Turn Heads at Prom: The Hottest Black Suit Trends

All-black suits for prom are having a moment in the sun right now. Black is an undeniably sleek color and has a ‘grownup’ vibe that can be immensely appealing to young men taking their first steps into smart dressing. 

Black-heavy looks also have a funky vibrancy that makes them eye-catching, bold, and youthful while remaining elegant. Today, the experts from the Oliver Wicks team will walk you through choosing black prom suits for guys, and how to style this look perfectly for a stand-out evening you’ll remember forever.

What Type of Suit Should you Pick for a Prom?

While every school and institution does it a little differently, most proms have a black tie, or black tie optional, dress code on paper. However, this is rarely as strictly adhered to as it would be in more adult settings (like weddings), and a lot of leeway is typically given as long as the look is smart and formal evening-appropriate. 

You may have noticed that short prom dresses—think cocktail and even mini length—and figure-hugging bodycon dresses have both become staples for young women at proms. Neither of these dress styles or lengths would work in a proper black tie dress code, even black tie optional!

So, we advise you to interpret this as a request to fully look the part for a formal dance, while allowing some room for young adult personality and expression. However, be super sure that you understand the school's expectations about dress, and possibly cast an eye to what has worked for previous senior years in the past, too.

What does this mean for young men attending prom? While this is a great time to try out your first tuxedo, you will also get away with a smart and well-structured suit. Deciding between the two may be tough. Traditionally speaking, a tux is more appropriate. However, you’re likely still growing, and a smart suit could be upcycled to your next big milestone—job interviews. You may well grow out of a tux before the next time you need to wear one, as you’ll still have some filling out to do.

Typically, you should opt for black or navy, especially for evening events. You’re going to need a smart dress shirt and dress shoes to go with it, too. 

Building an All Black Suit Look

Black suits for prom have been the go-to default for decades. The all-black look is simply a fashion-forward evolution of this trend. It’s sharp and modern but can still look elegant when done right. In fact, it’s one of the few times when a black shirt and black suit will be acceptable, as this is also very in and trendy at the moment. 

Solid black suit by Oliver Wicks

It is, however, a look that will need a classic suit, whether you go three-piece (with a vest) or two-piece. If you’re wearing a tuxedo, you will need the proper white tuxedo shirt for it.

Make sure your shirt is crisp and looks ‘new’, not faded or weathered. The chances are that you’re buying a shirt specifically for prom, so this shouldn’t be a worry, but it’s worth mentioning. Take your suit along when you shop for the shirt, to ensure that you get a clean and cohesive color match (yes, there are many different versions of ‘black’ dyes, with different undertones). Mismatched blacks are a big no-no.

The other key aspect here is fit. This can be tough for younger men, as it is unlikely that you’re at your ‘full’ adult size yet and it may be tempting to ‘shop for the future’. However, remember the Oliver Wicks slogan—-the fit that suits you.. That means the you right now, not some abstract future you. A well-fitted suit looks sophisticated and elegant, not like you’ve dressed in grandad’s cast-offs.

Not sure how to size yourself for a suit? We have a handy sizing tutorial video guide that will have you measured in minutes. To get access to this handy guide, and a wealth of other tips and tricks, simply make an account on the Oliver Wicks site. This will take minutes and no purchase is necessary.

Other than that, it’s hard to go wrong with this look, and you can use accessories to add some fun and flair to the evening.

How to Style an All Black Suit

There is such a thing as too much black (yes, even in the trendy fashion world), so once you’ve built your basic all-black prom suit look, don’t fall back on black for your accessories. Especially if your date will be wearing brighter colors! The only exception is your leathers—shoes and belt (or suspenders), which should be cohesive.

A bow tie (for tuxedos or a fun take on a suit), classic neckties, and pocket squares should be your go-to place to add some color and fun to your all-black prom suit look. You can opt for something bold and solid in color, like our go-to emerald green or burgundy ties, or pick something lighthearted and fun. This tie, for example, is perfect to match with a date wearing pink while still looking manly.

Pink paisley silk tie by Oliver Wicks

Prom is a time when you can experiment with some more outrageous tie knots if you want, but you can’t go wrong with the classics, either, so don’t sweat that choice too much.

If you’re wearing a tuxedo, you’ll typically swap the tie for a bow tie—and this can be a fun way to pep up a suit, too. If your prom is fully black tie, you will need a black bow tie for your tuxedo, but otherwise, a little color can be added. For a tuxedo, you’ll swap the belt for suspenders, and possibly a cumberbund, if you want to break up the color a little. 

Most prom dress shirts will need a pair of cufflinks to hold them together. It’s common for younger men to go too loud and inelegant with their accessories. While some fun is fine, you’ll be better off with the tried-and-true classics in an elegant metallic or black leather finish if you really want to look smart. 

You can get away with a smart watch in some modern formal looks, provided it’s a sophisticated band, but this is one night it would be a good idea to put the gadgets down and just enjoy yourself.

If You Feel an All Black Look is Too Much

An all-black suit can be a little avant-garde to pull off, so if you’d rather lighten your look up, there’s plenty you can do to add more color.

If you’re wearing a tux, you need a pleated-front (also called bib) dress shirt with a stud detail that is made for tuxedos. It would be rare indeed to opt for anything but white for this specific look. You will need cufflinks for this style of shirt, as it has French cuffs with no button closure.

If you’re wearing a black suit instead, skip this style of shirt—it’s specific to tuxedos. Choose a classic spread collar dress shirt instead, again with French cuffs if you can. Honestly, white will be your best bet here, too. However, as a black suit prom look is meant to be a little young and ‘cool’, you can experiment with other colors. A soft pastel is always a great bet! Bolder, more vibrant shirts can be tough to style (and run a greater risk of clashing horribly with your date, too), but if you really want a stand-out shirt, a deep jewel tone (burgundy, royal purple, rich green, or even a deep copper/rust) could work. 

Remember that your shirt is just one part of your overall look. It’s very common for prom looks to become altogether too matching—and this is a recipe for looking young and unconfident in styling yourself. Instead of strictly color-matching your tie, pocket square, accessories, and shirt, either use flavors of the same shade (like a pastel shirt with a richer tie) or choose complementing colors on the color wheel.

A shirt is also a fantastic place to introduce a smart pattern if you prefer. Just don’t pair it up with a patterned tie as this would be way too much!

What Shoes Go With a Black Prom Suit? 

If you’re wearing a tuxedo, you need tuxedo-appropriate shoes to match. A suede loafer or classic black leather Oxford dress shoe will never be wrong. Strictly speaking, you should opt for high-shine leather with a tuxedo, but for a prom, it’s fine to choose a more matte look.

You can use the same black leather Oxfords with any suit. You literally cannot go wrong with this choice, and a good pair of leather dress shoes will last you for decades, too.

Black cap-toe Oxford shoes by Oliver Wicks

What about sneakers? You need to tread very carefully (pun intended) here. Yes, it’s currently very trendy to wear sneakers with suits and smart suit-separates, but it’s a fashion trend, not a timeless look. Fine for a smart-casual lunch with someone special, but highly likely to age poorly for formal events. 

You may well look back on your prom photos in a decade and cringe, the way we do for those notorious 80s hairstyles! So, while we would give a tentative yes to crisp, clean, high-top sneakers if you really want to fit in with what’s currently en vogue, you would be better off staying classic and sleek with black leather dress shoes. And needless to say, tuxedos and sneakers should never be in the same look!

Brown shoes are for daytime events, so by default are probably not suitable for a prom which is almost guaranteed to be an evening event. 

Tips for Matching Your Prom Date

Talking about trends that don’t age well, don’t feel the need to be a walking color copy of your date. Highly matched prom looks attract descriptions like ‘cute’ and ‘adorable’—not really the vibes you want to be taking into the first formal event of your adult life, even if the adults around you think it’s sweet. It’s better to take your first steps toward learning how to elegantly complement your partner without going overboard, as this is an adult skill that will serve you well in the future.

Rather than a direct match, we suggest complementing your date instead, with strategic uses of the same color spectrum (think how a groom wears a suit to compliment his bride’s white dress - he doesn’t wear all white to match). A matching bow tie, tie, cummerbund, boutonniere, or pocket square—or a shirt in the same range of colors as her dress—will set you up as a stunning couple without looking like you’re going overboard.

Luckily, all-black prom suits make a spectacular background for almost any pop of color you want to add to your look, so pretty much everything will match well with it.


If you feel like a million bucks in your prom suit, you’ll set yourself up for a fun evening to remember forever. So, it’s worth taking the time and care to choose a look you love. Remember, prom may come and go, but those photos are forever! Especially in the age of online photo sharing. 

So, if you prefer a classic white shirt look, don’t choose black just to chase trends. Both will give you a sleek and sophisticated canvas to build a great prom look around and help you enjoy the evening as you should. 

If you’re still confused about building the perfect prom look, or you need more guidance to get the perfect fit from our collection, the Oliver Wicks team are always on hand to help—so reach out to us at custom@oliverwicks.com if you need.