Blue coat, black pants or the other way around?  Should pants be lighter or darker than the coat?  How about pinstripe black sport coat and solid black slacks, a do or a don't?  Any advice would be welcomed.

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Blue coat and grey slacks, I can do that. Thanks for the advice!
A point of clarification - navy is great with black shoes.

OTHERWISE AVOID BLACK IN SUITING OR ODD JACKETS/TROUSERS.

In suiting, it's unversatile and looks like a poor-man's tux, as best, and like a doof at worst. In shirts, it's so high-contrast that it rarely looks good on anyone. In trousers, it makes you look like a waiter or valet.

Pinstriped odd coats or odd trouser are poor choices, as they always look like orphaned suit pieces.

Never mix two pieces of the same color that aren't 1) from the same manufacturer, and 2) from the same fabric, and 3) from the same dye lot. Otherwise they won't match and you'll just look like you got dressed in the dark.
Black and navy blue do NOT go together, ever. You can only double the black if it is a black suit, which has its place (Leo's esteemed opinion not withstanding! :-P) , but it is definitely rather unoriginal.

Dark coat and dark shirt together is a bad idea, IMHO.

Generally speaking, when you are working with an sport coat and slacks, try to pair them dark/light. That is, dark coat, lighter slacks or vice versa.

Both a black blazer and a navy blazer go well with a nice pair of khaki or British khaki slacks or with gray/charcoal slacks. You can do a light blue dress shirt with the navy jacket, but probably need a white, off-white/tan or ecru shirt. with the black.
You can only double the black if it is a black suit, which has its place . . .

. . . in the trash can.

Here are some good examples of jacket/trouser mixes:

LOL... somehow, I KNEW you were going to say that!! ;-)

Not bad, with the exception of the yellow and the red/maroon pants. Just don't seem right to me, but to each their own! Not too crazy about plaids too much on slacks, either, especially in the lighter tones, but that's just a personal prejudice. I do have a pair of dark brown slacks with a light plaid print that I love, though.

I think I like the outfit in the first photo best, though.
You gotta have some fun with trouser selection!
Ha! Well, they can HAVE them in Nantucket, because red pants just ain't happenin...

I dress pretty out of the ordinary, eschewing blase blue and Leo's hated blacks, but just can't bear looking like a bad golf joke...
i see you frequent the gentlemen's standard, as well.
?
Is there a web community, or other places, where I can study fashion in such a manner as to improve my daily wear (and knowledge of it) from jeans and button downs to something as pictured above?
Do you have a thick skin? Then Styleforum's Men's Clothing Forum.

If not, Ask Andy About Clothes, either the Fashion or Trad forum.

Join, stay a few months, use the search function for basic general questions (they've all been answered 600 times before), read the What Are You Wearing Right Now threads.

When you have a specific question, search for the answer first, then ask if you can't find it.

Be prepared for über snark on SF. Ask Andy's a little more reserved.

Also, buy Alan Flusser's "Dressing the Man."
Suits used to be sold with an offsetting set of pants. i.e. you bought a navy suit you also got a pair of khakis. Stick with navy jacket and some light pants grey to khaki and you'll be fine.

Don't where patterned pants with a solid jacket. But a patterned jacket is fine with solid pants.

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