Navy blue and black are two classic neutral colors that are staples in many wardrobes. Black pants in particular are extremely versatile and can be paired with a variety of tops and shoes. However, some people wonder if navy blue is an appropriate color to wear with black pants or if the color combination is a fashion faux pas. There are a few factors to consider when deciding if navy blue and black go well together.
The Debate Around Mixing Navy Blue and Black
The traditional school of thought is that black and navy blue should not be worn together. The reasoning is that black and navy are both dark neutral colors that can appear similar in shade. When worn together, it can look like the wearer has accidentally mixed up their dark colors rather than intentionally paired them. This can come across as looking unfashionable or haphazardly put together.
However, rigid “fashion rules” like not mixing black and navy have loosened up over time. Many modern fashion experts and designers argue that you can successfully pair navy and black as long as you do it intentionally. The key is wearing tones of navy and black that complement each other rather than blend together.
Factors to Consider
There are a few factors to take into account when deciding if navy blue and black pants work well together:
The Shade of Navy
Not all shades of navy blue are created equal when it comes to pairing with black. Dark, muted shades of navy like navy blue, dark midnight blue, or ink blue tend to blend too much with black and should be avoided. Opt for brighter, more vibrant shades of navy instead. Royal blue, cobalt blue, or electric blue offer enough contrast against black pants or shoes. The brighter the navy, the better it will pair with black.
Pairing navy and black clothing with different textures can also help them from blending into one dark mass. For example, a smooth satiny navy top would contrast nicely against a pair of matte black pants. Or, rugged black denim jeans could offset a soft cashmere navy sweater. Playing with textures breaks up the block of color.
Proportions of Each Color
The proportion of navy to black you are wearing also impacts how cohesively the colors appear. Pairing a navy top with black pants creates a clear distinction between the two colors. However, wearing a half navy, half black dress can be jarring and harder to pull off seamlessly. Keep one color dominant and the other an accent for best results.
How to Wear Navy Blue with Black Pants
Assuming you opt for the right shade of navy and pay attention to textures and proportions, there are several stylish ways to incorporate navy blue with black pants:
Navy Blazer + Black Pants
A tailored navy blazer instantly elevates any outfit. Paired with black pants or trousers, this combination channels a chic, nautical vibe. For weekend casual, try a navy cotton or linen blazer with black jeans. For workwear, pair a structured wool navy blazer with black dress pants or culottes. Finish it off with black heels or booties.
Navy Button-Up + Black Trousers
Nothing feels more polished and put-together than the combination of a button-up shirt and trousers. Tuck a fitted long sleeve navy button-up into high-waisted or paper bag waist black trousers. Add metallic jewelry or leather belt and bag for a sophisticated touch.
Navy Sweater + Black Jeans
For cooler weather, pair an oversized navy cable knit sweater with skinny black jeans and booties. Or opt for a fuzzy navy turtleneck tucked into black mom jeans with white sneakers. A navy sweater layered over a black t-shirt dress is another chic, minimalist option.
Navy Shift Dress + Black Tights/Boots
A navy shift dress is an easy throw-on-and-go piece for work or weekends. Pair it with opaque black tights and knee-high boots for daytime warmth. Swap the tights for strappy black heels for evening. Finish with a black jacket or coat on top.
Navy Coat + Black Jeans/Pants
A navy wool peacoat, parka, or trench coat makes a timeless topper for any black pants or jeans. This combo brings together two classic colors in an easy, foolproof way. Just add ankle boots, loafers, or sneakers below.
|Navy Item||Black Item|
Tips for Wearing Navy and Black Together
– Stick to a vibrant shade of navy like royal, cobalt, or electric blue rather than navy, midnight blue, or ink blue.
– Add interesting textures like satin, velvet, linen, or cashmere to break up the dark colors.
– Make one color the star and the other the supporting accent.
– Anchor the outfit with lighter hues like white, tan, gray, or gold.
– Incorporate metallics through jewelry and accessories to brighten the dark palette.
– Stay away from wearing navy and black together in patterns like stripes, plaid, or checkered. Solid colors work best.
Navy and Black Color Scheme Outfit Ideas
– Navy blazer, black cropped trousers, black heels
– Navy pencil skirt, black blouse, gold jewelry
– Navy dress, black blazer, black wedges
– Navy sweater, black jeans, black ankle boots
– Navy linen button-up, black shorts, tan slides
– Navy trench coat, black jeans, white sneakers
– Navy midi dress, black heels, black clutch
– Navy suit, black shirt, black oxfords
– Navy jumpsuit, black blazer, gold earrings
Navy blue and black can be combined in stylish, sophisticated ways despite the outdated notion that they should never be worn together. The keys are choosing a bright, vibrant navy hue, adding texture contrast, keeping proportions balanced, and grounding the dark palette with lighter accent colors. With these tips in mind, navy and black can be an elegant color pairing for both casual everyday outfits and polished ensembles suitable for work and special occasions. So do not be afraid to experiment with mixing navy blue and black pieces in your wardrobe!