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.
- 1 What Colors Go Well with a Navy Suit?
- 2 Choose the Navy Suit by Fit
- 3 Navy Suit and White Shirt Color Combinations
- 4 Navy Suit and Pink Shirt Color Combinations
- 5 Navy Suit and Blue Shirt Color Combinations
- 6 Navy Suit and Striped/Patterned Shirt Color Combinations
- 7 How to Match Your Shoes With Navy Suit
- 8 Wrapping It Up
Firstly, because the navy is slightly less formal than black, it is ideal to be worn 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.
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.
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.
A textured, matt fabric is more classic and understated. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Also known as the traditional fit, classic-fit suits provide comfort and are more comfortable to wear. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s a list of ties that work well with a navy suit and white shirt:
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.
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.
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 and is, therefore, exactly right for the office. 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.
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 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.
Navy works surprisingly well with brown. 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.
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.
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.
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.
But which color tie goes best with the look?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
A sky-blue shirt is a great choice here, and it combines well with several different tie options.
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.
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.
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.
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 that you must be sensitive to the occasion.
The suit and tie combo is 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.
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.
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.
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.
#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.
If I have to choose one, then black shoes are always my preferred choice for a navy suit. If the suit is a lighter texture, then brown is a better choice.
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.
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 shirts in classic white and sky-blue, then branch out later to unlock your creative potential.
A picture speaks a thousand words. 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 the right look for pretty much any occasion.
Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in style 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.