Wondering what the best fall colors for men’s suits are? I’ve got you covered.
Fall means a lot of things to me. Football is back. Grouse season (for you outdoor sportsmen). Pumpkin everything. It also means a pretty major change in wardrobe. You know, like sweaters instead of shorts, and taking your scarves and jackets out of storage.
When it comes to suits, fall can be confusing. It’s not as simple as the creams and khakis associated with summer and the stark blacks and fog tones of the winter.
Sure, you go for a thicker weave than the thin linen suits you wore in the summer. But is it time to bust out the darker, cold weather colors yet? Orange is a fall color, so can one pull off an orange suit?
We’ll talk about color in a suit-specific way, but first, for reference, let’s talk about what autumn colors are.
Classic Colors Associated Fall
Autumn hues, when it comes to clothes, are the ones that also occur naturally during the season. And this applies even if you live in a part of the world that doesn’t have a particularly identifiable fall.
The major categories include orange and brown, as well as red and yellow, though you usually won’t go for true shades of the primaries. So, instead, go for shades like mustard yellow, which you’ll see in the beautiful fall leaves, or burgundy, which is indicative of the start of red wine season.
Tempered forest hues are also good options, including olive green, eggplant purple, otherwise known as aubergine, and occasionally powdery blues.
Now, here’s how to navigate these colors when it comes to suits!
Styling Year-Rounders for Fall: Navy Blue and Charcoal Gray Suits
What’s great about a navy suit or charcoal suit is that they’re so neutral you can use them as an anchor to have fun with pops of color.
Burnt orange and golden yellow are reminiscent of a fall sunset, but maybe too loud for an entire suit. However, they make great accessories against a navy or charcoal suit. Autumn weddings are less casual than summer weddings, so you want to choose a classic and elegant suit.
However, you can pair a charcoal gray suit with a cantaloupe-hued shirt, a rust orange tie, socks tonal to either, and a nice pair of tan or honey-toned oxfords.
You can also have fun with layers. Add a cable-knit sweater vest or a v-neck Nordic sweater vest with earthy tones under your suit jacket.
Relatedly, fall is a perfect time to incorporate textures and patterns. Herringbone, plaid, and houndstooth are some classic options. A navy tweed suit jacket with herringbone texturing is something that can take you from fall well into winter.
If you’re a pocket square guy, feel free to have fun with patterns there, too: Fall leaves, Halloween-toned argyle, and warm-colored cheque are some options.
Of course, black suits are year-rounders in the sense that a formal event can happen any time of the year. In a truly formal dress code, even in fall, stick to the classics when styling a black suit: White shirt, black tie, black socks, and black shoes.
Camel Brown Suits
Most browns are pretty safe when it comes to fall suits. Don’t go too far into the lighter side of the spectrum. Otherwise, you start to dip into khaki and light tan territory more conducive to summer suiting.
Camel brown is the perfect autumn suit color because you can pair it with equally neutral and understated shades without watering it down. Think a camel brown suit with a dark forest green shirt.
Still, it pairs beautifully with the livelier autumn shades like marigold and pumpkin orange.
On warmer autumn days, a camel brown suit can be worn with a t-shirt and
While navy and charcoal need to be styled to look autumnal, camel brown is appropriate no matter what you wear with it, and it’s appropriate in the earliest fall days well into bare-tree late autumn.
Camel is also an excellent choice for an overcoat! While perhaps not as versatile as navy or charcoal grey coats, a camel coat can be styled so many different ways.
Olive Green Suits
Along with gray, beige, and navy, olive green is a menswear neutral. I call it the forgotten neutral. Plus, it’s reminiscent of military colors, which gives it a sense of authority and confidence. It’s most appropriate during the cooler seasons, as it fits in with the forest greens of the autumn and the pine greens of the winter.
Even more, olive green has an inherently rustic quality about it, so it looks natural on tweed. If you feel insecure about wearing a green suit but want to give it a shot, you can always temper the look by going for brown accessories.
For example, you can wear a dark olive tweed suit with a sand-toned shirt, a tawny brown knit tie (again, textures are perfect for fall), brown dress shoes and tonal socks.
If you want something bolder but not too flashy, switch up the brown knit tie for a marigold knit tie or even a burnt orange one and match your socks. You get extra credit points if you have an olive suit with slightly buried orange accents in its patterning.
Mustard is bold, but here are some tips to incorporate it into your suit in interesting, elegant, and fall-ready ways. Of course, good color combinations are the key here.
If you go for a mustard that leans more brown, it will have a dark goldenrod look. A lot of suits categorized under “caramel” will have this hue. This is a lot more understated and can be tempered with tans and forest greens.
Like olive green, mustard looks natural on textured fabrics like corduroy and Donegal tweed.
Another way to ease into this unconventional color is to go for a broken suit. Temper a mustard suit jacket with a brown cable-knit vest, a dark forest green shirt, and either dark green or brown chinos.
You can also wear a full dark mustard suit with simply a dark brown turtleneck. This way, there are only two colors and three color blocks on your body, creating simplicity and formality.
Burgundy and Oxblood Suits
Since aubergine and dark red are both fall colors, the mixed tones within burgundy and oxblood make them the perfect way to boost color in fall suiting. Burgundy and oxblood are also one of the few suit colors, along with black, that easily pair with tonal shoes.
So feel free to wear that oxblood suit with oxblood shoes!
Since it’s such a striking hue, a lot of the same tips about wearing a mustard suit also apply here.
Here’s an entire article dedicated to this unique suiting option.
Feel free to ease into this deep shade using a broken suit or with the color block of a dark turtleneck instead of a shirt and tie. My college’s official color is crimson, which is just a brighter burgundy.
On one of the big football game days, it’s encouraged to wear the school colors. My always-stylish-lit professor wore a burgundy suit jacket, a dark brown turtleneck, tonal dark brown chinos, and tonal dark brown suede loafers. I still remember it to this day, over ten years later. It looked handsome bold, but still professional and grown-up.
And due to its boldness, oxblood suits exude chicness and confidence. If you’re wearing this color on a suit, you obviously care about fashion in one way or another.
Again, patterns like houndstooth, plaids, and herringbone are conducive to the more professorial looks of fall compared to the vacation-forward aesthetics of the summer.
You don’t have to go super loud with these patterns, as most suits that incorporate them tend to use smaller, more professional-looking variations.
But here’s what’s great about patterned suits in the fall. They’re an effective way to bring louder autumn colors into your suit without a full commitment. Many fall-colored suits can have a dominant color or anchor color that’s understated and neutral but incorporate livelier accents and undertones.
Some examples include a brown patterned suit with mustard undertones, a brown plaid suit with burgundy lines, a gray suit with burgundy accents, or even a dark olive green tweed jacket with hints of orange sewn into the pattern.
You can finish off any of these suits with accessories that match these bright accents.
A brown suit with burnt orange accents, worn with a tie tonal to those accents, is a lot easier to pull off than a full pumpkin-colored suit.
Here are a few quick questions (and quick answers) regarding fall colors for men’s suits:
What are the best fall-winter suit colors?
For fall, the best colors are browns, dark reds like burgundy and oxblood, olive green, and patterned suits with autumnal accents like burnt orange and mustard. For winter, black, grays, and pine greens are good colors.
Can you wear a light-colored suit in the fall?
Yes, you can wear moderately light suits like camel and light mustard in the fall. Don’t go too light; otherwise, it will look too summery.
Can you wear a gray suit in the fall?
Yes. Charcoal is a year-rounder. In general, medium grays are good for fall, though you can stretch warm weather light grays into early fall.
Fall: A Time for Layering, A Time for Suits
In a lot of ways, fall is a fun time for suits.
Winter is pretty formal and straightforward. Spring and summer limit the suit material options, as you often have to stick to the lightest weaves — and that usually just means linen on the hottest days. And though you have your pick of bright colors, a lot of risk is involved.
Autumn, on the other hand, is the perfect balance of range and constraints, and you get a wide pick of patterns and weaves.
Mustard and burgundy are bold, but you can always ignore them altogether. Even when limited to olives, browns, and grays, along with orange, yellow, and dark red accessories, you still get good, sophisticated color combinations.
What’s your go-to fall suit? Describe it in a comment and leave it below!