March 24, 2022 3 min read

How to Wear a Navy Shirt

The navy shirt is perhaps a less likely option to go to for most shirt-wearers. Paired with a black suit can feel like overkill even at an evening event. However, in this article we will show you how you can opt for a darker shirt shade without it feeling like a nautical nightmare.  

The Right Fabric

Navy blue is an incredible alternative to black. The colour run on a black shirt can be tough to get right, due to a weaker colour fastness. It can result in a patchy faded finish when put through a few washes. A navy is a better alternative as it doesn’t tend to bruise with washes and result in an off-colour undertone.  

Considering the fibre of the shirt will allow you to select the navy shirt which will retain its colour over time. Long-staple cotton provides a great base for colour absorption as the density of the fibre means a uniform colour is achieved. Synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon retain their colour, however result in a shiny colour finish which can look cheaper and less refined. Selecting the fabric that will deliver the best navy colour pay-off will ensure you look sharp without the fear of wearing a patchy, faded garment. Also opt for natural fibres such as organic cotton to also ensure breathability, minimising trapped odours. 


The general principle tends to be no mixing of black and navy for formal occasions. However hues of brown and beige can work great as a color combination to pair with a navy shirt. A neutral beige trouser allows for a nice casual look for day events. Darker trousers create a monochromatic and polished look, better for evening functions. Though considering the navy undertone when creating your all-navy outfit is important. Make safe it doesn't contrast with a colder or warmer undertone to ensure it is complimentary and not mis-matched. 

The Finer Details

The trims and finishing of a shirt can be the deciding factor between it being the go-to-choice for formal events or a casual look. Stitching is often an overlooked detail that should be considered when selecting your shirt. Fine stitch details which are smaller in length, anywhere between 15 – 18 stitches to the inch, are typically suited for a more formal look. Looser stitching can be best suited for casual looks. The colour of the stitching also defines the appropriate occasion as a navy or black is great for occasions and contrast stitching great for relaxed day-to-day events.

The Buttons

The colour of the buttons on a navy shirt can also be the deciding factor for whether it is a more formal classic style or something better suited for relaxed events. A contrasting, lighter button stands out and is complimentary when paired with a neutral pant colour. Our Alder & Green navy shirts are finished with darker, navy buttons, as we wanted to offer it as our perfect evening shirt option. Made from recycled polyester, they seamlessly match the shirt to create a polished look. 

Long-term Care

Ensuring your shirts retain their colour and quality is good practice, to guarantee your wardrobe staples last a lifetime. Organic cotton lends itself well to the washing process as it softens over time. Washing on a lower-temperature with a mild detergent is less likely to agitate the fabric. Also turning the shirt inside out helps to reduce abrasion of the fabric and dye. 

As the alternative colour for those formal evening events, the navy shirt is a staple option. Our Alder & Green range offers it in a formal, twill style, in a wide size range - so you can be assured you will find a flattering fit.

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