Knowing which shirt & tie combinations with a brown suit work best is of paramount importance in an age where color, pattern theory and experimentation are becoming more commonplace with men’s sartorial enthusiasts. In this detailed guide, we cover shirt & tie combinations with a brown suit.
Bucking conventional wisdom, you’ve decided to eschew the wardrobe staples of navy and charcoal grey suits and have instead opted for a finer woolen brown suit for your particular occasion. And who could blame you. While navy and grey suits carry connotations of authority, trust and singular business minded focus, brown suits are characterized by a more approachable, earthy and humble manner, allowing you to come across as unpretentious and genuine (yes, I do realize the paradox of that statement).
The ever perplexing question, however, of what shirt and tie combinations you should pair with your brown suit, remains a lingering issue. Do you need to balance your suit with louder or softer colors? Are there particular shirt or tie colors that work best with brown suits? In this detailed guide, we cover shirt & tie combinations with a brown suit!
Before delving into shirt & tie combinations that would work with a brown suit, it is worth re-examining the basic tenets of color theory, which in turn help facilitate color pairing decisions below.
A color wheel can provide a great foundational understanding of colors and how they pair and complement each other. A color wheel is largely divided into two camps: warm & cool colors. Warm colors, such as red, orange and yellow exude vibrance and warmth. Conversely, cool colors such as green, blue and purple are associated with calmness. The concept of a color wheel allows one to wear colors in union, or harmonize warm and cool colors, creating a balanced look. As we will see below, a color wheel also allows for combinations of cooler or warmer colors to work together, provided that they are paired in the correct proportions and intensity.
Monochromatic Color Scheme
A monochromatic color scheme entails pairing a darker or lighter variant of the same color. Because we largely advocate wearing ties that are darker in shade than the underlying shirt, examples with a brown suit would include pairing a navy tie with a light blue shirt or a burgundy tie with a lighter pink shirt. Monochromatic color schemes lend themselves to a familiar yet highly sophisticated look, without having you dip your toes into eccentric-ville with your color choices!
A navy grenadine tie perfectly complements this lighter blue shirt and brown suit, resulting in a sophisticated, monochromatic look. Courtesy of www.suitsexpert.com
Analogous Color Scheme
Analogous color schemes involve choosing colors that are adjacent on the color wheel, helping create a sense of familiarity. While we do not advocate pairing warmer colors with each other, this works extremely well with cooler colors. With regards to wearing a brown suit, examples would include a light blue shirt with an olive green tie.
A brown suit with a light blue striped shirt is perfectly complemented by an olive green tie, resulting in a familiar, analogous look, bringing together two cooler colors adjacent on the color wheel. Courtesy of www.beckettrobb.com
Triadic Color Scheme
Finally, an option that involves actually harmonizing / balancing warmer and cool colors! A triadic color scheme entails pairing cooler and warmer colors that form a triangle on the color wheel (e.g blue, red & yellow). Triadic color schemes utilize both the warmer and cooler sides of the color wheel, helping create a balanced look.
With specific regards to a brown suit, a light blue shirt with a burgundy tie, or a light pink shirt with a navy tie would work incredibly well!
An exquisite combination of a brown suit with a light blue shirt and burgundy tie, forming a triadic combination that balances warm (burgundy) and cool (light blue) colors. Courtesy of www.blacklapel.com
Complementary Color Scheme
The boldest of all the color schemes, a complementary color scheme pairs a color with its strongest counterpoint (i.e one that is directly across on the color wheel). With a brown suit, we would recommend pairing a light green shirt with a burgundy tie, or a rust orange (earth tones) against a blue shirt.
A brownish orange striped silk tie pops off perfectly against a blue checkered shirt and brown herringbone tweed sports jacket!
Brown Suit & Shirt Combinations
Brown Suit with White Shirt
Few shirts pair as easily with a brown suit as a white shirt. A classic white shirt provides the perfect canvas with a neutral, earthy brown suit. Given the neutral nature of both the suit and shirt in this combination, the stage is set to experiment with tie colors.
We suggest going with darker, earthy colors to really bring your ensemble together and make it pop. Burgundy, Rust Orange, Mustard Yellow, Olive Green, Navy & Blue Ties will work particularly well here.
A brown suit pairs exquisitely with this solid white shirt and olive green tie. The olive green tie’s earthy hues perfectly complement the earth tones of the brown suit. Courtesy of www.thenordicfit.com
Are you looking for a somewhat monochromatic scheme that provides sufficient contrast with your suit color? Cue the burgundy tie. Pairing a burgundy tie with a white shirt and brown suit lends itself to an incredibly elegant, sophisticated look.
A Brown Polka Dot Tie pairs exquisitely against this white shirt and brown suit. Courtesy of www.hespokestyle.com
As mentioned above, a yellow tie with earthy tones, such as a mustard yellow, will perfectly complement a brown suit and white shirt.
A yellow foulard printed silk tie with earthy tones perfectly complements this brown suit and white and grey finely striped shirt! Featuring The Dark Knot’s Menaggio Foulard Yellow / Brown Silk Tie. Courtesy of @dapper.one
If you are looking for a chic, monochromatic look, try opting for a lighter shade brown tie. While we typically advocate going for a darker tie color, a lighter shade of brown could work particularly well in less formal settings (e.g country club party or beach wedding). Conversely, a darker brown tie pops off perfectly against a white shirt and a lighter brown (tan suit) in less formal settings!
A light brown / tan suit elegantly complemented by a white shirt and darker brown tie, results in a monochromatic look that is ideally suited to less formal settings. Courtesy of www.hespokestyle.com
Brown Suit with Light Blue Shirt
If opting for a medium or darker brown suit (our preferred colors for more formal occasions), a light blue shirt works exquisitely. The cooler properties of a light blue shirt provide an ideal complement to your earthy brown tones, helping soften the suit.
Looking for the right color combination with your ties? If going for a monochromatic look, pairing a navy tie provides adequate balance.
A brown suit with a light blue shirt and navy tie provides for an exquisite monochromatic look! Courtesy of www.suitsexpert.com
Another fantastic way to achieve a monochromatic look is with the suit itself. Hence, pair your brown suit with a light blue shirt and brown tie for that seamless look.
A Brown Grenadine Tie pops off perfectly against this darker brown suit and blue striped shirt, resulting in a seamless and elegant monochromatic look. Courtesy of www.dresslikea.com
Pairing your light blue shirt with a burgundy tie will provide more of a contrasting look, harmonizing warm colors (burgundy) and cooler colors (light blue). While a red tie can work extremely well with a light blue shirt when wearing a charcoal grey or navy blue suit, we would stay away from red ties with a brown suit, as the clashing of colors could appear too jarring. Alternatively, a yellow tie, which also has earthy tones, could work exceptionally well.
Finally, an analogous color scheme (one that provides a sense of familiarity), can be achieved by pairing your light blue shirt with an olive green tie. Given that green is an adjacent color to blue on the color wheel, a green tie will help provide a sense of familiarity as both cooler colors are on the same side of the color wheel.
A green tie perfectly complements this light blue shirt and brown suit, creating the perfect analogous look (part of a similar color scheme).
Brown Suit with Light Pink Shirt
As is the case above, when going with a medium or darker brown suit, a lighter pink shirt pairs incredibly well and helps soften the suit. A brown suit paired with a pink shirt makes for a contemporary, mature aesthetic.
Looking for an elegant, striking look? Pair your pink shirt with a burgundy tie for an optimal look, as the burgundy hues of the tie will complement the brown hues of the suit.
A bold but incredibly dapper look. Pair your brown suits with a pink shirt and burgundy tie for a seamless, monochromatic look that will definitely turn heads. Courtesy of www.pinterest.com
Given that a pink shirt is already injecting your attire with much needed color, a more somber tie selection, such as a solid or patterned navy silk tie would work perfectly. This also helps create an element of contrast, with the cooler properties of a navy tie balancing perfectly against the warmer properties of the pink shirt.
If you are really looking to make an impression with a striking combination, opt for an olive green tie, which is a complementary color on the color wheel, or a direct counterpoint to pink. Hence, green resembles the strongest oppositional color to pink, with the cooler properties of green offsetting the warmer properties of pink. It is essential that the green tie you choose is of a darker shade, so as to maintain the formality of the ensemble.
Brown Suit with Light Green Shirt
Light Green Shirts provide the perfect canvas for your brown suit. A light green shirt will pair exquisitely with a navy silk tie, creating a strong analogous, familiar look, with two cooler colors pairing with each other flawlessly.
If you are going for a monochromatic look, an olive green tie pops off superbly against a lighter green shirt, resulting in a sophisticated, elegant look.
Alternatively, a light green shirt will pair exquisitely with a burgundy tie, creating the perfect level of contrast.
Accessorizing Your Brown Suit
While perfecting appropriate shirt & tie combinations with your brown suits is of paramount importance, your finer accessories details can help elevate your aesthetic even further.
With regards to pocket squares, we suggest opting for light blue or pink polka dot or paisley silk pocket squares that will magnificently complement your blue, navy, burgundy or olive green ties. Polka dot and paisley silk patterns work particularly well, as the pattern spacing of these designs allow them to be worn with a range of underlying shirt, suit and tie patterns.
A burgundy polka dot pocket square pops off sublimely against this brown knit tie and light brown (tan) suit! Courtesy of www.pinterest.com
Alternatively, a solid white linen or cotton pocket square worn with a presidential (square) or pointed fold can make a serious impression.
With the exception of cufflinks, a lapel flower can be the perfect finishing touch to an already suave ensemble. Given brown’s hues and neutral tones, we suggest opting for a white, gold, burgundy, turquoise or mustard yellow lapel flower to really pack a punch.
A burgundy lapel flower blends in seamlessly with this brown suit! Courtesy of www.pinterest.com
Brown Suits With Shoes
Brown suits, like brown shoes, are considered on the less formal end of the spectrum. Hence brown oxford cap toes or double monk strap shoes will work exquisitely.
While a standard brown on brown combination won’t work if the colors closely resemble each other, opting for a pair of shoes that’s a darker shade of brown will almost always work.
As a general rule of thumb, opt for a contrasting shade of brown shoes with a medium brown suit. Ideally, you don’t want your shoes to too closely match the color of the suit. With a darker shade of brown suit, opt for a dark cognac or a pair of oxblood burgundy shoes to create the perfect level of contrast.
A brown suit is perfectly complemented by a pair of exquisite oxblood shoes! Courtesy of www.stylemann.com
And that’s a wrap for this one. We hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as we did writing it!