Matching hats with suits?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Chad Sanborn, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. Chad Sanborn

    Chad Sanborn A-List Customer

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    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    Is there a color guide to matching your hat with your suit? How about hat styles matching suit styles?

    Chad
     
  2. budward

    budward One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Hi, Chad. Let me begin with the disclaimer: I don't have a clue whether there's some rule about hat colors or styles with suits. That said, here's some opinions. To me, colorwise a suit is supposed to be background support for another focal point. A frame, if you will. The color ought to come from a tie, or perhaps a pocket square if the tie blends right with the rest of what you're wearing and isn't itself loud. A hat's color shouldn't be the focal point with a suit, colorwise anyway. The fact that it's on your head will be a bold enough statement. I think black is loud, so would opt for shades of grey or brown in a hat. And to me, suits are blue, grey or brown. I'm not wild about brown hat with grey suit, but it's not a mis-match. Any other combination of those hat colors and suit colors seem to me would work pretty well. I'd have a hard time wearing a brown hat with black shoes and a black belt. I think silverbelly is quite a striking statement, particularly set off against a dark (particularly blue) suit. There's nothing defenseable about any of this, since it's based solely on what colors through my eyes please me.

    Budwin
     
  3. Oscar Tong

    Oscar Tong Familiar Face

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I'm no expert, but I prefer the hat to be the same color as the suit. This is probably outside our decades of interest, but I like how Christopher Reeve looks as Clark Kent in Superman. He was wearing a black suit and a black fedora, looking quite out-of-place in then modern-day Metropolis!
     
  4. badhatter

    badhatter New in Town

    Messages:
    13
    Styles have to match

    Hats should match the style of suit. Suits in the 30's up to the early 50's for the most part had wide lapels, wide padded shoulders and trousers with pleats and wide legs. If you wore a snap brim with those suits it wouldn't look right. From the mid 50's onward to the 80's, suits had a trim look, no pleats in trousers, narrow lapels and an overall trim silouette appearance. A wide brimed hat with a high crown would look out of place.

    I treat hats as accessories and wear colors accordingly. A brown hat looks good with a blue suit, but appears more casual. Black or dark grey appears more formal with a blue suit. Black with a grey suit or grey with a black suit is always safe. I try and match the hat with the overall color of the sport coat when I wear one.

    If I am dressed casual I always wear a brown, tan or grey hat regardless of the other colors I am wearing. Also a hat with a thin hatband just looks more casual than the wider one. My $.02.
     
  5. Oscar Tong

    Oscar Tong Familiar Face

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    76
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Sounds great, but...

    Hey, BadHatter, this sounds like great stuff, except I can't quite grasp the principles behind the rules or why this works and that doesn't. [huh] Would you mind expanding on how to match the style of a suit to that of a hat? It's all rather new to me. Thanks! :)
     
  6. Matt Deckard

    Matt Deckard Man of Action

    Proportions. Like skinny tie, skinny lapel and short brimmed hat. Wide lapels, wide tie and wide brimmed hat. Not always true with hats, styles were a mish mash through many eras. Those are not finite rules. You can't put Sean Connery from Dr. No in a wide brimmed high crowned fedora because it would look un proportional.
     
  7. badhatter

    badhatter New in Town

    Messages:
    13
    Styles have to match

    As Matt said...proportions relative to hats. I have numberous hats from vintage Stetsons from 1930's to new hats bought a couple of years ago and in my opinion, as an accessory, the brim width of hats and to some degree the style of block has mimiced most trends in fashion. Now as well in the late 70's lapels in suits and jackets widened from the slim styles and pleats in pants came back into fashion. Brims of hats today, dress hats, are about 2 inches in width. A width I consider medium compared to hats prior to late 50's which were more in the 2 1/2 range and even over three inches at related to the zoot suit era in the early 40's which was a style or fad of exaggerated proportions with extremely wide lapels, baggy pants and long jackets with extremely wide lapels. Now... if you were a musician you can get away with anything...even bad taste.
     
  8. badhatter

    badhatter New in Town

    Messages:
    13
  9. renewing a really old thread

    didn't want to start my own thread, but looking for ideas on my two suits.

    here's the first one, sorry for the poor picture, but it's more of an olive / grey suit with a Tan / gold pinstripe in the pattern. in the pic I'm wearing a carbon grey fed 4, I'm just not sure it looks right.
    [​IMG]

    I also have a modern 3 piece black suit (3 button jacket) with white pinstripes. it seems to make my shoulders look wide and when I wore it with the same fed 4 as in the above picture, the hat almost made my head look squatty. I was thinking of trying a moonstone Stylemaster, but with the black pinstripe suit, I didn't want to look like I was going "all gansta"

    any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  10. Olive/gray with tan/gold pinstripe & looks like dark olive shirt, I'd go more brownish for the lid instead of carbon gray. I have a black Stetson Pinnacle with a dark olive ribbon & edge binding for that color set up, too.
    For the black with white pinstripes, that itself is going to be ganster with just about any lid but think the carbon gray with the dark ribbon would work, if not a black on black.
    Based on other postings, there are much better coordinators around this Lounge than me!!! :eek:
     
  11. warbird

    warbird One Too Many

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    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Personally I'd go brown especially with that shirt. If you went to a white or striped white shirt then grey would go well with it. The suit looks pretty grey to me, but pics can be deceiving. Grey is so versatile it doesn't look bad at all, but IMO if I wanted to wear the grey hat I'd go white or predominately white shirt.

    As for the black I guess I'd have to see a pic. Personally I never wear a black suit, ever. I don't own one. Some consider them the most versatile, I consider them the least. It is hard to say w/o seeing pics.
     
  12. cybergentleman

    cybergentleman A-List Customer

    Messages:
    331
    Location:
    New Jersey
    matching colors

    Hats are outerwear, like a coat, meant to protect your head (basically).
    so that said, i wouldn't worry too much about the color mixing, since you won't wear it indoors all day.


    your suit..the greenish hued look, you'd probably be better off with a light tan hat.

    colored shirts with a matching suit is a bad idea, in my mind. i'd go with a white or ecru colored shirt and a light tan hat. if you wanted to try something- go with a black shirt under that suit and then the grey fed or moonstone would probably look sharp too.

    if you lighten up the shirt color, then your grey fed will look much better with that outfit.

    like shoes, the hat doesn't have to match the suit color, it should work with it.
     
  13. more pics part 1

    this may be overkill but here it goes.

    Pinstripe suit (up against navy, it looks black, up against black it looks navy, maybe it's "ink" colored?

    w/ carbon grey Fed IV
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    w/ silverbelly campdraft
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    w/ black stingy wool fedora
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. more pics part 2

    Here's a better pic of the olive suit

    w/ carbon grey Fed IV
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    w/ silverbelly campdraft
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    w/ black stingy fedora
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm looking to wear this outfit to my daughter's baptism in 2 weeks. So what do you guys like, don't like, or recommendations on a different crease or a new hat or new color to purchase.

    also, suggestions on tie color.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  15. Geronimo

    Geronimo One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Texas
    Ah. That explains why I've never been able to get a wide-brimmed hat to look right.

    [​IMG]
    This looks best to me.
    As for tie... I think it's hard to go wrong with a blood-red tie on a white shirt. Or a blue shirt. Or any shirt with a collar. :p
    My notions are that the tie should be inversely proportional to the 'loudness' of the suit - all my shirts are solids, so they don't come into play. So with seersucker, you use a black tie to avoid color overload. With a black suit, you use a bright color to brighten up the appearance. Red works well since it stands out strongly from the white shirt and the dark coat.
     
  16. cybergentleman

    cybergentleman A-List Customer

    Messages:
    331
    Location:
    New Jersey
    wrap up

    navy pin stripe suit- avoid striped ties.
    light blue shirt or white shirt recommended.
    tie- blood red with the white shirt, light blue or other pastels for the blue shirt.
    grey fed looks good


    olive suit-
    black or off white shirts better i think for you.
    tie color- avoid heavy dark colors that mesh with the suit, try light colors, yellows, golds maybe you can get away with a deep bold red- but may look too much like xmas.
    hat color- think they all look good.
     
  17. locale

    cybergentleman, Thanks for the advice, and I noticed you're location. Isn't that where the Carestream / Algotech headquarters is at? I work in Rochester, where Carestream's US headquarters is located. where ever you go, safe travels.

    RobFedora field
     
  18. cybergentleman

    cybergentleman A-List Customer

    Messages:
    331
    Location:
    New Jersey
    location

    hi,

    I am just a student, but i pasted those companies into google and it seems you may be right. I 'll figure out later whether they are actually based in Haifa.

    there are numerous companies based here and throughout the country as a whole.

    one of the heads of hematology here is actually from university of rochester medical center- small world.
     
  19. Torpedo

    Torpedo One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,332
    Location:
    Barcelona (Spain)
    Generally speaking, it is better to go for some contrast - none of your hats seems to give contrast enough, at least judging by your pics.
    Grey can be a very versatile neutral colour, although this can be negated if the grey has a strong cast in some sense (bluish, for instance, or earthy), which could well work badly with some colours. But you would need a lighter grey, like a granite, or that moonstone Akubra has, anyway, to provide contrast; or a camel or tan, going to browns.

    Regarding ties... also generally speaking, ties should be darker than shirts, again looking for contrast. Patterns - several can be mixed, if not too similar, in order to avoir a too crowded, too busy, overall impression. This can be managed playing with different colours, different patterns and different pattern sizes. I would suggest a plain coloured, or tone-on-tone patterned suit, to make combinations easier.

    The suit seems to have a pretty subdued pattern, so you could use a more strongly patterned tie, with a lighter coloured background as compared to suit, but at the same time should be darker than your shirt. Because the suit is olive, I would suggest brown, gold, maroon, green, tan, even dark red.

    HTH!
     
  20. RobFedoraField,

    I am about the same build and coloring as you and find that with my round face I look best in a high crown, wide brim hat, 2" or better. I prefer hats with little or no crown taper, so it doesn't look like my head is coming to a point. I stay away from suits and shirts in browns and greens as it makes me look sallow. Almost any shade of brown hat looks good with a blue or grey suit. A grey hat goes with everything. A black hat is for me only for formal occasions. Enjoy your quest for the perfect style.:D
     

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