Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Formal dress codes can be a pain but thanks to our quick yet comprehensive guide, you’ll become an expert on shirt and tie combinations with a black suit in the blink of an eye.
How a Suit Should Fit
Before we fully dive into the world of shirt and tie combinations with a black suit, let’s set some ground rules on how a suit should fit – you know, so that we’re on the same page. Proportion is key with all clothing but it becomes especially important with suits, if you don’t get them right you’ll look sloppy, defeating the whole purpose of wearing a suit. For that reason, remember to get your black suit jacket tailored and sleeves and suit trousers hemmed in case they’re too long or too short.
You really don’t want to look like you rented or borrowed somebody else’s suit. At the same time, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a bespoke suit from Saville Row.
Colours That Go With Black
Black suits can get quite boring so if you’re looking to jazz it up a bit, it’s essential to know what colours work well when paired up with black. It’s common knowledge that black goes with everything, it’s impossible to mess it up right? Not quite.
When wearing a black suit, you’re relying on black as the fundamental colour structure so it’s vital to pair it with colours that go well with it as well with your complexion. If you’re fair skinned, a black suit can make you look quite pale so you can blend that contrast with warmer colours. If you’re dark, wearing a black suit should be second nature. Your skin and hair colour naturally supports higher colour contrasts and you can easily experiment with bolder combinations.
The Coloured Shirt
Red compliments black perfectly, you can’t really go wrong with that. Pairing black with a vibrant navy or an electric blue is also a great combination to achieve a swanky look. Colours like blush pink, white, grey and silver, different shades of blue like turquoise and yellow also go well with black.
But remember, black should be the prevailing colour when combined with others so use them in moderation. Be especially careful with orange or you might end up looking like a very elegant pumpkin.
When to Wear a Coloured Shirt with Your Black Suit
Wearing a coloured shirt with your black suit is a great option for office day wear or if you’ve got , say, a job interview coming up. Injecting a bit of colour into your formal wear can make feel wearing a suit less monotonous, but make sure that you are tasteful about it – that means no overly bright or garish colours. Similarly, a wedding is the perfect opportunity to whip out a coloured shirt, just as long as you don’t upstage the groom.
The Printed Shirt
Using prints is a more experimental way of mixing up your suit combinations. To avoid going too over the top, opt for muted colours in small, repetitive prints like polka dots or stripes.
Flannel or plaid is another workable option. Inject a bit of individuality into your black suit by opting for a printed shirt that reflects your personality and style, just make sure not to go too overboard or you’ll stand out for all the wrong reasons. This is a great option for a date or formal occasion as it shows subtle flair whilst still keeping things understated.
You may think we’ve gone bonkers but trust us on this one. A patterned shirt, whether checked, floral, or dare we say it… striped, can work wonders for a plain black suit. Anything that seems too over the top or eye watering will immediately be toned down to something that’s easy on the eyes, due to the stark magic of the black suit.
When to Wear a Printed Shirt with Your Black Suit
A patterned shirt really shows off your personality and introduces an element of individuality into your formal wear. Wear a patterned shirt underneath your black suit for a date or a graduation ceremony, just be cautious not to go too over the top with the prints or you’ll completely miss the mark.
Black Suit Combinations
Black On Black Suit
Colour blocking is a fundamental style skill and going with all black suit is perfect for formal ceremonies. A black suit and black shirt is the pinnacle of formality, so save this for you most formal occasions. In order to avoid looking excessively two-dimensional, it’s useful to carefully select different fabrics and textures for you to play around with. For example, you can opt for an off-white dress shirt to add a bit of shimmer to your outfit and prevent your black on black suit from looking too opaque.
What Colour Shirt to Wear with Black Suit
When thinking about what colour shirt with a black suit would look good, the options are almost limitless. See below for our top shirt recommendations with a black suit.
Black Suit White Shirt
Wearing a black suit with a white shirt will create a crisp contrast that will make your entire outfit look sharp and polished. It’s a classic and timeless combination for a reason. Bear in mind that white is your accent colour and black should be the protagonist – the risk of looking like a penguin or a zebra is always around the corner.
Slim fit tuxedo jacket and trousers are the obvious choice here. Together they make an excellent men’s black suit combination without breaking the bank. What more could you possibly want?
Black Suit Blue Shirt
Wearing black and blue or navy together has been regarded as a fashion sin for decades. The arguments against a black and navy marriage have been finally debunked. It’s time to scrap those ancient style rules and let black and navy reunite at last.
A blue shirt and black suit allows you tap into a formal and elegant realm of darkness without leaving other people to wonder if your suit comes with a cape and castle in Transylvania. A men’s black suit combined with a light blue or chambray Oxford shirt is also ideal for the office.
Black Suit Grey Shirt
Grey is great when paired with black but it’s been done endless times. Luckily for you, grey has a cooler and funkier brother called silver and he’s great fun. Wearing a silver shirt can add that additional touch of light that you’d get wearing a white shirt without the sharp colour contrast between black and white. Needless to say that you’ll look like a true gent.
Black Suit With Red Shirt
If you want to make a bold statement, wearing a black suit with a red shirt is your go-to combination. A red shirt can be a fantastic addition to your repertoire. It will give you the chance to be more experimental but keep it stylish and smart. Steer away from bright and flashy reds such as scarlet which can cheapen the whole look and unsurprisingly make people feel entitled to demand you park their car. Opt for a rich wine red or deep crimson instead.
How to Tie a Tie
Most men are required to wear a tie at least once in their lifetime. But no matter how many times you’ve done it, it’s no secret that it can be problematic. With the risk of chocking yourself with a tie and setting up the scene for the last black suit you’ll ever wear, let’s learn how to tie a four in hand knot.
What Colour Tie With Black Suit
If suits and tie combinations weren’t that important, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z wouldn’t have had the urge to write and sing a whole song about them. As long as you’ve got your suit and tie, you’re guaranteed to leave it all on the floor tonight – provided that you’re pairing your black suit with the right coloured tie. No need for pre-paired shirt and tie sets, just keep reading.
Black Suit Black Tie
One of the main reason why you’ve been wanting to wear a black suit with a black tie without having a particular event to attend to is Men in Black. That film has been subliminally influencing your fashion subconscious for years without you even realising it. There’s nothing more polished and sophisticated than a man wearing a tailored black tie suit with a white shirt.
This combination will give you an air of sleek mystery and hey – maybe you’re a celebrity bodyguard. Maybe you catch rogue aliens in the middle of the night. But you definitely know how to look cool no matter what you really do in life.
Black Suit Red Tie
Every man should aspire to have an assorted collection of ties. That doesn’t mean that they need to be expensive. As long as they are tasteful, ties are a great accessory and really make a difference to your suit. When it comes to red ties with black suits, try to avoid ties that are too shiny and opt for more textured ones.
Black Suit White Shirt Red Tie
Wearing a black suit with a white shirt accompanied by a red tie is a brilliant combination for a wedding. You can create a nice contrast using your white shirt as the main point of light and finish your look off with a dash of colour provided by your red tie. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s all about proportions and balance. So make sure you find the right width for your suit lapels, your shoulder size and fit of your black suit. A fresh white shirt is guaranteed to make the red of your tie pop.
Black Shirt Black Tie
As said before, black shirts are usually more appropriate for casual occasions but there are ways to go all-black-everything at special gatherings. Opt for a silky black dress shirt to add some lustre to an otherwise gloomy and potentially dull outfit. Try and pair your black suit jacket and black shirt with black tie with a pair of patent black shoes for a luminous finish.
Dare to Bare
I know, I know this is a shirts and ties combination feature. But how about this? Ditch the shirt altogether. Ok, maybe ‘bare’ was a little misleading. But why not try swapping your shirt for an alternative like a t-shirt or roll neck. Substituting a shirt for one of these can add a contemporary twist to your look and breathe a new lease of life into your black suit. For less formal occasions, rid yourself of that old familiar and pair your suit with a less rigid and casual alternative.
If you’re going for a T-shirt, keep things smart with a crew neck design in a simple pattern or block colour. Anything that’s too baggy, with a neckline that’s too low down won’t work with the sleek fit of the blazer. You can also try a neat roll neck in a plain colour like grey or navy. Because of its unique shape it’s already eye-catching enough, so you don’t to go overboard by wearing it in a bright colour or highly patterned design.
Shirt And Tie Combinations With A Black Suit
- Begin by making sure that your suit fits correctly, this is imperative so you can look your best.
- A black tie is a fool-proof addition to your look, no matter what other colour combinations you have going on.
- Don’t be afraid to break the monochromatic colour scheme – wear a blue or navy shirt with a black suit, or a black suit with a red tie. They’re both classic colour combinations.
- Experiment with coloured ties but avoid bright colours and shiny fabrics – keep it tasteful.
On That Note
Now shirt and tie combinations with a black suit are no secret for you, what a perfect time to add some of those coloured shirts we talked about. And whilst you’re at it, why not throw in some funky ties as well? You don’t want to be unprepared for your next big event so plan ahead to fully become a master of contrasts and colour palettes. We guarantee you won’t regret it. One thing’s for sure – no one will ever ask you to stand at the back of pictures at your friend’s wedding because of your questionable taste in shirt and tie combinations. BTW you should also check out the “Gitman Vintage” all-new collection from Meadow