marine navy


Senior Member
Hello everybody,
I've got a little doubt in comprehension.
The man who wears this suit is an eighty-year-old distinguished man.
"His suit was Savile Row, marine navy"

I know that "Savile Row" refers to a tailor-made suit (S.R. being an important street in London, famous for its many bespoke tailors), but my doubt is about "marine navy". Is it referring to the colour?
I know the expression navy blue. Do these two expressions mean the same thing?
Thanks a lot
  • Majorbloodnock

    Senior Member
    British English
    I can't be absolutely certain, but I'd be incredibly surprised if you were wrong. Navy blue is a well recognised colour. A Savile Row tailor is pretty exclusive, so may well not like using a "common" name for a colour, and in that case might come up with a more exclusive sounding name for the same thing. "Marine navy" does sound pretentious enough to fit the bill.

    However, it's also possible "marine" could be talking about the cut of the suit and "navy" talking about the colour. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about suit styles for this to be more than an ignorant suggestion.


    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    Marine navy does appear to be a colour.
    This link shows a teeshirt in marine navy blue, which is (to my eyes) slightly darker in colour than the 'ordinary' navy blue.

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It sounds as if the Major has hit the nail on the head with his "pretentious" comment.

    When this color, taken from the usual color of the uniforms of sailors, originally came into use in the early 19th century, it was initially called marine blue, but the name of the color soon changed to navy blue.[2]
    The first recorded use of Navy blue as a color name in English was in 1840.



    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I was not suggesting the Major was being pretentious :eek: but to his comment in post #2 about the Savile Row tailor preferring a pretentious name for navy blue, considering 'navy blue' was used from 1840 onwards. Changing the common or garden name of colours to make them sound more special is common in the garment industry. We don't know when the quoted text was written."His suit was Savile Row, marine navy".
    We're just surmising why the suit is described as 'marine navy' rather than 'navy blue' which is the usual name for very dark blue.

    "Marine navy" does sound pretentious enough to fit the bill.
    The Lacoste site describes some of its T-shirts as marine navy and others as navy blue. They look exactly the same to me, and of course it is very hard to reproduce colour accurately, even for paint manufacturers printing their colour charts. One of the Lacoste shirts, the first shown, doesn't look navy blue at all to me.

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