Colorful Complexities: Navy

Hello, again, from The Shoe Hive. Today, we bring you another post on colors. Consider it a Lesson on Navy: Part Two. Colors often confuse shoppers. I blame this confusion primarily on a host of “vintage” rules that dictate what is and is not acceptable. One of these is that you must match shades of navy. Well, not necessarily.

It helps me to think about it this way: there are colors and there are neutrals. Neutrals can be broken up into three categories, and all of them can be mixed and interchanged amongst themselves and/or with any colors as needed.

  • First, you have your true neutrals: black, white, gray and brown.
  • Then, you have your metallics: gold, silver, bronze, pewter, brass, etc.
  • Finally, the most overlooked category of neutrals is pseudo-neutrals. A pseudo-neutral is a legitimate color (blue, red, yellow and green, for example) in a shade that functions as a neutral.

Navy is a pseudo-neutral. Therefore, not only can it be worn with any of the neutrals (including black) and metallics, but it can also be worn as a neutral itself, with many other colors. Tuesday’s post included several color pairings involving navy: orange and navy, yellow and navy, oxblood and navy. It can also be paired with bright greens and bold reds, perhaps a rich magenta or even other shades of blue. So, when you purchase that navy dress, avoid the navy shoes.

This first look is for those women who have no idea what to wear with their navy suits to work, aside from a navy pump. For this, I’m bringing back the oxblood and navy combo, because it is the pairing for fall. These Elizabeth & James pumps are truly a masterpiece–slightly androgynous yet flattering with a low heel for comfort. I don’t even think it’s too matchy-matchy to wear this look with the Pour la Victoire Morandi satchel we currently have in the store. It’s a great color pairing, so play it up!

You bought a beautiful navy dress for your daughter’s rehearsal dinner. You don’t want to look overly “Mother of the Bride,” but you definitely want to dress your age. Bring in the bling. This great Badgley Mischka heel in pewter will quickly become your go-to evening shoe for both comfort and style. Then, add some additional yet subtle color with a few Alexis Bittar adornments. Et, voilà!

I hesitated to include this set because I know many people resist mixing prints. So, bear with me on this one. Review the three categories of neutrals. Now, take a look at this image. There is no real color here. When you stick to neutrals like warm browns, touches of metallic like the gold hardware on the belt and Botkier bag, and a pseudo-neutral like navy, you can have as much fun with prints as you’d like. And these Pour la Victoire pumps are so fun.


Shopping List:

New Look Navy Tuxedo Blazer

Chloe Lightweight Sateen Shirt

Giorgio Armani Pleated Trouser Pants

Maison Martin Margiela Crepe & Pleated Silk Dress

Dorothy Perkins Navy Polka Dot Dress