on reading: The Complete Guide on How to Dress Like a Gentleman