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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I think I read somewhere that it should be as close to black as possible without actually being black.

Upon reflection, that advice makes sense to me. I own a Paul Stewart blazer I really like. It is a conservative, but immediately noticeable, shade of navy (i.e., several shades darker than the typical blue jeans, but in no danger of being mistaken for black). I find it a very appropriate color for a blazer, but I have this idea that a navy suit should be a bit darker than the typical navy blazer. A somewhat bright navy blazer will only cover your top half and can benefit from the contrast with differently colored pants, while the suit will cover your whole length below the neck, and therefore had better not come off looking too blue. Well, at least that's what I got to thinking.

The thing is, I'm trying to buy a navy suit online. It needs to be on the elegant side. Church and daytime meetings. NOT evening wear. NOT black. Navy. I found these deals on a couple of Paul Stewarts on a Seoul dept. store home page. Both suits used to be $1000+ and are now available for $300-400. (Magnify the little pics or roll down for larger images.)




Do the ones above look too dark to you? Shall I go with a lighter shade, like this one below?

Now, I do realize shades usually don't quite look themselves on a monitor. So here is a genuinely black suit for comparison:

I find the top two appealing. What I'd like opinions on is whether they strike you as too dark or black for daytime suits.

Thanks for your input.

Eliot
 

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TRUE NAVY

The darker the better. There used to be a color called "True Navy," which might otherwise be called "midnight blue." I had several suits made by BB with this color. There is an unmistakable richness to it, a sort of dramatic intensity that black cannot match. Go dark. You will not be sorry.
 

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The darker the better. There used to be a color called "True Navy," which might otherwise be called "midnight blue." I had several suits made by BB with this color. There is an unmistakable richness to it, a sort of dramatic intensity that black cannot match. Go dark. You will not be sorry.
Actual U.S. Navy dress-blue uniforms to my eye look very nearly black; they're certainly noticeably darker than your average "navy" blazer. The resemblance of the shade to real Navy uniforms must be what is meant by the "true navy" moniker.
 

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I think the intensity of navy should be dictated by your own coloring. (Clothes should be judged for how they will look ON YOU, not how they appear on a mannequin in nice lighting.) If you have blond hair and a muted complexion, you will likely be washed out in an almost black navy suit or blazer. It's better for the blond/muted complexion to go for a brighter shade of blue.

Check out https://askandyaboutclothes.com/Clothes%20Articles/ColorSIMPLE.htm (the discussion of seasons near the bottom).

That might help you think about the navy suit/blazer question in a different light.

However, if you have dark hair and light skin (high contrast complexion), your selections make perfect sense to me. Oh, you mention that this suit is specifically for daytime wear. Then lighter is better overall; in fact gray looks better in daylight than a stark navy blue (in my opinion). I have mostly navy blue suitings but I tend to avoid them in bright, sunny days and opt for a charcoal grey, light grey, tan or taupe.
 

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Well, that black sample really pointed up the difference. I wouldn't have guessed that to be the case.

Either of your choices look fine to me, recognizing that monitor color fidelity leaves something to be desired. I noticed that choice one is a bit less than the other. Any particular reason for that? The linings are quite different when compared. Is one silk and the other not? Or maybe the second a charmeuse? A little difficult to tell from the description, since the pages are in, what, Korean?

Is there any chance of having a swatch of the material sent to you? Since it appears these are OTR Paul Stewarts, that may be unlikely, but it's really the only way to tell what you will be getting.
 

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The navy business suit is usually a really dark navy, almost black. This will also work for evening events. For social occasions during the day a lighter navy is preferable over dark navy. I like my blazers to be a very dark navy, to reflect the naval heritage.
 

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I think the intensity of navy should be dictated by your own coloring. (Clothes should be judged for how they will look ON YOU, not how they appear on a mannequin in nice lighting.)
I don't know why this truism escapes so many people on this board.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all's input.

I haven't thought about a blond person being buried in over-dark blue... it certainly sounds plausible. I am Asian, black-haired, with fairly light complexion by our standard. I guess I'll give the midnight blue a try. Might even buy both and return the one I dislike.
 

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I have a really fair complexion for a Korean person, and I've been told that very dark navy suits look good on me when I wear them, so I think you can get away with the color. Although, as someone else said, it's always how it looks on you.
 

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I think if you can only have one, then choose a dark navy. I certainly wouldn't choose a navy so dark that others will think it's black. I just don't understand why you would need or want a suit so dark.

I have a solid navy that is very dark and a navy stripe that I would consider "dark blue" as opposed to navy. Its color is infinitely more beautiful then the dark navy solid.
 

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Just to put my 2 cents into the discussion here regarding colour; I served in the Royal Australian Navy and our uniform (including the cool bellbottoms :cool: ) was actually black. This could be more clearly seen when it was off-set against the blue collar we also wore. Even the older uniforms from WWII and earlier seem to have been black rather than navy blue. Makes me wonder where exactly the colour's named originated.

Mike
 

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I think the intensity of navy should be dictated by your own coloring. (Clothes should be judged for how they will look ON YOU, not how they appear on a mannequin in nice lighting.) If you have blond hair and a muted complexion, you will likely be washed out in an almost black navy suit or blazer. It's better for the blond/muted complexion to go for a brighter shade of blue.

Check out https://askandyaboutclothes.com/Clothes%20Articles/ColorSIMPLE.htm (the discussion of seasons near the bottom).

That might help you think about the navy suit/blazer question in a different light.

However, if you have dark hair and light skin (high contrast complexion), your selections make perfect sense to me. Oh, you mention that this suit is specifically for daytime wear. Then lighter is better overall; in fact gray looks better in daylight than a stark navy blue (in my opinion). I have mostly navy blue suitings but I tend to avoid them in bright, sunny days and opt for a charcoal grey, light grey, tan or taupe.
I am not trying to being arrogant or anything (the exact opposite as a matter of fact), but there are a few things that Andy got wrong about colors in his men's encyclopedia:

Winter people have black hair, NOT brown hair. Autumn people, like spring and summer people, do NOT have black hair. Bald people (with absolutely NO hair) and people with black, gray and white, black and gray, black and white, gray, gray and white and white hair (and not people with blonde-white hair, who are spring) are also (and not just may also be) winter people. A lot of the following people: Southern Europeans (particularly those in the Middle East), Mexicans, Caribbeans, South Americans and even a lot of North Americans are also winter people. There are even some Australians that are winter people, but they are the minority.

Gray (especially charcoal and other shades of dark gray) is also one of the best colors for winter. Andy lists dark blue (which I assume includes charcoal blue, midnight and navy) and dark gray (which I assume includes charcoal) as one of the colors to avoid for people with black hair and dark skin in his how men see colors section. This is absolutely the biggest thing that Andy got wrong. The honest to god truth is that dark blue (especially charcoal blue, midnight and navy) and dark gray (especially charcoal) are absolutely one of the best colors (and absolutely NOT one of the colors to avoid) for people with black hair and dark skin. Otherwise, Andy is spot on with his men's encyclopedia.

I am sorry if this does, in fact, come across as a tad arrogant (which is 100% unintentional, if this does come across as any amount arrogant). My intentions are, in fact, the best and 100% the exact opposite of arrogant. However, I just want to point out the mistakes that Andy made so that he can do a better job in the future (even though he is already doing a good job overall). If I make mistakes, I would want people to point them out to me so that I can do a better job in the future (regardless of whether or not I am already doing a good job overall).
 

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Just to put my 2 cents into the discussion here regarding colour; I served in the Royal Australian Navy and our uniform (including the cool bellbottoms :cool: ) was actually black. This could be more clearly seen when it was off-set against the blue collar we also wore. Even the older uniforms from WWII and earlier seem to have been black rather than navy blue. Makes me wonder where exactly the colour's named originated.

Mike
Well, Mike, there are other navies than the Royal Australian:icon_smile_wink:

Here's what Wikipedia has to say on navy blue. I'm just too pressed for time today to paraphrase it, and I don't care what people think of Wikipedia. After all, the articles are annotated.

"Navy blue is a very dark shade of the color blue. Navy blue got its name from the dark blue (contrasted with white) worn by officers in the Royal Navy since 1748 and subsequently adopted by other navies around the world.
When this color, taken from the usual color of the uniforms of sailors, originally came into use in the early 1800s, it was initially called marine blue, but the name of the color soon changed to navy blue.[2]
The first recorded use of Navy blue as a color name in English was in 1840.[3]"
 

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Since the OP was asking a basic question about color, I assumed he wasn't aware of the literature out there regarding the 'right color for your look'. I've read a lot of these sources, and a great many, while correct in the main, miss some of the subtleties. However, just like learning anything else, you start with some basic 'rules', then you start getting a clearer picture of how things all fit together.

Like Morpheus said to Neo in a 'Program': "What you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent, others can be broken."

But it's important to know what they are first, and understand the universe in which they are used. This is one of the reasons why Plato pointed out that politics is one of the last things people can really learn, since it presupposes enough life experience for the person to build upon.
 
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