Blazer ($360), vest ($80), and shirt ($60) by Tommy Hilfiger, 212-223-1824. Tie ($150) by Burberry, burberry.com.
From five feet away it seems to be that perfect shade of charcoal. But upon further inspection it's not a solid color at all. There's actually a barely there pattern, which, unlike the plain gray of your standard two-button, will earn you a second look.
Settle on a tightly woven wool with a subtle surface effect reminiscent of TV static—not to be confused with large-scale patterns, like window-pane and houndstooth. Most men already have plenty of those.
Just because your suit has an abstract pattern doesn't mean you need to play it safe with a crisp white shirt. Faintly striped shirts in dove gray, blue, or pink, like those below, add a measured shot of sophistication.
Photographs by Brad Bridgers