In the editorial world, we like to talk about trends, but some things just work. They’ve worked for decades and they’ll work for decades to come, long after the double monks of the world have come and gone. Our favorite example: the divine convergence between navy blue and khaki, the two poles of gentlemanly spring style.

It’s sea and sand, paper and ink—and one of the more reliable color schemes you’ve got for the next few months. The above pic from Uncle Beebo shows the two most reliable ways to pull it off—a navy blazer with khaki pants and vice versa. If you get a light cotton version of each, you’ll have a way to dress up without sweating through your suit. They’ve been doing it since the Gatsby days.

But that’s just the beginning. Once you’ve got your formal game down, you can start throwing in curveballs like a denim jacket instead of a blazer for a more rugged style, or powder blue instead of navy for the preppies. Instead of straight khakis, paratrooper cargos. Instead of bright khaki, a light brown. There are dozens of variations to be played, each occupying a different spot on the trendy-classical continuum, but as long as you stick to the same basic color scheme, it’s hard to go wrong.

Call it menswear magic. So many men of style have paired the two shades, by now it just looks like summer—always a good look.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom