Coordinating a suit, shirt, and tie can sometimes feel like a chore. Keeping it simple is often the best way to go. So, what color tie should you wear with a navy suit and white shirt?
A navy suit and white shirt can be worn with a blue tie for a monochromatic look, or a grey tie for a neutral color scheme. The navy suit would also pair well with dark shades of “warm” colors such as burgundy or maroon, as well as “cool” colors such as hunter green.
That’s the short answer, but there’s more to it.
After going through a few guidelines to consider before making your decision, we’ll run through some great tie color options for you to try out yourself.
Let’s get to it.
Matching Ties With Navy Suits And White Shirts – Guidelines
The key to keeping it simple is to have a set of basic guidelines and “rules” to fall back on.
Consider this a checklist to run through before you put your suit, tie, and white shirt together.
Consider The Dress Code
The more formal the setting, the more likely it is that a dark and neutral-colored tie would work best with your navy suit and white shirt.
The reason for this is that dark, neutral ties are generally more subtle and lead to less contrast with the dark tone of the navy blue suit.
In addition, dark colors are usually considered more formal than light ones.
Even if you didn’t want to go for a simple and neutral tie (eg. black, dark blue, dark grey), you could still go for dark color.
Burgundy red, maroon, and hunter green are all options that would usually be formal enough for any setting.
The beauty of wearing a white shirt underneath it all is that you could wear practically any color and make it work.
If you were wearing this suit and shirt combo to a more laid-back and social setting, a brighter, lighter, and bolder-colored tie may be appropriate.
The main point here is that the setting and dress code should be the first thing you consider whenever you coordinate your suit with your tie and shirt.
Stick To One Pattern Only
Patterned ties can look great but may not always be appropriate. It’s always worth remembering that patterned ties will generally look more casual than solid-colored ties.
If there are any concerns about underdressing, stick to solid ties over patterned ones.
If, however, you think a patterned tie would be perfectly fine, make a point to keep it subtle. You don’t want it overpowering the rest of your suit.
In addition, stick to one pattern in your outfit only.
If you’re wearing a patterned navy suit – keep the white shirt and tie unpatterned.
If you’re wearing a patterned white shirt, keep the navy suit and tie unpatterned.
In much the same way, if you’re wearing a patterned tie, keep the pattern simple and keep the navy suit and white shirt unpatterned.
Too many patterns in a suit can be distracting and will always make it come across as more casual.
Consider The Color Wheel
The color wheel is worth considering but definitely not worth overthinking. Unfortunately, overthinking it is a common problem.
But it’s hard to deny that it can be useful when color-matching suits with ties, especially when the shirt is neutral enough (i.e white) that it doesn’t even need considering.
Here are the cliff notes:
- The wheel shows how colors relate to each other.
- You can split the wheel into two halves – “warm” colors and “cool” colors.
- Cool colors (eg. blue, purple, green) have a soothing and relaxed feel to them.
- Warm colors (eg. red, yellow, orange) have a vibrant look and feel to them.
- The wheel can be used to combine similar colors together to produce less contrast, or very different colors and hues together to produce more contrast.
That’s really all you need to know to color-match suits and ties effectively.
5 Ties To Wear With A Navy Suit And White Shirt
Here are some great examples of ties you can wear with a navy suit and white shirt. Occasionally, we’ll use the color wheel as a guide.
Example: Navy Suit, White Shirt, And Steel Blue Tie
Monochromatic suit and tie combinations are great because you really don’t need to put much thought into them.
You can rest easy knowing that it’ll work.
It’s a good option for more formal settings where you don’t want your tie to draw too much attention. The darker the blue tie, the less contrast you’ll achieve and the less attention it’ll draw.
A monochromatic suit and tie combo would simply consist of different shades of the same color.
You could choose to go for a tie in a dark shade of blue such as Prussian or navy blue, or go for a light shade of blue such as steel, Maya, or baby blue.
The closer the shade of the blue tie is to that of the navy blue suit, the more monochromatic you could say that it was.
Example: Navy Suit, White Shirt, And Pewter Grey Tie
Much like the monochromatic scheme above, going for a neutral tie can look just as subtle and formal when wearing a navy suit and white shirt.
The true neutrals are whites, greys, and blacks.
However, in men’s style, there are a few additional colors that aren’t technically neutral but are so easy to color-match that they’re often labeled as such.
They include olive green, khaki, and even navy blue.
The example in the image above is of a pewter grey tie. As you can see, it syncs extremely well with navy blue suits.
In addition, the neutral white shirt makes for the perfect neutral backdrop as well. Overall, it’s hard to miss when your suit, shirt, and tie are all neutrals.
It’s subtle and won’t draw attention. This is ideal for formal settings.
Example: Navy Suit, White Shirt, And Burgundy Red Tie
Refer to the color wheel above and take a look at the “warm” half. You’ll notice that reds, yellows, and oranges are the most prominent colors.
Given how neutral the navy blue suit and white shirt are, you could technically pick any shade of any of these colors and get away with it.
However, try to pick a dark and muted shade of one of these colors wherever possible.
This is especially important when you’re dressing for a formal event, but is also usually more aesthetically pleasing even if you were dressing for a more casual one.
Examples include burgundy red, maroon, bronze, and sandstone ties.
All of them are “warm”, but also dark and muted enough to not draw too much attention or distract from the suit as a whole.
Example: Navy Suit, White Shirt, And Plum Purple tie
The “cool” half of the color wheel consists of blues, purples, and greens. While you could go for a blue, this would fall under the “monochromatic” scheme already discussed.
Purples and greens would easily pair with a navy suit and white shirt, but once again, it’s best to go with a dark and muted shade of one of these colors to keep things subtle.
Cool-colored ties have a relaxed, soothing aesthetic and are a great option during the winter and fall seasons.
However, this isn’t a firm rule – you could confidently wear them year-round.
The example above is of a plum purple tie. As you can see, the shade of purple is muted, dark, and syncs well with the navy suit and white shirt.
It’s eye-catching without being too overbearing or distracting.
Example: Navy Suit, White Shirt, And Orange Tie
While an orange tie would still technically be a “warm” color, it’s worth considering exactly how it relates to navy blue.
It’s directly opposite blue on the color wheel. Because of this, blue and orange are often thought to be “complimentary”.
Complimentary colors are high-contrast and so lead to a lot of contrast when they’re worn together.
A navy blue suit worn with an orange tie would be eye-catching and attention-grabbing, but this may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Once again, the benefit of wearing the white shirt in the background means you don’t need to factor it into the equation. It’ll go with anything.
Focus on the suit and tie. If you feel as though the high-contrast aesthetic of a navy suit and orange tie is what you want, go for it.
Wearing a navy suit with a white shirt gives you plenty of options when it comes to tie colors. Stick to a monochromatic or neutral color scheme for a more formal and subtle look. If you’re looking for a more eye-catching outfit, consider a tie in a dark shade of a warm color (eg. burgundy) or cool color (eg. indigo, forest green, or plum purple).