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  1. #1
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    Default Best color shirt for a dark brown suit/sports jacket?

    I own at least one dark brown suit and a couple of dark brown sports jackets. I feel like this is one color that I am never completely pleased with my shirt selection and I struggle a bit. White is ok, I like ecru (eggshell), yellow and french blue work ok. Any other thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBierly View Post
    I own at least one dark brown suit and a couple of dark brown sports jackets. I feel like this is one color that I am never completely pleased with my shirt selection and I struggle a bit. White is ok, I like ecru (eggshell), yellow and french blue work ok. Any other thoughts?
    Goodwill, Salvation Army.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FLMike View Post
    Goodwill, Salvation Army.
    Don't like Brown either?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBierly View Post
    Don't like Brown either?
    Well, it's much better than black. Just not my favorite. Sorry, my answer was admittedly a little knee-jerk. I've seen brown suits and sport coats worn very stylishly. I admit to being a bit boring and safe with my own wardrobe.

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    Can you show the color? Perhaps some pink or lavender.
    Last edited by 3piece; April 20th, 2017 at 19:48.

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    Does it have to be a solid color? For a brown jacket, a checked or gingham shirts suddenly comes to mind, even if the jacket already has some checks in it. A checked shirt with white or ecru background looks good IMHO.

    But I think there are other fine choices as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBierly View Post
    I own at least one dark brown suit and a couple of dark brown sports jackets. I feel like this is one color that I am never completely pleased with my shirt selection and I struggle a bit. White is ok, I like ecru (eggshell), yellow and french blue work ok. Any other thoughts?
    Those you list are among the easiest to find and wear, though I might tend more to a light blue rather than French blue. I'm a little surprised you didn't include one of the pale purples, such as pale lavender, and pale pink which can look great with it.

    Brown is a great range of colors that gets a bad rap. The most important thing to realize is that simply saying brown is akin to describing a wine's flavor as wine. Dark brown is a bit more descriptive, but not fully. Brown can, and usually does have many other colors within it; various shades of yellow, orange, red and green being among the most common. And it is often these secondary colors that help determine what colors a particular brown will pair well with.

    The other is the complexion of the individual wearing it. Almost any man can wear brown, but not all men will look their best in all browns. As a generality, gentlemen of color often wear it most easily and best. Brown haired, lighter skinned individuals can also wear many browns.

    The ecru you mentioned is a favorite color choice of mine for dress shirts. When I still had the services of a shirtmaker he had literally dozens of shades of ecru. I learned that I do best with and prefer an ecru that tends more toward the yellow end of the spectrum, and less so one moving toward tan.

    But tan shirts can loook great on some men, and also tend to look great with brown. Now, good luck finding one. Other hard, or at least harder to find colors, include peach, pastel mint green, and lighter versions of oxblood. (A dark reddish brown.) Darker shades of green, and oxblood work well as Bengal stripes with many browns. In the late '70's Paul Stuart was featuring shirting with oxblood color though they called it by a different term. It worked very well when woven with white in hairline stripes or an end-on-end weave. And stripes can be multicolored. Again from Paul Stuart I had a shirt with thin pencil stripes on an ecru ground of forest green, lavender and oxblood with a collar also of ecru. And if you can get a white collar on a colored shirt body, I think you'll find that too expands the range of colors that work well with brown and your individual complexion.

    Typing this I realized how sad and impoverished our choices have become. Brooks has become like a Model T Ford, you can buy a shirt of any color you want, as long as it's blue or white.
    Last edited by Flanderian; April 20th, 2017 at 21:02.

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    I have a Canali suit that's brown with a blue pinstripe. I typically wear it with a lighter blue shirt or lavender. I don't wear it often, nothing to do with color, it's because it's a 3 button jacket and as tall as I am the shorter lapel I don't think flatters me well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flanderian View Post
    Those you list are among the easiest to find and wear, though I might tend more to a light blue rather than French blue. I'm a little surprised you didn't include one of the pale purples, such as pale lavender, and pale pink which can look great with it.

    Brown is a great range of colors that gets a bad rap. The most important thing to realize is that simply saying brown is akin to describing a wine's flavor as wine. Dark brown is a bit more descriptive, but not fully. Brown can, and usually does have many other colors within it; various shades of yellow, orange, red and green being among the most common. And it is often these secondary colors that help determine what colors a particular brown will pair well with.

    The other is the complexion of the individual wearing it. Almost any man can wear brown, but not all men will look their best in all browns. As a generality, gentlemen of color often wear it most easily and best. Brown haired, lighter skinned individuals can also wear many browns.

    The ecru you mentioned is a favorite color choice of mine for dress shirts. When I still had the services of a shirtmaker he had literally dozens of shades of ecru. I learned that I do best with and prefer an ecru that tends more toward the yellow end of the spectrum, and less so one moving toward tan.

    But tan shirts can loook great on some men, and also tend to look great with brown. Now, good luck finding one. Other hard, or at least harder to find colors, include peach, pastel mint green, and lighter versions of oxblood. (A dark reddish brown.) Darker shades of green, and oxblood work well as Bengal stripes with many browns. In the late '70's Paul Stuart was featuring shirting with oxblood color though they called it by a different term. It worked very well when woven with white in hairline stripes or an end-on-end weave. And stripes can be multicolored. Again from Paul Stuart I had a shirt with thin pencil stripes on an ecru ground of forest green, lavender and oxblood with a collar also of ecru. And if you can get a white collar on a colored shirt body, I think you'll find that too expands the range of colors that work well with brown and your individual complexion.

    Typing this I realized how sad and impoverished our choices have become. Brooks has become like a Model T Ford, you can buy a shirt of any color you want, as long as it's blue or white.
    Actually, I find that brown is unflattering on dark skinned people as it is too similar to their skin color. On these people, beige looks much better.

    Conversely, I find that beige is unflattering on light skinned people as it is too similar to their skin color. On these people, brown looks much better.

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    Not a fan of brown, at least as a sport coat or suit. Whatever you do, stay away from earthtones.

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    In general, I like pale blue, or a pale blue and white pattern, as a match with dark brown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3piece View Post
    Can you show the color? Perhaps some pink or lavender.
    KITON_Napoli_Brown_Plaid_14_Micron_Blanc_Blu_Super_180_s_Jacket_44_NEW_54_R7_5_1024x1024.jpg

    Obviously blue works well with this jacket because of the blue in it. I have another very dark brown suit that has a light and faint silver colored pinstripe. I typically wear either a ecru or yellow shirt with it.
    Last edited by JBierly; April 21st, 2017 at 07:32.

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    I think cream, ecru, yellow and pink are the best shirts with dark brown. Various blues and lilac can work well, but they're more difficult to do. I tend to wear blues with brown because they best suit my complexion. Warm-toned shirts with brown make the outfit too warm overall for me, so I balance the brown with blue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flanderian View Post
    Those you list are among the easiest to find and wear, though I might tend more to a light blue rather than French blue. I'm a little surprised you didn't include one of the pale purples, such as pale lavender, and pale pink which can look great with it.

    Brown is a great range of colors that gets a bad rap. The most important thing to realize is that simply saying brown is akin to describing a wine's flavor as wine. Dark brown is a bit more descriptive, but not fully. Brown can, and usually does have many other colors within it; various shades of yellow, orange, red and green being among the most common. And it is often these secondary colors that help determine what colors a particular brown will pair well with.

    The other is the complexion of the individual wearing it. Almost any man can wear brown, but not all men will look their best in all browns. As a generality, gentlemen of color often wear it most easily and best. Brown haired, lighter skinned individuals can also wear many browns.

    The ecru you mentioned is a favorite color choice of mine for dress shirts. When I still had the services of a shirtmaker he had literally dozens of shades of ecru. I learned that I do best with and prefer an ecru that tends more toward the yellow end of the spectrum, and less so one moving toward tan.

    But tan shirts can loook great on some men, and also tend to look great with brown. Now, good luck finding one. Other hard, or at least harder to find colors, include peach, pastel mint green, and lighter versions of oxblood. (A dark reddish brown.) Darker shades of green, and oxblood work well as Bengal stripes with many browns. In the late '70's Paul Stuart was featuring shirting with oxblood color though they called it by a different term. It worked very well when woven with white in hairline stripes or an end-on-end weave. And stripes can be multicolored. Again from Paul Stuart I had a shirt with thin pencil stripes on an ecru ground of forest green, lavender and oxblood with a collar also of ecru. And if you can get a white collar on a colored shirt body, I think you'll find that too expands the range of colors that work well with brown and your individual complexion.

    Typing this I realized how sad and impoverished our choices have become. Brooks has become like a Model T Ford, you can buy a shirt of any color you want, as long as it's blue or white.
    Thanks for the well thought reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt S View Post
    I think cream, ecru, yellow and pink are the best shirts with dark brown. Various blues and lilac can work well, but they're more difficult to do. I tend to wear blues with brown because they best suit my complexion. Warm-toned shirts with brown make the outfit too warm overall for me, so I balance the brown with blue.

    I will look at some pink and lilac options. Thanks for the reply.

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    A pale grey can work if it's the right shade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Audi S5 TC View Post
    Actually, I find that brown is unflattering on dark skinned people as it is too similar to their skin color. On these people, beige looks much better.

    Conversely, I find that beige is unflattering on light skinned people as it is too similar to their skin color. On these people, brown looks much better.
    A good point! While I agree that beige can be a problematic shade for many paler skinned people, I think a central issue for anyone is to assure sufficient tonal contrast. So for the darker skinned, if the brown is either significantly lighter or darker, it's easier to wear. But you still need to make sure it's a brown with secondary colors that compliment that specific individual's skin tones.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBierly View Post
    Thanks for the well thought reply.
    You're are very welcome!

    (Well thought = rambling. )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Audi S5 TC View Post
    Conversely, I find that beige is unflattering on light skinned people as it is too similar to their skin color. On these people, brown looks much better.
    Beige can look great on some light-skinned people and brown can look awful. The trick is to have the beige and brown in the same cast as the colour of your skin. I have light, peachy skin, and a golden beige looks awful on me because it looks like a mismatch with my skin. A dark warm brown would do no better. But a dark red-brown or a rose-beige would both work much better on me. Wearing something close to the skin tone can work for anyone, but if it's not right it will look terrible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt S View Post
    Beige can look great on some light-skinned people and brown can look awful. The trick is to have the beige and brown in the same cast as the colour of your skin. I have light, peachy skin, and a golden beige looks awful on me because it looks like a mismatch with my skin. A dark warm brown would do no better. But a dark red-brown or a rose-beige would both work much better on me. Wearing something close to the skin tone can work for anyone, but if it's not right it will look terrible.
    Trying to describe browns in words can be difficult. I tend to think of warm browns as generally being flattering to me, but would also think of the color described by the term "dark red-brown" as a warm brown.

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    A look I like is a dark brown herringbone tweed sport coat with a red university stripe OCBD. A solid pale pink shirt also works.

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    White would be m my choice.


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    I've had a couple of dark brown suits, and I liked them a lot. My favorite was a pink or light blue shirt with a brown spotted tie. White shirt with golden tan tie.

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    pale pink and light blue are my go-to colors for shirts when wearing dark brown suits or jackets. You could also do green as in a white shirt with green pinstripes. Shades of yellow and brown look too 1970s for me. I'd never thought of light shades of purple, such as lavander, and brown before so I'll have to try that.

    For me, a dark brown suit, light blue shirt and deep pink tie would be a good outfit. Or a dark brown suit with a light pink shirt and dark blue tie.

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    Without seeing the actual brown suits and sport coats in question, I'd say light blue and blue/white stripes are a pretty safe choice.

    I think brown suits (and jackets) get bad raps because people immediately start to think of some awful 1970s brown suit with a lot of polyester, massive lapels, and a mustard yellow shirt underneath it.



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