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How to Wear Navy and Black Together

Can you wear navy and black together? You sure can. In fact, it’s my favorite color combination.

Of course, there are a few loose guidelines to help you figure out where it works and where it doesn’t, so that’s what we’re talking about today.

This post was inspired by some conversations happening in our private Facebook group. It’s open to all readers, is women only, and filled with helpful info, not just from me, but from your fellow readers. Everyone is welcome, please be sure to answer the three membership questions for quick acceptance. 

Let’s jump in. 

Antiquated Rules

Fashion rules are always changing; it’s how style evolves and is indicative of what is happening in the world. A woman wearing a pair of pants use to be controversial and wearing white after labor day was a major faux pas.

When I’ve mentioned navy and black is a perfectly acceptable combination in the past, I’ve received actual hate mail. I have know idea why it bothers people so much, except that the internet is the worst and no one is meaner to women than other women.

But it’s not me making up these rules. In fact if you look at the color wheel, black sits directly across from navy, which tells us that they are, in fact, the best complements for each other. 

How to Wear Navy and Black Together

how to wear navy and black together

Designers for at least the last decade have been pairing the colors together. From color blocked dresses, to chic tweeds, there is an abundance of industry examples that tell us that black and navy is a winning, chic combo. 

Above is a popular jacket we featured a few weeks back that features black, navy and subtle silver threading. I wear it with all black underneath, but you could just as easily wear it over a navy dress or column of color

Another popular way to wear navy and black is by color blocking. You can either create the look yourself or look for it in a piece.

Like this dress absolutely love by Vince Camuto. It’s a simple sheath, with a flattering color block design that will pull you in at the waist. For under $100 it’s a lovely option for work, to layer under a simple black blazer or cardigan.

Inspiration – Real Life 

how to wear navy and black togetherPants, $50  |  Scarf, $45  |  Heels, $130  |  Sweater, $70  |  Bag, $78 

There is something incredibly sophisticated about a navy and black combo, but you have to be careful with the pieces you use. The key is to look intentional with your outfit, and not mismatched. 

Inspired by this picture I found on Pinterest, I created the outfit above.

I used a pair of Everlane’s popular size zip pants (only $50!)  The color is an inky navy, this is important for the overall effectiveness of the outfit because for the combination to work, you want to make sure your navy pieces are very obviously navy. And, if you are using more than one navy element, that those are similar in color. 

Then I paired the pants with better basic black pieces. Like a pair of kitten heel Sam Edelman pumps in classic black leather. Then this silk and cotton blend sweater from Banana Republic is on sale for under $50. It’s called “cropped” but it’s not, it’s just shorter and will work with high waisted bottoms or if you are short waisted. 

For a more traditional sweater, I have and love this cashmere blend, also from Banana. 

A black bag with structure is great for work, and plays into the overall simplicity of the outfit.

Then I used this silk scarf with navy and black  will pull it together. You don’t have to include it, but I like how it makes the look feel cohesive. Tie it around your neck, the handle of your bag or wrap it in your hair for a modern feel. 

What to Wear with Navy Bottoms.

The biggest question is what to wear with navy bottoms, so let’s break that down.

If you are wearing a navy skirt or dress, a neutral-to-you shoe is ideal if you are going bare legged or wearing a pair of skin tone pantyhose. 

Or you can wear a pair of navy or black pumps. Going back to the idea of being intentional, black works well if there are other black elements in your outfit.

For navy pants, try to find a navy shoe, or you can wear black. 

You could also wear a leopard print, which acts as an updated neutral with personality, or a pop of red is fun too in either application. 

Having a hard time finding a navy pump? See my top picks below: 



Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

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How to Wear Navy and Black Together

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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Tracy Gray

Thursday 20th of February 2020

This post was perfect. I have always followed the rule--never mix navy with black and now seeing how you did it with other options, I can't wait to try it my self.

Suzanne Clarkson Umile

Thursday 20th of February 2020

I had a feeling we’d be seeing a post about this since a few weeks ago & the comments that popped up on the private FB group. 😊. A favorite combo of mine and one I learned from my mother, who had her degree in fashion design from Moore College of Art. I was pretty appalled to hear you’ve had hate mail...over this?! Megan, I hate to think what you get when you touch on something really meaningful. Just keep doing what you do - in or out of your lane! Wonderful job, and I appreciate it so much!

Mrs. Todd

Thursday 20th of February 2020

Hate mail? Over pairing black and navy? I’m sorry to hear that. Black and navy are a classic pairing! Parisians have been wearing them together forever. It’s one of my favorite combos. Just google “Sofia Coppola Style” and you will see decades of navy and black outfits, worn by a style icon.

Thank you for your great tips on wearing them together. That outfit looks fabulous on you.

Ignore the haters. Of course you didn’t make up that rule. Ugh.

Megan Kristel

Thursday 20th of February 2020

Lol. The internet is a crazy place with a lot people with too much time on their hands ;)


Thursday 20th of February 2020

It's pretty funny because at first I was thinking really? Then after reading your post and seeing your pictures I realized I actually wear it a lot. My go to is usually black top/sweater/blouse and a pair of dark indigo jeans. As always, thanks for the great posts!

Megan Kristel

Thursday 20th of February 2020

Thanks! Sometimes you have to see it - glad the post helped :)