When elevating your wardrobe some questions may come up, like “is wearing navy and black together ok?”. In fashion there are no hard and steady rules, but this topic seems to be one where people are most afraid to commit a fashion “don’t”. Most stylists agree that this color combination is a great choice. “Many people think that you can’t wear navy and black together, but that is a fashion myth”, says NYC Personal Stylist, Cassandra Sethi, founder of Next Level Wardrobe. She goes on to say, “black and navy look stunning together—it is very sophisticated and flatters all body types. It is a great color combination throughout the year.”
Jessica Burke of Well Layered, who provides Style Inspiration and Wardrobe Services, agrees. She adds that navy blue and black are “both highly versatile and typically work well with every other color in your wardrobe. You wouldn’t hesitate to mix either navy or black with say white, grey or nude pieces, so they most definitely can go together!” She also advises something very important: “Have fun and never take fashion “rules” too seriously.”
Convinced? If you want to try wearing black and navy blue clothing together below are some top tips from stylists along with a few great wardrobe pieces to get started.
Want to dip a toe into the black and navy blue outfit scene? Start with something classic. Meredith Jolly of Lulus says, “If you are uncomfortable with the pairing at first, try dark blue denim paired with a black top and shoes. Denim is almost universally considered a neutral, so it’s a no-brainer to pair it with black clothing items without looking like you’re going for a high fashion take on the color combo.”
Classic staples are a great place to get started. Another easy add-in is to add one layer like a blazer, vest, or cardigan like Burke did here. Her go-to is a “black dress and navy vest. Or even crisp black moto pants and a navy blazer!” Try one classic layer over another for a winning combination.
Another way to ease in to this color combination according to ModStylist, Franny, from ModCloth: “Look for pieces that already mix navy and black in themselves; this helps to tie everything together more naturally.” If you want to keep it classic, go with this color combination only, and in simple color block or solids. Patty Soltis, Founder & CEO of STYLEdge® , says, “Be cautious of other colors being mixed in. When combining these two for the chic effect, stick to navy and black only. Other colors become distracting.” However, other style experts suggest otherwise. Once you’re comfortable with the blue and black color pairing, it’s time to take it up another level.
Franny says not to shy away from mixing in prints and accents colors to your navy and black outfit for a little pizazz. “Navy and black are already both neutrals, so adding another color creates dimension and visual interest for a cohesive look.”
For date night, ModStylist Franny is a big fan of pairing a LBJ, or little black jacket, over a navy blue dress. Her favorite black jacket choice? Leather or faux leather. “A leather jacket makes almost anything look better and this rings true to black and navy combos. Pair your favorite navy dress with a great leather jacket for instant date-night chic”, she suggests. In addition, pay attention to fabric combinations. “Be sure to watch your fabric pairings and focus on texture”, she warns. “The navy and black color pairing can look dingy and unkempt if you’re mixing too many competing fabrics.” To avoid this mix and match don’t, she suggests to “focus on the texture of your fabrics for the most optimal pairings, like a leather jacket and velvet dress, a chunky knit sweater with a silk slip dress, or a chambray top and black denim pants” to name a few.
When it comes to workwear, you can’t go wrong with a great black or navy suit. But what about mixing in the other color? Soltis says, “Wearing black and navy in the workplace is not only appropriate, it is a powerful color combination that speaks about success, achievements and results. Wear both of these colors when meeting with a lucrative client, hosting a presentation, or speaking to the community to radiate authority, knowledge, and experience.” Think of this color combination as your power colors!
If you’re not sure what to wear with it, Soltis points out that starting with a navy suit and mixing in black heels is most appropriate. “When mixing and matching a navy dress or suit with black shoes, try black patent shoes as these will be best or try a pair of black suede”, like the photo seen here.
Not all stylists think blue and navy are the best color combination. Diane Pollack, Wardrobe Consultant & Personalist Stylist of Stylempower, states: “Personally, I think it is an acceptable combo, but not a preferred one. Meaning I would not seek out to style an outfit with a navy and black combo as I find it dull and not as sleek as an all black combo.”
Though it’s not a recommended choice, she does say wearing black and blue together aren’t going to put you in fashion police jail. “I do think it is an acceptable combo and no one is going to look at you like a faux pas. Certainly choosing black shoes with a navy dress because you don’t have navy shoes is perfectly fine. If you have a contrasting choice I would recommend that first.”
And her advice to those who want to go for it is to try a “lighter and brighter hue than a true navy.” When the blue is strikingly different than the black and stands out on its own she says, “This can be a good-looking combination.” Elsa Isaac, a personal fashion stylist to women entrepreneurs, agrees: “Black and navy can definitely be a beautiful combo, as long as you choose a navy that isn’t too dark it looks black, or a black that’s too light it looks charcoal/grey. You can create even more interest with these two colors by pairing each in interesting textures.”
There are many different variations on the navy or blue color, including different tones and shades. The takeaway here is to play with the blue hue and see what works for you.
Try the styles seen here from Tobi: The Blue Bold and Brave Dress or the Total Opposite Black and Blue Sweater.
Go Overseas and High End
Diane Roth, owner of L’Armoire and celebrity stylist, said: “Navy and black are staple colors in Europe and Asia. Most European tweeds and patterns have both incorporated in them. When you put the two together be careful that the navy is the black based dye and not a red base”. She states most American navy colors use a red base, so try purchasing from European designers or investing in high end tweeds and materials.
She adds to keep a color ratio in mind when wearing both navy and black. “Most combos work best when you have two thirds of one color and one third of the other. That way you don’t look like you dressed in the dark. It has to look planned, not done in error.” So do a little math and plan ahead to keep yourself looking your best. Her best trick for this look? “ Have a scarf or shawl to tie the two colors together more.” Try out the looks here from L’Armoire, and Max Mara.
And don’t forget shoes! Adding in that last bit of color, or wearing a pair that is already a mix of black and blue is a great way to get in on this trend. Try a high end pair like these from Chanel or a casual pair of sneakers from Lulus.
When it comes to creating a cohesive navy and black outfit accessories are key. Catherine Bachelier Smith from CBS Lifestylist suggests to “buy a bag or hat that has both black and navy so that there is no question you ‘meant’ for this to happen.” Don’t give them any reason to think you accidentally wore black and blue together, thinking they were both one or the other.
Maria Jacobs, Stitch Fix Style Expert agrees. “Pair a black sweater with a black and navy checkered scarf and navy handbag.” Adding in those little details really helps the look come alive. “Another fun idea is to pair navy tights and scarf with a monochromatic black outfit,” Banchelier Smith adds. Keeping in mind that the main part of the outfit can anchor the look and accessories can elevate it. Add in that last finishing touch!