How to Mix Black and Navy

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

 

Outfit Details:
Frances Valentine bow basket tote |  Topshop gingham ruffle skirt | Vince ribbed mock neck tank | Steve Madden block heel sandals  | YSL lipstickChanel sunnies

Diversification is important when planning an outfit. That may mean mixing unexpected color tones, textures, or even pairing high end designer pieces with more affordable pieces to achieve that “put together” look. One style I’ve always particularly admired is the successful pairing of black and navy. You may have been told that this is a fashion “no-no,” but that is simply just untrue! The fact is that black and navy, just like brown and nude, are neutrals; and as their name implies, neutrals can always be mixed and matched. No harm done!

 

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

 

When I was younger, my mom used to tell me that black and navy were “all over the runway” (how very fashion forward of her, right?), so of course, I wanted to give it a try. Inevitably though, someone would be sure to point out my apparent faux pas, and I’d defend myself, but would ultimately feel silly. Over the years, I’ve perfected the art of wearing black and navy together. Here are just a few tips for getting it right:

 

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

 

One || Contrast a print with a solid
Selecting a printed piece, like this navy gingham skirt, provides visual interest, while contrasting that with a solid, like this basic black tank, keeps things from going overboard.

Two || Mix different textures
The idea here is to emphasize the difference in tone between the black and the navy. Definitely beware of tones that are too similar. You’ll want to highlight the fact that you made the conscious decision to wear black and navy together and didn’t just get dressed in the dark. This lightweight cotton blend skirt shows off the navy well, while a much heavier weight ribbed sweater tank is most obviously black.

Three || Add an accent color
To break up the dark and otherwise neutral look, add a bright pop of a fun color. Pairing this bow basket tote with a matching classic red lip gives the overall look some needed dimension.

Four || Keep the rest of the outfit soft
Regarding other accessories, keep it soft and keep them simple. I opted for a these no-frills strappy sandals in a tan nubuck, since a black or navy shoe would have just been too much.

 

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

 

Pro tip: don’t be afraid to mix high-end and lower-end pieces as well. My affordable Topshop skirt works well with this Vince tank – no one would be able to tell the different price points. I’m also wearing Chanel sunnies (my favorites) with more affordable shoes. Make an outfit out of the pieces you have available, and you’ll be sure to create a polished look.

 

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

Style blogger Leigha Gardner, of The Lilac Press, wearing a navy gingham skirt, black tank and a basket tote with a bright red bow (sharing tips on mixing black and navy).

 

Will you try mixing black and navy this spring?
xo -L

The Lilac Press
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3 Comments

  1. April 12, 2017 / 8:49 am

    Such a gorgeous skirt! I love this pattern! <3

  2. April 12, 2017 / 8:53 am

    That skirt is just gorgeous! Love how you styled it!

    Rosy Outlook

    • April 18, 2017 / 6:08 pm

      Thanks so much Kelly! Hope you’re having a great week!