Charcoal grey is a trendy choice for business suits. A staple of any wardrobe, the classic charcoal suit is suitable for business and social events.
Charcoal suits are quite versatile and can create many looks, depending on how you pair them with ties and dress shirts.
Your choice of shoes can also switch up the look.
So, with the strategic use of colors and patterns, you can always make it appear unique.
However, keep in mind that different shades of grey match best with different colors.
- 1 Light Grey vs. Medium Grey vs. Charcoal Grey
- 2 The Formality of the Dark Grey Suit
- 3 Charcoal Grey Suit Styles
- 4 Choose the Charcoal Grey Suit by Fit
- 5 Charcoal Grey Suit and White Shirt Color Combinations
- 6 Charcoal Grey Suit and Pink Shirt Color Combinations
- 7 Charcoal Grey Suit and Blue Shirt Color Combinations
- 8 Charcoal Grey Suit and Patterned Shirt
- 9 How to Match Your Shoes with a Charcoal Grey Suit
Light Grey vs. Medium Grey vs. Charcoal Grey
Light grey suits generally fall on the more casual side. It’s a shade that is best for warmer months or hotter climates.
Most people can successfully wear light grey suits, but they look best on people with fair skin complexion.
A medium shade of grey is the most versatile suit color of all because it pairs well with other colors.
It is a neutral shade that can go equally well for business or social. Swap out the shoes or mix and match your ties and shirts to vary your look.
Charcoal suits, on the other hand, are more professional-looking.
Though traditionally more formal, charcoal grey is also adaptable and able to achieve different looks through varying fabrics and colors.
A dark grey suit can be dressed down for an informal event, too. If you pair a charcoal suit with the right brown shoe hues, it will slightly reduce formality.
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So charcoal grey is not a color that typically generates much passion or excitement. Instead, it is frequently considered a bland tone.
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it must be paired with equally neutral colors. Quite the opposite!
Charcoal suits are the perfect palette for creating a variety of looks by using color. Dark or neutral colors look formal and stylish. Light or bright colors look vibrant and crisp.
The Formality of the Dark Grey Suit
The darker a suit is, the more formal it’s considered. As a result, charcoal suits are one of the top recommendations for most professional work settings.
If you work in an environment that has a business professional dress code, chances are you need a charcoal suit.
Charcoal suits look nice enough to wear for black tie optional events, though it isn’t appropriate for black-tie events.
This type of dress code offers more choices than its more formal counterpart, so there is room for slight experimentation.
Patterning makes the suit less formal. Subtle pinstripes are acceptable for a work environment but not for formal occasions.
Be sure to stick with a plain charcoal suit if you intend to incorporate it into your eveningwear.
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You can always purchase a second charcoal suit with patterns once you discover how much you love your original charcoal suit.
If you do not wear suits regularly but are looking to purchase one, invest in a charcoal suit. With this in your wardrobe, you can be as dressed up as you need to be or as dressed down as you want.
Charcoal Grey Suit Styles
There are many options out there in the world of suits. However, you are probably looking for something conservative if you opt for a charcoal suit.
The safest and most classic suit style is a single-breasted jacket with two buttons.
Single-breasted suits are the standard style for most office wear. They have been around for decades, and though it has gone through minor variations, they remain mostly the same.
A vest can increase the sophistication of your charcoal suit. It also adds versatility to your look.
It’s like you have two different suits when you have a vest. So depending on which look you want to go for, you can decide to wear the vest or not.
Double-Breasted Charcoal Suits
Double-breasted suits are more formal and therefore increase the sophistication of the suit. As a result, these suits look polished and gentlemanly.
If you opt for a double-breasted charcoal suit jacket, keep in mind that you should not wear it with a double-breasted vest. That is piling on too much stylishness and would feel like overkill.
Another way to jazz up a standard charcoal suit is to swap out your standard notch lapels for peak lapels.
Peak lapels look very stylized and fashion-forward. They may not be suitable for a corporate office but will slay at a semi-formal event.
When looking to upgrade your charcoal suit, only add one stylized piece to the suit.
For example, peak lapels, a French-cuffed dress shirt, and a double-breasted jacket all in one suit may come across as a bit strong.
You never want to appear as if you are trying too hard, so be sure to pick one design and wear it with flair. Less is more.
#1: Double-breasted modern-fit charcoal suit by Adam Baker.
#2: Double-breasted slim-fit suit by Alain Dupetit.
#3: Dark-grey striped double-breasted slim-fit suit by Perry Ellis.
#4: Double-breasted modern-fit charcoal grey suit by Kenneth Cole.
Choose the Charcoal Grey Suit by Fit
By the nature of their color, dark suits naturally look heavier. It will draw attention to an improper fit.
Any extra folds of fabric will be instantly noticeable.
A suit should not appear baggy in any area; this comes across as unkempt. It will also wrinkle easily, which will contribute to an untidy appearance.
Conversely, a suit that is too tight in areas is also unflattering. Dark colors show all these imperfections clearly, so it is crucial to get just the right fit.
To avoid problems with fit in the future, be sure that you are selecting the suit that is right for you.
There are a handful of different cuts of suit to pick from, but two are exceptionally flattering in charcoal suits.
Classic Fit Suits
For a more conservative look, you should opt for a classic fit. It is the traditional cut, the king of suits.
Charcoal grey is excellent in this cut. That’s because, like the color, this fit is appropriate for everything. It can’t go wrong on any occasion.
A classic fit is a comfortable option. With a bit of room to spare, it is no wonder that this is the most popular fit for business professionals. It leaves plenty of room to move freely.
With a classic fit cut, you don’t have to evaluate if it is too fashionable for a conservative setting. You always know that it is the right level of dressed-up.
#1: Charcoal Grey Napoli Suit by Suitsupply.
#2: Modern-fit charcoal grey suit by Tommy Hilfiger.
#3: Dark grey classic-fit suit by Tommy Hilfiger.
#4: Classic charcoal grey suit by Tomasso Black.
#5: Charcoal classic-fit suit by P&L.
Slim Fit Suits
A slim-fit cut for your charcoal suit is a straightforward way to create a stylish effect. It is a modern suit style that hugs tightly to the body.
Despite its name, this fit is not only for the very thin among us. Most men can pull off this look as long as it is tailored well to their bodies.
Even with the close-cut to your body, a slim-fit suit should still allow for freedom of movement. If movement is restricted, it probably is not the correct size.
Charcoal grey looks quite elegant, and so does a slim-fit suit. Together they create a very polished and classy appearance, and it always manages to look sleek.
#1: Charcoal slim-fit suit by Calvin Klein.
#2: Dark grey slim-fit suit by Tommy Hilfiger.
#3: Charcoal grey slim-fit suit by Tomasso Black.
#4: Polyester charcoal suit by Suitshop.
#5: Dark grey slim-fit suit by Perry Ellis.
Charcoal Grey Suit and White Shirt Color Combinations
It is likely that you already have a white button-up shirt in your closet. A suit shirt can’t get more classic than that.
White looks crisp against charcoal grey. It makes the colors pop and is very bright and clean.
When you want your charcoal suit to be at its most formal, wear it with your white shirt. Together, these two colors can give you tie combinations for days, so deciding on one may feel daunting.
Charcoal Suit with White Shirt and Red Tie
Red ties are traditionally known as “power ties.” It is easy to see why – the bright slash of color jumps out at you. A deeper red, however, with a charcoal suit is more muted and looks stunning.
It creates an understated look for the office without trying too hard. Next to a charcoal suit jacket, it looks like a natural fit.
Charcoal Suit with White Shirt and Grey Tie
A grey tie with a charcoal suit is a slightly less formal look than some other colors, such as a black tie. It is a way to lessen the formality of a charcoal suit while still looking very pulled together.
Try wearing this with brown shoes and a brown belt to tone down the monochromatic effect. If you want to keep the formality, wear black shoes and a black belt.
Charcoal Suit with White Shirt and Black Tie
Adding a black tie to your charcoal suit creates a subtle shift from the black suit/black tie combination. It is still formal enough to wear to most evening events.
This color combination looks incredibly sophisticated and polished while also separating you from all the other black suits.
Charcoal Suit with White Shirt and Brown Tie
For a surprising twist on the charcoal suit, pair it with a brown tie. You will be amazed by how nice it looks.
A muted brown next to charcoal grey looks impeccable. Adding some texture, such as small dots, can create a lovely effect.
Charcoal Grey Suit and Pink Shirt Color Combinations
A pink dress shirt with any suit may seem modern, but you might be surprised how long it has been around.
David Beckham was known for being an impeccable dresser, and he often paired a pink shirt and a charcoal suit.
There is no reason that a charcoal suit always needs to be dressed in dark or muted colors.
Pink will brighten the look of the charcoal suit and add a bit of flair. It brings a bit of cheer where you least expect it. It may even brighten your day.
Charcoal Suit with Pink Shirt and Red Tie
This look is best pulled off with a dark red tone. The red will complement the pink and create a striking visual that will make people look twice.
The two shades make a nice contrast to each other. You may be surprised how pretty this unusual combination looks when paired together.
Charcoal Suit with Pink Shirt and Black Tie
Dark purple looks great against a charcoal suit. This dominant color telegraphs confidence.
A dark tie with a light shirt creates a stark contrast that is very bold. These two colors are not often paired in menswear, but maybe they should be more often.
Charcoal Suit with Pink Shirt and Striped Tie
If you’re not sure about the tie color or want to make it as formal as possible, black or dark grey is always an excellent choice.
Navy pink is fine as well. Opt-in for striped ties for the best appeal.
Charcoal Grey Suit and Blue Shirt Color Combinations
A light blue shirt has a serene effect on a charcoal suit. A darker shade comes on too overpowering, while a bright blue would feel too garish.
Pale blue is tasteful, and it complements the grey by bringing out the suit’s blue hues.
While not quite as cheery as a pink shirt, a pale blue shirt is relaxing. It is a subtle reminder of summer and warmth.
Pale blue can cut the intensity of a charcoal suit without sacrificing any sophistication.
Charcoal Suit with Blue Shirt and Blue Tie
As with the pink on pink discussed above, the blue tie here must be darker than the shirt. The two blues together have a calming effect, emanating relaxed vibes.
This color scheme is very graceful. The two shades of blue draw out the blue tones of the charcoal suit.
Another very sophisticated look – navy with a charcoal suit looks beautiful together. It is slightly less formal than a black tie, but it is still quite conservative-looking.
Navy is a serious, thoughtful color. It nearly blends with the charcoal suit but instead stands out ever so slightly from it.
Charcoal Suit with Blue Shirt and Dark Grey Tie
In this instance, the tie should be the same shade as or darker than the charcoal suit. The blue shirt helps break up what could become a dreary look by infusing a bit of buoyancy.
This combination would look good for either work or an evening event.
Charcoal Suit with Blue Shirt and Black Tie
This look is a slight variation on the traditional black suit and black tie. Substituting a charcoal suit is a classy way to stand out from the crowd and retain that polished look.
You still look sharp while putting a new twist on a classic style. It is perfect for a semi-formal evening event by adding the right accessories.
Charcoal Grey Suit and Patterned Shirt
Tie and shirt color combinations can create a very personalized look for your charcoal suit.
To take it a step further, try incorporating some stripes or patterns on your dress shirt. Don’t feel confined by solid button-up shirts.
Vertical stripes are the most classic print for a dress shirt. The thinner the stripes are, the more formal the shirt is.
The most conservative look for this is a white background with colored stripes. Even the most professionally dressed offices see plenty of this.
Other patterns can be fun and even quirky. Floral and checked patterns are the most popular but don’t shy away from paisley.
Prints such as these are more relaxed and casual, so don’t attempt them for a formal look.
Patterns are a decided effort to make a suit less stuffy. Overall, remember to keep the patterns and stripes simple.
However, too much busyness will overwhelm the dark hues of the charcoal suit and can come on too strong.
And be mindful when choosing a tie for these shirts that you do not end up a clashing mess. A charcoal suit needs very little help to look amazing.
#1: Regular-fit blue-striped shirt by Van Heusen.
#2: Regular-fit blue-striped shirt by Alimens & Gentle.
#3: Slim-fit pink gingham shirt by Tommy Hilfiger.
#4: Tailored-fit white-stripe pink shirt by Buttoned Down.
How to Match Your Shoes with a Charcoal Grey Suit
Black shoes are the best match for a charcoal suit. They are close enough in color that they are a natural pairing.
Since black is the color choice for formal events, a pair of black leather shoes will dress up your charcoal suit.
A dark, warm brown dress shoe is a lovely alternative to black shoes that projects an old-fashioned appearance. It is slightly less formal than black shoes.
Be sure to opt for a pair with rich tones that will be on equal warmth with the charcoal suit.
Try out a pair of burgundy shoes with your charcoal suit for a surprising twist. Burgundy is reminiscent of a jewel tone, which beautifully blends with a charcoal suit.
These can also be worn for more formal occasions.
Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in styling in Rome. Through my writing, I want to help men dress well and learn the purpose and significance of suits and other formal attire. My final goal is to make men more confident in their wardrobe choice and life in general.