How to Choose and Style a Blue and Navy Suit

by Jamie

Is blue the new black? When it comes to suits, adding a touch of colour has never been so fashionable. Whether it’s a night out with the guys or an important work meeting, it’s time to put away your classic black and invest in it’s younger, trendier brothers, the blue or navy suit.

A blue suit is perfect for the warmer weather, adding a splash of colour and lightening up your suit wardrobe. While it is versatile and can definitely carry you through to the winter months, this is usually where the navy suit will step in and take front spot. While some people will list blue and navy suits under the same umbrella, they certainly are different – either way, we’re sure you’ll never want to see a black suit again.

Buying a suit can be a really daunting process, especially when you’re spending good money and are looking for more of an investment piece. We’ve tried to help ease the fear with some helpful tips and tricks for not only buying your suit, but also picking what to wear with a navy suit when it comes to shirts and accessories.

How to Wear a Blazer: Finding the Perfect Fit

If it’s a perfect fit you’re after, the only advice to give is to visit a tailor. Whether you get a suit custom made or buy a suit and have it altered, if you want a suit tailored to suit you, the seamstress has to have taken your body measurements into account. Let’s face it, buying a suit from a store is never going to be perfectly fitting. However, this definitely isn’t the easiest, or most cost efficient option so don’t worry, we’ve pulled together some pretty strong advice for choosing your dream suit.

When trying on a suit, it’s important that you test the fit in you’re a number of different but natural poses – for example, standing relaxed with your arms by your side is a good place to start. If the suit doesn’t look and feel great at this point, you won’t get a lot of movement out of it. Here’s a few tips on how your suit should and shouldn’t look:

  • The shoulder: If you’ve found a well-fitting suit, it should lie flat from the neck to the start of your arm and the seam will be roughly the same length as your bone underneath. If you notice the seam is dangling, pulling or bunched up along your collar bone, it’s not the one. Even if you are considering taking the suit to be altered, the shoulder can be tricky to change so try and get it right, even if nothing else quite is.
  • The fastening: It’s important that you can do the buttons up on your suit jacket so be sure to test them when trying on. If the two sides meet in the middle without gaping or having to be forced, it shouldn’t need to be altered.
  • Sleeve length: The golden rule for how much of your shirt should show under your jacket sleeve is half an inch, but this part can be based on your preference. If you’d rather have a little less shirt showing, don’t focus too much on getting the half inch exact.
  • Jacket length: The perfect fitting suit will always sit just past the waist, draping over your bum, meeting the inward curve, however, anywhere from the top of the curve to the bottom is acceptable.
  • The back of the trouser: The trick is to avoid both bagginess and pulling when it comes to the back of your trousers. There should be a little bit of space between the trouser and your underwear, sitting comfortably over the shape of your bum.
  • Trouser length: No one wants to feel like a teenage gangster with their trousers hanging around their ankles, especially in an expensive suit. While you want there to be contact between your trousers and shoes, they shouldn’t be resting on them.

How to Wear a Blue or Navy Suit

Blue or Navy Suits for a Wedding

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a black suit, in our opinion, is a funeral – sorry! While funerals are all about celebrating life, weddings are definitely more festive and that should be reflected in your outfit, whether you’re part of the wedding party or not, it’s time to start experimenting with colours.

For the groom, all focus should be on him and his beautiful bride so getting the colour balance is key. A royal blue suit and waistcoat, teamed with a red tie will leave you looking dapper and fresh.

For the guest who doesn’t want to upstage the groom, your suit should be the only bit of colour in your outfit. Team with a crisp white shirt and some brown brogues for a smart and polished finish.

Blue or Navy Suits for The Office

Dressing for the office is a topic that can really vary. Some companies will expect a suit, shirt and smart shoes everyday where some are happy with jeans and a t-shirt. Unfortunately, a lot of people can find themselves stuck in the middle with no defined ‘uniform’ and a mix of both of the above wandering around the office.

For this, why not try a mix of both? The best thing about mastering the smart-casual look is that you can go straight from the office to the bar – winner. Swap out your crisp shirt for a plain, probably white, tee and some white trainers instead of brogues for a sharp but more casual style.

This alternative works incredibly well for both blue, dark blue and navy blue suits, but be careful if you’re thinking about trying to pair a blue blazer and black pants as you may end up looking more like a nineties pop-star. If you’re feeling brave, go for a bright blue suit and you’ll really nail this look, or a smart summer mix would be mixing a blue blazer with grey pants.

Blue or Navy Suits for The Bar

Similar to the above, if you’re planning on wearing a suit to the bar, it’s unlikely you want to go the whole hog; instead, opt for a navy blue blazer with some chinos or a blue blazer khaki pants outfit. Unless you’re off to a members-only bar, ditch the shirt and shoes and take the above advice for a polished look that stands out.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The best way to stand out is by wearing a suit that fits you perfectly. It’s more impactful, and sometimes cheaper, to focus on getting your suit tailored rather than buying new accessories.

 – Millie, Stylist, The Thread

What Colour Shirt to Wear with a Blue or Navy Suit

Picking the right colour suit for you is only half of the battle, you still need to pick the perfect shirt to match. We’ve picked out three of the best shirt and navy blue suit combinations for different styles and occasions.

The classic white: You really cannot go wrong with a freshly pressed, crisp, white shirt under a blue or dark navy suit. It not only brings out the colour in the suit but it boosts the appearance of any accessories you may wish to add too. Teamed with a red tie and brown shoes, this option really is a winner in our eyes.

The pale blue: Understandably, you cannot wear the same suit and shirt to every occasion, especially if you’re look for office inspo, so it’s important to have a library of shirts to choose from that are all equally as trusty. While it can be dressed up, we recommend wearing the collar open for a more relaxed look.

The light pink: Another great option for making the colours pop is the light pink shirt. For extra points, add a navy or dark grey tie that doesn’t take away from the suit or shirt.

So you’ve got the shirts mastered, now you need to find the perfect tie and accessories. Finding the balance and getting the shirt/tie combo right can make or break your whole outfit. It’s time to look back to your school days and dig out the colour wheel. If you try and stick with opposite colours, you shouldn’t be left with an uncomfortable mix of colours.

Knit ties, with their slim shapes and squared-off bottoms, can make your suit look more modern, while something like a Liberty-print tie can easily start a conversation.

 – Millie, Stylist, The Thread

What to Wear With a Blazer: The Finishing Touches

The perfect way to finish off your navy or blue blazer outfit is with accessories. Whether you focus on belts, socks, pocket squares or something simple like a tie clip, accessories can be the perfect addition.

If you’re planning on wearing a tie, you can add a unique edge by wearing a contrasting pocket square. Texture works really well, especially if you choose a colour already in your colour palette. The key is to not overdo it with accessories. IF you’re planning on wearing a pocket square, maybe pick some coloured socks and finish it there. Choosing a tie clip? You could add a brown belt that matches your shoes for a minimalistic look.

I’d always go for a two button jacket in a really deep navy – natural fibres take on more dye so start with wool – as they look a lot smarter and premium. If you’re not doing bespoke (who is?) then really think about the fit – taking up the trousers hems and jacket sleeves make a big difference to the overall look. A sky blue or white shirt to go underneath is a classic choice.

 – Ian Wright, Menswear Editor, Marks and Spencer

How to Choose and Style a Blue and Navy Suit

  • Make sure that your suit fits you perfectly.
  • Light blue suits give a clean, summery vibe.
  • Darker navy suits are best for formal looks.
  • For shirts try colours like white, pink, and even black for different finishes.
  • Pair your suit with smart footwear like brogues or loafers, or casual footwear like white trainers depending on the occasion. 

On That Note

I think it’s fair to say that a blue or navy suit is definitely a winner in our eyes. Making your blue or navy suit, and knowing the difference between a blue and navy suit, will ensure your suit wardrobe boasts style. Hey, if the bright blue suit is good enough for the likes of Tinie Tempah, David Beckham and Scott Disick, it’s definitely good enough for us. Often hitting the top ten best dressed lists, they must know their stuff, right?

Feature image from Pinterest

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