man wearing brown suit and red tie

The Go-To Brown Suit Combinations

To some, a brown suit is lumped into the same category as fedora’s, pocket watches and suspenders — old-fashioned. We’d like to voice our dissent. Unlike these relics of bygone fashion eras, brown suits most definitely deserve a spot in your regular rotation; so long as you’re styling them correctly. Sure, if you’re wearing one that is as wide as a 1975 Cadillac Coupe deVille, you might look a little antiquated. However, that’s the case for any suit you choose to wear; you’re not going to look good unless you nail the fit, and style it like you didn’t just wake up from a sixty-year coma.

So if you’ve ever been hesitant, we’re here to assure you that it’s a good move.

Skeptical? Read on.

Advantages of a Brown Suit

If you already have a navy and a gray suit in your wardrobe, you know how practical those colors can be. However, going back and forth between navy and gray gets old, fast. Adding a rakish suit like a brown glen plaid or a rust flannel can be just the thing you need to elevate your suit game while giving you a host of new outfit combinations that are incredibly easy to put together.

How to Build Your Brown Suit Outfits

Matching the Colors

three suits side by side comparing combinations

This suit has the advantage of a relatively neutral hue, which means matching your shirt and is simply done with white, most blues, and most pinks being perfect complements. If you’d like to kick things up a notch, a blue heather twill or a dark navy will add a little more edge to your style without getting loud.

If a tie is on the menu, you can work in traditional options like a forest green silk knit or navy silk knit , or, if you would like to add a bit more zest to your combinations, a navy with light blue stripes tie pairs well with a pale blue shirt or even a brown tie against a navy gingham broadcloth.

suit on the left and 3 pocket squares beside it

Whether you go with an open collar or a solid tie, this suit can handle a more colorful pocket square. You might consider a vivid grandads plaid, a rose garden or one of our city-inspired options to add a little extra character. Just be sure you know the right way to fold it.

If you need to find pants that pair well with your brown jacket for a solo trip sans the suit’s lower half, you have a few easy options. Firstly, if you’re looking to dress it down, brown blazers look top-notch with a dark jean. If jeans aren’t your thing, you can pair easily with classics like khaki cotton, navy saxony or gray saxony dress pants that you likely already have in your arsenal. Win.

Matching The Season

two brown suit combinations side by side

Let’s take it a step further and introduce seasonality to your layering game. For an elegant yet youthful look during the cooler months, layer in a gray or navy cashmere, crew or v-neck sweater. Or, if you’re feeling up to the challenge, a navy turtleneck under your brown jacket is the ultimate expression of casual sophistication (oh yes, you can wear a turtleneck).

When warmer weather rolls around, you can just swap out the sweater and dress shirt layers for a solid T-shirt. Pop in a white linen pocket square and you’ve got options galore year round.

Matching the Shoes

When it comes to shoes, you have a variety of options. If the occasion allows you to be the king of casual, you can sport an office approved sneaker or a slip-on chelsea boot, both masterful ways to achieve a fresh, relaxed look, or, you can slip on a comfortable loafer to complete your outfit. If you’re showing off your new look at the office, or if the situation calls for a bit of formality, you can opt for a more appropriate leather oxford or double monk.

three brown shoes side by side to wear

 Magnanni Sneakers,  Allen Edmonds Oxfords and Dockers Chelsea Boots.

Matching the Shoe Color

Now, knowing what type of shoe to wear is one thing (and, an important thing), however, what is arguably more important when it comes to matching your shoes is the color you choose to incorporate.
The simple rule is, for a medium brown, your shoes should be a contrasting shade of brown. You don’t want the shoes to match the suit too closely. If the suit is a particularly deep shade of brown, consider something like a dark cognac or oxblood to create contrast. And of course, a black oxford is always another good choice, especially with a white shirt and black tie.

Master Class

man wearing a brown suit put together

So, now you know how to match colors, pick your shoes accordingly and build your outfit combinations for each season. The only thing left to do is introduce a brown suit to your wardrobe, and soak in the compliments — you’ve earned them.

Have any other sartorial questions you need answering? Drop a comment below, and we’ll get back to you (while wearing a brown suit, probably).