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Is navy a good color?

Choosing the right colors for your home or wardrobe can be a daunting task. While trends come and go, some hues prove timeless. Navy blue falls into that category. This deep, rich shade provides an anchor in any color scheme. But is navy truly a good color choice? Let’s explore the pros and cons of this versatile hue.

The History of Navy Blue

Navy blue has a long, rich history spanning centuries and continents. Here’s a brief overview of how this color developed over time:

  • 18th century – Navy blue uniforms are adopted by the British Royal Navy. The color is named after them.
  • 19th century – The British Navy’s uniforms boosted navy blue’s popularity. It became a staple color for uniforms and daily wear.
  • 1920s – Coco Chanel made navy a high fashion staple. Her nautical collection was a huge success.
  • 1930s and 1940s – Navy surged in popularity. It was a top color choice for men’s and women’s fashion.
  • Today – Navy remains a wardrobe perennial. It’s a standard color for business, formalwear, and casual looks.

Now that we’ve covered some background, let’s dive into an analysis of navy’s pros and cons.

The Pros of Navy Blue

What makes navy a versatile, timeless shade? Here are some of the top benefits:

Refined and Versatile

Navy blue is considered a neutral, despite technically being a cool-toned color. Its dark shade gives it a polished, refined look. Yet navy also remains versatile enough for casual wear. It straddles the line between formal and laidback with ease.

Universally Flattering

Unlike brighter shades, navy flatters most complexions. Both warm and cool skin undertones can pull this color off. Navy also suits a wide range of hair and eye colors. It’s a versatile choice for women, men, and children.

Skin Tone Hair Color Eye Color
Fair cool Blonde Blue
Medium warm Black Brown
Olive Red Hazel

Matches Other Colors

Thanks to its neutral status, navy combines seamlessly with other shades. It works alongside pastels for spring and summer. Pair it with reds, oranges, and yellows for nautical flair. Or use navy to ground lighter neutrals like tan, gray, and ivory.

The Cons of Navy Blue

Despite its versatility, navy blue does come with a few drawbacks:

Can Look Dated

Since navy has been around so long, some people view it as “boring” or “old fashioned.” It may remind people of school uniforms or their dad’s closet. Using navy in updated silhouettes and combinations can help avoid a dated vibe.

Reads Dark in Dim Lighting

In low lighting, navy can read as black. This makes it a poor choice for evening wear or dim settings. Lighter blues may be a better option for night events or atmospheres.

Overuse Can Feel Drab

Don’t wear navy from head to toe every day. Using too much of this deep shade can come across as monotonous. Add pops of contrasting colors to keep navy feeling fresh.

Tips for Styling and Decorating with Navy Blue

Ready to use navy blue in your home or outfit? Keep these tips in mind:

Home Decor

  • Use navy as a neutral base for brighter accent colors. Aqua, yellow, and red pops will stand out.
  • Add navy and white stripes or patterns to a bathroom, kitchen, or nursery. This combo feels fresh and nautical.
  • Paint a front door or piece of furniture navy. This makes a bold statement.
  • Pair navy with other blues for a relaxing, spa-like vibe. Try light blue walls with a navy sofa or area rug.


  • Wear navy trousers or jeans with white, gray, or black on top for a stylish look.
  • Use navy coats or jackets to pull a look together. Layer over dresses, skirts, jeans, and more.
  • Combine navy and metallics like gold or rose gold for nautical flair.
  • Add pops of bright tones like yellow or pink to keep navy feeling youthful and fun.


Navy blue remains a versatile, timeless shade despite its long history. This rich hue flatters most complexions while matching seamlessly with other colors. While navy can feel boring or dated if overused, it serves as an ideal neutral when combined creatively. Add this refined shade to your wardrobe or home in fresh, moderated doses for an always stylish look.