Skip to Content

Is navy blue a Thanksgiving color?

Thanksgiving is a beloved American holiday centered around gratitude, food, and family. While the traditional Thanksgiving colors are autumnal hues like orange, red, yellow, and brown, many people wonder if navy blue has a place at the Thanksgiving table too. Here is a quick rundown of the key facts:

Quick Answers

  • Navy blue is not a traditional Thanksgiving color, but it can work well in a Thanksgiving color palette.
  • Classic Thanksgiving colors are autumn shades like orange, red, yellow, brown, and green.
  • Navy blue provides a sophisticated, neutral contrast to the warm traditional colors.
  • Navy blue tablescapes and decor look elegant and modern for Thanksgiving.
  • A color palette featuring navy blue, orange, cream, and metallics makes a striking Thanksgiving statement.

The History of Thanksgiving Colors

The traditional colors we associate with Thanksgiving trace back to the holiday’s historical roots. Autumn harvest colors like orange, yellow, red, and brown connect to the season and the original 1621 Plymouth feast. Here is a brief history of Thanksgiving color traditions:

  • Orange symbolizes the fall harvest, pumpkin pies, and the changing autumn leaves.
  • Red and yellow represent the bright colors of fall foliage.
  • Brown reflects the earthy tones of the season, including dried corn and roasted turkey.
  • Green represents abundance and life through seasonal pines and vegetation.

These autumn-inspired colors dominated Thanksgiving design for generations. More modern influences have expanded the holiday palette to include metallics, blacks, whites, and even navy blue.

What Navy Blue Brings to Thanksgiving

Though non-traditional, navy blue can be an elegant addition to a Thanksgiving color scheme. Here’s what navy brings to the table:

  • Sophistication – Navy adds refined style to balance out the whimsy of bright fall hues.
  • Versatility – Navy pairs beautifully with orange, yellow, red, brown, green, cream, gold, and silver.
  • Neutrality – As a neutral, navy works as a subtle background that lets other colors shine.
  • Modern flair – Navy blue tablescapes and decor give a contemporary twist to the traditional holiday.

With its regal associations, navy also promotes a feeling of gratitude and celebration fitting for Thanksgiving festivities.

Creating a Navy Blue Thanksgiving Color Scheme

When paired strategically, navy can really elevate a Thanksgiving color palette. Here are some winning color combinations:

Color Scheme Description
Navy, Orange, Cream Navy and bright orange pop against a neutral cream background. Sophisticated and vibrant.
Navy, Yellow, Gold Navy balances the warm golden tones. Elegant for formal occasions.
Navy, Red, Silver Cool navy and icy silver complement the fiery red. Modern and energetic.
Navy, Green, Brown Earthy tones with an uplifting navy touch. Organic and grounded.

Accenting traditional Thanksgiving hues with a touch of navy blue adds striking visual contrast. Mixing metallic accents, cream fabrics, and autumn botanicals pulls the palette together beautifully.

Using Navy Blue for Thanksgiving Decor

Incorporating navy into your Thanksgiving decor allows you to put this stylish color to festive use. Here are some ideas:

  • A navy table runner down a harvest orange table
  • Napkins or napkin rings in navy blue at each place setting
  • A navy blue tablecloth with orange and yellow candles and floral arrangements
  • Navy blue ornamental plates mixed with cream and gold chargers
  • Navy blue ribbons and bows adorning wreaths, garlands, and bouquets
  • Throws and pillows in navy blue for living and family rooms

Whether you choose an accent piece or full navy tablescape, this color adds bold sophistication to the warm palette of traditional Thanksgiving decor.

Navy Blue Clothing and Accessories

In addition to home decor, navy blue clothing and accessories lend stylish personality to your Thanksgiving look:

  • A navy sheath dress or skirt with orange heels and gold jewelry
  • A men’s navy suit, white shirt, and orange patterned tie
  • A navyCable knit sweater over a cream thermal henley and jeans
  • Navy loafers or ankle boots for a modern twist on seasonal footwear
  • A navy pea coat or trench coat layered over fall hues
  • Navy gloves and scarves to keep warm in autumn air

Whether dressing up or keeping it casual, navy allows you to incorporate this elegant neutral into your Thanksgiving attire.

Navy Blue Thanksgiving Food Ideas

Get creative with navy blue even with the food on your Thanksgiving menu:

Food Navy Touch
Cakes or cupcakes Frost or decorate with navy blue icing
Mashed potatoes Mix in blue potato varieties like Purple Majesty or Congo
Salads Toss with navy blueberries
Cheese boards Incorporate blue cheese and grapes
Cocktails and mocktails Rim glasses with navy sugar or use navy blueberries as garnish

Infusing touches of navy blue into your Thanksgiving recipes adds a subtle seasonal surprise.


Though non-traditional, navy blue can be incorporated into Thanksgiving in stylish ways. Pairing navy with the warmer traditional colors creates a sophisticated autumnal palette. Accentuate your Thanksgiving table, decor, clothing, and food with navy for a modern twist on the classic holiday aesthetic. Used strategically, navy blue keeps Thanksgiving traditions alive with a pop of elegant color.