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Adding Color to a Wintry Mix

The dark gray suit, that stalwart of your winter wardrobe, doesn’t have to be dull. When the gray days of winter start stacking up, and you wonder if the sun will ever return, it can be difficult to get inspired to bring some color into your wardrobe. But wearing dark suits in the winter doesn’t have to sap the color out of your wardrobe.

Below we’ll start with a dark gray canvas (our body-slimming Charcoal Herringbone Custom Suit, winter weight Highbridge Charcoal Houndstooth Custom Suit and luxurious Gray Custom Suit suits) and show you how to trick them out with color and panache.

royal-blue3 Charcoal Herringbone Light Blue Shirt Blue plaid tie Blue diamond beats fossil dunhill wine-red2 highbridge charcoal herringbone White shirt Mr Cord Tie drake silk twill bresciani tumi ray ban


Solid gray suit Green plaid white shirt Art-deco pocket square timex STOLEN RICHES valextra

As you can see, a gray suit is the perfect starting point to experimenting with color.

Leave a comment below with your favorite ways to inject some color in your look.

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6 thoughts on “Adding Color to a Wintry Mix”

  1. brian says:

    I’ve been going through some of your winter combinations and I noticed that you don’t feature scarfs or at least I haven’t managed to find a link that caters to this specific need. It’s winter in South Africa now, and want to add a scarf to my everyday look without compromising the ‘professional/corporate outlook. Any suggestions?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      While this story focuses on colorful accessories, not outerwear, we love our scarves and have featured them in a lot of other stories.

      Perhaps the most appropriate choices for a gentleman looking to keep things professional are in the Suit Up For Winter story which features a scarf, hat and coat choice to go with each fall/winter suit.

      Also, be sure to check out our favorite ways to tie it once you’ve found that perfect scarf.

  2. Richard says:

    Love the slight hints of wine red with a pocket square- has to be my favourite colour!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Red is a color that requires a bit of restraint. That’s why we love it in the details like pocket squares and accent stitching on cuffs and lapels. That’s much better than spilling a glass of a good Bordeaux all over one of your shirts (trust us on that one)!

  3. James says:

    A personal favourite of mine is the accent stitching in the boutonnière, although I also love the idea of using coloured laces to add some sartorial punch to your look. I was also wondering if you could do a post showing us how to choose a shirt tie combination to go with our suit, and perhaps just a general musing on what you think are successful colour combinations. Many thanks, James

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Great choices, James. As we’ve noted, we love infusing color into our looks with accessories.

      When it comes to pairing shirts and ties with suits, we start by looking at patterns. We’ve covered pairing shirt and ties as well. In that piece we mentioned that, when adding a suit to the mix, it’s easier to keep one of the three elements (shirt, tie or suit) solid.

      The good news is that if you follow the pattern rules of thumb you can wear, it’s hard to ruin your look with color. That said, if you really want to kill it with color combos, use your own coloring as a guide. Dark hair? Try a dark gray suit. This frames your face. Lighter hair? Try a lighter suit. You don’t need to look hard to see this done well. For instance, regardless of where your politics lie, we can all agree Ronald Reagan definitely brought a bit of dash to Washington with brown suits (previously unheard of in the White House) that complemented his auburn hair. For shirts and ties, try pulling another color from your own features (like your eye color) into the mix. This color system, combined with smart use of patterns will take your look to the next level.

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