How to Rock a Monochrome Suit (and Look Good)

Brooks Brothers gray suiting


Monochrome is having a fashion moment. While it looks incredibly handsome if it’s pulled off correctly, head-to-outfits in one single color can be tricky. This newer frontier in modern fashion is all about figuring out which tone suits you and which you feel comfortable in. Then it’s time to masterfully mix different tones as you would for any other monochrome style dressing. Here are three monochrome looks to try with suit colors you have already hanging in your closet.

First, a word on accessories

When wearing a monochrome suit, break up some of your tonal and textural differences by adding an accessory like a tie, pocket square, or pair of socks. Adding these accessories to match your corresponding suit color will allow room for your individuality to flourish and showcase your attention to detail, which will always bode well for you in the workplace.

1. Blue

young male model in blue suit

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GQ displays this handsome monochrome look on Star Wars star Oscar Isaac in his January 2016 spread in the magazine, touting his blue suit monochrome look as one of the most flattering on any man and noting that it’s easy to wear. Your best bet with pulling off this versatile look is to steer clear of too dark of a blue suit (closer to navy) and like Isaac, wear a textured blue suit and mix light and dark blues, while also mixing in a combination of casual and formal pieces.

He is wearing a sharp Italian suit (always a surefire winner) and a chambray work shirt underneath a merino wool cardigan. Isaac even adds in a pocket square to complement the monochrome look. GQ adds in one last suggestion when layering these types of pieces: Be sure to choose a slim fitting shirt and tee so you’re not piling on any unnecessary bulk to your streamlined, tailored suit jacket.

2. Grey

gray suit

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This season was all about the head-to-toe monochrome grey look. Fashion Beans points out that during the previous rounds of fashion week, every designer from Calvin Klein and Dolce & Gabbana to Lanvin and Boglioli showed multiple layers of and shades of grey in single outfits, ranging the entire grey spectrum from dark charcoal to light stone. Yet another versatile color to wear, grey flatters any man’s skin tone.

To pull this look off, the best place is to start with a worsted wool charcoal color grey suit so you have more options in incorporating lighter and middle of the road shades of grey. Go for a tie in a lighter shade and try a medium grey V-neck fine knit sweater. If ever in doubt, accent your greys with white rather than black to lift your look; it’ll keep you looking clean and modern. Finish off with a pair of dark brown wing-tip oxfords.

3. Black

young man wearing black suit sitting on sofa

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While black appears to be the easiest, it can be one of the toughest to successfully pull off because you walk a fine line between getting it right and looking too severe. Following the aforementioned rules, the best way to pull off head-to-toe black is to really embrace different textures and patterns and follow the rules of tonal dressing. Try a classic black wool suit with a graph check slim-fitting shirt and textured polka dot tie, finished off with a pair of clean black brogues.

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