Color-matching a suit jacket with a different pair of pants is tougher than it might seem at first. So, exactly what color pants should you wear with a navy suit jacket?
A navy suit jacket can be worn with burgundy red, forest green, or mustard yellow pants in smart-casual settings. In more formal settings, wear the navy suit jacket with dark and neutral-colored pants (eg. charcoal grey or black).
Although that’s the short answer, there’s more to it. Dividing a suit jacket from the suit pants it comes with is no easy feat.
After going through exactly how to pull it off properly, we’ll go through a few combinations you can try out for yourself.
Color Matching Pants With Navy Suit Jackets: Guidelines
Consider all of these key points before putting your jacket and pants combo together.
1. Choose The Right Navy Suit Jacket
A suit jacket will come with a matching pair of pants.
A “suit” is defined as a jacket and pair of pants that were made from the same roll of fabric.
Dividing a suit jacket from its matching pair of pants and going for a different pair of pants instead is known as spezzato style.
“Spezzato” technically means combining the jacket and pants from two different suits.
But in this case, we’ll simply use it to mean wearing the navy suit jacket with pants in a different color and extend the definition to include regular dress pants as well.
In other words, pants that aren’t necessarily from another suit.
To pull this look off, it’s important to choose a navy suit jacket that doesn’t have very formal features. You’ll want an unstructured suit jacket with minimal shoulder padding. Patterns and rugged fabrics also work well.
The more casual the navy suit jacket looks, the less awkward it’ll appear when wearing it with non-matching pairs of pants.
On the other hand, a structured, shiny, worsted wool suit jacket is going to look very incomplete when not worn as part of a matching suit.
2. Choose Noticeably Different Colors
The more different the navy suit jacket is from the color of the pants you wear, the better.
When they’re clearly different, the choice to wear a lone suit jacket with a non-matching pair of pants comes across as an intentional style decision and not an accident.
In contrast, choosing pants in a slightly different shade from the navy blue suit jacket might make it seem as though you wanted to wear a full/matching suit but picked the wrong pair out of your wardrobe.
Bottom Line: Avoid navy pants when wearing a navy suit jacket.
3. Consider The Dress Code
Wearing a navy suit jacket with a non-matching pair of pants is best suited to smart-casual and business-casual settings.
While you could wear it in formal settings, it’s usually best to wear a matching 2-piece suit instead.
- In smart-casual settings you could wear the navy suit jacket with lighter, brighter, and bolder-colored pants and get away with it.
- In business-casual settings, stick to neutral-colored pants. This could be light neutrals (eg. beige, off-white, khaki) or dark neutrals (eg. black or charcoal grey).
- If you do wear the combo in formal settings, wear the navy suit jacket with dark and neutral pants. Either black or charcoal grey. As per the previous tip, avoid navy pants altogether.
Navy Suit Jacket And Pants Combinations
Here are some examples of navy suit jacket combos you could potentially try out for yourself.
Navy Suit Jacket With Charcoal Grey Or Black Pants
Dress Code – Formal Or Business-Casual
Color Scheme – Dark Neutrals
This is arguably the most formal way to wear a navy suit jacket with a non-matching pair of pants.
Going for a dark and neutral color like charcoal grey or black.
Neutrals are great because they don’t appear anywhere on the color wheel. They can easily be combined with other colors without any fear of a color clash.
Navy blue is pretty dark and neutral in itself. You’d easily be able to pair it with a dark and neutral pair of pants (eg. charcoal grey or black) and produce a pretty dressy outfit.
It won’t look as formal as a full 2-piece suit, but you’d definitely be able to wear it in business-casual settings pretty easily.
You’d also probably be able to wear it in the more relaxed formal settings as well.
Navy Suit Jacket With Blue Pants
Dress Code – Business-Casual Or Smart-Casual
Color Scheme – Monochromatic
A monochromatic outfit is one where you combine items in different shades of the same color. In this case, you’d be wearing a navy suit jacket with pants in another shade of blue.
As I mentioned earlier, you definitely shouldn’t wear a navy suit jacket with a navy pair of pants unless it came as part of a 2-piece suit.
Doing so would simply look accidental.
If you do wear a navy suit jacket with a blue pair of pants, make sure the shade of blue is clearly different.
For example, a navy blue jacket with a royal blue or light blue pair of dress pants.
These shades are different enough to make it clear that wearing a non-matching pairing was an intentional style decision and not just an accident.
Light blue pants wouldn’t usually be welcome in formal settings, but wearing one with a navy suit jacket could make for a great business-casual or smart casual outfit.
Navy Suit Jacket With Khaki Or Tan Pants
Dress Code – Business-Casual Or Smart-Casual
Color Scheme – Light Neutrals
Light and neutral-colored pants (eg. beige, off-white, khaki, tan) are incredibly easy to wear with a navy suit jacket.
The combination won’t look quite as dressy as wearing the navy suit jacket with a dark and neutral pair of pants.
But light neutrals are still a great option for business-casual and smart-casual settings.
The contrast between the dark navy blazer and the light pants will be pretty striking.
But using neutral colors should add balance and keep things subtle enough for a business-casual setting.
Navy Suit Jacket With Dark Red Or Green Pants
Dress Code – Smart-Casual
Color Scheme – Warm Or Cool Colors
Here we’re moving away from neutrals and going for “warm” and “cool” colors instead. These colors can be found on the color wheel.
Wearing them requires a little more thought than would be necessary with neutrals.
Combos of suit jackets worn with pants in these colors will always look more casual than wearing them with neutral-colored pants.
“Warm” colors include reds, oranges, and yellows.
“Cool” colors include blues, greens, and purples.
While navy blue is technically a cool color, it’s so dark and muted that it could be considered a neutral for the sake of coordinating clothes.
You could wear a navy suit jacket with any warm or cool color pretty easily and the result would work.
However, it’s best to stick to dark and muted shades of these colors to keep things understated and not too attention-grabbing.
So, when wearing a navy suit jacket consider pants in dark shades of red like maroon, burgundy, or crimson, instead of bright/bold shades like scarlet.
Consider pants in muted shades of green like forest green/olive green, or muted shades of yellow like mustard.
Warm colors have a more vibrant and energetic feel to them, while cool colors tend to have a more relaxed vibe.
Warm colors are also more summer-friendly and tend to work better in warm weather, while cool colors are more winter/fall-appropriate.
Having said that, cool colors tend to work pretty well year-round.
Navy Suit Jacket With Burnt Orange Pants
Dress Code – Smart-Casual
Color Scheme – Complementary
The final example is high-contrast and difficult to miss.
Orange is directly opposite blue on the color wheel. The two colors are said to be “complementary” because of this.
Complementary colors work well together, but the contrast between the two is so obvious and eye-catching that the result looks very casual.
So, definitely reserve this combination for smart-casual settings and nothing more formal than that.
While wearing a navy suit jacket without the navy suit pants it came with isn’t easy, it’s definitely possible to pull it off effectively.
Choose the right navy suit jacket and ask yourself what dress code you’re dressing for.
Once you’ve figured out those two things, choosing the right pair of pants becomes a whole lot easier.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.