What Color Should my Suit Vest Be?

We recently received a question about how to match a gray suit with a vest. In other words, if you have a really nice gray suit, what color vest should you wear with that suit? Rather than just focus on specifics, we’ll give you some general ideas that can be applied to any color suit.

Before we begin, let’s take a look at the following 3 piece suit that we had posted on SuitUpp a while back:


Or how about this one…


We can go on and show you more photos, but in general, suit vests that come with a suit will generally be made of the same fabric that the rest of the suit is made of to make a perfect match. Now, you can use this to conclude that if your suit didn’t come with a vest, and you were going to go find a vest, then you could try and find a vest that was as similar as possible in design to the rest of your suit. If you were to do this, you’d be just fine. At the same time, this would also be the safe bet.

Now, what if you didn’t want to go for the safe bet? Then what? Well, this is where preference comes in a bit. We tend to favor the contrast game. In other words, if you have a darker suit, then you could wear a lighter vest. Similarly, if you have a lighter suit, you could go for a darker vest to boost up the contrast.

Take, for example, the following tuxedo / vest combo:

V26 1

Note that in the combo above, the tie and the vest are a perfect match. If you are going to wear a different color vest, make sure that your tie isn’t an off color – otherwise, you’ll be wearing too many colors – 9/10 times, this is a bad thing because it’s very difficult to get it right.

Finally, we’ll leave you with a picture that we found on the A Lister’s Blog:



  1. 1

    Suit Vest

    July 15, 2010

    9:31 pm

    The vest must be complementary to the rest of the clothing you are wearing. You would not wear a grey pair of slacks with a brown suit jacket so don’t do that with your vest.

  2. 2


    July 27, 2010

    11:17 am

    Let me lay out an outfit scenario and could you please tell me if it works: light gray suit, black vest, black shoes/belt/tie

    is it okay to wear the black vest? or does it not fit at all?

    can i add some colour to the tie? or would that be too risky?

    everything is fitted nicely/tailored, this is just a question of whether or not these items can coexists all in the same outfit.

  3. 3

    Craig Fitzpatrick

    August 17, 2010

    5:33 am

    Complimentary yes, but exactly the same color/fabric – boring! Of all the pics above (besides the large one of the yellow and blue which is striking), the only ones with real style are dark blue vest with the lighter blue suit (at least there’s a little contrast) and the 2nd from the left, bottom row (blue on blue but with no tie, to mix it up a little).

  4. 4


    March 27, 2012

    10:22 pm

    I’m wearing a blue suit and I need suggestions on a vest. I’m going to be dancing so I don’t want my tie to hang and it will help me hide a bit of gut. I could go with the light color like the yellow but I don’t like yellow. I like contrast as well as complementary. Sometimes, matching isn’t stylish.

Leave a Comment