Aliotsy writes to ask: I was wondering: what’s wrong with black suits?
There are times and places for black suits, but they aren’t what some men think they are: an all-purpose basic. In fact, they’re one of the less-useful suits. A few reasons:
- They look bad on almost anyone. Better on people with high-contrast coloring (black hair, light skin), but even then they tend to make the skin look sallow.
- Black is a color for evening. That’s why tuxedos are black. Most men are buying basic suits for daytime wear.
- Black is the color of mourning. Unless you have a black suit-specific job, you would only wear black during the day if you were going to a funeral.
- You will look like A) a waiter, B) a priest, C) an undertaker, D) a dork trying to look like a Quentin Tarantino character or E) some mix of the above (undertaker dork?).
- Black is not complimentary to almost any other color and is thus quite difficult to wear.
The real key: almost anything that you can do in a black suit, you can do in a dark gray suit, and that suit will have none of the problems listed above.
Our friend Trey Kirby wrote that he’s in a wedding party where the dress code is “black suit,” and wondered what he can do with a black suit, now that he’ll have to buy one.
Black suits are perfectly suitable for going out in the evening. The high-contrast looks (usually black/white/gray) that they lead to are suitable for dimmer lighting. Feel free to wear a black suit to a club or an art opening. In the evening, black is just fine.
Also, from what I understand: business in Asia. I’m no expert on that, though.