Monday, May 14, 2012
Brown suits seem to be going the way of the dodo. Never all that popular to begin with, they are being put to death by that hoary old "no brown in town" chestnut. Now by brown I do not mean tan, or patterned tweed necessarily, but true brown whether flannel for winter, gabardine for spring and fall, or cotton and linen for warmer weather. And that is because brown is a country and suburban color, better suited for holidays than conference rooms. When the suit is worn only for formal occasions, its informal applications disappear. 'Tis a pity, that.
It's a pity because brown suits are one of best colors for the sunshine in my opinion, along with mid-blue and cream. More formal than odd jackets but less formal than city suitings, brown lends itself to travel by air, rail (it admittedly blends in better on EuroStar than Amtrak) or motorcar. And though an attorney in Palo Alto is probably better off in blue, brown is just fine for visiting a suit-wearing executive staff in that same area.
Brown has the further advantage of functioning very well as a weekend suit, should you have cause to need one. The color just seems to complement country details like ticket pockets, even on a double breasted (a request that one of my tailors had never heard before). I like it best worn with brown shoes (oxfords in cooler weather and slip-ons when it is warm), a blue chambray shirt and a striped necktie with some purple in it.