The Power Of Navy

There are some things that every man looks good in. Whether it’s a pair of dark selvedge denim jeans, a white dress shirt or solid grey suit, certain pieces and styles work for any guy who is willing to try them.

There a few colours which fall into this category too – but none more so than navy. It’s a universally loved hue within men’s style, due to it being able to anchor more adventurous hues as well as make a statement on its own when combined with a unique design or texture.

Not only is navy one of the most versatile colours available to men, which means it can be worn with pretty much every other piece you already have in your wardrobe, it also flatters all skin tones and is deemed acceptable for even the most conservative or formal occasions.

All Navy Everything

Although considered a classic hue, recently the menswear community has begun to embrace navy like never before, giving birth to what is being dubbed the ‘all navy everything’ look.

Monochromatic outfits are not a new concept (see the ‘black-on-black-on-black’ trend that was extremely popular last year), and this particular look appears to be an evolution of the tonal blue outfit trend we reported in the run-up to SS13.

Yet where this aesthetic differs is that all shades are kept on the darker side of the spectrum, without any striking shots of sky blue, cobalt or aqua helping to break up the palette.

Ultimately, this natural lack of contrast or differentiation between pieces can make all navy outfits slightly harder to pull off. But when you get it right, the end result is sharp, sophisticated and effortlessly chic – the definition of any well dressed gent.

All Navy Outfit Guidelines

Here are a few key tips and tricks for pulling off this increasingly popular look…

1. Keep It Subtle

With menswear set to move in a more minimal direction over the coming years – after the flashy, experimental stage we have been through recently – it’s important to understand that subtlety is often a statement in itself.

Thanks in part to the internet and sites like FashionBeans, an ever increasing proportion of men are now familiar with the basics of dressing well and realise the importance of developing a timeless and classic personal style.

The industry has responded by developing trends that cater to these ideals, with the finer details – such as fit, palette and texture – being what separates the truly stylish from the masses.

With this in mind, there is no need to go out and buy the craziest, most progressive or fashion forward pieces you can find in the hue. Instead, try combining simple, pared-down staples such as a navy dress shirt, suit and pea coat:

sisley aw13 reiss ss14 avva project aw13 burton aw13 jigsaw ss14 jigsaw ss14

2. Add Texture

When creating any single colour ensemble, it’s important to create contrast and a sense of balance by utilising different fabrics.

This could be as simple as pairing navy flannel trousers with an Oxford cloth shirt, or as intricate as combining raw denim jeans with a cable knit jumper, tweed jacket and silk polka dot scarf.

Just remember to match your materials to the current season:

he by mango winter 2013 massimo dutti september 2013 Joseph Abboud aw11 gant rugger aw13 j crew pre aw13 loewe ss14 boomerang aw12 pull & bear december 2013 burberry london aw13

3. Dress Up Your Casual Wear

Navy is an extremely rich colour that instantly gives off an air of sophistication, much like camel. This means that even the most casual of outfits can appear chic and refined.

For instance, my favourite look at the moment pairs navy chinos with a navy knitted polo and varsity jacket, creating an ensemble that hits straight down the middle of smart and casual:

  • Reiss Boulter Merino Polo Shirt Navy
  • Mauro Grifoni Varsity Jacket
  • He By Mango Straight-fit Cotton Chinos
4. Be Mindful Of Your Surroundings

Where you are going and the occasion are just as important as what you plan to wear. Any dark monochromatic look will be a little bit too much for a daytime event, or even the office.

An evening or formal event, on the other hand, is ideal.

5. Sweat The Details

The finer details become even more important within a navy dominant outfit.

We all know how blue and brown complement each other, so why not try and incorporate this combination into your own outfit? Obviously, brown shoes are a great option but you can also introduce the hue via your belt, watch strap, jewellery or even by swapping the buttons on your blazer/coat for rich brown or tan versions.

Alternatively, consider a subtle print or pattern. A polka dot tie, checked over shirt or pin stripe blazer is not only on trend but also helps create the necessary definition and contrast between pieces:

he by mango ss14 banana republic ss14 brunello cucinelli ss14 digel aw13 jigsaw ss14 club monaco aw12

Key Pieces

The great thing about this trend is that all your favourite high street stores and designers will produce a wide variety of navy items each and every season.

So no matter what your budget or personal style, you are bound to find something that will slot seamlessly into your wardrobe and helps tie all your existing pieces together:

  • Allsaints Juku Knitted Bomber Jacket
  • Asos Peacoat In Navy
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Basilia Suit
  • Reiss Carlton Textured Crew Neck Jumper Navy
  • River Island Navy Pinstripe Double Breasted Blazer
  • River Island Navy Smart Short Mac
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In 100% Wool
  • River Island Navy Blue Chino Shorts
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Premium Cotton Chinos
  • Reiss Drive Button Through Cardi Navy
  • J.crew Pocket-front Slim-fit Cotton T-shirt
  • Reiss Winehouse Polka Dot Pocket Square Navy
  • Loro Piana Suede Belt
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Lincoln Leather Longwing Brogues
  • He By Mango Contrast Sole Suede Loafers
Final Word

So there you have it, a few tips you should bear in mind when creating your own take on the ‘all navy everything’ look that is beginning to take off within the menswear community.

As always, I want to hear your opinion on this emerging trend and whether you have any personal tips for pulling off a dark tonal outfit.

Make sure you leave your thoughts in the comments section below…

Matt Allinson