Is Navy The New Black?

I woke up Friday, looked in my closet and decided that I’m sick of wearing black. Shocking I know, and a real shame because I own epic quantities of black clothes and accessories. I’m not planning to rush out and donate my things because I know I’ll go back to loving black because:

  • it’s slimming
  • is sophisticated
  • is timeless and always chic
  • makes packing and traveling easier
  • is easy to coordinate
  • seldom shows dirt
  • dresses up and down with ease
  • can look harsh on many complexions

As I shoved my black things further along the rod I ran across a navy handbag, turtleneck, and blouse that got me wondering if navy could play all the roles that black does in my wardrobe. Navy is not as readily available to buy as black, but can it replace black in your wardrobe?


  • is classic and timeless
  • available in warm and cool tones so universally flattering
  • is sophisticated and elegant
  • seldom shows dirt
  • looks effortless
  • coordinates with every other color in the rainbow
  • looks amazing in hot weather
  • is slimming

Somewhere, at some time, someone said navy and black don’t go together… which is total bunk! It’s a sophisticated color combination that looks fantastic.

Bags look so much richer in navy than they do in black.

Navy looks great with brown, gray, black, green, red, pink, yellow, orange, beige, off white, purple, etc which begs the question, “why is black the most popular color?”.

It turns out that navy is the new black and will be occupying more space in my wardrobe going forward.

Have you embraced navy in your wardrobe?

If you liked this post, I’d love you to pin this image to Pinterest.is navy the new black for your wardrobe

Thanks for reading and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.


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  1. I’ve been wearing navy as my dark neutral ever since having my colors done 10 years ago. It also looks much better against my skin at age 65 than black does, much more flattering. You have tempted me to get some black pants which I do use for traveling and at home with a more flattering color on top. I just wish there were more navy items out there! Dressing in black and looking great is such a slam dunk. Dressing with navy as your dark neutral takes a lot more effort. Not as easy to look pulled together and sophisticated as black is.

  2. Thank you for this post! I couldn’t agree more — I have too much black in my closet and not enough navy, a color that generates compliments when I wear it. I’ve always wondered, though, are navy and indigo the same color? I see Talbots offers a lot of clothes and shoes in “indigo” and am unsure if that’s just another name for “navy.” Thoughts?

  3. Great timely article. I absolutely love navy and just received a navy pair of pants from Chicos. When I choose an accessory or top I try to get a pattern that includes a little navy as well as black. It works perfect for traveling.

  4. You’re so right!!! Navy and all dark blues are as useful and flattering as black. My favorites are indigo and midnight blues which are rare.

    When I finally wear black it feels very dramatic.

    Im waiting patiently for navy to be the color of the season and then pounce and pick up a few good pieces to last for years.

  5. Black and gray make up my entire wardrobe. I’m trying to add a few pops of color, especially since I went to my natural gray hair color. I do have a favorite navy and gray houndstooth sweater, and added a navy and green tartan turtleneck from JCrew. I’m going to check out some navy lines – great idea.

  6. Navy truly is a wonderful color and as versatile as black, as others have said. However, navy can be hard to match……..dye lots seem to vary so much. So the navy slacks that you thought would look great with that navy/white stripe sweater don’t really…..they look over washed or black-ish, not the look you were going for. Even in the same store it can be hard to find navies that match—if that’s what you’re going for. I, too, am hoping for a renaissance of navy over the next year—that can help justify the spending for new clothes vs buying more black pant/leggings or black tops. And, hopefully they will be of a hue to strike a happy note with black to really extend the closet offerings.

    1. Many brands match their navy’s within a collection. Black does have the same matching challenge but we tend to ignore it. The secret is to find navy’s that have the same I undertone!

  7. I think navy has never had the popularity of black because there are too many different colors of it. It’s so frustrating to try to put a navy outfit together when the shoes, the pants and the top are alllll different shades of the color. It ends up not flowing together at all.

    1. I never wear navy shoes with navy pants. Black works best in MHO:)

  8. Mary Wray says:

    Hi Jennifer, Ditto on the navy thinking…can you provide details on the black/navy handbag that you featured? I love it!

    1. It is in the handbag widget. It’s by Claire V. It’s an investment but a great combo of navy shades.

  9. I’ve always liked blue, including navy. As a summer, people don’t say, wow, that black is your color. They do like the black outfit , and often, they are winters, who make the comment. When I sewed, I could make any colored outfit, not just what the stores offered, I didn’t realize how limiting the store palettes are. Shoes have been a problem for years. Hopefully with the panetone blue color of the year, navy shoes will be shown. Some of the most sophisticated looks I’ve admired have been monochromatic, springs in all cream, autumns in all camel, green, or brown, summers in all grey, or blue, these looks are gorgeous, especially in nice fabrics, be still my heart… wow.

    1. It’s very hopeful this spring! When I was a buyer for high end boutiques we bought everything in black and one navy for me. I wish I’d kept all those things.

  10. About two months ago, I came suddenly to the same conclusion as you about black. I found ‘LL Bean to have some classic pieces in navy, Plus jjill has been adding navy (their scarves are particularly nice to tie the different shades of blue together).

  11. Jennifer, you are so right! As my hair turned to silver, I discovered that navy looks better on me than black. I enjoy a brighter navy color with all sorts of prints, along with white, green, and red. Last night I bought a Talbots casual jacket and tank top – all in Indigo Blue. Can’t wait to accessorize!

  12. Yes, Navy is the new black…so is chocolate brown. I find navy easier to wear than black. Black accessories look great with navy.

    1. You’re so right. I also love a deep, cool toned chocolate but seldom find it. It also looks awesome with navy!

  13. Love navy and NEVER wear black next to my face. My colors are the warm spring colors and find navy a very versatile color. I will wear it next to my face and do not use the very dark navy/ black shade next to my face, but as a basic color for pants. Not as easy to find navy for accessories, but doable if you look. Navy paired with camel and beige is very nice for basics.

    1. It’s a stunning classic with camel. I’ve always wished I could wear camel:)

  14. I like navy a lot! My only issue is that there are some navys that are so dark I can’t tell them from black unless I look under a really bright light. I have definitely made some “coordinating” errors with my clothes. But I agree, navy isn’t as harsh as black. Great suggestion, Jennifer.

  15. I too love navy, especially very deep, dark navy. It is so much more flattering to my skin tone. I just cannot wear black near my face anymore without looking pale and tired. Thanks for this post. I’m happy to see many others prefer navy also.

    1. With my newfound appreciation of navy, I’ll be hunting it down and sharing here.

      1. What type of navy slacks will avoid looking stodgy. Navy denim is great but what else?

      2. It’s all about the fabric and cut. I found some nice ones today that will be up on the blog Friday

  16. I too love navy and am looking forward to its revival; however IMHO as it is often associated with ( uniform dress code (Police/Fire/Paramedic/Armed Forces etc. ) I do feel it warrants more caution in the choosing of garment style and how it is worn, not to mention it can have various undertones.

  17. I discovered navy as my base color some time ago. I love the versatility of black and still wear it, but it’s too severe looking with my coloring. (I’m a Summer.)

    1. It comes in so many shades you might try a muted, paler navy.

  18. Linda Kundmueller says:

    I like navy but I feel that black looks better on me.

  19. Teresa Landers says:

    Yes, Black is tired and makes me look tired. Not getting rid of mine either, but not buying any more. The more navy I acquire and wear, the more elegant and versatile I find it to be. A challenge has been navy belts. Shoes and bags are not so tough, but navy belts are truly rare. Navy blends well with all shades of brown which is my second neutral (a tough color in everything but leather goods!)

    1. @Teresa: Re a belt; you might wish to consider dying one yourself which is an extremely easy process and an ideal solution to even rebirth a worn one that you may have in a different color. The product I use is called: Tarrago Self Shine Color Dye (for leather) / comes in a kit / and is available vie Amazon.com. Have used the color #17 Navy on two projects and was very pleased with the result. Also note though the bottles are small a little goes a long way, colors can be mixed so you may wish to also order black if wishing a dark navy and be sure to read the reviews by customers as they often contain helpful hints. -Brenda-

      1. Great tip thank you Brenda. I’ve had my cobbler dye shoes too!

    2. Clarissa Cejka says:

      Navy belts are hard to find indeed. Halsbrook has a couple that are very expensive, but they do have friends and family sales.

      1. Try Boden Clothing, they nearly always have navy belts and shoes.

  20. I love Navy and most blues. I have several go to navy/blue pieces. I hope it becomes more available in the future. Would like to see it in shoes, boots.

  21. I think you are on to something!

  22. I love Navy! Clothing, accessories and you name it! Blue is my color!

  23. I agree. Navy is the new black. Maybe it began with embracing denim in every facet of our wordrobe. I like it and wear Navy all the time. Black is so harsh against a mature woman’s coloring.

  24. Christine says:

    I love navy and as mentioned it has been hard to find….have been collecting pieces over the past year. I wear gray a lot and of course navy and gray are fabulous together!

  25. My closet is the same – a sea of black and any prints I have are in black & white! I have managed to add some grey sweaters to my winter wardrobe, and am enjoying the lighter look.
    As for navy, which I really like, it’s been difficult to find the last few years and the only 2 tops I have in navy are for summer which I wear with white capris. And in the past finding navy shoes was next to impossible! Thank you for showing the options above.

    1. I just ordered some navy shoes I’m anxious to wear this spring! They are hard to find.

  26. Paulette Levy says:

    Navy and black are my two go-to colors. With black I try to add a colorful scarf even vibrant near my face, or a pale beige near my face.
    Navy needs nothing! Yes, I have lots of navy! Happy……

  27. Gail Schwartz says:

    Chico’s has a beautiful navy collection for spring. I just bought a few pieces.

    1. Oh thank you for telling us! I will have to take a look!

  28. Donna Zoltanski says:

    Love navy too.

  29. I have been using navy along with olive green, with accents of pink and white as a travel capsule. Works great in all climates.

  30. I fall in and out of love with black. To relieve the boredom, I seldom wear black the summer and revert to it in the long, bleak winter weather (as do most Canadians I know). When I wear black it is always with a pop of colour to avoid depression. I really like navy. It is a very sophisticated colour but I don’t see it as much anymore. I vote to bring it back!

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