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Dark navy vs. black


Senior Member
Mar 5, 2002
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Allow me to vent as I kick myself for just having completed one of the stupider, more embarrasing style-related things I've done in years.  I had been looking for a slim, black suit to replace an older one that was ready to be retired.  I've noticed suits with silhouttes like these (trim cut, flat front pants, etc.) to be a relatively big thing this spring, and mine was intended to be worn not only during the day (to work), but as a tux/black tie alternative (to be paired with white shirt and silver or black tie) or with a button-down shirt open at the neck to be worn to dinner/out on the town/or over jeans a la Tom Ford.

I saw what I thought to be a nice and incredibly priced Hugo Boss version at a Hugo Boss outlet store.  A very poorly lighted outlet store, I might add.  I quickly tried it on (we were in a hurry), brought it to my tailor the next day (who also works in a poorly lighted shop), and just returned to pick it up.  When I wore it outside, I realized- for the first time- that it was actually navy(.) and very much like a suit I already own that didn't need replacing.  My wife and I were not able to distinguish the 2 colors on this suit before now.

So here's the point: have any of you ever dealt with this dark navy/black issue before, or done something as moronic as this?  And do you think that I could pull off what is actually a navy suit as a tux/black tie alternative? (I'm guessing it would be glaringly obvious in a room full of jet-black tuxes)  And would Tom Ford ever scrap his usual black jacket over white shirt and jeans uniform for a navy jacket.

Sorry to vent.  I'm going to go drown my sorrows now.  Thanx for any input.


Active Member
Mar 5, 2002
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The world aint over yet. I say wear it and be different. The world of fashion is built around risk takers. My guess is a lot of people will compliment you on your choice.


(stands for Jerk)
Spamminator Moderator
Feb 17, 2002
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A midnight blue dinner suit has been considered more elegant by many than a black one. Granted, yours is not technically a dinner outfit, but if you can't tell in dim light that it's not black, most people won't be able to either. And a very dark navy jacket (when not a blazer w/ gold buttons) looks almost exactly like a black one in most situations, especially when compared with the blue of the jeans in the outfit you're talking about.

Is it notch lapel or peak? I wouldn't pretend a notch lapel jacket was a dinner jacket, even if it were marketed as such and had the grosgrain/satin lapels etc. I don't know if I would take it as far as the cummerbund etc., especially because you probably won't find one in the right colour. But as long as you don't try to pretend it actually is a dinner outfit, I'm sure you'll be fine.


Senior Member
Mar 2, 2002
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I've had the same problem with a polo shirt. I couldn't tell whether it was black or dark navt. Not until I wore it for the first time did I finally figure out it was a dark navy. Of course, mine was with just a polo, so it wasn't too bad.

It could definitely go for an evening look. Many times, people don't have tuxes, and wear regular suits instead, and they look great. Just carry yourself with confidence and don't pretend that it really is a black dinner jacket.

As for wearing it with the jeans. I would not hesisate to do this. You'll find it'll look fine.

GQ Lawyer

Senior Member
Mar 4, 2002
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I have the same problem ALL the time. Not just in the store, but even at home (try to differentiate between a solid navy and solid black suit). Finally, I actually had to find a black hanger for the black suit (if the navy one ever gets hung up on there by accident, I'm screwed).

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