What Color Tie to Wear with Navy Suit?
Versatility is the calling card of the navy suit.
It’s a suit that is just as at home in a business setting as it is at a wedding, allowing it to skirt the line between formal and semi-formal with ease. The dark coloring helps. Navy is just close enough to black to pull off the formal look, while offering a splash of lighter colors that make these suits suitable for semi-formal and, at a push, business casual occasions.
But a navy suit alone doesn’t make it right for the event.
Pairing that suit with an appropriate tie is key to pulling off your entire ensemble, with both your tie and shirt lending a different flavor to the suit.
So, here you’ll discover what color tie to wear with navy suit. However, first, you must consider the tie’s backdrop – the shirt.
The Classic White Shirt and Navy Suit Combo
A white shirt paired with a navy suit is a classic outfit that still works well, a look that. GQ Magazine points out that this is a look that can impress everybody, even giving hints on how to pull it off by highlighting that a crisp white dress shirt works perfectly as long as it’s anchored by an appropriate tie and shoes.
Contrast is the key here, with the white shirt offering an explosion of brightness set against the darker tones of the navy. Plus, white neutrality gives you more options in the tie department.
There’s the “navy suit, navy tie” look for one. Combining a tie that’s the same color as your suit creates a slightly monochromatic look if you’ve also worn a darker dress shirt. But set against glorious white, your navy tie can stand out even if the suit around it is colored the same. If you're curious, here's a guide on how to pick the right suit color for you.
Alternatively, why not go for a red tie? This pop of color works better for a men’s semi-formal outfit than it does a formal one, with the red being bold, expressive, and—dare we say it—a little flirty. But again, you’re seeing contrast, not so much against the suit but against the bright white shirt.
That need for contrast also hints at the types of ties you shouldn’t wear with this combination. Yellows, creams, and anything that’s a little too close to white will just get lost, both against the shirt and the much deeper and eye-catching navy of your suit.
Wearing a Pink Shirt with a Navy Suit
Pink is the last color that comes to mind when you’re sticking to a formal dress code. But a navy blue suit with a tie doesn’t have to be formal. It can be playful. Expressive. Even date-worthy, which is where a pink shirt comes in.
Pink is already a bold color for a guy to choose because—despite the attractiveness of the color—pink is automatically associated with women’s fashion in many people’s minds. But it works, so long as you keep things subtle. Bright pink stands out a little too much, but a soft pink, veering close to white, adds a little dash of color while also working in harmony with the deeper tones in your navy suit.
As for tie color with navy suit and pink shirt combinations, you’re looking for texture and patterns. For instance, a navy suit tie can work—especially a textured one—against a sleek suit. Add a dash of patterning (ideally in a lighter color) and you can create a nice contrast between the tie and the shirt while having a tie that’s also harmonious against both the darker and lighter colors of your ensemble.
Alternatively, those going for a summery look might combine a pink shirt with a pink tie (preferably in different shades of purple). For this outfit, the contrast comes from the suit. A grey tie also works well, especially if you want to tone things down a little and go for a slightly more professional look.
Blue Shirt with a Navy Suit
A light blue shirt and a navy suit are almost a given for semi-formal business wear. You’re creating a harmonious look – one that doesn’t stand out too much but is still appealing to the eye. And light is what you’re looking for from your shirt. Think turquoise (which throws a dash of green into the mix, too), or a dustier blue shade that gives a muted look when stacked against the suit.
That combination then gives you options with your tie. You can go down the navy tie route again, but you should introduce some striped or dotted patterning to separate the tie from the suit. A black tie also works. Granted, that may feel a little formal. But you’re not going full black tie— as you’ll discover if you read an article that answers the question of is formal attire the same as black tie — so you should be able to pull off the look.
Understanding Color Combinations
Now that you have a handful of suggestions for different ties that go with navy blue suit and shirt combinations, it’s time to get a little more creative by using a color wheel. The idea of color wheels was invented by Isaac Newton, with the first example appearing in his book “Opticks.” His wheel came from the seven colors visible when refracting sunlight onto a clear wall and he arranged those seven colors into a wheel, with the colors listed in the order they appeared on the wall.
Later versions of color wheels came with a greater understanding of light physics and better color reproduction capabilities. Regardless, you can use a color wheel to compare how different colors complement and contrast one another.
That’s why they’re helpful when choosing a tie color for a navy suit.
Using a color wheel, you can pick out colors that contrast well with both your navy suit and the shirt you’re wearing. For instance, dark blue is usually next to or close to navy blue on a color wheel, which results in a monochromatic look. With that in mind, a dark blue tie won’t stand out when set against a navy suit. But by looking at the opposite side of the wheel, you’ll likely see reds and oranges that would stand out, giving your combination a bolder appeal.
So, when choosing the best ties with navy suit options, try using a color wheel to get a quick idea of how the colors stack up. And remember, you’re not just looking for a suit and tie combo. Color combinations with shirts are also important – as discussed above – because your shirt is the backdrop for your tie. So, even if the suit and tie end up being similar shades, a shirt color on the opposite end of the wheel can create the necessary contrast.
Patterned and Textured Ties
While trying to figure out the best color ties for navy suit and shirt combinations, don’t underestimate the importance of patterns. A nice pattern – such as stripes or paisley – allows the tie to stand out a little more, especially for monochrome suits and shirts. Solid ties aren’t out of the window, of course. They’re the “safe” choice because you can’t go wrong if you choose an appropriate color. But if you want to add some patterning into the mix, keep these quick tips in mind:
- Proportion matters – Matching tie pattern proportions with those of your shirt creates a fairly boring look. Ideally, you want contrast in proportions, such as a tie with wide lines matched to a finely striped shirt.
- Pattern type – Beyond the lines mentioned earlier, good tie patterns include polka dots and paisley. Why? Neither are common features in shirt design, meaning that using them for your tie guarantees some nice contrast.
What if patterns are a little too bold for your desired look?
Textured ties can come into play. For instance, a nice knit tie lends depth, especially when set against a shirt that has a clean color. Similarly, the texture in a woolen tie offers some material contrast to that in a linen or cotton suit, as both are smooth fabrics that allow the “rougher” look of the tie to stand out.
The season can have just as much influence on picking ties that go with navy suits as the suit and shirt combination.
For instance, imagine the colors that come to mind when you think of summer or spring. They’re all bright and breezy, right? Yellows, light blues, greens – all colors that match the season. Translating those colors into your tie choice ensures the tie complements not only your navy suit but also the environment.
On the opposite side of the coin, darker tones like browns or blacks are more subdued and formal, making them better choices for fall or winter. As a good rule of thumb when pairing ties with navy suits, think of the season (and the colors you’d associate with it) and work in that spectrum.
Best Tie Materials
The material you choose for your tie can affect the formality of your suit, with some materials veering closer to the semi-formal line while others come closer to fully formal. Don’t worry about going “black tie. You won’t need a bow tie or know how to tie one. But it does help to understand some of the more common tie materials and when they’re appropriate:
- Silk – The most common tie material, this is your safe bet when choosing a tie to go with your navy suit. They’re great no matter the time of year and can have patterns built into them.
- Wool – Texture is where wool excels, making it a perfect contrast against a silk suit, as well as a nice complement to a tweed one. People tend to associate wool with winter, but thinner thread doesn’t look as bulky as traditional winter clothing.
- Linen – A summery fabric, linen offers crisp lines that contrast woolen navy suits well.
- Cotton – Similarly to linen, cotton is a good choice for summer and spring looks, as well as being versatile enough to include all sorts of patterning.
Accessorizing the Navy Suit
You have your ties with navy suits to match, which means you’re ready for the final touch – accessorizing.
Here are a few ideas:
- Shoes – Opt for brown leather when you have a navy suit, as the darker texture can complete the look and offer a nice tonal change from the deep blue of navy.
- Cufflinks – Silver is always a safe bet with cufflinks, and you might consider choosing something that matches the patterning in your tie.
- Socks – Again, go with a darker color here. The goal is to choose socks that complement your trousers, rather than clashing against them. White is out of the picture. Look for grey, black, brown, or even different shades of dark blue.
Choose accessories with a simple goal in mind – elevate the elegance of your navy suit. Remember that the suit is the highlight, with the accessories you choose existing to complement it, just as your tie does.
Find the Perfect Tie for Your Navy Suit
Whether you’re going for the classic white shirt and navy suit look or you’ve decided to be a little bolder by going down Pink Shirt Avenue, finding the right tie can bring the entire look together. When choosing what color tie to wear with navy suit, remember that it’s as much about the shirt as it is the suit. Choose colors that contrast your shirt while complementing navy. And don’t forget that patterns and textures can create contrast when color might not.
With the tie sorted out, you only need one more thing – rent a suit. Generation Tux is a great option because you can find a stunning navy suit – tailored to your size – that you can order from home and even adjust as needed with at-home fitting.