When a lot of men look at buying their first bespoke suit, they will often think to purchase a black suit. The black suit is best placed for two occasions; as cocktail formal attire for a wedding or ball… or for a funeral. Black can be a hard colour to work with especially for those with lighter complexions. It can often wash out skin tones and it inspires a very formal or sombre mood for an outfit.
So what colours work best for which skin tones?
Let’s start with the simplest and most straight forward option. The Navy Suit. Navy is a colour that works for ALL complexions. Be it dark, light or somewhere in between, navy is a colour every man should have in their wardrobe as a key staple. The trick with making navy look its absolute best is to ensure you get the right base tone for your colouring. Men with a skin tone darker than a Mediterranean tan should look for an indigo based navy as this warmer navy colour will compliment your darker complexion. A gentleman with lighter skin should look to a cooler, grey or blue base in the navy and go for the darkest shade for maximum contrast.
If you’re a man with a darker complexion, you have a lot of colours that will ultimately look great against your skin tone. Lighter cool tones in grey, blue and pastels really allow you to enhance your summer suiting and contrast against your skin beautifully. Bold and bright checks are your friend and darker cool tones of charcoal grey, forest green and maroon work as well as navy. Colours to stay away from are anything with a yellow-base. Think olive greens, yellow based khaki tones and muted mid based greens as they don’t contrast against your skin and will wash you out.
For the man with a lighter complexion, darker tones are your best friend. Look for colours that have a cool base colour as they will pop against your skin tone the best. Dark French navies, gunmetal greys, deep maroons, and purples will work the best. If you are to venture into a lighter palette, ensure there is a dark pattern, pinstripe or check running through the cloth to still allow for that distinct pop of colour. Colours to stay clear from are you lighter warmer greys and lighter yellow’s, off whites and beige tones as they wash out your complexion and give a drab finish to even the most well fitted suit.
No matter the occasion, no matter the skin tone, there is always a colour that will work best for you. Make sure to have fun with suiting and allow your choices to express your personality.