How to wear black suit with a white shirt – tips & tie combinations

If you’re looking to get the most classic, yet sexy, look for men, then a great fitting black suit is your answer. Black never goes out of style

Black is a very professional color that works well with everything from the most formal business settings to the most casual social gatherings. It goes with almost anything in your closet and is a “safe” color you can wear over and over without looking dated or out-of-style.

And when you pair the black suit with a crisp white shirt you get an incredible outfit.

It’s practically impossible to mess up a black suit and white shirt combination. This look is a timeless classic, that will work pretty much anywhere, anytime.

But there are a few things you should take care of before rocking this outfit to look the best you can.

First of all, let’s see which shirt you should pick for this outfit.

How to pick white shirt to pair with black suit

Color

Well, it’s white there is a very slim chance of picking the wrong shade.

But just to make it clear you should be going with a pure white color shirt and not off white or dirty white as pure white makes for a contrasting look when paired with the black suit which looks sharp.

but the good thing is even if you go for a shirt with soft white or champagne sort of color even that would work fine with a black suit but it won’t look as good as a bright white-colored shirt.

So if you already have a white shirt you don’t have to worry about its color as long as it’s white it would work with the black suit. But if you are buying a new when then definitely go for a bright white color shirt as it works best with the black suit

Fabric

image showing two white shirts with different fabrics

Now that you have got the color right the next important thing to look for is the fabric of the shirt.

The simple rule for the shirt fabric is that you should be looking for a fabric that has a little shine to it and doesn’t look dull.

A fabric like linen is out of the question, it is great for casual outfits but it doesn’t work with a suit.

Instead, you should go for cotton or cotton blends but make sure to pick the shirt that has a nice sheen to it as it will take your outfit to the next level.

You can also look for shirts with spandex in their composition these shirts are stretchable so they are extra comfortable and usually they have the right amount of shine to them which works great with a black suit.

Pattern

A black suit and white shirt is a classic pair and usually, patterns are not meant for any classic style outfit.

The beauty of this combo is its simplicity and you should embrace it by picking a solid white shirt without any pattern or designs.

That’s not to say that patterned shirts don’t work with the black suit but the best option is definitely the solid shirt.

If you really want to add some pattern then you can go for some minimal pattern like small checks or polka dots. But even in this case, the better option would be to stick to a solid shirt and play around with the pattern on the tie and pocket square.

Collar and cuffs

image demonstrating the right type of collars for shirt sloppy vs standing collars

The best option here is a button downed collar as they tend to stick up instead of flaring out and make you look sharp and add to the whole aesthetic of this outfit.

If not this then the regular spread collars can also work fine but you have to make sure that the collars are standing upright and not falling down as that would make you sloppy.

you can also make use of collar stays to help you with this.

and for the cuffs, it doesn’t really make too much of a difference but if you have the option then definitely go for the french cuffs, it adds a little flair to your simple outfit and makes you stand out.

And more importantly, make sure that your sleeves are long enough for them to come out of your suit jacket just a little.

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what color tie to wear with black suit and white shirt

This outfit is like a blank canvas, it is plain and simple and that makes it perfect for you to add literally any color or design to it in the form of a good tie and pocket square.

I can’t think of a tie that wouldn’t work with this outfit, all you have to do is stay away from colors that are too bright and contrasty and you should be fine.

But just to make things a little easy for you here are a few good tie options for you to choose from.

black suit with white shirt and red tie

This is a great combination and the red color adds a little punch to this outfit and makes you stand out.

But you should make sure the color is not too bright and try to stick to a muted sort of red something like maroon.

we have written a detailed article about black suit and red tie which you should check out if you are going for this look.

Recommendations:

black suit with white shirt and blue tie

This is another classic combination and really easy to pull off.

again stick to darker colors like a navy blue and you would be fine. You can try out some patterns as well if you want as it would add a nice touch to this simple outfit.

black suit with white shirt and black tie

If you want to play it safe or you are attending a black-tie event then you should obviously stick to the plain black tie.

It is a classic option that will take your outfit to the next level without taking away the simplistic and classical appeal from it.

what shoes to wear with black suit and white shirt

The easiest and safest option would be a pair of black lace-ups. They work really well with this outfit.

You can go with black derby or oxfords both of which work great with this look. You should consider the ones that have some shine to them as they look more stylish and are really in trend currently.

If your suit is well fitted and it is not a proper black-tie event, then you can also consider a pair of black loafers. Both tassel and penny loafers would work great with this outfit.

If you want to try something else then you can give brown lace-ups a try but it can be a little tricky to nail down that pairing.

The bottom line

A black suit and white shirt is a classic combo that is hard to mess up. But with the help of the above tips, you can take this simple outfit and make it even more stylish.

The simple things like the shirt fabric, collars, cuffs, etc are what makes the difference in these classic style type of outfits and you should definitely pay attention to these finer details to be the best-styled gent in any room.


picture of author dylan baker smiling

About the author

Dylan is a Men's fashion and image consultant, He is also the man behind Dapperclan. He is extremely passionate about fashion and wants to help men style and look better.