As the last three posts in this Mad Men series have focused on small accessories that complete an outfit, this post is about something much more fundamental and classic: the suit itself. However, as the hit show has proven itself to be sartorially, just not any suit can make the cut for those mad men. It has to have something unique, intriguing and undeniably chic, something as unconventional yet totally elegant as a colour such as brown. Yes, only Mad Men can remind one of the inherently stylish nature of the brown suit.
Though, as stated in Real Men Real Style, “some conservative dressers still consider brown a strictly social color choice,” that most definitely not the case today. As demonstrated so expertly by Ken Cosgrove on Mad Men, a brown suit can be appropriate as both social and business attire. As a integral member of the family of earthy hues, brown is a tried-and-tested colour that can be complemented by a wide array of tones that range from warmer yellows and oranges to cooler greens and light blues. Despite it’s rather dark nature, brown still manages to stray away from the more forgettable neutral colours, and thus succeeds in setting one apart from the crowd, “particularly next to a room full of gray- and navy-suited Mad Men.”
With that said, those characteristics are certainly some of the most notable qualities of a brown suit: it’s versatile and sticks out for only the best reasons. This couldn’t be any more true when a brown suit is tailored in a streamlined fashion that can make any guy look more modern than ever. A slim-fitting suit is certainly the most adept at interpreting the retro nature of brown suits in a more contemporary fashion.
Furthermore, another great benefit of brown for a suit is that it can be found in many different shades and natural materials. As mentioned in GQ, you can now find brown suits in “tobacco, copper, or coffee,” just to name a few, and in fabrics ranging from lightweight linen for the summer months to more durable wool and tweed for the colder, winter days. Hence, because brown comes in so many different variations in tone, it can be matched with as many different shades. This is especially important if you plan on wearing a brown suit with brown shoes, something I would certainly recommend. As suggested in GQ and masterfully demonstrated by Mr. Cosgrove, “to pull off brown, make sure the suit and shoes are different shades.”
All in all, the brown suit allows you to have a bit of fun with the classic suit offerings. Its timeless, understated, and incredibly suave. Just try it.