Deconstructing a Successful Suit and Tie Outfit: Why it Works and How to Wear it

When it comes to dressing up for formal occasions, the classic suit and tie combination is hard to beat.

And I'm sure you agree with me on that one.

But you may ask yourself: what makes a suit and tie outfit really stand out?

Ah, that's a very good question one that I've often asked myself as well.

So that's why I have decided to launch this new series of blog posts where every now and then I will select one of outfits (or someone else's outfit that I find really inspiring and well executed), deconstruct it and attempt to explain exactly why I think it is a successful look.

In this first blog post in this series, I am going to deconstruct a previous look I put together: medium gray wool suit with a light blue shirt and tie, paired with black leather double-monks - and explain why I believe it just works.

Double-breasted gray suit with blue shirt and blue necktie

Whether you're a seasoned suit wearer or just starting to build your wardrobe, you'll find plenty of tips and inspiration here.

I. The Suit

The suit is the backbone of any suit and tie outfit, and this medium gray wool suit is a great choice for a number of reasons.

First, the color gray is one of the most versatile colors you can find in suits and can be worn in a variety of settings, from weddings to business meetings to date nights. It will never look out of place in any of these settings.

Second, the slim fit and wide 3.75" lapels give the suit a modern and stylish edge, while the double-breasted design adds a touch of formality.

Some may say the double-breasted is a thing of the past. Well, let me tell you, that couldn't be further from the truth as in fact, the double-breasted suit has made a huge comeback in recent years.

II. The Shirt

The light blue cotton shirt complements the gray suit perfectly, creating a timeless and classic look.

Quick lesson: gray and blue always go well together. I can hardly think of any exception to this rule, no matter the shades of gray and hues of blue you choose to pair. It is magic, I tell you!

The cotton fabric is breathable and comfortable, making it a great choice for all-day wear. The collar is well-structured and stands up nicely under the lapels of the suit.

The wide spread of the shirt collar, almost crossing into cutaway territory, frames the face along with the suit lapels, creating a very interesting geometrical pattern of intricate angles. It is really these peculiarities that make me passionate about suit and tie combos.

Lastly, notice the contrasting thread on the lapel buttonhole? See how it mirrors the same color of the shirt in this outfit. It's little details like this that can really elevate your outfits.

Read: How to Keep Your Suits Looking Fresh and Stylish

Now let's take a look at the necktie.

III. The Tie

The light blue silk necktie in a Prince Albert knot is a great choice for this outfit.

Yes, I am biased. I will always be in favor of the Prince Albert knot - but I sincerely believe it goes perfectly with most -if not all- looks.

Getting back into objective mode...

The color of the tie complements the shirt, creating and almost monochromatic blue look.

But it also pairs very well with the suit for the same reasons that the shirt does. Color scheme is well executed and creates a very cohesive look.

The texture of the silk adds a touch of elegance that always elevates any suit and tie combo. There's a reason why silk will always be a staple in men's neckwear.

I can think of a few other colors that would've worked with this outfit, but we can't deny this was a successful choice in terms of fabric, color and knot.

Read: The Impact of Wearing a Necktie on Self-Perception and Confidence

Let's talk shoes.

IV. The Shoes

Who doesn't look a nice pair of double-monks? I know I do!

This black leather double-monks add a modern and sophisticated touch to this outfit.

Not sold on double-monks? I would say this style is a great alternative to traditional lace-up dress shoes, and I would encourage all of you to give them a try.

The black color of these shoes pairs well with the gray suit. It was a very obvious choice, to be honest, as I can't see any other shoe color working as well as black does here. It's almost as if gray suits demand black shoes.

(Which is not necessarily the case every time, that's why I said almost).

The clean lines and minimal detailing of the shoes keep the focus on the suit and tie, while capturing just the required attention they need.

For the record, as it is not captured in a section in this blog post, I was wearing very dark gray socks with this combo, creating a seamless transition from shoes to trousers.

V. The Pocket Square

No suit and tie ensemble is complete without some accessories.

Here, I kept it simple by accessorizing with a simple, but very beautiful light blue pocket square.

The pocket square in a puff fold adds an interesting finishing touch to the outfit.

It's some good ol' sprezzatura sprinkled in there for good measure.

Speaking of the puff fold, it is one of my go-to folds for being a simple and versatile way to wear a pocket square.

The light blue color of the pocket square ties in nicely with the shirt and tie - elevating the cohesiveness of the entire look.

I repeat because I can never say it enough: the pocket square is a small detail that can make a big impact on the overall look of your suit and tie outfits.

Respect the pocket square.

Read: 5 Essential Accessories Every Dapper Man Should Own


So there you have it - a complete breakdown of a classic suit and tie outfit that's sure to turn heads.

Believe me, I did turn heads in this outfit going out for a walk. Some wanted, some unwanted - but the attention was definitely there.

Whether you're attending a wedding, dressing to impress for your next job interview, or just dressing up for a night out, you can't go wrong with a well-fitting suit, classic shirt and tie, stylish shoes, and a pocket square.

This outfit is proof of it.

So why not take inspiration from this suit and tie ensemble and create your very own version? I would love to see what you come up with.

Would you change anything in this look? Let me know what and why in a comment below.

Before you go, I would like you to check out my Instagram page and give me a follow there for more style tips and inspiration.

Please share.

Stay classy.


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