Dark blue suit is the most versatile option for a business suit. In general it is also an option that is appropriate for almost any occasion where a suit is required.
I talk a lot about versatility. And one of the best features of a classic dark blue wool suit is that you can dress it up or down in various ways. You can pair it with black oxford shoes, gray grenadine tie and a spread collar shirt with french cuffs. Result is a combination that will take you through any formal party or occasion. Or you can combine the suit with a roll neck sweater and suede chukka boots. That way you get a nice ensemble for a casual day in the office. And then there are multiple different ways and styles between those two choices.
In this post I take a look quick look on how to dress your blue business suit. And how you can make it more appropriate for casual business occasions. Here I have done it by combining the suit with a button-down collar shirt, gray Prince of Wales patterned wool tie and light brown calf leather double monk shoes.
How to make a dark blue suit suit appropriate for business casual
I have earlier wrote about “how to dress down your business suit”. And one option to dress down your classic dark blue suit a bit is to pair it with a button-down collar shirt and brown shoes. This makes the outfit a bit more casual but not as much as for example pairing the suit with a roll neck sweater.
Business suit with a button-down collar shirt
Button-down shirts are a classic choice even for business wear at least in the US. Although in that tradition this kind of shirts are usually combined with sack suits, striped ties and more casual business attires. However recently button-down shirts with prominent collar roll have become popular and more visible also in Europe, especially among many Italian manufacturers and friends of Italian style.
In my opinion ot is definitely appropriate to wear the button-down collar with your business suit and a tie. But naturally the button-down collar is also a perfect choice to wear for example under a crew neck sweater for casual occasions.
Dress down your outfit – try the button-down collar shirt
I personally think that wearing a button-down shirt with a business suit is a good way to dress down the ensemble. Especially if the shirt is like the one you see here. Choose a shirt that is clean, fitted and features a pronounced collar roll. Although, if you decide to wear a button-down collar shirt with your business suit, you need to keep the whole outfit in balance. So don’t combine it with your most formal business suits or ties. Instead go for a tie with some small pattern, as the Prince of Wales check here.
Sum up – what did I wear
The dark blue suit is made by Caruso and probably the oldest suit in my current rotation. It is unlined with 3-roll-2 buttoning, two patch pockets and soft shoulders. For me this is a suit I choose whenever I have any even a bit more important occasion. Even though in terms of the details it is rather casual. It fits me perfectly, the color is perfect and when I combine it with the right shirt and accessories, I bet no one will pay attention to those patch pockets or that 3-roll-2 buttoning.
As I have written earlier, in terms of accessories the standard choice for guys who dress up for a business meeting is a smooth silk tie with small pattern. But one easy way to variate your outfit is to choose a tie with stronger and more intense material and texture. Try for example cashmere, shantung, or raw silk to bring some volatility and casualness to your attire. For this outfit I chose to go with wool. I choce a tie made of quite thick wool and featuring subtle Prince of Wales pattern. A plain gray wool tie would have been a suitable choice as well. But that would have made the ensemble to be a notch more business formal.
Double monks by Laszlo Vass
Finally, the shoes I chose for this attire are calf leather double monks by László Vass. Again a choice that is not too formal but still appropriate for business wear. In fact due to the last which comes with a square toe but is not too aggressive, the diagonal straps and the overall aesthetics – these shose are quite versatile. First of all I can combine the pair with a suit even for more business-oriented occasions as I have done here. Secondly, I can without a doubt pair it with some jeans and sport coat. Simple, multi-functional and restrained but still elegant. Just as I want my style to be.
Close-up of my Laszlo Vass U-last double monks. Appropriate to wear at the office wit a suit but also suitable for more casual combinations for example with denim.
Original post 8/2015 - updated 3/2017.