A navy suit is an excellent alternative to black. The color navy is a classic in its own right and suitable for a wide variety of occasions.

That said, a lot of men are a little unsure about which color shirt, tie, and shoes to wear with their navy suit.

This helpful guide is here to help. Remember that we’re talking specifically about navy here, not any other shades of blue.

What Colors Go Well with a Navy Suit?

Firstly, because the navy is slightly less formal than black, it is ideal for wearing on most occasions, including business meetings, weddings, interviews, or even dinners in a fancy restaurant.

Of course, black is widely regarded as the shade that can be paired with most other colors. But you’ll be surprised at just how versatile navy can be too.

David Beckham wearing a navy suit

You can think of your navy suit as a blank canvas on which to layer other colors. Most color shirts work well with the shade, except for black and navy.

You’ll also be better off avoiding overly loud colors or designs such as orange or red. However, bombastic and vibrant ties can definitely level up the style stakes when matched with a navy suit.

Speaking of ties and pocket squares, try to match the pocket square with color in a patterned tie. If you’re wearing a solid tie, choose a different shade of pocket square.

You’re looking to create a subtle contrast here, such as a sky blue pocket square and a royal blue tie.

The Texture

Unlike a blue suit, which can range from denim to sky blue, there is only one shade of navy. But texture can make one navy suit look quite different from another suit of the same color.

Matt-navy three-piece-suit

A textured, matt fabric is more classic and understated. On the other hand, a suit in a slightly shiny material makes for a modern impact. Be careful of shiny fabrics, though, as they can sometimes look cheap.

Pattern or Plain?

When choosing your first navy suit, we recommend you go for plain with no pattern. A fine, subtle pinstripe is okay but stay away from heavily patterned suits until you gain confidence.

It’s easy to match shirts and ties to a plain navy suit. Pair it with solid white shirts and plain ties so that the suit remains the main attraction.

Navy suit with white shirt, black shoes and brown tie

And beware of wearing a patterned suit with a different patterned tie, such as a striped tie with a checked shirt. Once you choose the color combination, it is just as important to decide the suit’s fit.

Choose the Navy Suit by Fit

As always, the main thing to bear in mind when choosing a suit is the fit. A great fit will help create a sleek and stylish look and ensure you are always on-trend.

A good tip is to make sure the shoulder seam runs along the top of your shoulder, not lower down your arm. With your arms down at your sides, the end of the sleeves should stop at your wrist.

Differences in suit fits: skinny vs. slim vs. modern vs. classic

For the pants, they should stay up without the need for a belt. When you sit down, the waistband should not cut into you. In terms of length, the hem of the pants should touch the top of your shoes.

Classic-Fit Navy Suits

Also known as the traditional fit, classic-fit suits provide comfort and are more comfortable to wear. In other words, a classic navy suit will give you a formal and corporate look.

Navy is a neutral color, making it a good choice for a wedding suit, work, formal events, and even a date night. Just avoid anything too baggy as this will make you look dated and untidy.

Best Choices

two-piece merino wool navy suit by HockertyModern-fit navy suit by Tommy HilfigerThree-piece navy suit by Salvatore Extemodern two-piece navy suit by Tomasso BlackClassic-fit navy suit by Chaps

#1: Made-to-measure navy suit by Hockerty.
#2: Modern-fit navy suit by Tommy Hilfiger.
#3: Three-piece modern-fit navy suit by Salvatore Exte.
#4: Modern two-piece navy suit by Tomasso Black.
#5: Classic-fit navy suit by Chaps.

Slim-Fit Navy Suits

The slim-fit suit is tailored closer to the body and gives you that feel like someone is hugging you. It features a modern finish and a sharp look; the navy slim fit suit projects a clean and powerful silhouette.

A good slim-fit suit, when fitted correctly, will always provide comfort and ease of movement. A slim-fit navy suit is appropriate for almost every occasion, including interviews, formal events, and date nights.

Best Choices

Navy stretch slim-fit suit by Calvin KleinItalian wool navy suit by Tomasso BlackSlim fit navy suit by Calvin KleinSlim-fit navy suit by Kenneth ColeStretch slim-fit navy suit by Vince Camuto

#1: Navy stretch slim-fit suit by Calvin Klein.
#2: Italian wool navy suit by Tomasso Black.
#3: Slim-fit navy suit by Calvin Klein.
#4: Slim-fit navy suit by Kenneth Cole.
#5: Stretch slim-fit navy suit by Vince Camuto.

Navy Suit and White Shirt Color Combinations

If you’re unsure of what goes with what, you can never go wrong with a crisply ironed, pristine white shirt and a navy suit.

navy suit and white shirt color combinations

Fairly formal accessories work well with this combination, such as a leather belt and Oxford shoes in brown or black. This look is immediately effortlessly stylish.

Of course, you’ll still have to decide on a tie, and this is the part where you get to experiment a little and express your personality.

Best Choices

Premium cutaway collar white dress shirt by HockertySlim fit white shirt by Amazon EssentialsVan Hausen regular fit white shirtKenneth Cole slim fit shirt in white colorSlim fit white shirt by Calvin Klein

#1: White dress shirt by Hockerty.
#2: Slim fit white shirt by Amazon Essentials.
#3: Regular fit white shirt by Van Hausen.
#4: Slim fit shirt in white color by Kenneth Cole.
#5: Slim fit white shirt by Calvin Klein.

Here’s a list of ties that work well with a navy suit and white shirt:

Red Tie

A timeless classic, you can’t go wrong with a red tie. It’s not exactly a bold color combo, though. So if you want something a bit more daring, then try other colors.

Solid burgundy tie by KisstiesKissties men's striped tie in red colorDotted tie red color with white dots by Nautica

Orange Tie

What? Really? Yes, orange is a great summer alternative to boring old red. You’ll exude confidence without looking crazy because the rest of your outfit is classic and understated.

Blue-striped orange tie by Tommy HilfigerFoulard orange tie by NauticaBlue-dotted orange tie by Tommy Hilfiger

Grey Tie

The two foundational colors in a tailored wardrobe are navy blue and gray. They play well together and could be the most versatile color match in menswear.

While quite conservative, grey remains forever stylish. Therefore, it’s exactly right for the office. In addition, blue and grey are both known as “cool colors” (as opposed to “warm colors”), which is why they are a natural pairing.

Despite being an almost foolproof option, watch out for contrasts that are too strong between the shades. In other words, if your suit is a dark navy, avoid a very pale grey tie. Veer for charcoal shades, instead.

If you do want to go a bit lighter, pick a light grey tie with charcoal grey patterns, but be sure to keep your suit and shirt plain.

Solid grey tie KisstiesBlue dotted grey tie by S&WDark-grey striped tie by Retreez

Black Tie

It may sound surprising, but you can wear your navy suit to black-tie events too. Simply combine it with a classic black bow tie and a white dinner shirt.

And just like that, you have yourself an outfit that’s appropriate for any kind of formal occasion.

Accessorize the look with some understated cuff links and black braces instead of wearing a belt. Finish it off with a white pocket square.

And yes, you can wear an ordinary black tie with a navy suit and a white shirt as your wedding attire, for work, or other formal events, too.

Black solid tie by Amazon EssentialsSolid black tie by KisstiesSolid black tie by QBSM

Brown Tie

Navy works surprisingly well with brown. Indeed, there might be more interesting color options for ties than brown. But if you absolutely love the shade, be sure to wear brown shoes of a similar hue to perfect the combo.

Oh, and wear navy socks, please.

Striped brown with white tie by Scott AllanShlax & Wing foulard tie - brown color

Navy Tie

If you want to look seriously stylish, pick out a navy tie in the same shade as your suit, and take it up a notch by getting one with narrow diagonal white stripes to tone in with your white shirt.

Alternatively, a navy tie with a simple, small pattern can look good for daywear, too.

Dotted Navy tie with white dots by Spring NotionStriped dark blue tie with powder-blue stripes by Bows&TiesPierre Cardin solid navy blue tieDotted royal blue tie by Elfeves

Navy Suit and Pink Shirt Color Combinations

A pink shirt is a softer color to wear than white and is less formal. Pale pink is a color that’s flattering for everyone, no matter the skin or hair color. So it’s probably the most versatile shade of pink to go for.

navy suit and pink shirt color combination

Also, the paler pink shades are a comfortable and elegant pairing for a navy without clashing.

Pink with navy creates a modern look that is entirely appropriate for occasions where you want to look smart. It’s not too stuffy and never too classic.

Best Choices

Classic-fit pink shirt w/ metal cufflink by J.VerSlim-fit pink shirt by Calvin KleinTailored fit light-pink shirt by Buttoned DownUnlisted regular fit pink shirt by Kenneth Cole

#1: Classic-fit pink shirt w/ metal cufflink by J.Ver
#2: Pink slim-fit shirt by Calvin Klein
#3: Tailored-fit light-pink shirt by Buttoned Down
#4: Pink classic-fit shirt by Kenneth Cole Unlisted

But which color tie goes best with the look?

Navy Tie

It is an expected option, but at least you won’t go wrong. For a bit of contrast, pick a navy tie with some texture or one that has a small print on it.

Go a shade lighter or darker than the suit, not exactly the same navy.

Polka dot navy tie with pink dots by KisstiesDotted Navy tie with white dots by Spring NotionPierre Cardin solid navy blue tie

Red Tie

A little more adventurous than a navy tie, red will never let you down. Look for a solid dark red shade like Oxblood or maroon to add interest here.

Pair this color combination with black Oxford or Derby shoes, and you’re perfect!

Red tie with black/blue/white stripes by Tommy HilfigerSolid burgundy tie by KisstiesDotted tie red color with white dots by Nautica

Pink Tie

If you’re going with a pink tie, then choose a darker shade of pink. It shares a warm element with a pink shirt and works surprisingly well. Match with dark brown Oxford shoes or boots and a plain brown leather belt.

Blue-striped pink tie by Tommy HilfigerStriped dark pink tie by Kissties

Striped Ties

Your navy suit allows you to be bold and choose a striped or even a patterned tie. The key is to make sure that the background color of the tie is also navy. Dots or plaid can also help create a fresh, playful impression.

Striped navy-pink tie by ElfevesStriped dark blue tie with powder-blue stripes by Bows&TiesStriped Navy tie with pink stripes by Luther Pike Seattle

Navy Suit and Blue Shirt Color Combinations

While there’s nothing amiss with a crisp white shirt, there may be times where you want to look smart casual or smart with something a bit different.

 navy suit and blue shirt color combination

A sky-blue shirt is a great choice here, and it combines well with several different tie options.

Best Choices

Slim fit blue-striped white shirt by Calvin Klein Slim fit blue shirt by Kenneth Cole Slim fit blue shirt by Tommy HilfigerClassic Fit Blue Shirt by Buttoned Down

#1: Slim-fit blue-striped white shirt by Calvin Klein.
#2: Slim-fit blue shirt by Kenneth Cole.
#3: Slim-fit blue shirt by Tommy Hilfiger.
#4: Classic-fit blue shirt by Buttoned Down.

Blue/Navy Tie

This is the simplest option, and it’s a bonafide classic. Choose a blue that’s darker than the shirt. Navy is the most obvious choice. Experiment with texture here to add a little interest.

Alternatively, try polka dots on your navy tie. Black Oxford shoes, Derbies, or brown Chelsea boots – all complete the look.

Striped dark blue tie with powder-blue stripes by Bows&TiesDotted royal blue tie by ElfevesDotted navy-blue tie with light-blue dots by RetreezSolid navy tie by the Tie Bar

Black Tie

Although my advice would be to go for vibrant colors, like red or maroon, a black tie can be paired with a navy suit and blue shirt. It’s a little conservative, but it’s one of the most classic choices for suits.

Even though both of the colors are dark, they still create a powerful & stylish contrast. Besides a solid black, other smooth options are striped or textured ties, like Macclesfield or Foulard.

Solid black tie by KisstiesSolid black tie by QBSM

Red Tie

A red tie is still a classic, and it adds a little more vibrant than a blue tie can. We’ve put all the reds into one group here to keep things simple. They include maroon, coral, cherry red, and burgundy.

A red tie goes better with navy than with any other color suit. It creates a “power-dressed” look. Think Donald Trump, if you must (hey, it’s just for reference, no politics here).

Just remember that if you want the look to exude confidence, you need a proper red. Alternatively, if you want to tone it down a notch, go for a brownish-red or burgundy.

Classic Oxford shoes in brown or black add the perfect finishing touch.

Kissties men's striped tie in red colorSolid burgundy tie by KisstiesSolid red tie by Amazon Essentials

Orange Tie

For the bold! An orange tie creates a very eye-catching contrast against a light blue shirt and navy jacket. That will work for most events; the only rule is to be sensitive to the occasion.

This suit and tie combo are certainly not for work or business use. It’s best suited to a less formal affair like a daytime wedding. Not quite orange, mustard yellow creates a good contrast with a blue shirt too.

Blue-striped orange tie by Tommy HilfigerFoulard orange tie by NauticaBlue-dotted orange tie by Tommy Hilfiger

Green Tie

You probably don’t want solid green against your blue shirt, so opt for a tie with stripes. Pick a darker or matt shade of green, too.

Choose a stripe where one of the lines is the same blue as the shirt, the other is green, and the other is perhaps navy. Brown Chelsea boots are a good option for this interesting combo.

Navy Suit and Striped/Patterned Shirt Color Combinations

Sky-blue shirts are always a classic choice, but they can be a little plain. If you’re looking to make a statement, pair your navy suit with a striped or printed shirt. Look at stripes, gingham, dots, or checks.

navy suit and checkered shirt

The key here is to make sure that the colors don’t clash with your suit. An easy way to avoid this is to choose a shirt with white as a foundation color.

Never wear a striped suit, striped shirt, and a striped tie together. You can, however, wear a plain navy suit with a striped shirt and striped tie. They’ll play nicely together if the stripes are of a different scale.

For example, you can wear a shirt with very narrow stripes and a tie with thick stripes. Stripes and dots go well together, too, so try a striped shirt with a spotted tie.

A white shirt with blue stripes is an excellent choice with your navy suit. A white shirt with pink stripes is also a good option, but it’s a little less classic.

Best Choices

Regular-fit blue shirt with a white collar by J.VerRegular-fit blue-striped shirt by Van HeusenAlimens & Gentle regular fit blue-striped shirt
Slim-fit pink gingham shirt by Tommy HilfigerTailored-fit white-stripe pink shirt by Buttoned Down

#1: Regular-fit blue shirt with a white collar by J.Ver.
#2: Regular-fit blue-striped shirt by Van Heusen.
#3: Regular-fit blue-striped shirt by Alimens & Gentle.
#4: Slim-fit pink gingham shirt by Tommy Hilfiger.
#5: Tailored-fit white-stripe pink shirt by Buttoned Down.

How to Match Your Shoes With Navy Suit

Since navy is one of the most versatile shades on the color wheel, it’s hard to mismatch your shoes with a navy suit. You can match it with black, brown, or even burgundy shoes.

Suits & shoes complete occasion and formality color guide match

If I have to choose one, black is always my top choice for dress shoes to match with this suit color. That’s because black dress shoes add an additional level of formality to the navy suit.

However, if the suit is a lighter texture, then brown is a better choice. It makes your ensemble more playful and vibrant.

Otherwise, opt for footwear in black. In terms of style, go for Oxfords, brogues, or even loafers. Shoes with a rounded toe generally work better than pointy ones.

Wrapping It Up

The navy suit is one of the most versatile modes of dress wear in your wardrobe. Provided you’ve gone for good quality, it will give you many years of excellent service.

Start the look with classic white and sky-blue shirts, then branch out later to unlock your creative potential.

A picture speaks a thousand words. So look up photos of these color combinations online and see how they work on real people.

Remember that creating a look is not just about color, but about other style elements too. Button your jacket for formal events.

Wear invisible socks with white sneakers and no tie for a casual summer look. “The wider the tie, the more formal the event” is a rule of thumb you can use here too.

There are so many options open to you when you have a navy suit in your wardrobe. With this classic number, you’ll be well on your way to having a right look for pretty much any occasion.

Alexander Stoicoff
Author: Alexander Stoicoff

Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in styling in Rome. Through my writing, I want to help men dress well and learn the purpose and significance of suits and other formal attire. My final goal is to make men more confident in their wardrobe choice and life in general.

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