Today we have the great pleasure to introduce our latest Contributing Editor, Mr. Juho Rehakka.
Juho’s works in upper management consulting by day, and in his free time, is a relentless observer, photographer and writer on all-things-sartorial—likely one of the most dedicated of his kind.
His consistency of almost five years of sartorial study and reporting on his website “The Nordic Fit” is remarkable, and we are pleased to introduce his first article on Parisian Gentleman on the subject of the navy suit.
If you read any menswear content online, you’ve probably read at least 30 articles about the navy suit and how it is the most important staple in a man’s wardrobe.
To accompany the navy suit, you’re told to buy a navy or a burgundy grenadine tie and a white linen pocket square. Finally, it is a pair of black cap toe Oxford shoes which promise to complete your ‘menswear starter pack’.
With a quick search engine glance, you can probably find three to four articles which give you similar pointers to start building your business wardrobe; yet, while all these well-meaning guidelines and infographics provide good tips, it’s rare for me to wear the precise combinations recommended.
THE BASIC BUSINESS-WEAR ARCHETYPE
Today’s article may represent the closest I get to the ‘basic formal business-wear archetype’.
If you follow my Instagram (@thenordicfit), then you’re familiar with my day-to-day outfits which include (for the most part) classic pattern-free suits, white shirts and patterned ties.
As a useful tip, if you want to make a navy suit ensemble even more formal, stick to dark shades of blue and wear your most formal shoes. Even with such a high level of formality, I feel this look is still very much me–with a few fine details added, such as the pocket square and the tie knot.
In these pictures, I am wearing a Lardini wool coat with hand-altered unstructured shoulders, Berg & Berg wool scarf, Viola Milano five-fold self-tipped silk print tie, Simonnot Godard artisan pocket square, Luxire made-to-measure shirt with my own collar design, Albert Thurston braces in navy and with black leather pieces, Berg & Berg Merino wool socks and Wildsmith Sloane Oxfords.
I love a free form tie knot and tend to wear one nowadays very often. A knot like this brings out the beauty in handmade ties made of the best materials and crafted in the most optimal way.
For example, Viola Milano’s five-fold artisan ties tend to create beautiful knots like this–knots which can look slightly different each time they are tied. I’ve bought in total, five different models in this construction and wear these ties on a regular basis. Being fully lined and self-tipped, I find these neckties to have more weight than those with hand-rolled blades (the lining and type of tip also makes the tie feel more durable).
Adding a vintage white cotton/linen pocket square is a fantastic detail to include and yields a restrained and classic business look. The faint texture in the pocket square fabric combined with a nonchalant fold works well as an eye-catching detail in the outfit. That said, a simple TV fold may be a better choice, if you are attending a conservative business occasion.
While wearing a navy suit, most of the time I like this type of a fold with a Godard pocket square or a hand-embroidered model from House of Kydos (but I prefer a TV fold for formal meetings). To feel more confident, stick to a TV fold for your pocket square on occasions with high-level executives, especially in a conservative corporate environment.
All navy and white with some black and grey. When combined with a classic cut, this palette will instantly ooze classic timeless style and a professional feel.
Finally, a slight polish of the shoes does wonders to the overall impression a formal outfit like this presents. Make sure your shoes are at least well-cleaned, and if possible add a layer of Saphir if you can spare an extra 30 seconds in the morning when leaving for work.
I like to give my shoes a proper Renovateur treatment and polishing perhaps every three months, but I do add a layer of polish almost every time I wear a pair. In my opinion, well-cared shoes are one of the most important details to get right when aiming for a professional first impression in today’s business world.
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Read more about Juho’s sartorial adventures at thenordicfit.com.