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Which shade of navy/blue for a "not-boring" versatile suit?

rui21

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Hi all,

A bit about me - I'm a 25 yo young professional, starting out in medical school and will be active in both finance and medicine in the northeast region of the US in the coming years. I also like to go to fancy dinners, operas, parties, etc.

A bit about my wardrobe - polos, quarterzips, chinos, chino shorts, white sneakers, boat shoes, etc. are largely what I wear throughout the year. I try not to stand out too much but also put thought into coordinating different elements so that I strike a good balance between casual and elegant. I currently have a tan suit from Sandro (unstructured), a black suit from SuitSupply (half canvas), a black velvet blazer (from Hugo Boss so it's not the best quality and doesn't feel the most comfortable). I really only like my black suit from SS right now since it looks the most well-made, and I'm trying to get a navy suit for professional occasions but I also want it to be not so boring that I look like just another "finance bro" (for a lack of a better reference - no offense to anyone).

So here are the two I found from Pini Parma: The first is on the "boring" side, but definitely safe for work. The second is a bit less boring but not sure how it plays out for me at work as a young professional. I'm also open to getting both suits if you think they are different enough.



Thank you for making it thus far in my long post and I look forward to hearing some of your advice!
 

TheIronDandy

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I'm going to give some slightly controversial advice: a navy suit SHOULD be "boring". It's kind of the point. It's safe. It should make you look respectable. Dependable. Like the kind of person I can entrust my savings to, knowing that you'll place at least part of it in low-risk index funds I requested. If you want to avoid looking like a finance bro, wear a navy suit that actually fits :)

The best navy suit is thus a dark navy (I actually find both these a bit too light - the kind you might see on a finance bro who bought based on brand rather than fit or style). Get one in a classic cut - not too short or slim. Something with a tiny bit of drape - at least enough that you can have a big lunch without worrying about it exploding. If you worry about it being too formal, maybe wear it with loafers. If you want to be more fashion-forward for a night out, wear your black suit. Let the navy be the safe, dependable one.
 

Gus

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Great question. I agree with @TheIronDandy that you want a classic dark navy (with black shoes, of course). Dark navy gives you an all around classic look ideal for more formal and important occasions (and photos). When you start getting lighter it begins to look a bit more casual.
 

rui21

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Thank you for both of your suggestions @TheIronDandy @Gus
I chose Pini Parma because of its great value (excellent construction, fit, fabric, and price), and these two are full canvas as well. Do you know of any brands that have comparable value for full-canvas suits so that I can look into for darker navy suits?
Thanks again!
 

rui21

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And an interesting point on getting a classic cut @TheIronDandy Would you suggest I look into brands that make American suits instead? What brands shall I look into for similar value as Pini Parma?
 

Gus

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I would highly recommend Ring Jacket navy suits sold at The Armoury. They are in the $1,600-$1,800 price range and the quality is excellent. They also have a variety of navy fabric options. I think you'll find their cut to be rather classic, not skinny/tight or baggy. The Armoury also makes ordering and returns very easy. If you need help with sizing, just call them and discuss with a SA as they sell a lot of them so they have the experience to offer good advice.

https://www.thearmoury.com/collections/suits?color=Navy
 

rui21

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Fantastic. The darkest navy seems to be out of stock in my size, but the New York store is conveniently located near me so I may check it out in person. Thank you for the suggestion!
I would highly recommend Ring Jacket navy suits sold at The Armoury. They are in the $1,600-$1,800 price range and the quality is excellent. They also have a variety of navy fabric options. I think you'll find their cut to be rather classic, not skinny/tight or baggy. The Armoury also makes ordering and returns very easy. If you need help with sizing, just call them and discuss with a SA as they sell a lot of them so they have the experience to offer good advice.

https://www.thearmoury.com/collections/suits?color=Navy
 

maxalex

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The modern suit can be traced to the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle class. Before then, Europeans were either serfs who wore homemade work clothes, or nobility who had private tailors and dressers. The new class of merchants and bankers and lawyers needed to dress better than serfs but didn't have their own valets to lay out their outfits every morning. Thus the suit, which eliminated the need to figure out how to match trousers and jackets, among other conveniences.

In that sense, compared to the 18th-century upper-class menswear of fancy stockings, silk britches and brocade jackets, suits were, one could say, "boring." But serviceable.

Today men have many options and occasions to strut around in tailored clothing that is not a "boring" navy suit--ranging from classic tweed sport coats to jackets in every color with cream trousers and beyond. Yet the classic navy suit remains the standard for business attire because it projects confidence and expertise.

I'm avoiding the word "power" which these days has undesirable associations with male superiority. Yet important women also can dress "powerfully." Or not. Look at two American senators, Susan Collins and Krysten Sinema. Both wear expensive tailored clothing, but Collins looks serious; Sinema looks unserious.

For those times when you want to look serious, wear a navy suit. No trial lawyer in his right mind would wear a burgundy jacket in front of a jury, nor would he advise a defendant to do so.

Moreover, a navy suit can be dressed up to look less "boring." For example, you don't need to wear a white shirt; try blue or even pink (in light shades). You don't need to wear a solid, dark tie; try something with a pattern (avoid wacky). You can add a pocket square--white is safest, as Biden often wears, but colors can be fine, especially after work.

Finally, as others have noted, fit is everything. Barring really poor fits--such as too baggy (looking at you Trump) or too tight (the Peewee Herman look, thankfully going out of fashion)--the average person won't "notice" a good fit; they'll just be vaguely aware that you look poised and elegant. Not boring.
 

comrade

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If you are near the Boston area, check out the Andover Shop, around the same
price point as Ring Jacket. They also do MTM.

 
Last edited:

rui21

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The modern suit can be traced to the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle class. Before then, Europeans were either serfs who wore homemade work clothes, or nobility who had private tailors and dressers. The new class of merchants and bankers and lawyers needed to dress better than serfs but didn't have their own valets to lay out their outfits every morning. Thus the suit, which eliminated the need to figure out how to match trousers and jackets, among other conveniences.

In that sense, compared to the 18th-century upper-class menswear of fancy stockings, silk britches and brocade jackets, suits were, one could say, "boring." But serviceable.

Today men have many options and occasions to strut around in tailored clothing that is not a "boring" navy suit--ranging from classic tweed sport coats to jackets in every color with cream trousers and beyond. Yet the classic navy suit remains the standard for business attire because it projects confidence and expertise.

I'm avoiding the word "power" which these days has undesirable associations with male superiority. Yet important women also can dress "powerfully." Or not. Look at two American senators, Susan Collins and Krysten Sinema. Both wear expensive tailored clothing, but Collins looks serious; Sinema looks unserious.

For those times when you want to look serious, wear a navy suit. No trial lawyer in his right mind would wear a burgundy jacket in front of a jury, nor would he advise a defendant to do so.

Moreover, a navy suit can be dressed up to look less "boring." For example, you don't need to wear a white shirt; try blue or even pink (in light shades). You don't need to wear a solid, dark tie; try something with a pattern (avoid wacky). You can add a pocket square--white is safest, as Biden often wears, but colors can be fine, especially after work.

Finally, as others have noted, fit is everything. Barring really poor fits--such as too baggy (looking at you Trump) or too tight (the Peewee Herman look, thankfully going out of fashion)--the average person won't "notice" a good fit; they'll just be vaguely aware that you look poised and elegant. Not boring.
I am very humbled to have given way to such a thoughtful response. Thank you!
 

rui21

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Thank you to everyone again. I checked out Ring Jacket at The Armoury, wasn't completely happy with the fit, and then was delighted when I got put on their try-on suit for the MTM program. From what I heard, they work with many small-business mills and manufacturers in Italy (the manufacturer that will be making my suit is based out of Milan), and they can customize a suit at Ralph Lauren Purple Label's caliber for almost half the price. Shoulder room, waist, etc. are all able to be adjusted years down the line. Very happy with my experience getting the measurements done and excited to report back on the end product! (8-10 weeks until the first fitting.)
 

TheIronDandy

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Congratulations! Do make sure you keep us updated! :)
 

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