Herringbone is surely one of the most versatile and easiest patterns a man can wear. In this post take a look of different ways to wear a gray herringbone wool suit.
To put it shortly herringbone is a distinctive v-shaped weaving pattern that resembles a broken zigzag. The pattern is called herringbone as it very much reminds the skeleton of a herring fish. Herringbone-patterned fabrics are usually made of wool and the pattern is especially popular for tweed fabrics.
Gray herringbone wool suit
As mentioned above herringbone is probably one of the easiest patterns a man can wear. For example a herringbone suit in gray and black is a subtle step above your basic charcoal or mid-gray suits. It is also a good choice as in most cases the jacket and trousers featuring herringbone pattern can be worn separately. The jacket for example would work nicely together with some dark-colored denim and roll neck sweater.
The trousers on the other hand would make a good pair for a classic navy blue blazer and light blue button-up. From a distance the fabric looks almost like plain but when you come closer you can clearly see the detailed pattern. In fact I just ordered two made-to-measure suits, both made of herringbone patterned wool. More about them coming up later. If you want to read more about herringbone pattern, check here.
You need to keep in mind that herringbone pattern naturally comes in different sizes. The smaller the pattern on the fabric, the easier it is to combine with other patterns and cloths. With herringbone wool suits I personally prefer plain ties with some little texture. This way the pattern of the suit cloth is highlighted in a right way.
Suit on a budget – Gray herringbone wool suit by Uniqlo
Next a few words about the suit you see here. A good suit does not need to cost a fortune. Sometimes you can make nice finds also with lower budget. The suit I am wearing here is bought from Uniqlo a few years ago. If I remember correctly the price was about 150 euros. However you need to keep in mind that 150 euros can’t buy you a perfect suit. If you want to find a suit on that price you are forced to do some sacrifices.
As always the most important thing in terms of a suit is the fit. After that comes the construction, fabric and details. If you are looking a suit or a jacket on limited budget, pay attention to the fit. Always make sure that the fit comes first. The suit here as mentioned is from Uniqlo. I personally recommend Uniqlo for basic stuff such as knitwear and socks. In terms of their suits and jackets I would be more careful.
This particular suit is probably from their collection for fall and winter 2013. Unfortuntely since then I haven’t been able to find a suit or a sport coat from them with this particular cut and fit. And this is one of the negative aspects regarding cheap brands. As they produce their clothing in various places the cut and fit can vary even quite a lot between seasons. And this you should keep in mind especially when you buy online. My advice is that if you are looking for a suit on a budget try to make it to the store and try on the clothes if just possible.
Looking for a cheap suit – bet on the fit
Another thing to consider when looking for a suit on a budget is the construction. And materials. Be sure that you are not going to find a suit featuring full-canvas construction for 150 euros. Probably not even a half-canvas. The suit here is made with fused construction. A construction most people, myself included tell you to avoid. But as mentioned, you can’t have it all. Therefore I suggest that you first pay attention to the fit and to the materials. It doesn’t really matter if the suit you wear is a full-canvas suit, if it fits you badly.
This herringbone wool suit I am wearing here is made of 100% wool and the lining is made of viscose. For 150 euros I dare to say that is a good deal even though there is no handmade details or functional buttonholes for example. In the end it is all about the context. And for the intended use this suit has been more than appropriate.
How to wear gray herringbone suit?
How to wear a herringbone wool suit then? Here you can see two different ways to combine it. First one is a bit more business-oriented and forma. And the other one features a bit more color and is therefore a bit more casual.
Combine your suit with gray wool tie
Gray on gray is a safe bet. And if you pair your gray suit and gray tie with white shirt, the combination is appropriate for any office. This outfit is actually one of my go-to outfits for work during winter season. Naturally I may vary the type of shirt collar and pocket square, but for this suit I like to wear this kind of tie.
One to keep in mind is the contrast between the shades of gray. For example if I had chosen to wear my light gray cashmere tie in this outfit, it would have been very light overall. And usually you need some contrast. Therefore it said that always choose a shirt that is lighter than your jacket and tie which is darker than your shirt.
This kind of outfit can be paired with many kind of pocket squares. White tv-fold would be just fine. You can’t really fail with that one. Another option is to bring a little bit of color to the outfit with the pocket square. As you know, usually it is recommended that the pocket should feature same colors and shades than your shirt or tie for example. Here however I would not choose a pocket square featuring shades of gray.
Here I wear the DLA Symposium pocket square. The blue and burgundy shades of the square bring just that little contrast to the attire without stealing the attention too much. And the soft wool-silk material is in balance with the other cloths featured in the outfit as well. But if you wear a wool suit made of thicker wool fabric and wool tie, leave the pure silk pocket squares to your closet.
Burgundy grenadine tie with gray herringbone pattern
Next another option to wear a suit like this. Here I am wearing a cotton twill button-up shirt with thin white and light blue stripes. In terms of fabric, soft and a bit more robust oxford cloth shirt would do really fine. For a tie I chose a burgundy grenadine tie. Burgundy is safe choice that is always appropriate to combine with shades gray and blue. And here it brings more contrast and color to the outfit compared for example to the gray wool tie seen above.
And then the pocket square. Here I took a woolen floral printed pocket square featuring again blue and burgundy. As mentioned, a good option is to pick a pocket square that features the colors you are using in other parts of your outfit. This way you can also bring balance to the ensemble. But always keep in mind that it is not wrong to go with colors that you don’t have anywhere else in your outfit. Then you just need to make sure that the colors you choose are not too bright or striking.
How would you wear your herringbone wool suit?
Original post from 2/2016. Updated 11/2016.