Wearing grey suits: an essential style guide

When it comes to the world of sartorial couture, the versatility of the colour grey is second to none. Basking in the glory of neutral hues, it readily complements most colours and fits every occasion. But remember, this does not imply a free-for-all. Every shade and style of grey demands a calculated approach, specific pairings and a keen eye for detail. Here’s our detailed guide on what to wear with grey suits, promising to get you that quintessential look you’ve always aimed for.

What to wear with light grey suits

Light grey suits, with their softer and more relaxed hue, hold an unmistakable charm that conjures images of elegance merged with nonchalance. Fondly referred to as the summertime staple, these suits are loved for their understated, cool appeal, reminiscent of outdoor luncheons, marquee weddings and sun-drenched garden parties. But they can be perfectly at home in the office, and not just in the summer. It’s all about what you wear with them.

In essence, the light grey suit is like a canvas, quite capable of carrying various colours, patterns and moods. Regardless of the event or season, it remains versatile and stylish, and is a reliable choice for the contemporary man. 

Pairing shirts

The light tone on this type of suit pairs wonderfully with a range of shirts. For a breezy, almost ethereal look, pastel shirts in delicate hues such as pale blues, muted pinks or soft lavenders make an ideal match. For a stark contrast that can’t help but add sophistication, a pure white shirt is a foolproof choice, allowing the light grey suit to truly stand out. But if you wish to experiment, don’t shy away from deeper shades like burgundy or navy; they can balance the softness of the suit with a touch of rich intensity.

Selecting shoes

When it comes to footwear, it’s best to keep the relaxed and light-hearted theme consistent. Opt for dark brown shoes to add depth to your appearance. While black shoes can also work, shades of navy and burgundy maintain an aesthetically pleasing contrast. For a more casual affair, light grey suits even pair perfectly with premium white trainers for an urban-chic ensemble.

The right tie

Ties can truly bring your look together, tying the various elements into one harmonious vision. For your light grey suit, veer towards ties that incorporate a shade from your chosen shirt while also including a dash of darker grey or navy blue. This not only furthers the connection between the elements of your outfit, but it also provides a delightful contrast to your light grey suit. Stripes, polka dots or geometric patterns can add an interesting visual element, making your ensemble a conversation starter.

What to wear with charcoal suits

Charcoal grey suits are beloved for their inherent depth, dramatic appeal, and endless versatility. These are the ace cards of the sartorial world, an unstated hero, whether you’re heading to a boardroom meeting or an evening social event. Distinctly more formal than its light grey counterpart, charcoal grey suits are timelessly stylish, frequently featured in the wardrobes of the more dapper modern gentlemen.

Pairing shirts

For shirt pairings with charcoal grey suits, think bold, solid, and saturated colours. Burgundy, navy, or forest green are excellent choices and lend a striking presence to your ensemble. A brilliant white shirt beneath a charcoal grey suit offers a quintessential look, exuding a sense of classic sophistication. But if it’s a contemporary style you’re after, a solid black shirt provides a sleek, monochrome match that’s eternally stylish – and slightly mysterious.

Selecting shoes

When selecting shoes, remain committed to the formality that charcoal grey conveys. Leather or suede in black or deep brown are perfect partners. To add a subtle edge, consider Oxfords or loafers in a burnished tan for a modern-day attitude with a hint of classic refinement.

The right tie

Tie choices for charcoal grey suits should be grounded and firm, just like the suit itself. Solid coloured ties in shades matching your shirt uphold the suit’s formal vibe, while geometric patterns or stripes can inject some fashionable flair. Consider a silk tie with a subtle sheen; it can add a layer of luxuriance to your outfit. But if you're leaning towards a more adventurous route, don’t shy away from more daring patterns or textures. Just ensure the tie contains some element of the colour shared by your shirt or suit to maintain a harmonious look. 

Patterned grey suits

Wearing patterned grey suits requires a little finesse. With patterns, a solid colour shirt is a safe bet. If your suit has a chequered pattern, a solid shirt in white, light blue or pink will help highlight the pattern of the suit. Burgundy or black shoes will do your suit justice. A tie with a complementary pattern in the same colour family will add an extra panache.

Grey tweed suits

Synonymous with British heritage, grey tweed suits exude charisma and sophistication. Shirts in solid white or powder blue are classic companions. For an unorthodox combination, try a rich purple. Footwear should ideally be in robust brown hues, and boots can finish off that rugged, countrified look that tweed can convey. Opt for ties with earth tones, deep reds or blues for a perfect blend of vintage and modern.

Grey suits with a hint of colour

Grey suits with a hint of colour, say blue or green, bring a unique distinction to your wardrobe. Complement these with a white or pastel shirt to showcase the delicate undertones. Shoes in dark brown or black are a good choice. Blend in a tie that matches the subtle tone of your suit for a meticulously cultivated look.

Where your grey with pride

While grey is a colour that is generous and accommodating, dressing in a grey suit is still an art, an expression of your innate style sense. Remember, there are no fixed rules, only guidelines. It’s your personality and your comfort that should ultimately dictate your choice.

Whether you’re attending a business meeting or a social soirée, your grey suit will faithfully stand by you, making you look nothing but exceptionally dapper and suave. Keep these style tips handy, experiment and conquer the world in your own, unparalleled style.