MIDWAY GENTLEMAN

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.

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.

What is business casual?

First, what is business casual? Business casual attire is broadly defined as a code of dress that blends traditional business wear with a more relaxed style that’s still professional and appropriate for an office environment. This kind of attire for men is typically straightforward. Acceptable options fall between a full suit and pants paired with a professional shirt, button-down, or sweater.

Two Men Facing Each Other While Shaking Hands and Smile
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann

Do you need to wear suit to the office?

Although about 95% of everyday jobs do not require you to wear a suit– 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 suits to the office, should you wear one every day? The answer is – it depends. It depends on your wardrobe and your attitude. If you are ready to wear a suit every day, iron a shirt, and clean your formal shoes every morning – then go for it. 

Person in Black Suit Jacket Holding a White Tablet and Doing Finances
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya

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 most important factor when picking the right suit is the fit and fabric used for the suit. A proper suit must look perfect on you – you can calculate space for an additional pound or two, but your suit shouldn’t look baggy on you. 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, the main factor to consider should always be color. Think about neutral colors and stick to 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’re also easy to match with other pieces and adapt to your wardrobe.

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

Navy Blue Suit

Navy is often the second most commonly picked suit color for men – there is no question why, as the color blue shows confidence and elegance, which most men like to achieve. Navy is a good choice, as it can include stylish details, which will make the color stand out more. 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

Charcoal Gray Suit

Many people assume that gray colors are blended and saturated. While it is true in many cases like cars and accessories, you wouldn’t believe how rare a charcoal 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.

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.

Black Man Wearing Dark Brown Suit

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 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 tie should not be lighter in color than your shirt. Colors like black, blue, or some shades of green or red will never go wrong. A monochrome look with a shirt and tie is not a bad option. Make sure the fabric you choose for the tie is mostly silk or satin. This small tip will make a huge difference in your appearance.

Man Wearing Watch and Adjusting His Tie
Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman

Where to buy suits?

Picking the right suit is a big deal for every man. 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 a number of fabrics you can choose for your suits, but there are different decisions you have to make before selecting the fabric of your suit. Meanwhile, the short answer is if you pick a suit that is right for the summer weather, pick Cotton or Linen. In the cold weather, pick Wool or Cotton. In addition, the weight of the fabric may make a greater difference in the breathability of the suit than the fabric itself.

Various Colored Fabrics in Store

Endnote

Finally, as answered throughout the article, 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 crowd, put on your smartest looking suit, put on some subtle accessories, polish your formal shoes, and wear them with pride. Trust me. 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 a more professional look. Having a couple of accessories is fine, but do not go overboard.

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

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