Springtime Blues

J.Crew Schoolboy blazer

“Where is Spring??” seems to be the rallying cry amongst Northern Hemisphere style bloggers, and while I truly can’t complain about the weather here, even for Southern California le printemps seems to be taking its time arriving. Downright chilly mornings and cool afternoons predominate, yet needed seasonal rain is playing coy. Still, the days are longer, gardens are waking up and blooming, and a change is in the air. And I’m ready for it!

 Business Casual blazer

Navy feels a bit fresher than black for Spring, and I facetiously refer to this outfit as my Business Casual Navy Suit. It’s only been in recent seasons that I’ve really warmed up to navy. Growing up I’d come to associate this color with a very staid, conservative style of dress. Think Thurston Howell III, or my great-grandmother’s navy dresses, or school uniforms. And there were so many rules about wearing navy: preferably with navy shoes only, never with black, with brown only for very casual outfits….and on and on. But navy has shaken off those shackles, plays well with other colors and looks very chic when paired with black. And for those of us who build our capsule wardrobes around neutrals, navy is more flattering against many complexions than black, yet retains all of the versatility.

Arche Garok booties

I’ve come to consider navy my wardrobe’s new BFF!

Jacket: J.Crew “Schoolboy” blazer.

Scarf: Nordstrom’s Cashmere Blend Eyelash Wrap.

Tee: Saint James

Jeans: NYDJ Jade Leggings 

Booties: Arche Garok Bootie. These are walk-all-day c0mfortable, the nubuck resists scuffs and water, and they wear like iron!

Bracelets: Stella and Dot here and here.

Watch: Michael Kors.

Navy blazer with denim

How do you feel about navy?
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18 Responses to “Springtime Blues”

  1. Eleanorjane

    I love the right navy – some are too dark and cold for me. I think a reasonably bright navy/ midnight blue/ dark blue shade suits my dark hair and pale skin. In fact, I have to work hard not to automatically buy everything in blue.

  2. Judy

    I just bought a J Crew navy pant suit for job interviews, all black just looks deadly on me and I think on most of us “a certain age”. I will brighten it up with colored shoes or something, still working out the accessories. But the suit is fab in the Super 120s all season wool, and I bought the birds and flowers J Crew linen tee you recommended to go with it, and it looks great!

  3. Marsha Calhoun

    I just recently branched out again to navy, first with a skirt whose hemline I couldn’t resist, and then, serendipitously, with one of the only-two-pair-in-this-world of a favorite shoe that were available in my size – one in navy, one in grey. As a traditionally black-black-black shoe/purse/coat person (“It’s so much easier,” I would claim), I feel very adventurous now, and am finding that I can finally pair blue and brown together without being reminded of my old high school uniform. And as you have pointed out elsewhere, blue and black are also possible.

  4. Ellie

    I totally agree about the navy! After years (decades?) of disdain, I suddenly find it the most useful staple. It does everything black does, but with a bit less gloom, doom and severity. And a bit more complexion flattery in the pasty Northern winter…

  5. Anne

    I, too, love navy! The older I get, the more flattering I think navy is when compared to black. It goes with almost anything. My favorite combination right now is navy, orange and gray. The navy seems to tone down the orange and and makes it look better with my aging skin. But I can think of very few colors that aren’t enhanced by navy. Now if only shoe and handbag designers would catch on…

  6. Miss T

    For me, a lot of it has to do with the name of that color: “navy”. When I think of “navy”, not much comes to mind, but when I think of “deep blue”, or “midnight blue”, I am more inclined to be creative about wearing it. I also think that the hue range for “navy” is fairly limited — usually a blackish blue — very dark, very drab. Think naval uniforms. But there are many shades of deep, dark blue that have considerably more life to them that some people call “navy”, but are not; those are what I gravitate toward. Another way of looking at it is that true navy is the “neutral version” of blue, but other dark, deep blues can be considered the accent versions or “colors” of blue.

    • Miss T

      I would also add that the most stunning dress I own is in dark blue (navy?) velvet. I also have a trench coat that is black with navy lapels. The juxtaposition of the navy against the black actually brightens the blue, and cancels out the darkness of it. It’s also a stunning combination.

  7. Brianna

    I love navy recently too! I’m trying to break out of wearing my standard black, white, and beige. Navy is a gentle transition color for me. I love your jacket!

  8. sulky kitten

    Love this outfit on you. I like navy and am looking at it as an alternative to my usual black. I’m blonde and blue-eyed, so it might be less harsh and more flattering than black.

  9. BC

    I love navy! I’m fair with blue eyes and I feel it looks really well on me- but I tend to wear it mostly in spring and summer, even though it’s dark, it can work in winter!

    I love your look but I have a question, though, does ANYONE have a halfway-reasonably priced alternative to the J. Crew schoolboy?? I DESPERATELY want one, but I just can’t spend 200 bucks on a blazer. The navy never goes on sale, and I’ve managed to pick up a bright blue one on markdown but it’s just not as versatile. Is the factory version any good?

  10. Mrs.M in MI

    Different generation, but navy long carried negative connotations for me, too… mostly of itchy Polly Flinders church dresses and my mom’s wardrobe in the early 90’s.

    A few years ago my ultra-preppy husband got me into navy and I find it more flattering to my fair complexion and more versatile than black. Black seems to suck the life from other colors but navy enhances and complements them.

  11. mette

    I´ve owned one skirt suit, a real deep dark blue/ almost black, which was the only blue, that I have ever liked.
    Mid-blue jeans, yes – but some shade of denim works for everyone.
    For me, navy is a very difficult color. For you, just right.

  12. Spashionista (Alicia)

    I love, love, love navy. I, too, think it gives fairer complexions a lift where black can be harsh and draining. Navy and camel are one of my favorite neutral mix combos.

    Spashionista (Alicia)

  13. Shaye

    I used to hate navy and refused to wear it – in fact, my whole wardrobe was black, with dark denim and a few pops of burgundy or magenta. Then, I started breaking my black-only rule more and more, but still held out against navy. Until one day, I mistakenly tried something on thinking it had black stripes, but they turned out to be navy. I couldn’t believe how much better it looked, especially how blue it made my eyes seem. I didn’t buy that top, but I thought, “uh-oh,” and sure enough, not six months later I was stocking up on navy basics. It can be a hard color in certain items, like pencil skirts and shoes, to avoid looking like a flight attendant. But the search is worth it.