Best color shirt for a dark brown suit/sports jacket?

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by JBierly, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. JBierly

    JBierly Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. FLMike

    FLMike Well-Known Member

    Goodwill, Salvation Army.
  3. JBierly

    JBierly Well-Known Member

    Don't like Brown either?
  4. FLMike

    FLMike Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. 3piece

    3piece Well-Known Member

    Can you show the color? Perhaps some pink or lavender.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  6. Searching_Best_Fit

    Searching_Best_Fit Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. Flanderian

    Flanderian Well-Known Member

    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: Apr 21, 2017
  8. Jgarner197

    Jgarner197 Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Audi S5 TC

    Audi S5 TC Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. SG_67

    SG_67 Well-Known Member

    Not a fan of brown, at least as a sport coat or suit. Whatever you do, stay away from earthtones.
  11. mreams99

    mreams99 Well-Known Member

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

    JBierly Well-Known Member


    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: Apr 21, 2017
  13. Matt S

    Matt S Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. JBierly

    JBierly Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the well thought reply.
  15. JBierly

    JBierly Well-Known Member

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

    FiscalDean Well-Known Member

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

    Flanderian Well-Known Member

    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.

    You're are very welcome!

    (Well thought = rambling. :redface:)
  18. Matt S

    Matt S Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. Flanderian

    Flanderian Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. Charles Dana

    Charles Dana Well-Known Member

    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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