(50) Shades of Grey: Revamping Your Essential Grey Suit

The last time we talked about “Shades of Grey” we told you that your grey suit is the most versatile and essential staple you could have, and that hasn’t change. The grey suit is here to stay for generations to come, and if you’ve been meaning to invest in a suit, grey should be your first weapon of choice. Here’s just a few reasons why:

  1. Nearly every shade of grey is compatible with every shade of another color.

  2. Grey suits enhance nearly every pattern combination you can think of.

  3. Grey suit separates are just as powerful on their own as they are all together.

  4. Oxfords, derbies, or even sneakers; nearly every shoe will get the green light with a grey suit.

Besides these three points, there are very technical reasons why grey suits are the most versatile, and although we don’t want to over-exhaust your style knowledge bank as to the “whys” and “how comes” we’re going to let you in on a secret: the shade spectrum of greys function as empty palettes; they gather their stylistic depth and character not from itself, but from the colors, textures, patterns, and shapes you pair up with it.

If you’re still not convinced, take a deeper look into exactly what we mean:

               Pitti Uomo // Focus: Plaid (on the left) and window-pane (on the right).

               Pitti Uomo // Focus: Plaid (on the left) and window-pane (on the right).

GQ essentials for Mr. Porter // Focus: All the different shades of color paired with grey. 

GQ essentials for Mr. Porter // Focus: All the different shades of color paired with grey. 

1.) “Nearly every shade of grey is compatible with every shade of another color”-- The color grey itself has its own power that’s meant to amplify the other colors around it; grey can be as warm as it can be cool, and whether or not you’re preparing for winter or spring, the right shade of light heather grey can help bolster you into suit preparedness with very little effort on your part. Pair up your grey suits with red flannel shirts, blue denim jeans, or silk ties, brown trousers, mustard socks, houndstooth maroon pocket squares, and hunter green cardigans. Whatever your poison, your grey suit can take it. What’s better is your grey suit can empower your colors to make bolder statements.

 

        Pitti Uomo in Florence // Focus: The window-pane grey suit and yellow schemed contrast!

        Pitti Uomo in Florence // Focus: The window-pane grey suit and yellow schemed contrast!

  GQ essentials for Mr. Porter // Focus: The various patterns paired with grey suits and separates! 

  GQ essentials for Mr. Porter // Focus: The various patterns paired with grey suits and separates! 

2.) “Grey suits enhance nearly every pattern combination you can think of” -- From stripes to flannels, to window-pane and cable-knit, grey suits come straight out of the armory to bring the most handsome, yet modest, touches to your everyday style game.  Wear your darker grey suits with cooler colored flannels (maroons, burgundies, hunter greens), and lighter grey suits with warmer colored flannels (reds, yellows, yellows, off-whites). Keep your offensives strong and pair up your grey suits with a black turtleneck, or cream, mustard, or even red hued cashmere sweaters. If you’re looking for every excuse to layer and keep warm for the winter, your grey suit is your secret, “right-hand-suit.”

 

            J. Crew for Mr. Porter // Focus: Grey suits broken a part and how they're used!

            J. Crew for Mr. Porter // Focus: Grey suits broken a part and how they're used!

GQ essential for Mr. Porter // Focus: How grey suit separates are used in different combos!

GQ essential for Mr. Porter // Focus: How grey suit separates are used in different combos!

3.) “Grey suit separates are just as powerful on their own as they are all together” -- Many sartorialists will argue that only certain suits, made of certain textures or materials, can be worn separately. Honestly, nearly every grey suit can be worn separately, and the secret to knowing which few grey suits can’t be worn by itself is by taking a quick look at the fabric. If a grey suit has a “shiny” sheen to it, often times those suits are meant to be worn with all its pieces; if there is no sheen then you have the green light to wear your grey suit as separates, thereby unlocking its versatility even further! Use your grey suit jacket as a blazer, and exercise its comfortable work-place and Sunday brunch muscles! Pair it with a casual blue oxford, a plain white tee, or even a henley (all of which we make at Kipper Clothiers!) for that smart-casual look we’re always harping on and on about. Or, take your grey trousers for a solo spin, and pair it up with your favorite bomber, leather jacket, and white sneakers!

           Confused about what's the best shoe to pair with your grey suit? Just you wait...

           Confused about what's the best shoe to pair with your grey suit? Just you wait...

All these shades and styles are appropriate! Darker greys go with darker shades, and vice versa.

All these shades and styles are appropriate! Darker greys go with darker shades, and vice versa.

4.) “Oxfords, derbies, or even sneakers; nearly every shoe will get the green light with a grey suit” --  The most recurrent struggle with a suit is picking a pair of shoes that go best with it, but have no fear; when it comes to your flannel, window-pane, worsted wool, or cotton grey suits the whole spectrum of shoes is at your disposal! Pick from oxfords, derbies, double-monks, and even sneakers of nearly every shade of brown, stark black, or sharp white. Didn’t think your style agenda could get any more broad? Understanding the potential of your grey suit will unlock several levels of urban, professional, and smart-casual styling that will allow you to be ready for anything from “meeting the parents” to that first “big and important interview” using the same exact suit for both occasions. Be reasonable and thoughtful by pairing your grey suit with a navy tie and a camel topcoat for professional events, or smart and comfortable, by taking apart your grey suit and pairing it with a quarter-zip sweater of your color choice and some brown chelsea boots. As always, the possibilities are endless; they just need to be within the scope of your eye.

Loving these style ensembles and tips? Make an appointment with Kipper Clothiers to custom make your own grey suit, top coat, henley, or sweater here! If you’re looking for more wardrobe ensembles, check out our other blog posts on one of our favorite fall essentials here!

 

Hoisum Nguyen

Berkeley, CA