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The Guy's Guide to Wearing Navy

An ideal shade for any season

Summer is here, the sun is beaming, and colors are popping. Prime your closet for more color with this series of guides for bold shades. Each week SG HQ is going to break down how to wear a stylish hue with easy color combinations and outfit ideas.


Catch up on bluebird blueamber orangelavenderarmy green, salmon, slateblood orangesharkskingoldtealkhaki, merlotredevergreenwhitecobaltyellow, orange sorbet, and mint green.


Named for the dark hue worn by sailors

Navy is one of those magical colors that’s perfect for every single season. It’s also a shade that can take an outfit from just so-so to sharp in literally seconds—and while you might be tempted to phase it out for spring in lieu of brighter, lighter options, we think it should continue to make an appearance in your everyday wardrobe—and on special occasions, too.

Named for the dark hue worn by sailors in the British Royal Navy, this shade of blue definitely retains its aquatic association (although—fun fact—the blue of U.S. naval officer uniforms is actually black, in order to combat fading. #TheStruggleIsReal). When you seek out the shade, look for its darkest incarnation: the inkier the better. Once you’ve scored some navy, here’s what to do next:

How To Wear

If you’re suit shopping—for whatever season—navy is always an option (just make sure you’re choosing the right fabric and weight). If you’re not ready to spring for suiting in the shade, it’s still an ideal accessory color: work it in with a tie (solid or printed!), pocket square, or dress shirt. On the everyday front, a navy shacket is a perfect sub-in for your standard jean jacket. It’s ideal for basics too, including tees, jeans, and summer shorts.

At the office

Suit: Suit Supply, $639 | Shirt: Topman, $50 | Pocket SquareNordstrom, $40

Shoes: Paul Smith, $395 | Belt: Express, $40SocksBadelaine Paris, $19

Tie: The Tie Bar, $19 | Glasses: Warby Parker, $95 | Cologne: Comme Des Garcons, $118

What To Pair

Navy is the blue of neutrals: You can pretty much pair it with anything. It looks especially good with other shades of the same color—including teal and bluebird—but is also amazing in combination with its complementary color: orange.

Our ideal outfit for a Saturday stroll? Pick up a pair of relaxed fit navy chinos and top them off with a tangerine linen button-up and a pair of rich brown loafers. You can also never go wrong with navy and red together, be it through a pattern or separate solids.

On the weekend

Shirt: J.Crew, $60 | Pants: JackThreads, $49 | Shoes: ASOS, $65

Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters, $18 | Watch: Timex, $75 | Belt: Anderson’s, $75

Pomade: Baxter, $20 | Moisturizer: Buckler’s, $42 | Socks: Happy Socks, $10

When To Wear

Weddings, work, walks along the boardwalk… the real question is when can’t you wear navy? We dig it with a white linen shirt during beachy vacations or all dressed in a slick suit for formal occasions—and don’t shy away from choosing navy for everyday basics, either!

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