Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Choosing a Scarf to Wear with Navy

I happen to know for a fact that one of you will buy this design scarf for yourself for the holidays, and that you are struggling to decide which color you want. I further know that your wardrobe is basically navy, so I thought I'd play around a little bit with some ensembles to show what kinds of other preferences you have that might help make the choice clearer.

First up, the most lovely Hermes Ors Bleus d'Afrique - the Blue Gold of Africa. That refers to indigo, which was commonly used in textiles of this type.
six different colors of Hermes Ors Bleus d'Afrique

And I picked a couple of outfits - very simple - in order to create a base for my ideas.

navy dress, white blouse and navy pants
Navy dress – Hugo, white silk blouse – Robert Friedman, navy cotton pants – Mango

First up, this scarf cries out to have the rich browns emphasized and accented. I am NOT suggesting that you would want to wear all five of these accessories at the same time, although you could... But if your eye is immediately drawn to these accessories and textures, then this might be the scarf for you. If you have a stash of beautiful brown leather goods, that's a great clue...

navy dress with brown, copper accessories
Earrings – Stephen Dweck, watch – Shinola, sunglasses – Oliver Peoples
wristlet – Maison Martin Margiela,  sandals – Ioannis

A  beautiful rust, yellow, and palest wheat are the strengths here. If you wear navy because of social pressures like a work dress code, but you find warmer colors more flattering, this would be the choice for you.

navy and white outfit with gold, amber accessories
Citrine and diamond earrings – Frederic Sage, watch – Shinola
clutch bag – Jess Rizzuti, sunglasses – Versace,  espadrilles – La Corde Blanche

Ah, here's where my heart and my eye always land - cool silvery tones. Note how the face of the watch catches the very soft bluish green shown in the middle of the scarf. You could certainly also find accessories with a touch of red, too. Don't miss the graphic stripe design on the sandals that's so compatible with the graphics of the scarf...

navy dress with silver and grey accessories
Earrings – Alexis Bittar, watchBurberry, shoulder bag – Desti Saint Handbags, 
sunglasses – Oliver Peoples, sandals – Manolo Blahnik

Ah, you people who love green know who you are! The warm green here is so perfect with navy, and the green accessories are so much fun to find.

navy and white outfit with green accessories
Emerald silk earringsDorus Mhor, watch – Guess, tote bag – Marni
sunglasses – RayBan, green espadrilles – Manebi

And of course, RED. Red with navy is so classic, so flattering, and so easy to pull together. If you look at this page and immediately see things that call out to you, the scarf choice is simple.

navy dress with red accessories
Square agate earrings – Caipora Jewellery, watch – Timex, red leather tote bag – Gulnaz
sunglasses – Marc by Marc Jacobs, sandals – Love & Liberty

This scarf is the most subtle to go with navy - it's a melange of a dozen shades of blue, with a touch of lavender. Pairing deep lapis with navy is a brave and beautiful way to dress up your neutrals.

navy and white outfit with bright cobalt blue accessories
Lapis scarab earrings – Aurelie Biederman, watch - Skagen, sunglasses – Vivienne Westwood Anglomania,
 tote – Lauren Ralph Lauren, espadrilles – La Corde Blanche

Of course, these kinds of guidelines work for all sorts of scarves - not just Hermes. But any time you're considering an accessory purchase, give some thought to other clothing items and accessories that you already own that will work with your new item to create happy accessory families in your wardrobe. These groupings give you a lot of versatility without having to work too hard to get dressed every day!




  1. Wow, you pulled some stunning ensembles together. I am a huge fan of simple, tailored clothes. They always make me feel my most confident, and they do great things for beautiful scarves.

  2. I have this lovely scarf in the black, white, silvery version and love it. It's a scarf that Hermes has kept available for several years now

  3. Love the silver and red ensembles...

  4. Very inspiring. Thanks. I was immediately drawn to the brown and mustard options. So warm and polished. Lovely.

  5. I'm amazed at all the directions you think to go after starting with the basic neutral outfit. I have worked at building a core of navy this fall. Perhaps it is time to pull out some more of my colored accessories and see what else works together.

  6. Beautiful! Love the idea of doing accessories in color families. I'd be interested in seeing the color families you'd choose to wear with olive and brown neutrals if you do a series of these.

  7. Good morning, Of course my eye goes right to the brown and warm scarves. But you really hit it out of the park for all of these ensembles especially the shoes. Espadrilles with ankle ties are on my list now.

    Deb from Vancouver

  8. Beautiful combinations! Navy and brown is a combination I am working on developing, so that one really caught my eye. The idea of making little families of accessories is a great concept.....those simple classic clothes can go so many ways with the right accessories and when the accessories reinforce each other, they accomplish so much more. Mary P

  9. Love the cobalt -- and the red, of course!

  10. Love the navy and silver!
    I want to tell you how much I enjoy your posts. Everyday you come up with the most wonderful outfits
    Thank you!

  11. Beautiful accessories there, just beautiful (and the Hugo dress is a treat too). I wouldn't wear a Hermes scarf (not my style, but I'd certainly wear navy and most of the colour combos you feature above.

    I have a lot of deep blue in my wardrobe (a lot!) and I tend to wear it mainly with green (grass or jade), dark purple, black (or black and white).

  12. These are absolutely heavenly combinations!! As I age, I do find navy a softer, dark neutral than black, although I still wear lots of black. Inès de la Fressange swears by navy. Who can argue with one of the chicest women in the world? As you know, neutrals come in warm and cool tones. I look for a warm-toned navy and then pair it with brown, taupe, red, yellow, teal, green, etc., etc., and so forth. You've clearly done all the work for me here. So lovely!

    Cheers, my dear, M-T

  13. The feather scarf from Crimson Cashmere in Paris is now available on-line: http://www.crimson-cashmere.com/en/online-shop/women/scarves/scarf-colored-feathers

  14. I do love that silver myself. And that dress is beautiful.

  15. Wonderful alternatives to the cliche pairings! I would never have thought of putting brown with navy but you make it look so right and so sophisticated. I'm entranced by these combinations - nourishing food for thought.

  16. This post comes along at such a great time for me. My handbag is due for replacing and I have been putting it off to consider the accent colors I want to wear in the coming year. I can picture what I want to achieve better now and let go of what doesn't fit. Happy New Year Janice!

  17. Hello. Just wondering what your advice is regarding purchasing Hermes scarves? I would like to buy myself some finally and am thinking of 3 but the choice is overwhelming. What should I do? Maryanne

    1. Check back into my archives, as I've done a couple of posts about choosing scarves. But in a nutshell, try to envision EXACTLY how you would wear a certain scarf - what clothes, what jewelry etc. Make sure you love the entire ensemble. And make sure that the scarf has "whappage" - that immediate love that you just can't deny. That's most important - if you have that, no matter what you wear, it will be lovely because you will adore what you're wearing.