Caveat Emptor - Worst Clothing Investments/Options


You must be joking. I often wear black jeans, black pullovers, black t-shirts, black tennis shirts. I have a black greatcoat,a black peacoat, and a black Harrington, also at least one black scarf, and a black trilby, and some black chinos. Back in the late 80s/early 90s I only ever seemed to wear black.

Dieter, is that you??


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
French or Royal Blue OCBDs - Lacking in the softness and subtlety of light blue/lilac, the versatility of ecru/cream, the attitude of pink, or the precision of white, French Blue shirts are both loud and difficult to compliment. They present stark contrasts with almost any tie choice and limit available base colors. I submit that there is no coat/tie combination where I wouldn't choose either light blue/sky or white/ecru over french blue.'re having problems combining french blue with another color?!!
I would say it's one of the easiet colors to compliment.

I think you need to go and check your eyes :icon_smile_wink:

French Blue for reference:


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Excellent OP. I was hoping for more good tips in the replies.

IMO socks and shoes are the only acceptable black attire away from a funeral ever since the 80s. Unless you're a goth, you ride a motorbike or you work in IT.

Dingo McPhee

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
To go with the original thrust of the thread...

Black & brown shoes - I have owned two pairs of casual loafers that were black leather with brown leather accents. I never wore them because if the outfit called for one color, it seemed strange to have the other involved.


Super Member
Anything Black ... Other than shoes and belts I find black to be lacking in both versatility and subtlety.
French or Royal Blue OCBDs - Lacking in the softness and subtlety of light blue/lilac, [etc]

Who says I want to be subtle? I have a lilac, FC shirt that I love that I wear with black trousers. No other color of trousers really sets off the color of the shirt like black. Is it subtle? Absolutely not, but thats why I love it.


Good thread! I concur re: the particularly strong royal blue dress shirt. The color looks very good as a sport shirt, but strange with a tie. Either the tie is lighter than the shirt, which is a little odd, or the whole ensemble is very dark. Some people carry it off well, but I'm never happy with it on me.

$75 for surgeon's cuffs on a "bespoke" suit? Every suit I've had made (except for my first "custom" job, a HSM bought through Nordstrom) came with them free of charge (if requested).

I bought at fair number of complex patterned woven ties over the years... they looked luxurious at the time, but increasingly they just seem gaudy to me, and they gradually have been finding their way to the "reserve" shelf in my closet. A few regrets there.

I have a mid-blue shirt with white stripes that just looks awful on me for some reason. I think the blue is slightly greenish, and very harsh/cold; it only looks right when paired with a yellow tie, but yellow ties make me look like I'm suffering from liver failure, so the shirt's nigh unwearable.

Similarly, I have a few red ties that are just the wrong color red on me.

All that said, I don't think there's any way to really learn what looks good on you and how to shop for effective clothes unless you make some bad picks along the way. I'd like to have the money back, but none were cripplingly expensive. I feel far more regret about a couple of pieces I did not buy.


Super Member
I too avoid orange, mainly because it would make me look like a big safety cone and I live in Knoxville, TN home of all that is UT orange. I also don't care for red shirts. Not plaid or stripe, but just solid red. I also don't do many blacks and I absolutely will not wear black jeans. I do however enjoy french blue shirts, I have one and I find it works great with grey flannels and nicer tan slacks.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Anything Black (that isn't leather and worn either on your feet or around your waist) - other than perhaps a tux, I struggle to think of even a single example of a black article of clothing that is worth the investment. Other than shoes and belts I find black to be lacking in both versatility and subtlety. In the game of buy or sell, the "sell" list of black clothing includes but is not limited to suits, sportcoats, pants, shirts, sweaters, socks, and ties.

Agree? Disagree? Can you think of any to add?

I have a black polo shirt, a black thin wool sweater that looks good with white button down + gray slacks, and black socks to go with gray pants + black shoes. These are the only black things I own (other than black fleece jackets, tux, belt, shoes)


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
It may be that my opinions are affected by having spent much time on university campuses, but I think jeans and a black turtleneck are a classic, and attractive, American outfit.

I'm not sure what kind of university you are talking about. I just graduated from a university in the south that's typically known for dressing well and I guarantee if anyone wore any color turtleneck they would be a laughing stock. unless of course you are Steve Jobs


Super Member
I completely disagree about the anti-black sentiment. With one caveat. I can't think of a black button down looking good with anything else. Although its probably acceptable to go to the club or something similar.

I think black is dependent on a person's complexion. I like black, I think it goes well with my hair and skin color. I wear black jeans all the time. I wear black polos and black t-shirts often. I have black sweaters because they were on sale and those were the only ones left over, but I still wear them. Black watch bands look good, black watch faces also look good. Heck, even my hair is black. My jackets are both black too (wool coat & cotton "motorcycle" jacket").

Do understand the point about not paying extra for surgeon's cuffs, but thats a personal choice imo. Also get the french blue comment. Doesn't work well for me unless it is on its own.

Stuff I wouldn't have bought:

Ill fitting pants. Black suit. Really wide ties. Poor quality polos that don't even fit properly.


New Member
I would venture to say the worst clothing investment would be buying clothes for a girl who dumped you the next week.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
There are very few investment grade clothes.

Some investment grade clothing items:

Hermes ties. Go up in value due to collector demand.

Silk plush top hats. Are no longer manufactured due to a loss of technology. In larger sizes are exceedingly expensive, due to the fact that people have gotten bigger over the last century.

I would suggest some brands of suspenders as well. I've happily paid above retail for several of the discontinued Limited Edition Calvin Curtis designs by Trafalgar.


New Member
The first thing that jumps to mind...

I'd be weary of any really light weight knits... I bought a few light-weight v-necks a while back because they were on sale, thinking they'd be a good option for over shirts and/or under jackets on days that I didn't want to be too hot - in that sense they work. The downside is that being light weight the necks stretch and they don't hold their shape very well.

I think it's totally a matter of opinion, but I agree with the french blue comment. I partially agree with the balck comment, but only regarding 'dress' shirts and suits in solids... I think that in most other cases it can look good.

Also, too much black can be an immaturity thing I think... Years ago (I wouldn't have been dressing well) but I probably would have chosen black for most of my clothes. These days I try to dress well, and in most cases I avoid solid black anything.
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