When you think of suits, do you think of classic colors like grey and blue?  For a long time, brown suits have been considered old-fashioned or too hard to style. Some people also see them as not as elevated as other colors. 

In fact, in the 19th and 20th centuries, gray and blue were considered business wear while brown was country wear. However, over the last few years, brown suits have been recognized as equally sophisticated as other colors and are making a comeback and becoming a staple in many closets.

The color brown is not only a neutral color with more pairing options than you might think, but also emits feelings of reliability, steadiness, and comfort according to color psychology.  Brown is a warm tone that can be worn any season and in various ways.

Yet many of us are stumped on how to best style it without it looking too retro or even too mundane.  Since brown is such a universal color, it creates an open palette to create a variety of looks that can be subtle, bold, or somewhere in between. 

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Crisp White Shirt 

Crisp White Shirt

The color white is a neutral tone like brown, making them a classic pairing.  Despite both being neutral, a white shirt will still stand out against the brown for an eye-catching, crisp look. 

There are a variety of white shirt styles to choose from, from a classic button-up to a more relaxed polo or t-shirt to fit your event and styling needs.

Check out these crisp white dress shirts.

Light Blue Shirt

Light Blue Shirt

Another great color choice that might be surprising is a light blue shirt.  Light blue creates a balanced contrast with brown while still introducing a touch of flair.  Light blue shirts are typically paired with lighter brown or tan suits for a modern, fresh look.

Find other pastel-colored clothes here.

Black Shirt 

Black Shirt

Despite what you may have heard, you can pair black and brown together for an attractive outfit.  Black works with almost any color, while also being sleek and sexy.  A black shirt will not take away from your brown suit, nor fade into the background.  

Find more ways to style black here.

Turtleneck 

Turtleneck

Many people are experimenting with different shirt styles under a suit beyond the typical button-up dress shirt.  A turtleneck has become a popular choice for fall and winter. It is slightly more casual while still being highly elegant.  

A turtleneck helps bring attention to your face and elongate your frame for a tall and lean silhouette. 

Check out these turtlenecks.

Yellow Accessories 

Yellow Accessories

Adding a pop of color to a brown suit is a great way to create an outfit that will turn heads.  Adding a vibrant yellow shade will help create an eye-catching look while still harmonizing with your brown suit.  Add a pop of yellow with a tie, a pocket square, or any other small accessory you want to wear.

Discover more yellow styling ideas here.

Dark Red 

Dark Red

Red, including dark red burgundy and brown both have warm undertones, making them blend seamlessly. You can add a touch of red with a tie or bowtie, add a lot of red with your undershirt, or even by pairing a brown suit jacket with burgundy pants, or a burgundy jacket with brown pants.

Find more ways to style red pieces here.

Sneakers

Sneakers

Another common trend is adding casual footwear such as sneakers to a formal suit.  A pair of white sneakers will stand out brilliantly against a brown suit.  Another option is to pair the color of your sneakers with the rest of your accessories, such as wearing green sneakers with a green tie.

Save these sneaker brands.

Pattern Shirt 

Pattern Shirt

Since brown is a neutral shade, it provides a unique backdrop to display a patterned shirt without being too bold.  Common patterns to wear with a suit include pinstripes, checker patterns, or subtle floral patterns.  Add as bold a pattern as you like to your suit.

Play with these patterns.

T-Shirt

T-Shirt

A modern take on a suit is to pair it with a more casual t-shirt or v-neck instead of a traditional collared shirt.  It creates a playful, sexy look that can be worn in a more formal or casual setting.

Find more t-shirts here.

Ankle Boots 

Ankle Boots

Another great alternative to classic dress shoes is a pair of ankle boots.  Many popular looks showcase shades of brown boots with a brown suit.  The key is to make sure that your boots don’t blend in too much with your suit by choosing a lighter or darker brown shade than your suit.

Check out these boots.

Gold Accessories 

Gold Accessories

The warm tones of gold accessories, such as watches and cufflinks match well with the warm tones of a brown suit. Together they create an approachable look that is also fashionable and modern.

Style more looks with gold accessories here.

Browns on Browns 

Browns on Browns

A classic pairing is to go full out, pairing your brown suit with other brown pieces for a monochromatic look.  Choose different shades of brown for a more dimensional look that still blends seamlessly. 

Find more looks to wear with brown on brown here.

Long Trench Coat 

Long Trench Coat

The brown tones of a trench coat go well with a brown suit, making them an effortless pairing.  A trench coat is also a nice mix between casual and formal wear, showcasing your suit without overtaking it. 

Save these trench coats.

Dark Blue 

Dark Blue

Dark blue is a classic color to pair with a suit, even a brown suit.  Many people wear dark blue with a dark brown suit for a more blended look with similar tones.  A dark blue shirt or tie will shine without standing out too much for an understated, sophisticated look.

Check out more ideas to style with blue here.

Pocket Square

Pocket Square

A great way to add more dimension to your suit, and add a bit more personality to your brown suit is with a pocket square.  Since a pocket square is such a small accessory, you can get away with introducing a new color or bold pattern. 

It is also a chance to match it to the rest of your outfit for a cohesive look.

Find more places to wear your pocket square here.



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About the Author: Shelby Bonner


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