Header Logo
Close this search box.

How To Wear Navy Blue – All Navy Look

how to wear navy blue
dress: Derek Lam, jacket: Veda, purse: Kate Spade, shoes: Talbots, jewelry: Frieda Rothman, phone case: Zazzle

Updated November 2018

I often use navy instead of black as the base color for a client’s wardrobe. Navy flatters almost every skin tone (unlike black), pairs well with most other colors, and works year round. Despite the color’s versatility, my clients often struggle with how to wear navy, so let’s break down the details…

Navy Blue Essentials

To make navy blue the base color of your wardrobe, you will need these 10 items…

  1. Navy Shoes (heels, flats, sandals etc.)
  2. Tan to Medium Brown Boots (for cold weather)
  3. Blush/Beige Heels (if you wear heels)
  4. Navy Pants (slacks, ankle pants etc.)
  5. Navy Dresses (if you wear dresses)
  6. Tan and/or Beige Pants (jeans, slacks, ankle pants etc.)
  7. Grey Pants (jeans, ankle pants, slacks etc.)
  8. Navy Based Tops (solid and printed)
  9. Navy and Grey Outerwear
  10. Navy, Tan, or Blush Handbag


Best Navy Flats

Navy shoes are the most important item on the list above, and since my clients wear flats more than heels, I am always searching for stylish yet comfortable navy flats. This year I finally discovered the best pair, the Talbots ‘Edison’ scalloped pointed toe suede flats. The color is a yummy rich navy, the structure is absolute perfection for flattering the leg, the price is affordable, and the comfort is a success. They may not be flexible enough for my clients with serious foot issues, but I am truly delighted by their comfort.

Navy’s Favorite Color Pairings

Navy is best paired with these five colors:

  1. Tan
  2. White or Cream
  3. Pink
  4. Yellow
  5. Light to Medium Grey

What Not To Wear With Navy

There are only two rules I have with navy…

  1. Don’t pair black shoes with navy garments.
  2. Don’t wear navy tops with medium to dark blue jeans.

Black and navy pairings only work when you are creating an intentional black and navy outfit, usually based on a black and navy blue print or garment. Only then, do black shoes work with navy garments. (I will do a post on how to wear navy with black at a later date). As for denim, most everyone knows the blueberry result of a navy blue shirt with blue jeans.

How To Wear Navy Outerwear

One thing to know about navy outerwear is that although black jackets pair just fine with a black dress or black top, navy rarely matches its fellow navy garments exactly. You only notice this when you start layering navy on top of itself, so you generally only want to use navy outerwear with printed blue blouses or dresses paired with navy shoes.  The best dresses for the navy jacket and navy shoe combo are dresses with blue-based prints (as pictured), yellow dresses, pink dresses, and grey dresses.

Photos by Robin Dayley

custom cell phone casehow to wear navyhow to wear navyhow to wear navyhow to wear navy

My blog posts are my honest and personal opinion. Sometimes my content includes products sent from companies or PR firms. In this case I was sent samples from Talbots and Zazzle. If I am sent something that is unimpressive or boring I don’t write about it.

Leave a note for Vanessa.

4 Responses

  1. Bettie W. Larkin says:

    Nice, very nice, Vee…love your navy layout and pictures….into navy quite a bit of late, helpful hints, indeed, especially the ”what-not’s-to wear-with-navy”. Many thanks.

    1. So glad you enjoyed Bettie! xoxo

    1. Love that you love it! xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


wardrobe stylist

Items selling out are my reader's biggest complaint. Sign up for my weekly updates so you get first dibs.

Are weekly emails too much? Sign up for the monthly round up and receive my personal five favorite recent purchases. In my professional opinion, you should sign up for both!

* indicates required
Please enter your e-mail address.
What updates do you want from me?

Sign up for my newsletter

* indicates required
Please enter your e-mail address.
What updates do you want from me?