The navy blue suit is a basic, versatile thing. If you decide on slightly less formal one, you might find it sees some more use.

One can complain how, with strict dress codes disappearing, there’s fewer and fewer occasions to dress nicely. Or one could use this fact to play around a bit.

A basic navy blue suit will be something which can be worn in every and any situation requiring a suit. But pretty much nowhere else. There are, however, a bit less formal options worth exploring, which make it possible to use this garment some more.

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The one I show here is an MTM suit from Polish manufacturer Lazar, made for me last summer. Some of the details make it somewhat less formal: soft shoulders, patch hip pockets, and – last but not least – open weave fabric with visible texture. It’s very light and half-lined, which makes it a good choice for the warmer half of the year.

Suit

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In a situation you have to wear a suit, the waistcoat helps to make the whole outfit a bit more official and refined. Navy blue colour accentuates it nicely. White shirt with a french cuff, a conservative tie and black shoes make this look serious enough to wear whenever such need arises.

With the same black shoes but sans waistcoat, this suit will work well in an evening kind of environment: a theatre, elegant club or restaurant. I think a black silk knitted tie fits well here: there’s not much colour drawing extra attention to the outfit, and the texture of the tie complements the fabric of the suit.

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With brown shoes and a shirt in some classic pattern, it makes an elegant day outfit.

And as much as I dislike classic worsted wool suits worn without a tie, I don’t mind it when the suit is not as formal. So with a patterend shirt and colourful pocket square this is a bit of a dandy outfit for someone who doesn’t have to wear a suit – but just wants to.

Jacket

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One advantage of such suit is the possibility of wearing it as separates. So it’s perfectly fine to wear this jacket with odd trousers – with a tie or not, it’s in the same niche as the basic navy sports coat. Patch pockets and soft shoulders make the whole thing work harmoniously.

And since navy is basically the most versatile menswear colour, the trousers you can wear aren’t limited to light brown or white, as shown in the photos. Gray, beige, burgundy, green and so on, made of light open weave wool or cotton will do as well.

Truosers

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I don’t usually wear suit trousers with other things – they tend to get damaged much more quickly than the jacket. It’s not impossible however, and with a nice odd jacket the outfit may look good. Or one can forgo the jacket entirely.

Waistcoat

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It’s not exactly necessary, but the waistcoat adds another piece to play with. I am a big fan of odd waistcoat used with a suit, like in a photo above.

A stylish, if completely informal option is to wear the waistcoat without the jacket. The back of the waistcoat made of the same fabric as a front works quite well in this kind of outfit (but is not really necessary).

Conclusion

Going a step down on the formality ladder with some stylistic details and the fabric choice doesn’t really exclude the use of this suit in virtually any situation a regular worsted wool suit with flap pockets would be appropriate. It makes it even more versatile, especially for someone who doesn’t have to wear a suit to work every day.

Even in the world where strict dress codes slowly vanish into oblivion it’s still possible to adapt without abandoning the aesthetics in your clothes.

About me

Szymon Jeziorko

My name's Szymon Jeziorko. I wear ties and write about it compulsively. More...

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