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Can a black suit go with a grey Fedora?

scottyrocks

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Black hats can work with black suits, btw.

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Bjorn240

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What is the reason for avoiding black suits during the day? Is it related to heat, or purely aesthetic?
It's aesthetic. A black suit is inappropriate for business wear (navy, charcoal, and mid-gray should make up your business wardrobe), and the high contrast is not flattering in daylight - it washes out your complexion. Also, invariably, they look cheap.
 

avedwards

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It's aesthetic. A black suit is inappropriate for business wear (navy, charcoal, and mid-gray should make up your business wardrobe), and the high contrast is not flattering in daylight - it washes out your complexion. Also, invariably, they look cheap.

I disagree. A black suit is certainly more difficult to pull off than a blue or a grey suit but it can be done. The key to wearing a black suit for business wear or everyday wear is to avoid wearing it with a white shirt and a dark tie but to wear a coloured shirt (grey or cream work quite well) and/or a bright or light coloured tie. It will wash out some people's complexions but not everyone's and it will only look cheap if it's made of polyester and ill fitting. A sharply cut black flannel suit would immediately not look cheap or costumey for example.
 

Bjorn240

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The key to wearing a black suit for business wear or everyday wear is [snip] to wear a coloured shirt (grey or cream work quite well) and/or a bright or light coloured tie.
All offices are different, I suppose. I've spent my career in management consulting and in banking in the US. A black suit with a gray shirt and a brightly colored tie would not be considered appropriate business attire. So, on the internet, when I don't know people's situation, I'd recommend the conservative course of action.
 

Seb Lucas

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All offices are different, I suppose. I've spent my career in management consulting and in banking in the US. A black suit with a gray shirt and a brightly colored tie would not be considered appropriate business attire. So, on the internet, when I don't know people's situation, I'd recommend the conservative course of action.

I'm interested to hear this. I have never had to wear a suit so I would never have understood that a black suit is inappropriate. I own a charcoal one for such things as funerals but I have never had to wear it to any funerals I have been to. I am always curious that there are such strong views about colours and combinations in a corporate setting.
 

avedwards

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All offices are different, I suppose. I've spent my career in management consulting and in banking in the US. A black suit with a gray shirt and a brightly colored tie would not be considered appropriate business attire. So, on the internet, when I don't know people's situation, I'd recommend the conservative course of action.

Every workplace is different and I agree that some are so prescriptive that a black suit would be inappropriate no matter what it's worn with. My point was that I disagree with the statement that a black lounge suit should never be worn because it always looks bad.

Personally I don't wear black suits because I find that other things look better on me but I think that when done right they can look very sharp.
 

scottyrocks

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The black suit 'not looking good' is purely a value judgment, and should be treated as such. Office requirements, however, are a different thing. If your place of employment has a dress code, you knew that going in, and even if they require a clown suit, you either abide by it, or hit the bricks, so to speak.
 

F. J.

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What is the reason for avoiding black suits during the day? Is it related to heat, or purely aesthetic?

Primarily, it is to avoid a funereal look. Traditionally, all-black attire is reserved for mourning and is considered inappropriate in other contexts. This is one of the reasons why the trousers worn with morning dress never match the black coat, as that was reserved for gentlemen in mourning.
 
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I'd have two general rules:
1) A gray hat goes with any suit that isn't a warm brown tone.
2) Never wear a black suit, unless it's a dinner suit, and it's after 6pm.

I'm not so strict; however, I do unconsciously avoid black except for funerals. To my eye and preferred ascetic I don't like black for business. I wore suits exclusively for years at work until I took a promotion where I dress more casual (weird, right?).

My dinner jackets are black, midnight blue, and cream. When I was wearing suits I was not wearing hats. Now that I discovered hats I wish I had known earlier how they can compliment the outfit. I still look for opportunities to wear suits and I'm acquiring hats to match them.

Thinking back, my coworkers who pulled off black suits never wore solid black. There were always light pinstripes or chalk stripes or windowpane or something to break up the starkness of all that black. For the same reason it works for funerals where you don't want to show cheer.

In the end, I suspect that hat rules are like all other fashion/style rules: they are guidelines and not hard rules. If it looks good to your eye then go for it. It it were me, I would not go with black. I'm certain that my black and dark green homburgs gets the least use of all my hats. Grey would be my first choice, but like I said I'm pretty new to hats.
 

Benzadmiral

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In his classic Dress for Success (I think; it's been some years), John T. Molloy gives his view* that a black suit is too high-authority for everyday wear. He points to airline pilots and funeral directors as those who traditionally wear black suits -- it's just too strong an image. I dunno. I have a nice Hugo Boss black suit I've worn with a cream or a blue shirt and a yellow or a gold tie, and it looks quite sharp. Again, though, if your particular profession or office insists on eschewing black suits, then don't buck the trend.

* Though backed up by his opinion polling.
 
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