I want you to take good look at the picture above. That’s Daniel Craig, one of the James Bond’s wearing a navy suit, white shirt, white pocket square and a gray tie.
Now, let me ask you a quick question: do you think the image of the calculated, witty and charming 007 is the result of just a pretty face and good acting?
Yep, you guessed it, the suit plays a crucial role in all of this. James Bond in shorts and an over-sized short-sleeved shirt wouldn’t be as charming, would he?
Let’s talk about what I believe to be the absolute best suit color out there: the navy suit.
If this is your first suit, you should definitely go with navy, because you’ll be covered for whatever events you need to attend.
And if you just feel like you want to wear it one day, just for the heck of it, that’s ok too. 🙂
What is the color navy?
Navy is often mistaken for black, and for good reason. Navy is a really dark blue, very close to black. If the lighting isn’t good or if you’re just not paying attention to it, you’ll barely notice the difference.
Let me point that difference out to you:
Actually, the navy blue shown above isn’t even that dark, you can see Daniel Craig’s suit at the top is much darker.
Now, one important thing to consider from a chromatic perspective is that navy blue is a NETURAL. Other neutrals include black, white, gray and any dark colors. It’s important to note that neutrals go really well with most colors.
When can you wear a navy suit?
The navy suit is probably the most versatile suit you can find. You can wear it to proms, to the office, to business meetings and, of course, to weddings.
Now, you might want to stand out a little more at a wedding than you would at a business meeting, right? Even though you’ll be wearing the same suit, it’s the shirt and the accessories that will make the difference. But, at the core of your outfit, there’s gonna be the same stylish navy suit.
So, if for a business meeting you might opt for a white shirt and a gray tie (gray works really well with navy, by the way), at a wedding you can choose a white shirt with red microchecks, a red tie and a white pocket square with polka dots.
Bored with solid colors? Try a pinstripe suit
The advantage of navy suits is that you can match them with both black and brown belts and shoes, unlike the black suit. And, if you are a creative person, you can play a little bit. Instead of wearing a plain navy suit, you could wear a pinstripe suit, or with a textured fabric.
Now, for the main topic of this article, finding the shirt and tie best suitable to your suit. First of all look carefully at your suit and notice all the colors and shades on it (especially if you are looking at a pinstripe suit).
Overall, the look of the suit is blue but up close we find it has fine lines in teal, maroon and gray. Once you have selected the color of the suit you need to find more of it and the easiest place to do this is with your tie, to complement it. The color of the tie will definitely need some contrast.
Choose a tie in a bold color
Here’s a great combo: a pinstripe suit, a solid color shirt and a patterned tie. Consider a solid navy suit with white shirt or light blue shirt and striped tie.
Wear a pinstripe suit with a uni shirt. For a striped navy suit, try a solid blue shirt or white shirt and foulard tie.
Looking to stand out even more?
If you want to impress the ladies, I’ve got some great ideas for you (and they all involve your navy suit).
The best way to stand out is to pair your suit with a shirt in a bold color. A navy suit (whether it has pinstripes or not) will work great with a light pink or even regular pink shirt.
If pink is not really you, you have another option to playing with color: playing with patterns.
Colors are great but accessories are even better. Very few men know how to jazz-up a formal suit. When I try to talk with them about accessories, all they think about are ties. Needless to say, there’s a world of formal accessories out there that are trending right now. THey just don’t know it.
Pocket squares, tie bars, tie clips, cufflinks, hats, belts (some of them are stylish, others look terrible on them and they don’t even know it), watches – make your pick. And just in case you don’t know how to pick them and how to match them, I can help.
Too much? Try THIS combo:
How about this: a pinstripe suit, a checked shirt and a striped tie. Would you be able to handle mixing three patterns together?
Remember: since the suit color is dark, the shirt and tie color should be lighter for a formal look. Here’s a silver tie that would work well with a navy suit:
You can also try a deep purple tie:
Matching the tie and suit
When matching the tie, you can never fail with patterns (stripes, checks, polka dots etc.). Striped ties are the number one choice you should consider. As for the color, it should have some blues or grays while the rest can be of more striking colors like, pink, yellow, green or red. Here’s what I mean:
Before we wrap this up, I want to tell you that this is probably the most important article on the blog. Because if I can help you pull a kick-ass outfit with a navy suit, the rest of my style will fall into place a lot easier.
Remember: it’s better to have 2 quality suits (which, if you look hard enough, you can find them rather cheap) than to have 5 cheap ones. Get a quality fabric, take care of it, don’t abuse it and it WILL last you a lifetime.
A navy suit is just the beginning, what’s really cool is that there are lots of things you can do to improve your style, and I’m not talking just about special occasions. Take a look here to learn more.
P.S. If you’re looking for a black suit, I have a separate article about that (pictures included) right here.