October 19, 2009  ·  mail  ·  style

Mailbag: charcoal pants with navy blazer

Garanimal writes: "How do you guys feel about pairing my charcoal slacks with a navy blazer? I know it's supposed to be a classic combination but it just doesn't look right to me." Answer: We agree. One of the first rules of design is "if it isn't obvious, it's confusing", and this applies to style as well—hues that are close enough in value that they are difficult to discern tend to look muddy. And there's no reason for it, since you have so many other options. Charcoal looks great with warm browns, light blues, pink, black, just about anything. You need further motivation? We correctly guessed that we'd find a terrible example of this pairing on the Men's Wearhouse website (see photo). Don't be that guy.

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