Here is a surefire way to stand out from the crowd of faceless. A tan suit.

That isn’t what you were expecting to hear now, was it? Tan is not your standard suit color, but it is beautiful when paired correctly.

Tan won’t work for just any event. It is a casual color and is typically only appropriate in spring or summer, or warm climates.

If you are looking to step out in a suit yet are heading to a casual event, consider wearing a tan suit.

The Formality of the Tan Suit

The tan suit is perhaps the most casual way to wear a suit. It is a light shade that is breezy and casual.

David Beckham in a tan suit and a white dress shirt

Tan has traditionally been considered an unacceptable color for suit wearers in many situations. You will rarely see one around a professional office.

These days, a business casual setting is a fine place to break out your tan suit. It is more acceptable these days as a bright change from drab shades.

For the most part, though, tan is considered mainly for social or seasonal wear. Wear it mostly in summer and never for formal events.

Tan vs. Beige and Khaki Suits

Descriptions such as “tan,” “beige,” and “khaki” can confuse people. Not everybody necessarily pictures the same thing.

These are various shades of brown, and they aren’t as easy to picture as to when you hear “red” or “green.”

There are a wide variety of interpretations! Some folks may even, incorrectly, assume they are the same color.

beige vs. tan vs. khaki vs. brown suit

Tan is a light shade of pure brown. Think of brown that white has been added to, making it paler.

Beige is another version of light brown; however, this has some yellow and green tones added. You can compare it next to pure brown and notice the different tones pop out.

Khaki is the easiest to understand. It has more yellow to it that brown. Sometimes it almost seems like a very dark cream color.

Choose the Tan Suit by Cuts

The suit must be correctly fitted to make the appearance appealing.

Differences in suit cuts: skinny vs. slim vs. modern vs. classic

If you match the fit of your suit correctly, it will help you enhance your sleek and stylish look. That’s why it’s good to remind yourself of the basics from time to time.

Classic-Fit Tan Suits

Classic-fit suits are characterized by the class and the comfort they provide.

Bigger gentlemen prefer the classic-fit tan suit because it gives additional movement space throughout the waist and chest area.

Best Choices

Modern fit brownish tan suit by Tommy HilfigerBeige tan suit made of Italian wool by Tomasso BlackModern-fit solid tan suit by Tommy HilfigerClassic-fit tan suit by ChamaClassic-fit three-piece tan suit by Stacy Adams

#1: Modern fit brownish tan suit by Tommy Hilfiger.
#2: Modern fit beige tan suit by Tomasso Black.
#3: Modern-fit solid tan suit by Tommy Hilfiger.
#4: Classic-fit beige tan suit by Chama.
#5: Classic-fit three-piece tan suit by Stacy Adams.

Slim-Fit Tan Suits

Slim-fit suits are tailored closer to the body, making you feel like someone is hugging you. If your body is slim or skinny, this is the fit for you.

The tan slim fit suit projects a clean and trendy line.

Best Choices

Slim-fit tan suit by Calvin KleinSlim-fit tan suit by FerrecciTan slim-fit suit by ChamaStretch tan slim-fit suit by Kenneth Cole

#1: Slim-fit beige tan suit by Calvin Klein.
#2: Slim-fit tan suit by Ferrecci.
#3: Slim-fit Beige tan suit by Chama.
#4: Stretch tan slim-fit suit by Kenneth Cole.

Tan Suit Matching Colors

Tan is considered a neutral color, making it one of the easiest colors to pair.

There is quite a lot that you can match to neutral colors, although that does not mean that everything matches.

In fact, there are two major color-fails that you can make when wearing tan.

The first mistake would be wearing a super bold color with a tan. Tan is a bland color. Adding a touch of brightness is perfectly fine, but it is possible to overdo it.

Very bold or bright colors will risk overwhelming the delicacy of the neutral tan. That would leave the bold color looking garish, instead.

The other possible mistake would be to pair a color that is too similar.

You do not want to wear tan with another shade of light brown. You may get mistaken for a package delivery man.

Not to mention, such a bland color from head to toe is boring. Be mindful of tossing in a completely different tone to complement your tan.

Tan Suit and White Shirt Color Combinations

A white dress shirt is a staple for any suit. It is crisp, smart, and professional looking.

Tan suit, white shirt, and brown tie color combination

No matter what color your suit is, a white dress shirt is the most effective way to dress up your suit. Adding a white button-down to your tan suit is a perfect way to wear this suit.

If you are unsure about trotting out a tan suit for an event, play it safe by pairing it with a classic white shirt.

Best Choices

Slim fit white shirt by Amazon EssentialsVan Hausen regular fit white shirtKenneth Cole slim fit shirt in white colorSlim fit white shirt by Calvin Klein

#1: Slim fit white shirt by Amazon Essentials.
#2: Regular fit white shirt by Van Hausen.
#3: Slim fit shirt in white color by Kenneth Cole.
#4: Slim fit white shirt by Calvin Klein.

Brown Tie

A brown tie paired with a white dress shirt keeps your color scheme neutral. It’s my favorite tan suit color combination by far.

A dark brown tie creates a subtle contrast to the light shades in the suit. It’s an excellent way to add a bit of distinction without being too heavy-handed.

Shlax & Wing foulard tie - brown colorBrown tie with white dots by RetreezBrown polka tie with white dots by Scott Allen

Black Tie

A black tie is considered a standard match with a white dress shirt. It is a safe bet, even with a tan suit.

Black dotted tie with white dots by Nautica Black striped tie by Retreez

Grey Tie

A grey tie works along similar lines as a black tie. Because the grey is a variation on black, it creates a more muted version of the black-tie style.

Just as the tan is a lighter shade of brown, grey is a lighter shade of black. You will find that a grey tie will create a soft look.

Solid grey tie KisstiesDark-grey striped tie by RetreezWhite striped light grey tie by Scott Allan

Gold Tie

A gold tie adds a surprising twist to any suit. It is possibly the most unexpected pairing with a tan suit and surprising how well it works.

The gold in the tie plays up the brow and yellow undertones in the suit. It brightens up what can easily be a drab outfit. If you want to create a bit of flash, a gold tie is a great way to do it.

Blue/Navy Tie

It is one of the most delightful and classiest looking color combinations possible. There is room to play and experiment with the shades of blue.

A dark blue is a warming hue. It will make the white shirt pop, looking even crisper. A shade of blue that veers more toward pastel is a very summery, cool look.

Pierre Cardin solid navy blue tieDotted Navy tie with with dots by Spring Notion

Tan Suit and Pink Shirt Color Combinations

Pink is a very modern touch to a tan suit. It is a pleasant change of pace from the expected.

Tan suit, pale pink shirt and brown tie

Pink is a versatile color, able to be either subtle or bold, depending on the shade.

Soft pink is a lovely complement to tan, too. Even pale shades work to warm up the tan hue.

Opt for ties that will play up the warmth of the shade of your suit.

Best Choices

Soft pink slim-fit dress shirt by Amazon EssentialsMetal Cufflink Regular Fit Pink Shirt by J.VerTailored fit light-pink shirt by Buttoned Down

#1: Soft pink slim-fit dress shirt by Amazon Essentials
#2: Metal Cufflink Regular Fit Pink Shirt by J.Ver
#3: Tailored fit light-pink shirt by Buttoned Down

Brown Tie

A brown tie can be the perfect match for a tan suit combined with a pink shirt. Just try to pick the right tone of brown.

A tie that is too dark may come across as too dominating. It could look clunky next to the playful shades of the pink and the tan.

Brown tie with white dots by RetreezBrown polka tie with white dots by Scott Allen

Purple Tie

A purple paired with pink and tan is tricky but can look amazing when done correctly.

If the purple is too close to a pastel shade, you risk looking like an Easter egg. To avoid this, find a vibrant purple that does not overwhelm the other colors.

A royal shade of purple looks stunning without being too bold. The lighter tones in the suit make the purple stand out.

Dotted purple tie with white dots by RetreezSolid purple tie by Kissties

Pink Tie

Any dash of pink paired with a men’s suit is generally surprising. To match a pink-on-pink color combination with a tan suit is a very unexpected twist.

The most unexpected part of all is how well it all works together! It gives off a very dapper and refined vibe.

I suggest choosing a tie that is a shade or two darker than the shirt. A matte material would work best; a satiny, shiny material will cheapen the look.

Gingham tie: Pink color with blue pattern by Secdtie Blue-striped pink tie by Tommy Hilfiger

Navy Tie

Pink and navy go together like cookies and milk. The navy mutes the pink and adds a touch of maturity. Either a dotted or a solid navy tie will work with this ensemble.

There is something about the navy that makes it stand out. It creates balance by sobering the cheeriness of the pink.

Polka dot navy tie with pink dots by Kissties Striped Navy tie with pink stripes by Luther Pike Seattle

Floral Tie

Another way to add an unexpected twist to your tan suit is to pair it with a floral tie. It can be quite bold and makes a fun statement.

Pinks, purples, and blues are all wonderful colors to incorporate in a floral tie.

You can have a dash of green included, but be sure that it is only a dash. Too much green with the pink and you risk looking like a cartoon character.

Paisley floral tie by MantieqingwayNavy white floral tie by Spring NotionPurple pink floral tie by Spring Notion

Tan Suit and Blue Shirt Color Combinations

Tan and blue are a natural fit together. Blue is a soothing color; pairing it with tan is the ultimate in a soothing, relaxed style.

Tan suit, blue shirt, and navy tie

A pale blue softens the tan and cools the tones of the suit. It creates a beautiful color palate.

If you are going for a casual vibe, pale blue is the shirt you absolutely must wear. It is classy yet ultra-relaxed.

Best Choices

Slim fit blue-striped white shirt by Calvin KleinClassic Fit Blue Shirt by Buttoned DownSlim fit blue shirt by Tommy HilfigerSlim fit blue shirt by Kenneth Cole

#1: Slim fit blue-striped white shirt by Calvin Klein.
#2: Classic Fit Blue Shirt by Buttoned Down.
#3: Slim fit blue shirt by Tommy Hilfiger.
#4: Slim fit blue shirt by Kenneth Cole.

Blue Tie

To extend the cooling effect, add a blue tie with your blue shirt. Steer clear of looking too matchy-matchy with similar shades. A blue that is a few shades darker will be head-turning.

If you are feeling adventurous, experiment with a jaunty turquoise. This is very modern and trendy. And bonus points for such a playful color scheme!

Dotted royal blue tie by Elfeves Solid blue tie by Kissties

Navy Tie

If you want to go in the opposite direction and warm up your suit, pair it with a navy tie. The dark shade will up the suit’s formality level by a notch or two, while still being relaxed.

Navy is a very confident color. It is the perfect complement for tan because the warmth of the shade brings out the brown hues. Also, it subdues the brightness of the tan.

Dotted navy-blue tie with light-blue dots by Retreez Dotted Navy tie with with dots by Spring Notion

Orange Tie

This look is extremely hard to pull off but can leave a really astonishing impression.

An orange tie will mute the blue, making it dressier than a light tie would. Also, the blue shirt will accent the complementary undertones of the orange.

The secret is to match the shade, and the color wheel can really help you with that.

Blue-striped orange tie by Tommy Hilfiger Blue-dotted orange tie by Tommy Hilfiger Foulard orange tie by Nautica

Floral Tie

A black tie is the most professional of all looks, even among casualwear.

The black stands out against a light blue background. The combination of the light blue and the black make this standard style very preppy.

Navy white floral tie by Spring Notion Paisley floral tie by Mantieqingway

Tan Suit and Checked Shirts Color Combinations

For the ultimate in sporting a casual suit, try wearing a patterned shirt with your tan suit.

A checked or gingham pattern is the epitome of summer casual. Pairing it with the ultimate in summer casual of suits is a homerun.

Since navy is such an amazing complement to tan, you can’t go wrong with a navy gingham shirt and navy tie.

If your office observes business casual, that is the perfect place to make a splash with this combination.

If you are heading to an outdoor event, wear pink or pale purple gingham. You will own the picnic with your amazing fashion sense.

Shoes for Tan Suits

In most cases, you may want to wear brown or burgundy shoes. They will complement your tan suit as well as bring out the warmth of the coloring.

Suits & shoes complete occasion and formality color guide match

Black shoes are best when you are wearing colors that bring out the cool tones in your suit or wearing a black tie.

Because of the casual nature of the tan suit, you are more freedom and flexibility in picking out the shoe style.

Traditional Oxfords and Derbys will help make your suit a bit dressier. If you are playing up the casual aspect of your suit, a nice loafer looks top-notch.

Final Words

Tan suits are laid back. They are never appropriate for formal wear, no matter the season. If you are attending a formal event, stick with dark tones.

Carefully examine the undertones of your suit to determine what shades you can find. Aim for a color that can play up the shades you find there.

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