Two of the most common questions men ask me pertain to suits: 1.) If I only need one suit, what should I get? and 2.) What should my first suit be? The answer to both is the same. Whether just starting out or starting over, a man should begin with the solid navy suit.

The navy suit is, by far, the most versatile suit that any man can own*. Barring black tie affairs, it can be worn for any situation that asks for a suit: a job interview, day-to-day business, dress-casual, a night out, a wedding, a funeral or any situation where one wants to look like something. The top half can even be worn separately as a jacket – a stunt I pull regularly.

The beauty of the dark navy suit is that it is nondescript enough that it can be made to look like a different suit with different wearings, depending on how, where and with what it is worn. It’s dark enough to be very dressy; it’s got enough color to “pop” with the right shirt or accessories. When light hits a good navy suit just right, it can be stunning. And perhaps more than any other color, dark navy complements everyone’s skin and hair tones wonderfully.

More than any other suit in my closet, the navy gets the most mileage by far. Below are photos of me in the same navy suit:

So whether it’s the first suit for someone who is building a wardrobe or it’s the only suit for someone who wears a suit rarely, go navy.

Read my piece on How I Like a Jacket to Fit.

* Why Not Black?
Black is black. It’s dark, severe and funereal when it’s not in the shape of a tuxedo. Unless one has a well-established reputation for being a wearer of black (Tom Ford), a black suit should really be reserved for a chauffeur, a maitre ‘d, a pallbearer, a Tarantino gangster or a doorman at Barneys. With the exception of my tux, I don’t even own a black suit.