Choosing the right colors to pair with a blue suit can seem tricky, but with some simple guidelines you can create a stylish, put-together look. In the opening paragraphs, we’ll quickly cover some of the most versatile color options that complement a blue suit.
Quick Answer: Best Colors for Blue Suits
Here are some of the top colors that work well with a blue suit:
- White – A crisp white shirt is a timeless classic with a blue suit. White creates a contrast that flatters most skin tones.
- Light Blue – Matching shades of blue is easy on the eyes and creates a harmonious aesthetic. Go for a lighter blue than your suit.
- Gray – From light gray to charcoal, gray shirts and accessories tone down and balance out blue naturally.
- Navy – Deeper navy shirts pair perfectly for a more formal look. Just avoid matching the exact navy shade.
- Silver & Gray – Metallic grays play off blue in an eye-catching way. Keep the rest of the look simple.
While those are some surefire options, many other colors can also complement a blue suit depending on your style preferences and the occasion. Read on for an in-depth look at pairing different color shirts, ties, pocket squares, and accessories with a blue suit.
A crisp white shirt is a timeless choice to pair with a navy or blue suit. The high contrast between the dark suit and white shirt creates a flattering, stylish look. Here are some tips for wearing a white shirt with a blue suit:
- Stick to a bright white shirt rather than an off-white or cream. This makes the contrast stand out more.
- Pay attention to the shade of blue in your suit – lighter blues pair better with true white, while darker navies call for an ivory or pale blue shirt instead.
- White collared shirts are the most formal option. Button-down collars are slightly more casual.
- Cotton or poplin fabric provides lightweight breathability. Pique fabric is textured for visual interest.
- Avoid see-through white fabric – layer with an undershirt if needed.
To add interest, small patterns or stripe details can also work well. Opt for thin pinstripes, mini checked patterns, or subtle texture. Keep the overall color white instead of cream.
Light Blue Shirts
Light or powder blue shirts are another excellent choice with a navy or royal blue suit. Combining shades of blue creates a harmonious, continuous look. Here are some tips for wearing light blue with a blue suit:
- Choose a lighter blue than your suit color. Going too close in shade can look mismatched.
- Soft powder blues complement navy suits. Robin’s egg blue pops against brighter royal suits.
- Look for light blue options in dress shirt styles like solids, ginghams, checked, striped, or textured weaves.
- Avoid loud, distracting patterns. Keep any patterns more subtle and textured.
- Stick with lighter blue ties and accessories to maintain a cohesive look.
Baby blue and pastel blue shirts create a spring-like feel, while brighter sky blues have a cheerful summer vibe. Icy blue or steel blue shades lean more formal and winter-friendly.
From light gray to charcoal, a gray dress shirt tonally complements any shade of blue suit. The natural harmonizing effect of blue and gray makes it an easy go-to pairing. Here are some tips for wearing gray with a blue suit:
- Light grays create a subtle contrast on lighter blue suits.
- Medium grays like heather or slate complement brighter blues.
- Dark charcoals pair best with navy or cobalt suits.
- Opt for solids or micro-patterns like checks, pindots, or textured stripes.
- Avoid loud plaid, striped, or floral gray shirts, which can clash.
To determine the best shade of gray, hold your suit jacket next to different gray options and look in the mirror. Go with the gray that complements rather than matches your blue suit.
Deep navy shirts can create a formal, stylish pairing with blue suits in lighter shades. Contrast is key – avoid matching exact navy shades, which can look off. Here are tips for wearing navy with blue suits:
- Choose a navy shirt slightly darker than your blue suit.
- Navy complements lighter blues like powder, baby, or robin’s egg blue.
- Pair with a navy knit tie and leather accessories for a polished look.
- A striped, checked, or subtly textured navy shirt adds dimension.
- Lean into lighter blues for the pocket square, tie, or other accents.
To keep the look from feeling too wintry or heavy, opt for lighter weight navy fabrics like textured cotton. Unbuttoning the collar and rolling up sleeves can also make it more casual and spring/summer friendly.
Silver, Gray, & Metallic Shirts
Shimmery silver, steel blue, or slate gray shirts can add an eye-catching dimension and modern edge to blue suit pairings. Here are some tips for wearing these colors:
- Metallic sheen silver pairs well with navy suits.
- Steel blues or grays complement mid-tone royal and bright blue suits.
- Micro-patterns add visual interest without overwhelming.
- A solid dark navy tie grounds the look.
- Avoid heavily patterned shirts, which can look too busy.
Limit metallic shirts to occasional stylish use, as the reflective sheen can come off overly flashy for professional settings if overdone. Use for date nights, formal events, and special occasions.
Contrary to popular belief, pink can pair nicely with blue suits in some situations. Here are some tips for wearing pink with blue suits:
- Pastel pinks complement lighter blue suit shades.
- Deeper rose pinks pair better with navy suits.
- Pink works best for casual daytime events rather than professional settings.
- White or light blue accessories keep the look cohesive.
- Avoid pairing bright fuschia pinks with blue suits.
Lighten up the blue suit styling by skipping the tie and keep the jacket unbuttoned. Pink offers a playful pop of color for summer weddings, garden parties, and daytime casual wear when paired with blue suiting.
Patterned & Printed Shirts
Patterned or printed shirts offer another way to incorporate color into a blue suit outfit. Here are some tips for patterns:
- Small-scale checks, plaid, or subtle stripes work better than large, wild prints.
- Graphic floral prints can be an option for casual daytime events.
- Tonal patterns in shades like light blue or navy maintain continuity.
- Paisley, dotted, or abstract prints offer an eccentric touch.
- Balance loud patterns with solid blue suit and simple tie.
Pattern clashing can be great for intentional rule-breaking looks. Just take care that patterns have enough contrast in scale and don’t blur together. Start with more subtle patterns if new to mixing and matching different prints.
Accessory Color Pairings
Well-chosen accessories in coordinating colors can pull a blue suit outfit together. Here are examples of accessory shades that work well:
|Accessory||Best Color Pairings|
|Ties||Navy, light blue, silver, red, yellow|
|Pocket Squares||White, light blue, navy, patterned|
|Socks||Navy, gray, patterned|
|Shoes||Brown, black, gray, tan|
|Belts||Brown, black, navy|
|Jewelry||Silver, gray, wood tones|
|Watches||Leather bands, silver/steel|
Stick to a color palette of 2-4 complementary shades for accessories. Match metals throughout for consistency. Keep leather goods like belts and shoes in the same brown tones. Include a playful pattern like polka dot or striped socks to show personality.
Color Combinations to Avoid
When pairing colors with a blue suit, there are some combinations that tend to clash or overwhelm:
- Don’t match a shirt and tie in the exact blue suit color.
- Avoid fluorescent colors like bright yellow, green, or orange.
- Don’t pair loud floral prints together.
- Don’t wear black shoes with a navy suit – brown works better.
- Skip wearing other competing loud suit colors like bright red or purple.
Going monochromatic with all blue or all shades of gray can also be dull. Seek balance by working within a color palette that complements. Mix texture, patterns, and accent shades for interest.
Most Versatile Color Combinations
Here are some of the most versatile pairings that complement any shade of blue suit:
- Navy suit with white shirt and navy striped tie
- Royal blue suit with light gray shirt and silver tie
- Bright blue suit with powder blue shirt and red silk tie
- Navy suit with pink gingham shirt and navy knit tie
- Blue suit with light blue checked shirt and solid navy tie
Use these classic combos as a starting point, then tweak shades and accessories to match your style. Following basic color theory principles will ensure combinations work harmoniously.
Seasonal Color Considerations
Certain colors and color pairings can lend a seasonal vibe to a blue suit outfit:
- Spring – Pastels like powder blue, pink, ivory, lavender
- Summer – Whites, bright blues, lightweight grays, tans, silver shine
- Fall – Deeper navies, charcoals, jewel-tones, metallics, patterned ties
- Winter – Dark contrasting solids – navy suit with white shirt, or gray with light blue
Choose lighter, brighter hues and fabrics for the warmer months. Deep, rich shades and wool suiting fit colder months. While white shirts work year-round, opt for bright true whites in summer and ivory in winter.
Formality is another consideration for blue suit color pairings. For professional business settings:
- Stick to traditional combos like navy suits with white, light blue, or gray shirts.
- Solid color ties or subtle patterns/stripes.
- Dark leather belt and shoes.
- Minimal accessories and jewelry.
For casual dates, summer events, and creative occasions, have more fun mixing colors like:
- Bright blue suits with pink or purple shirts.
- Checked or floral patterned shirts.
- Knit ties.
- Blue and white striped accessories.
- Canvas sneakers instead of dress shoes.
Blue suits offer incredible versatility in pairing options. By following basic color theory principles of complementary shades, you can create stylish looks for any occasion that still feel cohesive. Keep suit and shirt colors in contrasting rather than matching shades. Accessorize with two to three coordinating colors. Don’t overlook classic combinations like navy and gray, but also have fun mixing in lighter blues, pinks, and patterns when appropriate. With the guideline above, you can confidently choose shirt, tie, and accessory colors to complement any shade of blue suit.