How to Wear a Black Suit

May 31, 2023 5 min read

How to Wear a Black Suit

Black suits are versatile and relatively easy to style. You can even turn a classic black suit into a stunning casual outfit with the right combination of clothes. Whether you're going to work, a party, a date, a wedding or a loved one's funeral, you can never go wrong with a black suit. 

When styling your black suit, it helps to know which shirts, shoes and accessories to select depending on the occasion. Continue reading to learn what shirt color, shoe color and type, ties and accessories to make your black suit stand out. 

Black Suit Looks for All Occasions

Although black suits are usually formal, modern trends allow you to create your own dress code. The type of shirt, shoes or accessories you wear can change your look from formal to casual. For example, you can pair your black suit with a t-shirt and a pair of sneakers for a party — or, put on dress shoes, a button-up shirt and a tie with the same black suit for a work meeting. 

There are different kinds of black suits available — you can choose a monochrome, patterned or casual black suit with multiple designs and fits.

What Color Shirts to Wear With a Black Suit

The beauty of owning a black suit is that you can wear it with any color shirt. Here are a few ways you can style your black suit with different color shirts:

  1. White shirt: Black suits and white shirts are a perfect combination. This traditional blend fits many occasions and is one of the simplest fits you can pull off. However, it is vital to note that when it comes to the white and black combination, what makes you stand out is the accessories you select. A dark-colored patterned tie will be ideal for a busy office day or a formal event, while bright-colored ties add a pop of personality. 
  2. Blue shirt: You can select many shades of blue shirts — from light powdered blue to blue-black. Blue shirts are livelier and coordinate perfectly with most accessories.
  3. Black shirt: The bold black-on-black combination can be either somber or lively, depending on your accessories. Choose a slim-fit suit and wear your shirt open at the collar for a refined yet relaxed look. For a pop of color, you can add a bright pocket square and matching tie. 
  4. Pink shirt: Though pink shirts tend to go with lighter suit colors, pairing one with a black suit will make your look unique. Light pink is best for a traditional look, but you can choose a vibrant shade for spirited events.

Best Ties for Black Suits

Black suits allow you to choose multiple tie combinations, usually depending on the event and shirt color. Here are three options:

  1. Black tie: Black ties match many shirt colors, including white, blue and grey. While a traditional combination for formal meetings, weddings and funerals, you can switch things up with unique patterns and textures. Pair a slate grey shirt with an extra slim black tie, or pick a striped or checkered black tie to lighten the mood.  
  2. Navy or blue tie: Navy ties match well with light blue, white and pink shirts, but the pink and blue combination is truly spectacular. Navy and blue ties naturally go well with patterns, whether dotted, paisley or striped.
  3. Red tie: The famous red tie is hard to miss. It adds life to the white shirt and black suit combo, making a light blue shirt look stunning. As a rule of thumb, wear darker hues for formal meetings and reserve brighter tones for casual events. 

Best Shoe Type for Black Suits

The dress shoes you wear speak volumes, and there are many options depending on the occasion and level of formality: 

  • Wholecut oxford: At the upper echelon of formality is wholecut oxford. Oxfords are typically made of polished or matte leather and are recognizable by their closed lacing. They are simple yet elegant and are perfect for big occasions. 
  • Semi-brogue oxford: These are more decorative yet classy and perfect for formal events. They are flashier compared to wholecut oxford but have closed lacing as well. 
  • Wingtip oxford: The wingtip oxford is a step ahead regarding flashiness. They are less conservative and excellent for semi-formal occasions.  
  • Cap toe or plain derby: Besides oxfords, derbies are stylish and are sometimes worn with black suits. They are less formal than oxfords, although most people treat them as identical. When you wear derbies with suits, it's best to pick one with slim soles.
  • Single monk strap: If you're looking for a blend of a traditional and modern look, then a single monk strap is what you need. They are suitable for informal black suit occasions, like when you decide to do away with the tie.
  • Double monk strap: These have double straps and are more fashionable. You can combine double monk straps with your black suit for casual occasions. 
  • Semi-brogue derby: This is essentially a semi-brogue oxford but with open lacing. It's best suited for denim, wool and cotton pants, but you may experiment with suits.

You can also wear your black suits with sneakers, loafers or suede bucks for an informal look. 

What Color Shoes to Wear With a Black Suit

What Color Shoes to Wear With a Black Suit

The best shoe color to wear with black suits is black, especially when paired with white shirts. However, you can experiment with different shoe colors depending on the occasion and style — for casual events, a colorful sneaker may be the perfect complement to your black suit.

While some people may avoid pairing black suits with brown or navy blue shoes, nothing is stopping you if it suits your style and outfit!

Best Accessories to Complement a Black Suit

The accessory options are endless when it comes to black suits. Let's consider a few of them:

  • Watch: Watches are one of the most stylish accessories to add bling to your black suit. In terms of color, you can select a black, silver or gold band unless you're going casual with a smartwatch.
  • Belt: There are various belt options on the market. but it’s ideal to match your belt with your shoes.
  • Suspenders: When it comes to black suits, there are many colors of suspenders you can choose from. If you’re unsure which color to pick, you can never go wrong with black. 
  • Tie clip: Tie clips have functional and aesthetic features. Besides holding your tie in place, they also make you look unique. You can match this accessory with the metal of your watch or other jewelry for a cohesive look.
  • Pocket square: Pocket squares give your suit a timeless look. For black suits, choose the colors depending on the event. For example, a bright-colored pocket square will do for weddings or dates. 
  • Lapel pin: You can add a lapel pin to your black suit to style it. Other variations include badge pins and boutonniere, which you must select depending on the event. 
  • Cufflinks: You can complement your black suit with cuff links for formal occasions. They are generally used for high-quality, custom-made shirts.
Contact Penner's for Your Quality and Elegant Suits

Contact Penner's for Your Quality and Elegant Suits 

Black suits match well with various shirts, ties, shoes and accessories. Penner's is a family-owned business with over 100 years of experience. We offer a wide range of suits and shirts, shoes and accessories for all occasions, plus free custom tailoring at the time of purchase. Contact us now for more information or call us at 210-226-2487.