Big Blue

The Case For the Navy Suit
Pictured above: Beppe Modenese photographed by The Sartorialist.

The blue suit represents default mode. It’s a standby, an also-ran, devoid of creativity and flair. It persists without any vocal fans, like a CBS sitcom. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Walk around Milan and you see dapper men (many of advanced years) wearing a focused palette that looks terrific. The blue suit, light blue shirt and solid tie manage to be impeccably stylish and even quite expressive. Refined colors can serve you and knowing details start to stand apart: the texture of a tie, the size of a collar, a vivid pocket square. But the suit itself can also demand attention. There are more options for suits and sportcoats than the dreaded blue blazer khaki combination. A more bracing hue, softer wool, rigid tweed, it’s all in play. Wear it with a Western shirt or grey flannels, robust Crockett & Jones boots or refined Belgian Shoes. When worn correctly blue is not business, it’s personal.


Ermenegildo Zegna: Indigo Trofeo Denim Suit

I can’t remember the last time I went into a store because of what was in the window. But when I passed this amazing suit in the Zegna store window during Pitti, I marched right in to find out what was going on. It turns out that was the only one they had and I practically climbed in the window itself to feel it. It looks heavy-duty this wool denim is remarkably soft. Zegna, of course, was founded as a textile maker and they still produce fabrics that are both rarefied and versatile. The thinking man’s suit this fall.


Sid Mashburn: Dark Navy Wool Mohair Tuxedo

When wearing a tuxedo many men don’t want to be too daring. But you don’t want to look anonymous either. This midnight blue tuxedo rises to the occasion and lets you stand apart. Dark blue flatters most skin tones, and photographs remarkably well (if that matters to you). This doesn’t feel like a novelty at all, but part of the tradition of men who know what’s what when it matters.


Kinsgman for Mr Porter

You’ve put off your timidity about double-breasted jackets long enough. You’re grown up now and ready for serious tailoring. This is a suit for a man, not a schoolboy. The lapels aren’t too narrow (a good thing), and it’s made in England (also a good thing). The Kingsman suit will simplify your life while making you look more assured. You’ll look right at home the next time you’re a guest on Charlie Rose.

Other considerations:


Ring Jacket at The Armoury


Single Breasted Harris Tweed sportcoat from Drake’s.

David Coggins’ new book, Men and Style (Abrams), comes out this October.

Comments on “Big Blue

    Jon Oulman on October 5, 2016 6:51 PM:


    jfranks on October 5, 2016 6:53 PM:

    I got married in that Sid Mashburn Tux…it’s the most beautiful piece of clothing I own, by some distance.

    Justice Hampton on October 26, 2016 1:43 PM:

    All of these are great. I’m particularly enamored with the Sid Mashburn tux. Super natty.

    Hey Michael, it’s Justice. I never got a chance to thank you for the nice chat at Pop-up Flea a while back. I did indeed land on my feet in Ohio of all places.

    Keep up the excellent work here at ACL- it’s much appreciated.

    Be well.

    Peter on October 30, 2016 10:21 PM:

    Love the look of a Navy suit … might have to buy a new one soon!

Comments are closed.