I need a new suit: dark pinstripe or slate gray?

Question pretty much says it all, but…

I’ve got a brown suit I never wear (don’t like it), a dark gray suit that’s Old Reliable but after many wearings has gotten threadbare, and a dark suit with narrow pinstripe that I recently realized was badly damaged, probably in a move somewhere along the line (haven’t worn it in a while). I want to buy a new suit that’s an “all purpose”: weddings, funerals, job interviews, whatever.

Would you suggest dark gray (solid) or navy blue/black with pinstripe? Which is the more “little black dress” for men?

(I should mention that in an average year I may wear a suit twice, but I have some job interviews coming up.)


would be my personal choice, but that depends on your general style, I think. The pinstripe is hipper (not really the right word, but it’ll do). When sports commentators wear pinstripe, go solid.

Those are both good choices and either would be good (although if you go the pinstripe route, go subtle). For me, it’s more about the cut and the material quality than color (but, yes, stay away from the brown!). Provided the cut of the suit fits you really well, it will look good.

I should add that yeah, the bold pinstripe is making a comeback, and that’s OK if you’re a 25 year-old advertising exec., but no-one wants to see a 45 year-old Bugsy Malone turn up to a job interview/funeral.

Wait a minute.

Is this:


the “slate gray” you mean? Because I had a much darker gray in my mind. I’m not too fond of the slate gray in the wiki page. I much prefer the charcoal.

What’s wrong with tweed? Why can’t everyone dress like me?

I think this is very true. I’ve been told I can pull off pinstripes in a ‘classic’ manor, but if some of my pals tried it, they would indeed look like Bugsy Malone. I also agree that cut and fit is most important. I can’t recall the rules, but a good tailor should. For example, I know my friend who played D-line in college should look for a different cut than me (how high the jacket buttons and such).

That being said, as long as it fits, and you wear it with confidence, it shouldn’t matter. I know a guy who wore black sharkskin to a job interview and got hired, and not as a pit boss.

FWIW, Keith Olbermann looks absurd most nights, but especially when he goes all GUYS AND DOLLS on us in his pinstriperoo. It’s kept my (very subtle, Brooks Brothers) pinstripe in the closet for a few months. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Go with the solid grey. It’s incredibly versatile, and if you feel like being a bit more showy, you can do so with your shirt and tie selection. If you need to be more somber, you can dress it down.

Postin’ “me too” like some brain-dead AOLer.

Applies queer eye

Do you really want me to answer that?

Sampiro, I say go for the solid slate. Pinstripe is very much in vogue in the UK but I agree with others it doesn’t look right on everyone. Solid, on the other hand, you can’t go wrong with.

I like pinstripe personally, but I prefer something more neutral for job interview purposes. Your other option would be a dark tone on tone pinstripe which can be very nice and subtle, while still having that undercurent of flash.


I like gray myself. Pinstripe looks good on very few people.

I’d go with charcoal gray, or a dark subdued blue (not navy, too blue).

Pinstripes are OK if very subtle. I saw a guy with a blue suit with red pinstripes. The word “pimp” came to mind.

I’d say charcoal gray (not slate).

When it comes to color I’m your stereotypical straight male. One day I’ll learn to stick to the adjectives “light” and “dark” rather than “slate”, “charcoal”, “burnt magnolia”, “burn tank aardvark” “sienna satanic” or whatever other names for particular shades there are. I actually did mean a darker gray. (True story: I was thinking “well, I’ve seen dark slate… now charcoal is black but when you burn it it’s almost white so what shade is that?”)

Anyway, I’m talking of a dark gray. I’m leaning towards that as it would seem the easiest to dress up/dress down/go festive/go somber.

Anyone have any suggestions on generals “do’s and don’ts” of suit buying? For example, is there a type of material or a brand I absolutely don’t want?

I go for the solid if you don’t have a ton of suits. It’s absolutely appropriate for business, funerals, weddings, and whatever. If you’re out at a club that lends itself to a suit, you can “fun” it up with a shirt, tie, and handkerchief to bring out the True You.

I happen to think charcoal gray is the best possible color for a one-suit person.

You’re in the South so I’d say summer-weight wool. One vent in the back, no cuffs. Two-button is more classic but I like three-button better. Buttons that match the suit (not metallic or anything).

I say white seersucker.


I don’t think you can go wrong with either a dark grat or dark blue. If you want a stripe - go with a subdued chalk stripe, instead of bolder/narrower pins. A dark gray or blue solid/chalk stripe will never go out of fashion. And if you want to appear trendy/stylish, you can do something with your shirt and tie.