Wedding attire is often made more complicated than it needs to be. Keeping it simple is the key. So, what color tie should you wear with a navy suit to a wedding?
A navy suit can be worn with a royal blue tie for a monochromatic color scheme or a neutral-colored tie such as slate grey instead. Pairing navy blue with other “cool” colors such as forest green or deep purple is a more eye-catching alternative.
Although that’s the short answer, as always, there’s more to it.
After going through the main “rules” to consider whenever wearing this combination to a wedding, I’ll go through 5 navy suit and tie combinations you should consider.
Let’s get to it.
Matching Navy Suits With Ties – Wedding Guide
As I mentioned, never overcomplicate or overthink. But always consider these principles before landing on your combination of choice.
1. Go For A White Dress Shirt
While wearing white to a wedding does carry some risk, in general, this risk doesn’t apply to shirts.
A white dress shirt will always be the best way to go when attending a wedding. It’s simple, neutral, and incredibly easy to color match with other items.
A navy suit and white dress shirt form a nice and neutral background on top of which you’ve got some freedom to be more creative with your tie.
If you were to have gone for a brighter/bolder colored dress shirt instead, you’d be a lot more limited in terms of what color tie you choose. There’s just more chance of a color conflict.
So, keep things simple and go for a white dress shirt.
2. Take It Easy With Patterns
Just like with colors, you’ll want to keep things subtle and understated with patterns when attending a wedding.
In general, it’s best to stick to a solid white dress shirt with no patterns. With the tie, a subtle pattern may be OK, as long as it isn’t overpowering or in-your-face.
But avoid wearing both a patterned tie and a patterned shirt. Just like with colors, patterns can conflict with each other and make the entire outfit look too busy.
Remember, you don’t want to draw too much attention to your outfit when you’re at a wedding. Overshadowing the bride and groom at their own wedding is considered a faux pas.
3. Know The Color Wheel
The color wheel has its fans as well as its opponents, but the bottom line is that it’s often made more complicated than it needs to be.
But it is useful for color-matching suits and ties. Here are the main things to remember:
- The color wheel shows the relationship between colors.
- It can help you combine clothes of similar hues together (for less contrast) or very different hues together (for more contrast).
- It’s helpful to split the color wheel into two halves – “warm” colors and “cool” colors.
- Cool colors (eg. green, blue, purple) have a calm and soothing feel to them
- Warm colors (eg. red, orange, yellow) have a bold and vibrant feel to them
But why is all of this useful?
As you’ll see from the combination examples below, the color wheel can be used to combine navy suits with ties in ways that produce more or less contrast.
It can be used to combine navy suits with “cool” colors and “warm” colors, each of which will produce different effects and different levels of formality.
5 Navy Suit And Tie Combinations For Weddings
As we go through these combinations, you’ll see that they go from more formal to less formal and this is largely down to how much contrast there is between the navy suit and the tie.
The more contrast there is, the more casual it’ll look.
That’s why it’s so important to consider the dress code of your wedding before you attend.
Monochromatic Navy Suit And Tie
Example: Navy Suit And Royal Blue Tie
It doesn’t get more simple than going for a monochromatic color scheme with your suit and tie. It takes the thinking out of color matching.
It has a formal look to it and is a good option if the wedding is on the more formal end of the spectrum and you don’t want to take risks.
In this sense, “monochromatic” means choosing a suit and tie in different shades of the same color.
What you don’t want is to choose a tie in the exact same shade (i.e a navy suit with a navy tie). This is pretty boring and will suggest a lack of creativity.
Instead, consider an entirely different shade of blue. The example above is of a navy suit and a royal blue tie.
Royal blue is noticeably lighter than navy blue and the two shades are easily distinguished from each other.
But you could consider any shade of blue you like – pale blue, sky blue, aqua blue – there are plenty of options.
Ultimately, the lack of contrast between the navy suit and the tie is what will make the combination look more formal than the others on this list.
Navy Suit + Neutral Tie
Example: Navy Suit + Slate Grey Tie
The combination of a navy suit and a neutral tie is either the second most formal option if it isn’t equally as formal.
The true “neutral” colors are blacks, whites, and greys.
There are other colors that are considered neutrals when it comes to men’s style but aren’t true neutrals. These include olive green, khaki brown, and yes – navy blue.
While they may not be true neutrals, it’s helpful to think of them as neutral simply because they’re muted and understated enough to pair easily with other colors.
Here, however, we’ll stick to talking about blacks, whites, and greys to keep things simple.
The example above is of a navy suit and a slate grey tie. Grey is neutral and muted enough to combine with practically any suit color you can think of.
Pairing it with a navy blue (which some may say was also a neutral color) is a piece of cake.
But you could also easily pair the navy blue suit with a black tie for this very reason. The trouble with this is that black isn’t a very “wedding-friendly” color as it doesn’t have the most celebratory feel to it.
Grey is definitely a better alternative.
To sum this up, the lack of contrast you’d get from combining a navy suit with an under-the-radar neutral like grey is also a formal-looking option to consider.
Navy Suit + Cool-Colored Tie
Example: Navy Suit + Forest Green Tie
Here’s where we start to use the color wheel to come up with some interesting combinations based on “color temperature” (i.e warms and cools).
Navy blue is a shade of blue – blues are typically considered “cool” colors as you can see from the illustration of the color wheel above.
Cool colors pair well with other cool colors, producing enough contrast to be noticeable and considered interesting.
However, it won’t produce as much contrast as pairing cool colors with warm colors.
As a result, a cool-colored tie paired with a cool-colored suit can still look pretty formal, although maybe not as formal as the monochromatic/neutral combinations in the first two examples.
Looking at the color wheel, you’ll see that the other “cool” colors we have at our disposal include purples and greens.
Combining our navy suit with a tie in a shade of purple or green should produce a calm, soothing aesthetic – one that doesn’t draw too much attention and would be suitable for even formal weddings.
The example above is of a navy blue suit with a forest green tie. It’s simple, sophisticated, but produces enough contrast to catch the eye.
Stylish, but not attention-grabbing. Ideal for a wedding.
Navy Suit + Warm-Colored Tie
Example: Navy Suit + Burgundy Red Tie
Mixing navy suits with warm colors such as reds, oranges, and yellows will always be more striking than the three combinations above.
The reason for this is that combining the “cool” navy with “warm” colored ties will always produce contrast.
The more contrast you’ve got, the more casual the combination becomes.
But this would still potentially be absolutely fine for a wedding. It really depends on how formal and traditional the setting is going to be.
For example, a navy blue suit, white dress shirt, and pink tie might not be appropriate for a “black-tie optional” dress code where you’d probably want to go for a darker color scheme to make up for not wearing a tuxedo.
But it would be absolutely fine for a more casual daytime wedding.
One way of making your “warm” colored tie look less casual is to pick one in a darker shade.
The example above shows a navy suit with a burgundy red tie. The burgundy should always be considered “warm”, but the dark shade makes it look pretty formal – even when paired with a contrasting, cool-colored navy suit.
Navy Suit + Complimentary Tie
Example: Navy Suit + Orange Tie
“Complementary” colors are those which sit opposite from each other on the color wheel.
If you want to produce as much contrast as possible between your suit and your tie, choose complementary colors.
As you’ll see from the color wheel, blues lie opposite from oranges.
Pairing our navy suit with a tie in an orange shade will produce a bold and striking combination.
As a result, you’ll want to be careful with it when attending a wedding – drawing attention is something to avoid.
But if it’s a daytime wedding with a pretty casual vibe to it, a navy suit with an orange tie could make for a fun and eye-catching combination.
Avoid it when attending more formal and traditional weddings, however. Stick to a monochromatic, neutral, or cool-colored tie instead.
Hopefully, that was a quick and easy guide to matching navy suits and ties for weddings.
Consider the dress code and the formality when making your decision.