Thursday, July 2, 2015

Reader Question: Shirt & Pocket Square For Grey Suit And Tan Shoes?

photo supplied by reader


Hi Mxolisi

I want to wear this gray suit with brown shoes, tan specifically. What colour shirt and pocket hanky would go with it? I don't want to wear a tie.

Please give me some options. 

Appreciate it.

L.N.


Hi L.N.

There are a lot of shirt styles and colours you can wear with a combination of a grey suit and tan shoes. Firstly, that shade of grey complements tan wonderfully. I couldn't have picked a better combination.

Allow me to dissuade you from going for a solid colour shirt in the proverbial white, light blue or tan/ mustard shade, they are incredibly boring especially when you are trying to be creative with an outfit. My first piece of advice would be to go for something with colour and a pattern since the suit is a solid grey. A striped shirt with a candy or a Bengal stripe would do the trick especially since you want to go sans tie. I’d venture to say that these two stripes exude a casual vibe as opposed to a dress or hairline stripe. Try a white shirt with navy or red or sky blue stripes. I advise you to try these colours because your tan shoes deserve immense consideration. You don’t want your shirt to clash with the colour of your shoes since the suit already complements them. Consistency is key.

Since you won't be wearing a tie I'd say make sure you take care of the little details that can make or break your outfit. Try and get a shirt with a high collar (not the ones with all sorts of buttons, extra collar leafs with different colours or, where the collar is so high it hides your neck) I'm referring to the kind that will stand it's ground against the collar of your jacket. Nothing screams unpolished quite like a floppy shirt collar buckling and disappearing under the pressure of a jacket. Collar stays, magnetic ones particularly, can help you in this regard because they hold the shirt collar up thus ensuring that it doesn't flop. In the event that they aren't an option then your safest bet would be a button down shirt.

I dare you to try a denim shirt. In the conventional dark blue, preferably button down. Not only would this be a distinguishing feature but, it would be the mark of a gent well versed in personal style. You could then finish off this combination with a pair of tan shoes (lace-ups or monk straps) in suede. That would be suave. That's why I’m daring you!

With regards to the pocket square, here you can go bold. So go for something patterned, not conventional patterns like checks, stripes, etc. but try something with pin/ polka dots, paisley, or a border. It’s not a must that it matches the shirt or suit but it must complement them by staying in the colour scheme and creating a perfect harmony. For me, my picks would be something with a touch of pink or a white pocket square with a contrasting border, or polka dots in the same colour schemes. Try to incorporate bright colours that complement your suit, shirt, and shoes. Ultimately, your choice of pocket square is broad and this is where you get to be most creative.

You will notice that I didn't suggest a checked shirt or anything of the sort, that's is because I find them a little difficult to work with because your look will appear incomplete without a tie. A striped shirt gives you better options.

Good luck and I hope everything works out!



                                                            PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

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