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Why Navy Blue?

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    Why Navy Blue?

    When I started my style journey, I noticed Navy is the most popular color for staple items: such as top coats, suits, sweaters, peacoats, etc...

    It didn't hit home that taking sartorial advice online isn't practical, when I put on my Dark Navy Suit and Dark Navy Topcoat. It was too much. I suppose if your wardrobe is large enough having Navy blue everything is okay considering you have a large selection of other alternative items aka Navy peacoat, black peacoat, camel peacoat, etc...

    With that said, I love my charcoal grey peacoat, it goes with my Navy suits, chinos, dark denim, Navy wool dress pants...etc

    My advice to those starting or reconsidering a dapper wardrobe, Navy blue is nice, but take into consideration how that item will play with what you have.

    Happy Tuesday!

    #2
    thats a good point. I dont see navy specifically being recommended as the most common outerwear color but I understand how its an assumption. In my mind, if you only have one outerwear and one blazer, you go grey outer, navy blazer. Personally, I consider navy a third color for topcoats. Grey, camel, then navy. But I also lean very heavy towards blues in all of my wardrobe so I automatically assume that blue outerwear crosses the line for anything I am wearing. For casual outerwear, olive is also a great neutral, especially for fans of denim. A navy jacket and dark denim looks a bit blah to me too.

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      #3
      Navy is a staple color for blazers - having a navy blazer in your collection is pretty much mandatory and it's the first formal jacket most people go for. Navy is also one of two highly recommended colors for suits along with charcoal grey, because it coordinates well with most office appropriate shirt colors and is conservative. Same can be said for charcoal. As for outerwear, I don't consider navy to be absolutely essential except if you're buying a pea coat, but most navy pea coats are such a deep navy they almost look black, and pea coats are not made to be top coats anyway.

      For top coats, various shades of grey and camel/brown are more common than navy, also black, especially in NYC. NYC is most definitely one of the most sartorially inclined cities in the world but one easy way to spot the tourists in winter is to look for the people wearing outerwear that isn't black...it's like they passed a city ordinance that anyone who live in NY must wear a black coat. I'm not sure there is one top coat color that will absolutely coordinate with anything worn underneath it but in my book grey comes closest.
      “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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        #4
        Navy gets a lot of play on both this website and other style sources because it sort of hits a sweet spot between formality and not being overly formal (like black). I actually read somewhere (forgive me, I've long since forgotten the source) that black is actually the top selling color for outerwear. Guess not everyone reads Dappered!

        That being said, I think your greys and charcoals are just as versatile and acceptable as navy. And I think this site will reflect that in a number of posts. I'd agree with idvsego, I'd go with grey or camel outerwear first, they go with virtually anything. Camel might actually be the most versatile.

        I have a nice navy blazer (avoid the gold buttons please), and get why it's often recommended as the go to if it's your only blazer/sport coat, but I actually find that I avoid it just because it's so popular. One I don't want to match everyone else, and two, I don't want people to think I only have one blazer Not that there's anything wrong with that.

        I will say, I have suits in most every color/pattern. And there's just something about the dark navy suit that works. It tends to work with most skin tones/hair colors, and you really can't go wrong with it. If I'm going on an interview or something where I need to look really polished, I'm going with the navy, and agree that your first suit should be navy or charcoal. My first suit was black because I didn't know what the F I was doing

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          #5
          Originally posted by CK83 View Post
          Navy gets a lot of play on both this website and other style sources because it sort of hits a sweet spot between formality and not being overly formal (like black). I actually read somewhere (forgive me, I've long since forgotten the source) that black is actually the top selling color for outerwear. Guess not everyone reads Dappered!

          That being said, I think your greys and charcoals are just as versatile and acceptable as navy. And I think this site will reflect that in a number of posts. I'd agree with idvsego, I'd go with grey or camel outerwear first, they go with virtually anything. Camel might actually be the most versatile.

          I have a nice navy blazer (avoid the gold buttons please), and get why it's often recommended as the go to if it's your only blazer/sport coat, but I actually find that I avoid it just because it's so popular. One I don't want to match everyone else, and two, I don't want people to think I only have one blazer Not that there's anything wrong with that.

          I will say, I have suits in most every color/pattern. And there's just something about the dark navy suit that works. It tends to work with most skin tones/hair colors, and you really can't go wrong with it. If I'm going on an interview or something where I need to look really polished, I'm going with the navy, and agree that your first suit should be navy or charcoal. My first suit was black because I didn't know what the F I was doing
          Yes skin tone is definitely a reason for navy's popularity especially for those of us who are melanin-challenged (read Caucasian). I gravitate towards navy, darker greens, and mid-greys for casual wear (sweaters, casual shirts, etc.) because I have blue eyes, pale skin, and blond-ish hair. I have to be careful with oranges and reds and especially yellows because certain shades of orange and red and almost every shade of yellow just really washes out my complexion and makes me look borderline sickly. Burnt oranges and reds in that lean toward burgundy are ok but brighter ones I just don't look good in, except for light pink which I can pull off in an OCBD. Some browns are OK but it's another part of the color palate where things get iffy with the wrong tone. I can pull off just about any shade of blue or green or grey though. In theory I could probably pull off purple but I'm not really into trying with purple.

          There are 9 million NYers and they all have black outerwear so that gives black a head start.

          I wear my navy blazer a lot less than I thought I would...it's too formal a fabric to do the jeans and blazer thing with and as things go more and more casual I find myself not wearing wool dress pants hardly ever, unless I'm wearing a full suit. With chinos, cords and jeans I just find a more casual tweed odd jacket looks better in fall and winter. Nothing really works in summer, jacket wise. I mean, a barely there unlined jacket is better than a multi-layer jacket but it's still more comfortable to not wear a jacket at all. In spring I wear the navy blazer fairly regularly with chinos because it seems like a sartorial nod to the idea that winter is over and summer is coming.
          “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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            #6
            I'm going to take a contrarian view: I am in my mid-50s and I have not owned a navy blazer since shortly after college. I don't like navy in general; I think it's bland and boring. For sportcoat situations I much prefer tweeds. I don't own any navy sweaters, pants, outerwear, accessories, shoes, socks, or anything else. (I do wear jeans, but I don't consider those navy.) Some of my plaid shirts have navy in them, but it's typically less dominant than some other color. Gray is my foundational go-to, and I love it, but I also enjoy wearing a variety of colors.

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              #7
              for like a top coat, navy works really well since the kind of orange/pink of the typical boring white guy skin are kind of opposites on the color wheel, so they kind of almost fluoresce in a weird way :-D it looks good on all white people, even the most pasty.

              i think the optimal jacket color can also be different for people with other more interesting shades of skin than i have.

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