How Many Suits Should a Man Own?

How Many Suits Should a Man Own?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen the viral video of Steve Harvey giving his advice on his secret to flipping 5 suits into 75 suits. In that video clip, Steve says that every man should start off with a black, navy, and gray suit, then add brown and tan to the wardrobe. With these five suits and a variety of dress shirts, you should be able to create formal outfits to fit every occasion. 

While we agree with his first three suit color recommendations, not every guy can pull off a brown or tan suit with style. So, in addition to a black, navy, and grey suit, we're here to give you our recommendations for additional styles, patterns, and colors that we feel are better fits for a modern man. We'll also answer the question: How many suits should a man own?

The Essential Three

Imagine your closet. Now, picture it housing three suits that are ready to have your back for practically any event. That's what we're aiming for with the essential three. These aren't just suits; they're your partners in crime for looking dapper, whether you're nailing a job interview, dancing at a wedding, or charming your way through a dinner date.

1. The Black Suit: More Than Just Formalwear

Like Steve said: “Every man has to own a black suit.” If you are purchasing your very first suit, black is the most versatile choice. While a black suit is perfect for funerals or black-tie events,  its scope is much broader. Think of it as your secret weapon for when you need to make a statement. Wearing a black suit speaks volumes about your style and confidence. Pair it with a vibrant tie for a pop of color, or go for a classic look with a crisp white shirt. Either way, you're turning heads.

2. Your Go-To Navy Suit

Think of your navy suit as that reliable friend you can call on for any occasion. Job interview? Check. Big meeting? Absolutely. A night out? You bet. Navy is like a chameleon, playing well with almost every shirt and tie you own. It's incredibly forgiving, complementing a wide range of skin tones. And the best part? Whether you're pairing it with a classic white shirt or throwing in a splash of color, you're bound to look sharp.

3. The Gray Suit: Your Wardrobe MVP

Now, let's talk gray. Not too dark, not too light, a mid-gray suit is the MVP of your wardrobe. It's the suit you reach for when you're not quite sure what the day holds. Work function in the morning and a casual drink in the evening? The gray suit transitions like a dream. It's all about how you dress it up or down. A tee or a casual button-down can dial down the formality, making the gray suit a true team player in your wardrobe.

Beyond the Basics: Expanding Your Wardrobe

After you've secured the three cornerstone suits in your wardrobe, it's time to inject some personality and adapt to your lifestyle's demands. Whether you're a boardroom regular or your days skew more towards the casual side, diversifying your suit selection keeps you prepared and stylish.

The Patterned Suit

Patterned suits are where things get interesting. They allow you to play with style and stand out subtly. Think pinstripes, checks, or even houndstooth—these patterns add a layer of sophistication and show off your fashion-forward side.

  • Pinstripe Suits: Not just for the finance guys, a pinstripe suit brings a classic yet bold touch to your ensemble. It's perfect for adding an extra dimension to your look without shouting for attention.

  • Check Suits: From windowpane to glen check, these patterns offer a playful yet polished vibe. They're fantastic for occasions where you want to break the monotony of solid colors without veering into overly casual territory.

These suits are your secret weapon for making a statement while maintaining an air of professionalism and elegance.

The Seasonal Suit

Your wardrobe should also reflect the seasons—not just in colors but in fabrics and weights. This adaptability ensures comfort, style, and appropriateness throughout the year.

  • Summer Suits: Opt for lighter fabrics like linen or lightweight cotton. These materials breathe well, keeping you cool and comfortable during the warm months. A light-colored linen suit, for instance, can be a game-changer for summer weddings or outdoor events.

  • Winter Suits: When the temperature drops, switch gears to heavier wool or even tweed. These fabrics offer warmth without compromising on style. A well-tailored wool suit can be both a shield against the cold and a standout piece in your winter wardrobe.

By considering the season, you're not just dressing smarter; you're optimizing your comfort and ensuring that your style is always on point, regardless of the weather.

Mixing and Matching: Elevate Your Style Game

The real fun begins when you start mixing and matching different suit color combinations. This approach not only extends your wardrobe's versatility but also allows you to express your unique style. Here's how you can get creative and elevate your look:

Jacket as a Blazer

Using your suit jacket as a blazer is a smart move to get more mileage out of it. This mix-and-match strategy works exceptionally well with navy or gray jackets, as they offer the most versatility.

  • Navy Jacket: Pair it with beige chinos and a crisp white shirt for a look that's effortlessly chic. Finish with brown loafers or brogues for a polished touch.

  • Gray Jacket: Combine it with dark jeans and a light-colored turtleneck for a modern, relaxed vibe. Sneakers or suede desert boots can complete this ensemble, bridging the gap between casual and dressy.


The concept of separates is about pairing different suit trousers and blazers to create fresh looks. It's like having a new outfit every time you mix and match.

  • Gray Pants with a Navy Blazer: This is a timeless combo that works for various occasions, from business casual meetings to dinner dates. The contrast is subtle yet striking, offering a sophisticated edge.

  • Patterned Pants with a Solid Blazer: If you're feeling bold, try pairing patterned trousers, like those from a check suit, with a solid-colored blazer. This look is eye-catching and shows off your sartorial savvy.

  • Colored Trousers with a Neutral Blazer: For a more playful approach, combine colored trousers (think forest green or burgundy) with a neutral blazer. This combination is perfect for casual events where you want to stand out.

Tips for Successful Mixing and Matching

  • Balance is Key: When mixing patterns and colors, maintain balance. If one piece is bold, keep the other more subdued.

  • Consider the Occasion: Mix and match according to the event's formality. Keep it more conservative for business settings and more adventurous for social outings.

  • Accessories Matter: Accessories can tie your mixed-and-matched outfit together. Use ties, pocket squares, and belts to harmonize your look.

How Many Suits Should You Own? The Final Verdict

Deciding on the perfect number of suits for your wardrobe doesn't come with a one-size-fits-all answer—it truly hinges on your lifestyle, needs, and, importantly, your budget. If your budget allows for just one, a black suit is your versatile ally, ready for a multitude of occasions. When you're in a position to expand, introducing a gray and a navy suit adds depth and variety, covering you for nearly any event or setting. And if you're fortunate enough to own five suits, adding a patterned and a seasonal option will round out your collection beautifully, ensuring you're impeccably dressed year-round. 

Ultimately, your wardrobe should reflect your personal style, professional needs, and life's demands. If you’re looking to expand your suit wardrobe or start one from scratch, be sure to check out xSuit’s line of performance stretch suits and separates.