Saturday, November 28, 2015

Choosing an Accent Color for Navy

Navy is always so elegant... These four pieces have so much potential!


Navy trousers – Austin Reed; turtleneck – J. Crew;
 jeans – Tommy Hilfiger; lambswool crewneck - Uniqlo

The olive accent keeps re-appearing! I really like using it as a secondary neutral with navy - it warms it up and gives it a rich glow. And of course, grey and navy were born to go together...

And I must share something sort of inexplicable that I keep running into: there are MEN'S scarves, and WOMEN'S scarves. Why, in all the worlds, would this be? But please be advised - if you're looking for a scarf in a plaid, paisley, or timeless menswear pattern, look in the men's department. They are usually less expensive too, which REALLY hacks me off.... sigh...

 
Olive vestL.L.Bean; earrings Heidi Daus; olive mittens – J. Crew; marled 
infinity scarf – Renee’s Accessories; olive boots – Vince Camuto; star stud
 earrings – Adriana de Gadea; grey fleece vest – Lands’ End; plaid scarf –
 Nordstrom; gloves – C by Bloomingdale’s; grey suede boots – Tod’s

You knew there would, eventually, be a red vest in here somewhere, right?

Another tip for anyone trying to replicate these ideas: sometimes, you are just NOT going to find everything in the same colors, or colors close enough to wear together. Don't force it - that will just end up looking wrong. I sort of knew all along that I had very little chance of finding purple boots or shoes of any sort that would work with this vest. But one can ALWAYS revert back to the core neutral - these waterproof navy boots aren't a compromise in any way. And the gloves turned out the same way; navy were by far the most attractive choice.

Never settle for 2nd best....
 
Red vest – J. Crew; red carnelian earrings – Lucky Brand; plaid scarf – J. Crew;
 red gloves – Portolano; penny loafers - G.H.Bass and Co.; purple earrings –
Dana Buchman; purple vest – The North Face; paisley scarf – Charming Charlie
navy gloves – Halogen; rain boots – Sam Edelman

The muted colors were such fun - the maroon works beautifully here, too! And I couldn't resist that fuzzy vest... And note, both of these scarves are for men. Just bizarre, that...

 
Gold fleece vest – J. Crew; drop earrings – Alexis Bittar; cashmere-lined leather 
gloves – Lord & Taylor; navy plaid scarf – Begg & Co., suede boots – Steve 
Madden; cluster stone earrings – The Limited; dark berry vest – Eddie Bauer;  
plaid scarf – Brooks Brothers; maroon mittens – Me to We; maroon boots
 – Toms

I was able to keep the off-white accent as one of the "soft" accents, with just a chance of scarf. That is a color that will probably go with any neutral you can imagine, I suspect.

And I loved the idea of mixing shades of blue. I don't see people do it very often, and it looks pretty nice, if I do say so myself!
 
Sand vest – J. Crew; abalone earrings – Kate Spade; plaid scarf - Topshop
 ivory gloves – Portolano; chalk loafers – Coach; blue quartz earrings – Ippolita
blue vest – Lands’ End; paisley jacquard scarf – Chico’s; tweed wristlets – Pistil
slip-on sneakers - Vince

Tomorrow, olive green is the neutral color! THAT will keep me busy...

love,
Janice

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17 comments:

  1. Sometimes I feel frustrated that the two neutrals that are the most flattering for my olive "sallow yellow" skin - black and navy- are almost too similar and also don't always play well together. On the plus side a lot of these accent colours go equally well with either navy or black. Hmm food for thought.

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    1. I wear navy and black together quite often, usually with white. I think it looks great, in a subtle, continental way. Years ago a fellow graduate student, raised in Paris and lived for a decade in Berlin, introduced me to this look. Just keep things in large color blocks (no navy socks with black pants and shoes, that does look like a mistake usually) or find a pattern with navy & black - they do exist, I promise!

      I have started moving away from navy & black, since green & grey is more flattering to my skin these days. But I spent nearly 15 years in the navy & black mode. Plus, nearly any color that looks good with navy looks good with black, as you mentioned.

      Examples still in rotation: navy cardigan, white top, black pants; black top and dark denim jeans; black skirt, navy shell, black & white (mostly black) patterned blazer; navy blouse, black pants, silvery-grey cardigan. And I've always used black purse and shoes with navy clothes.

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  2. Terrific looks that pull together your basic, capsule wardrobe pieces. I'm basically a neutrals type of girl, so could happily live in some of these.

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  3. I love the grey and olive sets, but the gold also looks great with the navy. I wear mostly neutrals and this has gotten me thinking about my own accessories. I have never really thought about accessory sets. But, when I think about it, most accessories I have that have color in them have some shade of green. Jewelry pieces that are not just silver and gold have green, I have some shade of green in most of my scarves, I have an olive coat and I even have a deep rosemary colored purse that goes with almost every outfit I wear this time of year...The different greens are all over the map, but I am going to try to group them into sets and see what I come up with. I also never really thought about considering things like vests or cardigans as accessories, but when you are working with a core neutral wardrobe, 1 vest or cardigan in an accent color can go a long way if you have other accessories with that color....I am learning so much from you and it is helping me get so much more out of my wardrobe. I think it will make me a smarter shopper also. Thanks Janice, great posts.

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  4. The power of the neutral and the power of the accessory family (which can include vests and cardigans and lots of other interesting things) and the power of Janice! Carol S
    PS and the power of patterns in my wardrobe - I love this power too.

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  5. I have a core of black, brown, gray and navy and all my accessories seem to play along rather nicely. Never thought about pairing olive with navy. I love your illustrations. They always give me new ideas with what I already own.

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  6. From Margie in Toronto - Love the red of course! But I have recently started pairing different shades of blue with navy and was surprised at how much the other blues "pop". I've used men's scarves for years now and also find that things like simple black umbrellas, a cross body tote sort of bag, mitts if you can find a small, and grooming kits such as shoeshine necessities are all cheaper in the men's dept. - very annoying!

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  7. I ran onto the men's scarf phenomenon yesterday at Lands' End while looking for a particular plaid. There it was in the men's department. I have noticed that men's scarves tend to be narrower and, sometimes, longer than women's - not a deal breaker, but something to be aware of.

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  9. Love love love this post - my new neutrals are navy and gray (transitioning away from black, at least on top, which is not as flattering as it used to be) and I am delighted by the difference in the accessories between the posts. So many great ideas and wonderful inspirations! Thank you Janice!!

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  10. Love navy and that's where my inner pattern-freak springs forth; I accent it with silk printed scarves, Indian paisley wool shawls, Italian multi-stripes, you name it. I don't choose a solid with navy very much but I'm crazy about navy and black.

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  11. This series is very inspiring. How about a lighter neutral, such as camel, for those of us who can't (or choose not to) wear dark colors.

    Gwendolynn

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  12. I enjoyed these even though these are not combinations of garments I'd ever wear. I have the sort of budget that means one outer garment for each temperature -- and the size closet that means two scarves (one for cool weather and one for cold weather). It would never occur to me to match my coats to any of the rest of my clothes, the coat covers them up and, when I get where I'm going, comes off. But in a way that makes these posts more fun., as I imagine a life in which I have many outdoor combinations and spend any time at all in a functional quilted vest (I have one for day wear, but that's different).

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  13. I enjoyed these even though these are not combinations of garments I'd ever wear. I have the sort of budget that means one outer garment for each temperature -- and the size closet that means two scarves (one for cool weather and one for cold weather). It would never occur to me to match my coats to any of the rest of my clothes, the coat covers them up and, when I get where I'm going, comes off. But in a way that makes these posts more fun., as I imagine a life in which I have many outdoor combinations and spend any time at all in a functional quilted vest (I have one for day wear, but that's different).

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  14. Hi Janice, Could you do a variation on this theme of accents, where people want to incorporate a colour that they love, but isn't flattering enough to want to wear as a solid coloured top? Much appreciated, Jazz

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  15. Hi Janice, A year late for this post, but just wanted to say that your lineup of vests inspired me today on a thrift store trip. I found one in raspberry, in a brushed polyester that feels like something nicer than "polyester." And it goes with my favourite plaid shirt (as you said somewhere else). So much fun to try things I would never have looked at before!

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