The Power of the Navy Suit

I should confess up front that blue is my favourite colour. In year 3 of my 5 year project I discovered that virtually all the shirts I had bought in the previous 8 months had been various shades and patterns of blue. So you might want to take what follows with more than the usual grain of salt.  Nonetheless I want to argue for the power of the navy suit.

Navy is a rich and multivalent colour. At one end of the spectrum is a lighter navy might best be described as dark royal blue.  It looks great. However, at the other end of the navy spectrum navy can be so dark that it appears black.  Indeed under the right lighting some types of navy will look more black than black. This is why some tuxedoes are in fact navy instead of black, because they will appear to be a deep lustrous black when worn at night.

Navy works with a wide range of colour shirts.  Beyond the obvious white and blue one might consider, pink, lilac, green, yellow or ecru. For the very funky you might even consider black or brown. And if the navy suit were pin-striped that just opens up whole new vistas of possibilities.

But it is not its flexibility that sets the navy suit apart. For ultimate flexibility one has to look to the charcoal suit.  Rather it is to do with its colour.  Navy is a sober and serious colour.  It is dark. It is purposeful. It suggests that the wearer is equally serious, sober and purposeful.

However, blue is also a colour that apparently is meant to convey trust, honesty and loyalty. A least that’s what the colour psychologists argue. And yes I didn’t just make that up there are such people out there. For these two sets of reasons it is the colour of choice of presidential candidates.  See how often Obama and Romney turn up in a navy suit.    Going for a job interview?  Navy suit.  Delivering the State of the Union address?  Navy suit.

The navy suit is best combined with dark chocolate shoes and belt.  Better yet, get your trousers adjusted so that a belt is not needed.  However, it can also be worn with black shoes.

If you’ve only got two suits in your wardrobe make sure one of them is navy. (The other should be charcoal grey).  And make sure it fits you properly. A properly fitting £50 suit will look far more expensive than a poorly fitting £5000 suit. So I say get a properly fitted suit and save £4950.  As for where to buy a navy suit see my earlier post Where to Buy a Suit 

What do you think?





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