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Style Advice

Style SOS: How do I style a black suit?

Style SOS: How do I style a black suit?

"I wear a black suit to work most days, but I never know how to style it without feeling drab? What can I do to make it look more exciting?" - Dev via email 

A black suit is a funny thing. On the one hand, it has a reputation for being an uninspiring item that feels most at home in corporate corner offices and at funerals. And, on the other, it’s one of a few things that every guy can rely on and probably already owns. We see a black suit as a sleek staple that, when worn with confidence, can deliver serious impact. To arm you with our best black suit tips, we nudged a couple of our stylists for their take.

Above all else, the most important thing to get right is the fit. “I’d lean towards keeping things frills-free and focusing on the fit,” says Thread stylist Artemis Crowley. “If you have a great fitting suit, you'll instantly have a really strong look.” Because black is a graphic shade, it'll be more obvious if your suit is ill-fitting, so take the time to ensure you’ve got your measurements right and then refer to the brand’s size guide, as every brand differs.

Once the fit of your black suit is up to scratch, you can then advance to making subtle changes to lift it. “For a rock and roll-inspired look, try a slim, knitted tie and Chelsea boots,” says Thread stylist Luke McDonald. “When it comes to the suit’s material, any flat fabric will look a bit stiff – so go for something with a raised weave. Texture is your friend here.” 

If you’re looking for something a little less Rolling Stone and a little more GQ, Artemis suggests going for a tonal look with a dark and moody colour palette, wearing a charcoal knitted polo or rollneck. For a bit of colour, stay in a less vibrant lane and go for maroon, navy, camel, or dark greens. This also applies when it gets warmer and you trade in the button-down or knit for a t-shirt. Black on black can look really strong, too – just make sure you vary the texture of the suit and the layer underneath so it looks less uniform. And finally, Dev, make sure you’re channeling a rockstar’s confidence when wearing your black suit, and feeling ‘drab’ will never be a problem. 


Words: Ashiana Pradhan
Illustration: Ryan Gillett