The Beige Suit: Not Necessarily Boring

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Beige suit over a dark brown shirt.

Oftentimes, I have been told that beige is boring. Interior designers often discourage painting walls beige. It supposedly gives out an aura of dullness. Some even say that beige causes depression.

The same is true when it comes to fashion, or more specifically, suits. In the children’s show Imagination Movers, there is a character there named Knit Knots. He is depicted as the embodiment of boredom. He actively runs away from excitement. He goes out of his way to make the world a boring place. And to make him appear really boring, he always — as in always — wears a beige suit.

President Obama was criticized for appearing before a press conference wearing a beige suit. According to some fashion critics, he appeared very sad in that outfit. In fact, a U.S. Congressman even expressed his disappointment in President Obama’s wardrobe saying that “[t]here is no way any of us can excuse what the President did yesterday”.

Today, however, we will take a closer look at the beige suit.


What Makes Beige “Boring”

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Beige suit with a beige tie.

I guess the real reason why beige is perceived as boring is because it is neither here nor there. It is darker than white and yet, lighter than black. However, it does not achieve the characteristics of either of the said colors.

White reflects purity and cleanliness. A white outfit can express innocence or conformity. But since beige is darker than white, it does not manifest the same sense of calmness like the latter. On the other hand, black signifies non-conformity. A black outfit expresses mischievousness and rebelliousness. Beige, however, does not express the same kind of attitude.

In fact, beige does not actually express any kind of personality. Thus, the person wearing beige is seen as neutral and indistinct. And this kind of neutrality can oftentimes be interpreted as boring.


Why Beige Works

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Beige suit with beige tie.

So we know that beige is neutral and indistinct and seemingly boring. But is that necessarily a bad thing? Like so many things in life, the answer to this question is: “it depends”. Definitely, if you are going to a party and you want to appear interesting and exciting, especially to the opposite sex, you want to wear something other than beige. I also would not recommend a beige suit for a job interview where you should be showcasing your personality.

However, if you are a young lawyer appearing in court, you might want to consider a beige suit. Why is this? Well, in litigation, youth can sometimes be a liability.   Most judges, prosecutors and some veteran lawyers seem to correlate youth with inexperience and, worse, naiveté. Some believe that everything that comes out of a young lawyer’s mouth is absolute bull. Being a young, trendy, handsome and baby-faced lawyer, I have had some experience with this kind of prejudice. This, despite the fact that I have been in the legal practice for about fifteen (15) years now.

What I am saying is that, in some instances, you might want to look serious and older. A beige suit will help in to give out this effect.


How to Pull it Off

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Beige suit with beige tie.

Although beige is admittedly a neutral color, there are ways to prevent a beige suit from becoming tremendously boring. One easy and clear way is to add some color under the suit. This, however, is not today’s topic. We will combine the beige suit with some colors on the next article. Today, we will look at the beige suit combined with other neutral colors.

Let’s tackle the style of the beige suit. For me, I personally prefer the slim, British-styled suit rather than the classic. I believe that this will put a modern twist to the beige suit and would prevent it from being totally boring.

For this pictorial, I wore three (3) kinds of shirts under my beige suit. The first is the black shirt and black tie. The black outfit actually gives a nice contrast to the lightness of the beige suit.   I would have preferred to wear black shoes with this outfit. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring black shoes for this pictorial.

Next, I wore my beige suit with a dark brown shirt with and a similarly colored brown tie. Again, this outfit makes a good contrast to the beige suit but not as drastic as the black. This is because brown and beige are actually from the same color family. This outfit goes well with dark brown shoes.

Lastly, I wore a light brown shirt with a beige tie. The tie actually gives emphasis to my beige suit. And although the shirt is of a different color, it does not actually make a distinctive contrast. This outfit should also be worn with brown shoes and preferably brown a brown belt.


Conclusion

So, is beige boring? Again, the answer is it depends. Like I always say, no matter what the outfit, it always boils down to the wearer. As long as you wear your suit with confidence and with a great personality, it does not actually matter what color you wear.  So what do you think?  Is beige really boring?


  • In my next article, we will explore the beige suit with some color.
  • All photos by Don Carlo Ybanez (Yes.  These are all glorified selfies).
  • My beige suit is custom made by Exclusively His.
  • Shoes by Aldo
  • Black tie by Tieline
  • Beige tie by Hermes (And I really have to mention that this tie is a gift from Kris Aquino after I handled her case against James Yap)
Don Carlo Ybanez

Don Carlo Ybanez

A lawyer, musician, photographer and entrepreneur (among other things). He passionately writes about the law, music, travel, fashion and life in general.

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2 Comment(s)

  1. marianne says:

    may disadvantage din talaga pagiging maganda at babyface. i can relate! haha :p even in corporate! when i was around 27 and already a manager, doctors usually perceive Brand Managers as older than 30s and look old. when i’ll be introduced during field work as a manager, they’d be surprised to see a young manager. promotion is also not that fast at a certain level. there was a time i wanted to have children just to be viewed as “mature.” there was also a time I went to PAL, and of course, the ticketing officers are oldies. just by observation, they did not afford me the same respect as would their age. you had to speak English and project so you get what you deserve. and i hate being called “hijia!” okay, off topic… 😀

  2. Victorino Fornier says:

    Are you recommending this for court as well, in which case we stick to a white shirt and brown or tan shoes. Tie can be a nice somber color, solid or a subdued pattern. You may get away with a light blue pinpoint cotton oxford shirt.

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