How to Embrace Charcoal 

Here’s how to scale up on your grey attire to build a sophisticated winter wardrobe.

It’s a slow burn.Charcoal doesn’t shout, it doesn’timmediatelycatch your eye. Yet deep grey tones have much to offer the modern man. For a colour named after an ancient fuel, it’s surprisingly contemporary. In the fifties,The Man in the Grey Flannel Suitevoked an establishment man, the diligent but unexciting heart of corporate America.Now that the twin forces of conformity and informality havedrivenbusiness and political leaders intosartorial no man’s land,stuckin identical navy suitsand tieless white shirts,charcoal is no longer a thoughtless default. It’s a sign of quietsophistication.

    Despite beingso close to black, charcoal has amazing tonal range.You might think it would result in agloomy appearance,but charcoal issoft without being dull. Just look at the charcoal sketches byHenri Matisseand you’ll see what I mean: the light gleams off those beautiful, rounded, warm bodies. And the same is trueofclothes: in tailoring, charcoal is flattering; in well-fitting knitwear,it’s downright enticing. Here are a few ways tomake the most of it.


    Alexander Freeling


    October 2019

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