Imagine you just bought a new suit.
You're attending a wedding and had to get something formal.
Fits just right.
The wedding comes and goes…
And so does the suit.
You put it back in the closet never to see the light of day until another formal occasion.
This is a mistake.
You can wear a suit for more environments than a professional one.
This article is going to give you 5 different outfits for five different occasions…from ONE suit.
Today's focus is on the navy suit.
This suit is synonymous with being versatile. It's a color that can be dressed up & down and is also a staple to own.
So what are the five outfits? Let's get into it.
1. Navy Suit for Formal Occasions
Navy has always been well respected in the professional or business environment. In recent decades the navy suit has gained more acceptance as formal attire giving a break to the normal, hum-drum black suit.
- Crisp white shirt – Preferably made from 100% cotton. You could possibly go with a light pattern such as a herringbone or a pinpoint weave
- Silk necktie – The best colors are dark blue (navy/indigo) or grey (any shade) or red; tie can be solid or patterned, but if it's patterned, the designs should not be too bold or overpowering. A super bold and old school formal option is to wear a cravat or ascot.
- Two tie knots you can use are:
- The standard four-in-hand
- Half-windsor tie knot
- Straight fold white pocket square – looks fantastic with a white shirt.
- Brown whole cut or oxford cap toe shoes – classic shoes with minimal details
- Navy or black socks depending on the shoe that is worn
In this look, the navy suit is more conservative. Its function is to be uniform in that any place where this is worn, most will wear the suit in this manner. Intricate details and designs on neckwear, pocket squares, or shoes are kept to a minimum.
This is not to be boring. Instead, it is to maintain the highest level of class and sophistication. Wearing the navy suit in this way is best for business environments or high society events.
2. Navy Business Casual Occasions
What makes the navy suit a great option is that it provides a current look. The navy suit has the ability to be acceptably classic while still communicating a contemporary tone.
- Patterned shirt – gingham, herringbone, plaid, etc.
- No tie – for standard business casual and a knit or skinny tie for the modern aesthetic
- Light brown brogue – or semi brogue shoes or double monk straps
- Colored or patterned pocket square – Make sure it's a different pattern that doesn't clash with your shirt.
- Navy socks – Although with business casual you could have fun and bring in a patterned sock.
The traditional business casual look is no tie. It has since morphed into no tie with patterned shirts. This gives a more fanciful vibe than the formal version.
The patterned shirt gives the look texture that helps take the attention off the fact that there is no neckwear. It’s also a good way to bring in different pocket squares. You are able to pattern mix really nicely when you are wearing a shirt with designs such as:
The modern suit is generally slimmer in cut and is often paired with patterned shirts as well. Blue is considered a neutral so most patterned shirts – that have a base of white with a colored design – will work.
The modern suit also is worn with a non-traditional neckwear such as a skinny or knit tie. Placed with a modern cut/slim fitted suit, skinny ties create an edgy and metropolitan look.
3. Navy Suit Creative Look
Navy blue provides the perfect canvas to showcase a creative vibe. You can experiment with brighter colors and patterns.
- Floral or polka dotted shirt – bold patterns; without a tie.
- Gray Suede Loafers (loafers or moccasins).
- No show socks
- Creative watch
- Plain white pocket square
- Brown belt
Since gray is considered a non-color the belt should match the watch rather than the shoes.
Bring in the navy suit to keep the outfit a perfect balance of creative and business/business casual. If you decide to wear a tie with a floral shirt, it must be solid. No exceptions! This is the safest bet because the pattern of the shirt is so bold.
Ties are not required with this kind of look. You can wear the collar unbuttoned or buttoned all the way up. Either way, both are casual and are great options to spice up the navy suit. Since this is rather contemporary, the shoes can follow suit (pun intended).
You don't want to go off the deep end with loud colored footwear or boisterous designs. You can choose a casual shoe that's simple yet stylish. If you're going to wear a moccasin, you want to pick a solid shoe.
The current trend is that there is a design or monogram on the vamp of the slippers. This design might not work with all that's going on with the shirt.
4. Navy Suit Hot Weather Look
With the soaring temps of summer, the cool hue of navy brings a refreshing twist. Navy in the summer has its advantages as it conveys a casual, nautical feel.
- Trousers with no break
- Breathable short sleeve polo or plain v neck.
- Shoes: Slip-on penny loafer
- Patterned Pocket square
- Socks: No show
Keep the suit cool and the look fresh by keeping the jacket but losing the button up. This is a super casual look that's great for a fun date or casual Friday at work. The look is relaxed so the shoes don't have to be as formal. The type of pocket square is a matter of preference.
You can never go wrong with a straight fold white pocket square, but a colored/patterned one would be fantastic as well. It just depends on your comfort level. The socks are optional because there is not break in the pants. This is the general convention during the hotter months.
At the end of the day, It’ can be worn so many ways that it’s hard to overstate its value. The color navy is probably one of the many shades of blue that looks good on everyone. Dressed up formally – or dressed down casually – a navy suit bears the universal code of refinement. As such, no man should be without a suit of this color in his wardrobe. No exceptions!
5. Navy Suit Worn As A Separate
As good as a navy suit is, do not overlook its usefulness as separates. You will always need a nice dark jacket. And you can never say too much about a great pair of navy slacks.
Navy jacket as blazer with different trousers or jeans
Navy pants as odd trousers to be paired with another jacket
Shoes: whole cut, cap toe oxfords, brogues, semi-brogues, wingtips
Scenarios like this are why suits are the staple piece in a gentleman's wardrobe. They are versatile. One outfit has been turned into three.
When doing this, remember that you're going to have more wear and tear because either piece is being worn more frequently. Quality becomes even more important when wearing your suit as separates.