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How to Wear a Navy Blue Suit (6 Outfit Ideas for Men)

8 min
Men's Style  ✺  Suits

Every man needs at least one fine-fitting suit in his closet. I recommend a classic two-piece navy blue one; here are six ways to wear it.

WHY EVERY MAN NEEDS A SUIT

Like it or not, every man should own at least one well-fitting suit. There are numerous events in life where a suit will be necessary, whether it be a job interview, wedding, funeral, etc. I recognize that modern society has ultimately deviated away from more traditional garments in exchange for business casual or smart casual dress codes (i.e., dress codes that don’t require a two-piece suit). I am very much someone who believes that a fine-fitting suit is the most handsome thing a man can wear, and here's why...

Enter any room where there are multiple men in suits, and the one who wears it the best undoubtedly stands out. A suit is synonymous with power, status, wealth, and masculinity. Now, you might not care about any of those things. You certainly shouldn’t be made to, but as I often say, what we wear says something about who we are, and if we, as gentlemen, want to communicate something good to the people around us, then wearing a suit (when appropriate) that is tailored along with all the additional bells and whistles is a sure-fire way to do so.

If you aren't sure how to find a tailor, see my separate article here.

Just remember to always dress for the occasion. Don’t wear a suit when the dress code is smart casual; a gentleman must always know the dress code for the occasion and select the best outfit to go with it. Again, regardless of where life might take you, there will undoubtedly be moments when owning a suit will become essential.

If you're unsure how a suit should adequately fit you, read my comprehensive guide here.

WHY YOUR FIRST SUIT SHOULD BE NAVY BLUE

A navy blue suit is one of the first suits I often recommend to most men due to its tried-and-true reliability. It is timeless in all the right ways and affords the wearer so many options (seriously, it’s kind of ridiculous).

To support this claim, I have prepared six outfits featuring the same navy blue two-piece wool suit from Oliver Wicks, a made-to-measure company based in Europe that does an excellent job crafting high-quality garments for an honest price. The suit I'm wearing is made from 100% extra-fine wool Autumn/Winter (10.5 oz) woven in England by Alfred Brown.

OUTFIT #1: MR. EXECUTIVE

Kicking things off with the most classic of these looks, I have a navy suit, crisp white poplin dress shirt, classic silk striped rep tie from Brooks Brothers (the iconic BB#1 Rep Tie), a white silk pocket square, brown oxford dress shoes, and a dress watch in a complimenting color scheme.

Effortlessly regal, this is the type of ensemble you’ll see politicians or company executives wear (depending on the company). The white dress shirt will always be the most formal type of dress shirt color, creating a bold contrast that isn’t too loud or fussy. The deep red and gold in the tie are perfectly balanced; after all, Brooks Brothers has been selling this type of tie for decades, and any style aficionado will quickly recognize its distinction and quality.

If you aren't willing to spend over $100 on a Brooks Brothers tie like the one above, don't worry. The Tie Bar is an affordable alternative you can trust if you're trying to dress well on a modest budget.

OUTFIT #2: MEDALLION BLUE & GOLD

Next, I’m playing with a color scheme that goes together like peanut butter and jelly: blue and gold. I have swapped the striped tie for a gold one with a dark and light blue medallion print. I have also exchanged the crisp white dress shirt for a powder blue oxford-cloth dress shirt. This adds some elegant texture that you probably can’t appreciate in the photo or from afar in person, but it should be apparent that this shirt has a subtle blue hue due to the texture of the fabric when viewed from up close, weaves of white are mixed in with that of light blue.

Source: Shutterstock

This gives the shirt depth and is an elegant color that harmonizes well with the navy blue in the suit and the medallions in the tie. I would also like to point out that men with blue eyes who wear a blue shirt like this will benefit from making their eyes “pop,” which can look lovely. I have swapped the oxford-brown dress shoes for some chocolate leather loafers, which are more casual than dress shoes with a closed lacing system. This helps to subtly casualize the outfit when paired with the more textured dress shirt and printed tie.

Blue is also great to pair with green, as the two are analogous colors (meaning they sit adjacent to one another on the color wheel). I opted for a subtle but effective steely green cotton pocket square with a complimenting medallion print. This adds consistency to the look in terms of color and pattern. To tie everything together, I have a sleek dress watch with hints of blue and deep brown, again intentionally paired with the rest of the ensemble.

If you aren't sure what analogous means or want to learn more about color theory, see my article here for an introductory lesson.

This look would be perfect for a job interview, a networking event where a suit is encouraged, or a business luncheon, etc.

OUTFIT #3: BURGUNDY PINDOT

This next look is the same as the previous one, the only change being my choice of tie. Here, I have chosen a burgundy red pindot tie. This change shakes things up but also showcases the power of color. Red and blue are known to work well together, but given the deeper shade of the red and minimalist tie pattern, it works well with the texture found in the dress shirt (again, the same powder-blue one as before).

The green in the pocket square (this time folded differently) complements the tie. If the colors of each piece in this suit were overly bright and saturated, then I’m sure it would be a bit more off-putting, but given the lighter and darker shades of each piece, it creates a great deal of harmony where it counts.

This look is also great for job interviews, networking events, business lunches, or weddings!

OUTFIT #4: STRIPED TIELESS

This next look is one of the most casual ways to wear a navy suit. The most noticeable change is the absence of a tie. Any dress shirt featuring an apparent pattern will automatically be more casual than your typical white variant, but that doesn’t mean it can't be dressed up, either.

This look would be fine dressed up with an elegant silk tie (depending upon the pattern, of course), but instead, I have opted to wear this white and blue striped dress shirt on its own. Similar to the previous two looks, the blue in the striped shirt looks excellent alongside the navy blue suit, and I have removed the pocket square to lean more toward a casual direction.

For footwear, I have opted for a pair of suede oxfords, which adds a regal texture, providing more depth and visual intrigue. Finished off with a brown and blue wristwatch, this look is an excellent choice for a casual day at the office or an equally casual reunion or networking event.

OUTFIT #5: PAISLEY PERFECT

Paisley ties can be an exciting addition to any man’s wardrobe. I like to think of this type of tie as a “fun” option that works well for men with a “larger-than-life” personality. Admittedly, a paisley tie is not always easy to pull off, and if I’m being honest, I see most men who opt for one missing the mark entirely.

If you are trying to include one in your suit rotation, here is how I recommend wearing it. This particular paisley tie is blue, magenta, silver, and plum; these are the colors I can play around with the most easily when pairing additional items with it, and to complement them further, I have chosen a subtle lavender oxford-cloth dress shirt. The textured weave and slight purple hue work well with the patterned tie and the navy blue in the suit. Blue and purple are closely related in color, making this decision logical.

My pocket square is a matching paisley pattern with rich purple and subtle shades of orange (orange and blue being complementary to one another). Again, the deeper tones and shades of colors make all of this work well together. It would not work cohesively if every color used in this look were brighter and more saturated.

That is, again, the power of color: knowing what works best together and guiding the viewer’s gaze toward your face. As for shoes, I have a classic pair of brown oxfords with a matching brown and blue leather wristwatch.

If you want to graduate to the next level and learn how to dress for your skin tone, read my article here.

OUTFIT #6: COCKTAIL HOUR

For the final look, I have ditched the dress shirts altogether in place of a sleek and elegant wool turtleneck sweater. I have returned the dark brown suede dress shoes because I think their texture looks excellent alongside the knit turtleneck, but a handsome pair of black oxford dress shoes would also work well. This look affords the wearer a cozy and form-fitting silhouette that is perfect for cocktail hour in the evening and has no pocket square because sometimes, less is more.

NEAR-ENDLESS OPTIONS

When owning a classic navy-blue suit like this one, you’re only limited by how much money you can spend on dress shirts, ties, footwear, pocket squares, etc. Hopefully, this article has served as an excellent primer on what’s in store for you if you decide to go this route.

Whatever you choose, be sure to pay attention to the quality of the fabric, as not all fabrics are the same and will have a noticeable impact on how your suit presents itself and is thus viewed by others. Never skimp on quality for a suit! It is well worth the investment and ought to be something to work up to obtain if you have yet to purchase one.

Of course, no amount of quality will help you if your suit does not fit you well, which is why prioritizing the fit of any suit must come before the quality of its fabric and construction, with no exceptions!

For more advice on how to dress well in general, read this post here.

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