Wearing navy and black together has divided the workplace uniform for years. The colour Navy has often been relegated to 2nd place, in favour of the more ‘versatile’ dark shade of black.
Many of us, from all walks of life around the world, love to wear the colour Navy. We generally have beautiful versions of the dark blue -inky tone in our wardrobes at home. Many brands feature navy in their brand palette – Samsung, LinkedIn, Visa, as well as many of our clients – across all industry niches, have included a variation of the shade in theirs.
Yet when it comes to dressing in a uniform, most will choose black from head to toe because “black tops will be easier to match with black pants” and “everyone has black pants, so we’ll just go with a black top”. Not to mention “Black doesn’t show the dirt”…more on this myth another time.
There’s often confusion about what to wear with Navy because somewhere in history it was ruled a fashion crime (ok, maybe just controversial) to mix the 2 ‘clashing’ dark colours.
Well we’re here for navy and black as a slick combo that can be worn together, and we can’t get enough of it. Here’s why :
1.It’s Tres Chic.
French people are famous for many things – eating snails, wearing berets and for being blessed at birth with a natural flair for all things fashion.
They love to mix navy and black together – it’s like a national dress code. If the french don’t consider the dark duo to be a fashion faux pas, then nor shall we. Adding an item of clothing in a stripe can also break up a navy and black pairing. We have French fashion icon; Coco Chanel to thank for introducing the world to the stripe Breton t-shirt with its “effortless cool” vibe still sought after to this day. We also find stripe t-shirt roots in French Navy uniforms. The stripe T-shirt is a popular uniform choice – and we can easily mix with dark blue denim and black aprons (and vice versa) worn together.
2) Keep it simple.
Either add a black pair of shoes with a dark blue dress, or a navy scarf with a black suit. That way the whole outfit blends in tonally. If you’re able to wear denim to work, this contrasting blue texture is an ideal way to layer in a 3rd tonal shade, rather than a contrast colour. See tip 3 if you want to add a contrast colour into the mix.
3) Add an extra colour.
Try a pop of colour, or a more neutral shade – like white – which will break up the look. This little trick will diffuse the “clashing” contrast for those that are still a little wary. An accessory is ideal, but a different colour logo would work just as well. Try a white runner with a navy and black outfit and you’ll be winning in the comfort stakes as well.
4) Add any shade of navy or dark blue on top of black pants.
Make Navy the hero colour on top – where the eyes are drawn to. That way, black pants naturally become the supporting anchor. This is one of the easiest ways to nail the chic combination, and the quickest way to freshen up a traditional all-black uniform without breaking the budget.
5) Mix up the proportions
Try a piece of dark blue knitwear, or a blouse with full sleeves with a sleek, black vegan leather skirt. Or reverse – with a voluminous black top and slim, navy pant.
Friendly reminder – YOU create your own rules when curating a uniform for your team. So if your brand colour is Navy, or any shade of dark blue, then perhaps it’s time to let that colour shine alongside some popular black staples.