Thursday, June 4, 2015

Grey Matters

Grey Matter - Breaking Bad (S1 E5)

Sorry, I couldn't resist the Breaking Bad reference. The episode "Grey Matter" was, and continues to be, one of my favourite episodes from Breaking Bad. For anyone who hasn't watched the series, I highly recommend it.

Anyways, to the topic at hand: Grey. In the last two weeks I had a two clients and a wedding party inquire about grey. Usually clients have an idea of what colour they would like in a suit, but they always want to compare. Often, grey swatches get brushed off because there doesn't seem to be anything special with grey.

Though the colour and decision is ultimately up to the wearer, I always suggest a grey (or some variation, such as charcoal), or at least make them aware of grey options. Why?


A grey suit can go with almost any type of shoe and belt colour (it looks fine with classic black, but pairing it with chestnut, burgundy or brown also works), as well as various shirt and tie combinations. And, it doesn't really matter what kind of grey a client selects either; grey suits are very complementary to most colours.

Grey fabrics, such as these, are easy to match with various colours.

Black suits can be paired with various shirt and tie colours as well, but they are essentially restricted to black shoes and belts. Therefore, it can be difficult to switch up the style and feel of a black suit versus a grey suit.


I'm not recommending that you wear a grey suit to a black tie event, but in general a grey suit can be both formal and casual. How formal or casual a grey suit can be depends mostly on its supporting cast, i.e. the shirt and the tie. For more formal events, going with a classic white shirt, dark tie and black shoes and belt will make any grey suit appear more formal.

Conversely, a grey suit jacket can be worn with various pants (such as jeans or some khakis) which will create a more casual look. As previously mentioned, grey suits can also be matched with chestnut, burgundy and/or brown leathers, which can keep your look stylish but not too formal at the same time.

Therefore, with a grey suit in your closet, you can achieve more than one look at various degrees of formality without breaking your bank.


Most importantly, grey suits are forgettable. It may sound odd to want to have a forgettable suit, but ask any woman who has an amazing dress and she'll tell you that she wished it was forgettable. Dresses that stand out do just that; they stand out. Therefore, after wearing it only once, many women find it hard to wear that dress again because everyone remembers where and when she last wore it.

The same argument could be made for suits that stand out. It may be fun to get a unique or flashy coloured suit (like purples, teals, burgundies, etc.) but you may find yourself limited once you wear it. Because you've worn it once, chances are people will remember that distinctive suit colour, so the benefits of wearing it again and again may diminish.

Robert Downy Jr. rocking a purple suit.

Unorthodox suit colours, like the one above, can look amazing and work really well. But, for most of us who don't have an arsenal of suits in their closets (or the bankroll to amass such a collection), it is best to go with suit colours that can stand the test of time; look great while you're suited up, but camouflaged enough that you can wear it on other occasions without someone saying, "Hey! You wore that last time!" The better (and more economical) option would be to change up your look with shirts, ties and leather, as opposed to suits (which would be the most expensive out of the bunch).

So the next time you are out suit shopping, don't brush off they grey. After all, Grey Matters.

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