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There are a few purchases early in a man’s life which qualify as “investing in oneself.” Things like a fine watch or a strong pair of shoes (like Alden) that are made to be worn and resoled. These items are meant to be used over a number of years, they exhibit craftsmanship and taste, and they help a man feel more deeply grounded, self-assured, than a shirt or sweater while you move through the weekend social schedule or during your next interview.

The navy blue suit is one of these foundational items. It can be bought early, maybe just out of college or after your first big promotion, and it should be purchased for quality and fit — tailored but never too slim. This is not a suit purchased to impress girls (though it will), or go to Vegas (though it can), it is one designed to impress those you admire — or those you wish to surpass.

Navy can be worn in just about any situation — work, weddings, events — and, while it may not stand out, a well-executed navy suit will elevate your level of discourse. Worn with a white shirt and club tie the old guard will wonder if you went to Andover or Exeter. Pair with a spread collar check shirt and knit tie at the next wedding — casual but elegant — and your college buddies will wonder how you did so well for yourself so quickly.

Most importantly, a good navy suit will treat you like a good friend, lifting you up when you need help, never stealing the spotlight from you, but deflecting it if you need to go unnoticed for a minute. And if you conceal a flask within one of its large interior pockets, it can even be a bartender. Brilliant. Enjoy.

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