How to Pull Off a Maroon Suit: Styling Tips for Men
Once you’ve assembled a solid and stylish rotation of foundation suits to fill your day-to-day needs, it’s time to get a little creative… if you want to, of course! Wearing a suit as your go-to daily look doesn’t have to be dull and boring, and can be a fantastic way to power up your style game and project that sophisticated aura you’ve always wanted. While the staples are great for events and occasions, having something a little spiffy to break out and show your flair is always good. Burgundy and Maroon have been a hit in couture circles for several years, and this eye-catching color family is unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon. Today, the Oliver Wicks experts will help you make the best of burgundy while still looking sharp.
Before we take a deep dive into maroon suit combinations, let’s clear the air on the complex issue of colors and shades. Is everything deeper than fire engine red, maroon? Nope! While dark red, maroon, and burgundy are incredibly similar shades, there are subtle differences.
If you were mixing paint instead of leaning into sartorial elegance, you would add a brown to a dark red to get maroon, and you would add purple to dark red to get burgundy. However, what does that mean to the eye?
- Dark Red: This is a deep shade, like ruby gemstones, that is simply more muted than bright red and has neutral undertones. Red is the only impression you get.
- Maroon: This Is a deep red shade with brown undertones, perfect for fall. It’s the warm undertone version of deep red.
- Burgundy: This is also a deep red shade, but due to its cool purple undertones, it has a noted plum feel.
As you can see, this leads us back to the idea of colors having undertones. You’re going to run into this any time you veer away from black garments, so it is worth keeping in mind. Overall, there’s very little difference to the eye between these shades, and you’ll often find the terms used nearly interchangeably—even on the Oliver Wicks site!
So, don’t sweat the differences too much. However, the undertone of your specific deep red suit will have some impact on what looks the very best. If you’re hoping to wear it with black or cool brown accessories, or your skin tone has cool undertones, lean towards a true burgundy. If you prefer rich warm browns or have warm undertones, maroon will be the best choice. And for neutral accessories and complexions, dark red will be the most complimentary.
Maroon and burgundy have very much come into their own as stylish choices that lean toward fashionable but don’t venture into the frivolous or avant-garde territories. We’ve seen celebrities like Idris Elba and Ryan Gosling strut their stuff in modern versions of these shades, and they have appeared in the collections of many top-end suit brands—an enviable position in the fashion world. Although they are currently very on-trend, they also have a timeless elegance that means they will never be truly out of style, either.
In men’s fashion, the key changes tend to be suit patterns—think things like the waxing and waning popularity of waistcoats or double-breasted jackets—and colors. For pure practicality and ease of wear, little beats the classics, like charcoal and navy. But no one wants to be trapped with only these as their choices, especially if you wear a suit regularly. Brown falls in and out of fashion very quickly, and black has somber vibes that can lean toward funerary very easily.
Here, we see the rich “fall palette” offer stylish men some needed variety, without going over the top. Forest green and the rich red family both bring an amazing amount of potential to the table. We’ve seen them used for millennia—just consider how many kilt patterns use both! They are strong and masculine but have a little more playfulness and vibrancy than the classics. They can even be used in some business casual environments with care.
So, adding a few maroon suit combinations to your wardrobe is a fantastic way to expand your options and yet keep an aura of timeless elegance. What is even better, is that almost every age group and complexion/hair type can pull maroon off. For dark-skinned men and brunettes, this gives you a way to embrace warm colors without conflict. For pale men and natural blondes, that same warmth keeps a muted look that doesn’t overwhelm you. And there’s nothing that will dull a mid-tone or olive complexion. Even silver foxes can play with this color without it becoming draining or overwhelming. A young man can look fresh and interesting, while an older gent can stay playful with dignity. While maroon is particularly great for evening occasions, it can transition into day with the right choices.
You have almost three-season versatility with maroon and burgundy, too. In fall, this color palette synchronizes with the weather. In winter, it gives you warmth without looking out of place. And it can transition into the early part of spring beautifully. While it’s best to retire it in your summer wardrobe, that’s still a lot of fashionable flexibility!
So, how do you get yourself some of this sleek and stylish color? We’re going to walk you through some of the very best ways that you can play with maroon (and some burgundy) in your wardrobe below. We’ve even seen some gorgeous maroon tuxedo and black-tie dinner suit combinations for adventurous black tie events, so don’t be afraid to take this one for a spin.
Maroon and burgundy cling to the coattails of the jewel tone family. So, muted versions of all the classic jewel tones make for a spectacular pairing. Think:
- Dusty rose and pink
- Black and white
- Copper and bronze
Depending on the outfit and item specifics, many different shades of these colors work fantastically too. Let’s dive deeper into some specifics.
Maroon is a very dramatic color in itself—especially used on the broad canvas of a well-styled suit or tuxedo. So, before we even pair it with anything, take a moment to check your fit. You will not get away with a sloppy, ill-fitting maroon suit. Well, it won’t look good! So the Oliver Wicks slogan—the fit that suits you—is more important than ever. Make sure your suit jacket fits impeccably, and tailor your pants well too.
If you’re not sure where to start with fit issues, we have a helpful video series that you can watch to learn more about this fascinating and critical part of wearing a suit well. You can find this series (and many more helpful resources) on the Oliver Wicks site if you have an account—this takes seconds to create, and no purchase is needed. You can also reach out to the helpful expert tailors at Oliver Wicks via email (email@example.com) with any specific queries you may have.
Many men are under the impression that they can’t dress well unless they are built like Adonis. Think again! A made-to-measure suit that fits your body will help amp up your best features and give you some discrete tweaking where you need it. Every man deserves to feel and look good in his suit and clothes, and high-quality, well-tailored suits are your secret helper to create that look you’ve always wanted. With an online brand, you may also be pleasantly surprised at the affordability - With no physical stores, Oliver Wicks are able to keep running costs low, and we pass those savings onto the client. Pay for the suit, not the mahogany coffee table in the showroom.
We’ve said it before, and it bears repeating—you can never go wrong with a white shirt! If you’re not used to a bold and dramatic suit, like maroon or burgundy, a white shirt gives you a crisp, clean neutral to build around. Maroon is already a bold, suave choice, and a white shirt will let the suit do the talking, without taking away any impact.
If you’re looking for something a little more modern and exciting, you have an unsurpassed opportunity to break a fashion rule here! Blue and red are usually very infantile colors paired together. However, if you pair burgundy or a cooler maroon with a pale pastel blue, you get a light and fresh look that’s perfect for spring or for taking your maroon suit combination for a daytime spin.
Staying with pastels, this is also a great opportunity to show off a pink shirt without looking like a try-hard. And while black shirts can be very difficult to pull off in most suits, adding one to your maroon ensemble will look dashing indeed. It’s a great choice for no-tie options, giving an air of casual sophistication.
What about patterns? Here, you need a careful hand, as this is already a strong suit choice. However, many pattern combinations can look good, especially in a tailored-fit, simple maroon suit. Most will give a feeling of chic sophistication that’s casual and easygoing, so they’re a great choice for the outdoors, daytime, and casual affairs like sipping scotch at your favorite spot. Black and white, sage green and white, and navy and pale colors will all work well.
Choosing the right tie for your maroon suit combination will also hinge on the shirt you choose. You don’t want to go overboard on color combinations, or you will start to look gauche.
If you are wearing a true maroon suit, and have opted for the neutral background of a white shirt, you have an unsurpassed opportunity to wear rich warm ties that can otherwise be difficult to style. Think chocolate, gold, bronze, brown and white patterns, and so much more. You can also opt for the monochromatic look with a maroon tie, or pick a sleek black.
With shades that lean toward more purple/blue undertones, crack out the matching blues. Navy is sleek and classic, and you can take any number of patterns given your subdued shirt. Light blue looks fresh and modern.
The aching simplicity of a white shirt, and the bold hue of your suit, make floral ties a rare first choice. Choose a background that either matches or compliments your suit, and let some delicate pastel florals bring the ensemble to life.
If you’ve decided to take a pastel blue shirt out for a spin, you will want to keep the tie selection a little calmer. Navy and non-pastel blues will work, as will a maroon or burgundy tie, but it’s best to let the shirt speak for itself here. The same goes for a pink shirt—although here, you can also try out one of the floral ties or other small patterns that we mentioned above.
By far the sleekest option for a black shirt is a matching black tie, or a maroon one. Remember, this is already an edgier look, so you don’t want to go over the top. Likewise, if you’re using a patterned shirt, keep to a solid, one-color tie.
Remember that your tie knot can also add to the sleekness or visual interest of your outfit, so pick accordingly. The simpler you dress, the more elaborate the knot can be, while already fussy outfits benefit from sleek and simple.
When in doubt, opt for black with maroon suit combinations. It’s a sleek and sophisticated neutral that’s hard to beat, and it will let the suit talk for itself—even more so if you’re using a black tie or shirt!
However, if you’ve opted for an earth-toned shirt and tie (like sage green), or are wearing a true maroon with golden undertones, you do have an exceptional chance to try out a darker brown. Skip tan and cognac, as they tend to be too loud and brassy. Oxblood, although leaning toward maroon itself, runs the risk of looking too matchy-matchy. You can try it with your specific suit and see how you feel, but it is usually a no.
If you would like a sharp complementary color that doesn’t attract attention, opt for black. If you’d like to soften up the look based on your other color choices or to wear it more easily in the transitional season, a deep brown will give you that.
As with any other sophisticated outfit, your leather accessories, including your belt and watch strap, should always match your shoes. While a pocket square doesn’t have to match your tie, it should always complement it, and pay attention to your shirt here, too. You don’t want to go over the top with too many colors. As for metallics and jewelry, maroon and burgundy both favor gold and other warm metals over silver.
Adding a solid maroon suit combination, or a rich burgundy tux, to your wardrobe is a great way to start experimenting with color while still keeping your overall look slick and sophisticated. We’ve explored the different ways that you can wear these suits and, as always, feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.