In the post 90's Neil Strauss world of Peacocking, men's tailoring has found its dimmer switch. Between the garishly elaborate 'statement pieces' and the monochrome mundanities of men’s tailoring, lies a convenient halfway house that is accoutrements. In particular ties and pocket squares. Today I want to zero in on the Navy suit and what ties and pocket squares make a good pairing.
Whilst doing some research for the post I took to the net in true Arnie with a mini-gun mode, bouncing between blogs, Insta and Pinterest posts with equal and efficient precision. A lot of people will talk about colour wheels and triadic colour schemes, which is all great and if you'd like to take a deep-dive on that then I'll need to credit the guys over at Deep Knot for their Tie and Pocket Square Combinations Editorial. But I'm going to offer you more of a broad view of combinations that catch my eye, and maybe worm a little science along the way. For more fashion inspiration, you can check out my look book article on How to wear Your Navy Suit 5 Ways
The Future is Orange
The aforementioned colour wheel will highlight orange as the colour diametrically opposed to Navy Blue. Known as the complementary colour scheme. There is no starker contrast on the planet than a Navy/Orange combo. Credit goes to the Silver London for demonstrating how to subtly peacock with this Reiss navy suit and orange accoutrements. If you're looking to flirt a little with the pocket square then you might want to dull the orange slightly, allowing room for manoeuvre in other departments such as a polka dot pattern and a pin stripe shirt.
Micro Check Shirt/Gingham Shirt
Look I've made it into this collage, how did that happen haha? I think this is one of the most underused combos in men’s tailoring right now, the gingham shirt and Navy suit combo. I've paired my own Hawkins & Shepherd Gingham Shirt with a Navy Knitted tie. However, whereas mine and the others featured are micro-check, Ewan to the right of me went for a bolder separated gingham keeping close to a monochromatic colour palette (a scheme that involves pairing darker and lighter variants of the same colour).
Kudos also goes to Lookastic.Com for showing us how it's done with the Navy Vertical Striped Blazer, adorned but not distracted by the Charcoal Pocket Square and Brown Plaid Wool Tie.
When it comes to pairing paisley patterns imagine being a movie director trying to reign in a Jim Carrey in his prime. His exuberance is off the chart and destroying the picture, it's your job to mollify him but not brow beat him into thinking he can't go off-piste now and again. So Paisley is all about showing restraint. It doesn't need a partner in crime, it just needs others to do their job. You'll find patterns and textures the most exciting part of pairing because you'll get to exercise your creative muscle. I've highlighted some less bilious pairings, but as Bukowski once said 'Some people never go Paisley. What truly horrible lives they must lead.' Or something like that.