How to wear multiple shades of blue
There is a phobia out there about mixing different shades of blue. There’s a faction of men who think that if you wear dark denim, you can’t wear a navy sportcoat or even a blue sweater on top. Clashing happens, but blue is one of the more forgiving colors. It’s not like you’re piling on different shades of yellow and walking out the door.
There are two keys to mixing shades of blue in one outfit:
1. As the shades of blue on two garments get closer, their difference in texture should become more noticeable.
2. When mixing blues, its encouraged that your leathers (shoes, belt, watch strap) pop.
Still skeptical? Here’s a few outfits that might convince you to give a blue on blue on blue outfit a shot. (Note: These are all from the personal collection, so some items are no longer available for purchase. That belt in the first outfit is at least 10 years old.)
The Mostly Blue Casual Outfit
- Sweater: Banana Republic Silk Cotton Cashmere V-neck
- Shirt: Target Merona
- Jeans: Levi’s 501
- Watch: Sturhling Original
- Boots: Stafford by JC Penny Wingtip Boots
- Belt: American Eagle
Cheap and easy. The sweater, jeans, and shirt are all noticeably different shades of blue, and the deep V of the sweater shows off plenty of that lighter blue shirt to add some contrast. No, the watch strap doesn’t match the belt and shoes. But with all the blue and medium brown going on, an odd man out item isn’t a bad play.
The Mostly Blue Smart Casual Outfit
- Sportcoat: J. Crew Linen Ludlow (part of linen suit)
- Shirt: White Target Merona
- Belt: Gap
- Jeans: Slim Straight Goodale selvedge via Jackthreads
- Watch: Pulsar with leather NATO strap
- Shoes: Mercanti Fiorentini by DSW
So you’re heading out but it’s not exactly a suit and tie kind of evening. Grab a sportcoat in a casual fabric like cotton or linen (cheap option: The Target Kensington), your dark wash jeans, and smash those two together with a white shirt which will ad some serious polish to the look. For you feet, choose some noticeable medium brown to cognac shoes. If your jacket is closely tailored, remember to wear your closest fitting pair of jeans. You don’t want tight jeans, but most of us have at least one pair that fits slimmer than our others. If you wear the pair with more room you risk looking slightly unbalanced with a close jacket up top.
The Mostly Blue Dressed Up Outfit
- Suit: Indochino Essential Navy
- Shirt: Blue striped shirt by Alfani
- Tie: Chambray by Ernest Alexander (via Bonobos during a sale + credits)
- Shoes: Allen Edmonds Fairfax
- Belt: Perry Ellis Portfolio
- Watch: Orient Explorer
A navy suit with a blue tie is no new thing, but try mixing up your fabrics and going with something with a more casual texture around your neck. Despite being solid, the chambray tie (click here for a close up) keeps the outfit from looking all blocky since it’s an oddity. No shined up Regis Philbin silk tie here. The stripes on the shirt also break it up and prevent a solid on solid on solid look. And about the shoes, well, they’re not exactly shy.