I recently got a new Navy suit that I am very excited about and I want to add some accessories to wear with it. Unfortunately, I'm not really sure about what to get. These are the accessories that I'm wondering about:

  • Shoes: I've heard differing opinions on the shoes for a navy suit. I've heard "only wear black shoes," "only wear brown shoes." and "try something different like burgundy shoes." So I'm kinda confused on this front. Realistically though, it probably doesn't matter much!
  • Socks: I'm leaning toward something like red socks for this suit. Why? Because I want to have a relatively conservative look but still have some individuality in my attire. Is this a bad idea? For more formal instances I would have navy socks but for less formal instances would this be acceptable?
  • Pocket Square: I've wanted to get into pocket squares for some time now. Should I just get a white one that will go with everything or should I try to add some color?
  • Tie Clip: Do people still wear these? I'm in my 20s and I don't want to look like an old man by wearing one but I've always thought they add a nice touch to the suit. But I don't know what the general consensus is on this.

I know there are more accessories that I didn't put, these are just the ones that came to mind. Any help here would be appreciated.

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You cannot go too far wrong with nice black (polished) shoes.  Black or Navy socks might be safest. 

This is an older thread on tie tacks and clips: http://community.artofmanliness.com/forum/topics/tie-tacks-tie-bars 

Do you have a hat to go with the suit?  Lapel pin?  Cuff links?  Is it a three piece?  Have you ironed your shirts and slacks?  Belt or suspenders?  Can you post pictures? 

Get dress cowboy boots, they'll take care of the 'individuality' ... and you don't need to coordinate socks.  Socks always struck me as a strange area for 'individuality' anyway.

Pocket squares are too flashy for my taste.  Tie clips are fine, though.


Shoes: Dark brown works with navy and dresses it down a bit.  Burgundy looks good too.  Black dress navy up, and it a better look for evening.

Socks:  Red is fine.

Pocket square: Start with plain white linen or cotton, then work your way into other options.

Tie clip: Bleh.

Wear what you like. there's no reason why you shouldn't wear a tie-clip. If you want to wear it, then wear it. Part of dressing is having the balls to wear whatever the hell you want. 

Thanks everyone for the help! I'm new to having a nice suit that fits me well and I was pretty excited about what to add to it. You guys were really helpful. It seems that there are standards for some things (shoes, socks) while other parts are not standard and can be changed to fit a personal style. Thanks for all your input!

RE: the pocket squares - any number of things you can do with'em. You can wear the square banker - just a neatly-pressed linen handkerchief, a la Mad Men - a more businesslike use of them. Or a plain or pattern one that complements the tie BUT does not match it exactly in pattern. I wear a red tie with paislies, set off by a white pocket square with paislies. You can do the squares, the points, or the puff - all pretty well illustrated here. Note Daniel Craig wears a navy suit, no tie, and a square. Dashing. Note the dude in the white jacket with the perfectly matched bowtie and pocket square. Tool.

Haha this was awesome. Daniel Craig is a boss (although, I know that if I tried that it wouldn't look as good). The matching tie and pocket square does not look good. 

I wouldn't do anything crazy with the pocket square. I'm guessing it should complement the tie not take attention from it.

Yeah. They should complement - sometimes ignore one another - but never insult or match one another exactly. I love pocket squares - ain't wild about that one Craig's wearing, though. A red one looks great with a black jacket and a pale blue shirt.

That's another point - when you've got no tie, using the pocket square to complement the shirt or the pants.

Or just wear what in Hell you like. Sinatra always wore an orange pocket square. Not my choice, but he called orange "the happiest color," and it pleased him.

Be prepared for some knot-head to make fun of you. I don't know how many schmucks over the years have opened their mouths about it when I wear one. I used to be diplomatic about it, but have permitted myself to meet rudeness with rudeness, viz., "I'm not explaining myself to some clown I just met who goes to an upscale bar looking like he just got out of volleyball practice."  

Shoes: With a navy suit you can wear both brown and black.  I wear a suit every day for my job (I'm an attorney).  With my navy suit I wear a black cap toes (Cole Haan, Nordstroms) or brown wing tips (Hugo Boss).

Socks: You can get away with a little flair here (i.e. red socks), but the best way to go is to match your socks with your slacks.  With the mismatched colors it could either work out really well or it could be an epic disaster.  Caveat emptor!

Pocket Square: Yes, every day.  Do not match it with your tie.  A white one is best, and goes with almost everything.

Tie clip: Yes, every day.  I am also in my 20s and I wear one all the time.  It's classic, keeps your tie in place, and just looks great.

Bonus tip: Always match your leathers.  If you are wearing a brown belt, wear brown shoes, and (if with a leather strap) wear a brown watch. 


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