Grooms’ style ideas: navy versus brown

It’s time for a showdown between two of groomswear’s most-trusted hues: sleek navy and rustic brown. Who will come out on top? You decide!


navy ideas 1
From left: Three-piece suit, £234.95, Master Debonair; Henley rose-gold PVD watch by Rotary Watches, £199, Harvey Nichols; Navy Brimstone silk wool pocket square, £45, Favourbrook; Black Watch kilt, £399, and jacket and waistcoat, £330, both McCalls; Tweed jacket and five-button waistcoat, £496, and Highland Mist trews, £295, both Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers

Navy is a softer take on the failsafe black tuxedo and dark-blue tailoring is always a winner. Burgundy is an underrated accent tone – just look how well it chimes with Master Debonair’s Skopes Doyle check three-piece suit, above left.

Not sure where to start with your outfit? You could do worse than double up on classics. It doesn’t get more heritage than Black Watch tartan, or, for that matter, navy tweed. McCalls’ kilt outfit, above centre, is a modern iteration of the check and, paired with the contemporary jacket and waistcoat, the duo is a match made in heaven.

What do you imagine when someone says ‘tartan trews’? An Argyle-clad golfer? Your grandad at a function? Cast those visions out of your mind because trews are most definitely cool again – especially if Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers has anything to do with them. The styling in this outfit, above right, is impeccable: by keeping the upper half simple with a fresh, modern navy tweed jacket and five-button waistcoat, the Highland Mist trews are given space to shine. And the bow tie? Perfection.

navy ideas 2
Clockwise from left: mix-and-match suit with jacket, £139, trousers, £59.95, waistcoat, £65, all Remus Uomo; Tartan ring-bearer cushion, £40, handfasting ribbon, £35, and pocket square, £35, all MacGregor and MacDuff; slim blue lounge suit, £106 to hire, Slater Menswear; Baird Modern kilt and navy tweed jacket, £POA to hire, Kapital Kilts; Thistle buttonhole, £8, Clova Thistles


brown ideas 1
Clockwise from left: John Muir Way kilt [left], £595, and Weathered Black Watch kilt [right], £495, both Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers; Brown tweed kilt outfit, £895, MacGregor and MacDuff; Pure silk floral tie, £28, Remus Uomo; Dunlin Lomond jacket in Pebble and Campbell Weathered kilt, both £POA, Slater Menswear; Fruitwood cufflinks, made to order, Islay Spalding 

Inspired by Harry Styles’ covetable 70s suits, we’re bringing brown back! We know you’ve got your reservations: doesn’t brown look too retro? Isn’t it a bit boring? Anything but. The hue is a major mood again (ain’t fashion fickle?), and very much open to interpretation. See: Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers. Side by side, the outfitter shows how different shades can be styled, whether that be in the context of a warmer palette or with cooler tones, as shown above left.

If a rich, chocolate tone isn’t up your alley, hunt down muted alternatives. Slater Menswear’s Dunlin Lomond jacket, above right, is almost in beige territory and lightens up the Campbell Weathered kilt.

brown ideas 2
Clockwise from top left: Argyle jacket and MacLennan Weathered kilt, £POA, Kapital Kilts; Dress sporran, £POA, Slanj Kilts; Two-piece suit and block-colour waistcoat, from a selection, Master Debonair; Pride DON leather brogues, £99, McCalls; Eddy shirt, £72, Walker Slater

Of course, brown has always been a feature of traditional tailoring – tweeds in particular – so if a full-on, abstract Gucci print à la Styles is a bold step too far, retreat into reassuring heritage checks. Master Debonair’s two-piece suit and block-colour waistcoat combination, top right, is both utterly timeless and of the moment, and will sit flawlessly alongside neutral or pale blush bridesmaid gowns, keeping the whole party chic and co-ordinated.