10 Men’s Style Essentials to have in Navy

Blue. Especially navy. It’s the backbone of many a guy’s wardrobe. So much so that sometimes it’s tough to avoid. But y’know? That’s not always a bad thing. Quite the opposite for some of us in fact, and leaning on dark blue can be a great strategy for the men’s style newbie. Let’s give one of the most popular colors in men’s style its due. Ten “essentials” (there will always be exceptions, these are more guidelines really) follow, with a few picks for each.


#10. Casual Woven/Macrame Belt


These are especially useful during the warmer months, but also look great with a pair of jeans in fall & winter. Once the weather gets hot, use it with shorts, lightweight pants, and even to further dress down a light summer suit. There are plenty of more colorful/preppy casual belt options out there, but hardly any as versatile as a deep blue or navy woven belt with leather accents.


#9. Lightweight Mac and/or Warm Wool Peacoat or Topcoat


The standard khaki trench looks great on most, but a dark blue lightweight mac for spring/summer, and a classic deep blue peacoat for fall and winter are a little more subtle. Less Inspector Gadget. Prices, depending on the maker, can vary wildly for both of these styles. From the hyper inexpensive to the 401k wrecking level, yet each might be able to be sourced (especially peacoats) at your local army/navy surplus store for a heck of a lot cheaper than you’d think.


#8. Chinos and/or Wool Trousers

Lands' End

This would be an “or” situation for most. If you work in a more casual environment, then flat front cotton chinos are probably as formal as you’ll want to get in terms of stand alone pants. But if you’re in a white-collar workplace, navy wool trousers are gonna see plenty of time alongside mid-grey sportcoats, sweaters, and shirt & tie combinations.


#7. Socks. Especially wool socks.


The guideline is to match your socks to your pants. Or at least get close. Wearing blue socks with blue pants (even jeans) helps make you look taller, since showing matching sock elongates your legs, instead of having a bold contrast visually cutting you off at the ankle. (Shoes pictured are the Allen Edmonds Fairfax in the old Chili. They also seem to be available on Nordstrom Rack in Walnut.)


#6. Grenadine or Matte Silk Necktie

Kent Wang

For grey suits of all kinds, from light grey to charcoal, pinstriped to solid. A deep navy tie is a serious tie, but the bit of texture that grenadine offers can keep it from looking too slick. More on the advantages of navy ties (and ties of other colors too), can be found over here.


#5. Lightweight Wool Sweater


Looks equally as good with contrasting pants like traditional khaki-chinos, or with an all-blue outfit up against dark wash denim. Most brands release their wool sweaters in August as we start sneaking up on fall. Merino just might be the perfect material too. Not too bulky, not too itchy, warm but breathable, and nowhere near the cost of cashmere. But hey, if you wanna treat yourself, treat yourself.


#4. A Cotton Chino or Knit Sportcoat

North & Mark Union Blazer

Fudging the definition of “Navy” here just a bit. While a deep dark navy is great, so is a medium blue. That’ll do too. And less is more here. You want less lining, and try to skip the functional sleeve buttons which can be a pain to tailor. An all cotton chino sportcoat is extremely versatile, and can really elevate even the most casual looks in a pinch. And it just doesn’t look anywhere as dressed up as a navy blazer looks. Which is good considering the world seems to be getting more and more casual.


#3. Dark Wash Denim


Some of us could live in dark wash denim. Some of us DO live in dark wash denim. And it doesn’t have to be some bespoke $200 pair of selvedge, raw, hand rubbed by free-range Civets immediately after passing their butt-java… jeans. A pair of $40 Levis does just fine. More than fine. With everything from a plain t-shirt to an OCBD and a rumpled blazer.


#2. A versatile Wool Blazer


A little less structure than a suit jacket, but still easy to dress up with chinos or trousers. Often looks dynamite with jeans. Some guys prefer the traditional, brass-button look, but others want darker buttons on their blazers. More on the differences between blazers, sportcoats, and suit jackets can be found here.


#1. A well fitting Navy Suit


Charcoal might be more versatile (it can be worn in more serious and somber situations, such as a funeral), but most guys just look better in a navy blue suit. Plus, as long as the buttons are a dark brown, you can wear just about any color shoe with it. From black to walnut, and everything in between. For a guy’s first navy suit, he should look for a suit with a solid fabric, notch lapel jacket, and flap pockets with a welt at the chest. And it should skim, but not strangle your frame.

Also receiving votes for this list: Suede Bucks, A dark chambray shirt, a classic umbrella, a wool scarf, a corduroy or velvet blazer for the holiday season, and/or a navy tuxedo.

This post originally ran in 2015, but has since been updated with current product suggestions.

The Best in Affordable Style from the Month that Was – August ’18

A wise man once asked: “What the hell just happened?” And for good reason. There is value in looking back. It gives us all a good gauge as to what is good, and more importantly, what is not good, going forward. Sure, the “clip show” is mostly a cheap (affordable?) device to create new content out of already published stuff. But it’s also a good way to catch up in case you missed something. So cue the flashback music. Here’s the very best from the month that was…


Best Sale: Banana Republic’s 50% off F&F Deal (expired) 

Banana Republic

Banana Republic has been on a roll lately. From soup to nuts, (or from shoes to shirts?) they’ve been making nice quality, well fitting & feeling goods that can be a bargain if you play the sales game right. This latest Friends and Family event also featured free 2-3 day shipping on orders of $100+, and as always, cardmembers got an ADDITIONAL 10% off the already as low-as-they-go 50% off.


Best Individual Item Deal: Any AE Brown Shoes that were an extra 20% – 40% off Clearance

Allen Edmonds

Allen Edmonds is doing away with it’s Brown Burnished shade of leather (for something called “Coffee” I believe), and that put a bunch of wheelhouse styles in the clearance section. And then they ran an extra 20% off clearance. Then bumped it up to an extra 30% off clearance. And then to an extra 40% off clearance. That put Strands, McAllisters, and the above MacKenzie wholecuts down to $178. For first quality! And they weren’t final sale/there was no restocking fee for returns.


Worst Received Product on Social: Todd Synder’s New Timex


WOW you fellas on social media didn’t like this thing. Oh it’s a looker all right, but more than a few were happy to point out that they’ve purchased automatics or mechanicals for less (even though Quartz is more accurate), as well as that any Timex with the loud “tick” is a deal breaker. Anyway, full review is here if you’re interested.


Riskiest post for those who love chips & salsa: How To Wear White Pants


The salsa will always, ALWAYS fall off the chip when you’re wearing white pants. And do make sure you’ve picked the right picante sauce. Some people will apparently murder you if you don’t.


Best Week: Reader Appreciation Week!

Dappered Reader Appreciation Week

Congrats again to all the winners. And thank you once again to all of the participating brands. Can’t wait to do this again next year.


Most Shameless Rationalization to buy new stuff: Back to School!


Not in school? Who cares! I know. Pretty shameless here. But why let the rugrats have all the fun with their new crayons and galoshes and what not?


Most Unlikely Brand to get picked up by Amazon: Combat Gent

Combatant Gentlemen

FFS really? Even if they actually are under new management (I believe nothing and never have that comes out of that brand), what the hell are they doing not at least RENAMING the business? You’d think that well is beyond poisoned. But what do I know.


Most Overlooked Room in a Bachelor Pad when it comes to Style: The Bathroom

The Dappered Space

Bad bathrooms aren’t a given if you’re flyin’ solo. Don’t let bad bathrooms happen to you. Here’s one way to prevent your water closet from (unfairly) making you look like a goober. Take command of your abode commode people!


Coziest Photo: Saddleback Dopp Kit & Crackling Fire


Never has a toiletry kit looked more romantic. “Sex by the fire at night…”


Best Alternative to Mimosas at Brunch: Champgane Cocktails

From one of our weekend resets. The Champagne Cocktail. It is incredibly simple to make. It adds a little extra oomph to the bubbles, and it is dee-lish-us. This one serves up well and goes down easy. Just be careful. These suckers will knock you on your eggs Benedict hoovering arse. Especially if you add the cognac / brandy float that isn’t added in the above video.


Worst Attempted Comeback: Twitter Reply on Why Wear a Watch


Alex via Twitter: Reasons to not wear a watch: 1. You have a phone that tells time.

The “smartphones tell time” comeback was preemptively addressed not only in the excerpt (“Why bother when your smartphone can tell the time? Here’s why.”) It’s also addressed in the third sentence of the post. I understand the post as a whole is pretty ridiculous. But, I mean… we already…

God I hate the internet.


Classiest Reader: Chris


Chris won one of our contests (for a Saddleback no less), and sent a hand written thank you note in response. Seriously one of the coolest things we’ve ever received. Plus it was on Art of Manliness letterpress stationery. Now, that said, for all future (and past) winners, no need to send thank you notes. It’s not expected. Chris beat you to it. Save your stamps. We’re good now. Seriously, once was enough.


Best Upcoming Annual Autumn Feature: Best Fall Sportcoats!

Tweed. Flannel. Corduroy. It’s all happening. Or, gonna happen.

Feeling Nostalgic? Here’s the archive containing previous editions of Best of the Month that Was.

Introducing The Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix Automatic Tourbillon Watch

Introducing The Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix Automatic Tourbillon Watch

By Harlan Chapman-Green

Earlier this year Vacheron Constantin did something quite remarkable, at least, impressive for a top tier watchmaker: it released a collection of ‘beginner’ watches which are aimed at a younger market. Young horology clientele has different tastes, they like their watches bigger and snazzier with more functions and high tech materials.

Continue reading Introducing The Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix Automatic Tourbillon Watch at WristReview-Timeless News.

Style Scenario: The First Day it Feels like Fall

What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. Admittedly, not everyone is at this point yet. (And yes, thanks for the social media comments saying how hot it is still where you live. You know who you are.) But some of us are getting close, and some might have already had a taste of weather that requires layers. Here’s one way to look smart as it cools off.


The Shirt: Ledbury Allenhurst Dot Cotton & Linen Sport Shirt – $64.97 ($165)Not cheap, but cheap for Ledbury. On mega sale via Nordstrom Rack. Perfectly lowered second button. Great fabric. And a dot pattern that’s on trend without being obnoxious. Don’t want to spend that much money? Try this duck print (yes really) OCBD from J. Crew Factory.

The Watch: Timex Expedition Scout 43 – $35.36. A beefy, 43mm brass case (which is appreciated for those of us with thick wrists who seem to make regular Timex’s look dinky on our wrists). Dark color scheme. Perfect for fall, and plenty cheap.

The Sportcoat: J. Crew Herringbone English Tweed Blazer in Ludlow or Classic Fit – $298. Not as heavy and stiff as most other tweed blazers. Moves with you. Not against you. Plus, just half lined in the back. So if the afternoon gets warm, you won’t boil over. Will go on sale at some point, but these are one of their most popular items, so it might be a bit. Don’t like sportcoats and/or don’t want to spend that kind of cash? Opt for a lightweight merino v-neck or cardigan.

The Socks: Nordstrom Mid-Calf Merino Wool Socks in Navy – $12.50 (or 3 pair for $30). Might be a bit early for thick wool socks, so, stick with the do-anything Nordy merino option. Going with navy here, although when you’re wearing jeans, you certainly don’t have to match your socks to your trousers.

The Belt: GAP Basic Leather Belt in Dark Brown – $21.97 ($39.95). Still one of the best, not too dressed up yet not too casual belts. Simple. And right now it’s 45% off and ships for free. Deal ends today though (9/11). No code needed.

The Sunglasses: Toms 57mm Traveler Manu Sunglasses – $39.97 ($78). Toms makes oddly nice sunglasses for the price. It’s not quite the time of year where it’s nothing but cold and gray and clouds. So, might want to have a pair of shades on you.

The Bag: NEWHEY 15.6 Inch Waxed Canvas Briefcase – $49.99. From one of those odd, but well reviewed Amazon prime fulfilled (but not Amazon owned) brands. It’s a bit of a risk at this price, but similar items have been winners. Don’t want to risk it? The USA Made J. Stark Prospect brief is currently on sale for $210 over at Huckberry.

The Jeans: Slim Dark Rinse Japanese Traveler Jean – $119. Or, if you don’t want to spend that much cash on one pair of jeans, whatever your favorite pair of cheap, dark wash denim happens to be. Yes, these are super spendy right now, but there has been ample opportunities in the last month or so to get these for $59 to around $70. And while that’s more than a pair of Levis, it’s hard to beat the comfort of a pair of BR Traveler jeans.

The Shoes: Wolverine Marco Chukka in Grey Suede – $89.97 ($189). Why these don’t get more respect is beyond me. I love mine. Made in Portugal and super comfortable. Just enough traction for when it starts to get slippery outside. Easy to waterproof with a basic waterproofing spray.