Many men who don’t attend as many formal occasions as others prefer to have a blue suit in their wardrobe, rather than a black one. When we discuss a blue suit, we mean a dark blue or navy suit as these are the smarter and more versatile versions. A light blue suit is only worn during the summer so for maximum wearability, a darker suit is more cost effective.
A blue suit can see you from the office to a night out as well as weddings and other night-time occasions. You can get by with a couple of classic collared shirts and mix and match them for various events. We imagine you probably own many of these shirts already if you’re used to corporate and formal settings. However, they are some of the shirts that are most widely available.
Our main advice is to try the shirt on with the suit. All colours have a range of hues so you might find a lighter shirt doesn’t work as well with your blue suit as a darker one would. Finding the perfect shirt for a suit is all about trial and error!
Whilst it can take a while to find that ideal shirt, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite colours that work well with dark and navy blue suits. Some of them are classics that have been worn for years, some might be unexpected to you. Blue is a more versatile colour than you might think!
A white shirt
If you’re fearful of colour, sticking with a classic white fitted shirt is your best bet. It’s a staple look for any gentleman, no matter their age or style. This is a look for any formal or smart-casual occasion; it just depends on how you accessorise it!
For less formal events, keep the top button undone and ditch the tie. For formal showings, add a colourful but not garish tie. You can add some countryside flair to your look with one of our shooting ties in claret or olive. Shades of red work well as a pop of colour against the white shirt as do blues, greys and greens. Stripes and checked ties also work well against white shirts, provided they’re subtle and sharp.
A pale blue shirt
You might think there would be too many shades of blue going on but a pale blue shirt is a great contrasting colour to go against the darker hues of the suit. It still looks super smart without looking as formal as a white collared shirt. You can tie the look together with a blue-based tie but add extra colour through the pattern on it. Alternatively, red and blue shades work perfectly as a duo so a blue shirt and suit paired with a red tie is a super smart look for important meetings.
This is a look that can take you from the office to the pub, simply by ditching the tie! A tie can feel a bit too corporate for nights out unless the invite requests it! Even if you decide to lose the suit jacket too, a smart blue collared shirt and navy suit trousers is still formal enough without looking casual.
A pastel pink shirt
Pink shirts can look incredibly stylish and sophisticated and the colour combination with a navy suit is a little more unexpected but modern. It definitely works best for those occasions where you need to dress smart but not formal, an alternative to the formalwear of a white shirt. However, it must be a pastel or light pink; darker or brighter shades of pink look odd and old-fashioned.
A navy tie completes this look so the only colour is the light pink shirt. Pink is notoriously hard for men to wear but the trick is always to keep it classic and simple. Too much pink screams that you’re trying too hard to stand out. Pastel pink is subtle enough to add some colour but less formal than white and not too bright that it stands out in a bad way!
A light grey shirt
Similar to a pink shirt, wearing a grey shirt is much less formal than opting for a white shirt but still looks stylish and sleek. Grey and dark blue are a subtle colour combination as neutrals always give off a smart and understated vibe. You can go for an off-white grey or a cool grey shade to complement the suit. Stick to other shades of grey and blue to accessorise to keep the look streamlined.
A patterned shirt
The trick here is to pick a shirt with a white base with a colour on top, whether it’s stripes, checks or gingham print. The shirt needs to be the feature piece of your outfits so avoid clashing with other prints and colours. A plain coloured tie that is the same colour as one of the colours within the pattern is your best bet. It pulls the look together by keeping just a couple of colours in your outfit. It’s best to keep the pattern small and ‘quiet’ rather than big and loud. You want to pattern to stand out but not overpower the smartness of the suit.
A country checked shirt is our favourite to wear with a blue suit and you’ll probably have one in your wardrobe already. Other shades of blue work well as the whole look is tied together but you can go for colour. Favourites of ours include red and navy gingham, cream, red and blue small checks and our multi-coloured check. You will notice a common theme though: all of these shirts have a blue thread running through them.
If you’ve had enough of checks, a striped shirt is a smart alternative for formal events. Sticking with classic reds and blues is your safest bet to finish off a blue suit. A darker, neutral tie is a necessity for this as clashing colours and patterns is a huge no-no.
A blue suit can seem daunting at first because colour can seem hard to style. Blue is an extremely wearable and versatile colour that as you can see above, there are plenty of options to go with a blue suit, whether you’re a fan of colour or not! Stick to the classics and you really can’t go wrong. Collared shirts should be staples in any country gentleman's wardrobe so try different shirts on with your blue suit to find the combination that works best for you and the occasion!