On Color: Are there any rules anymore?

ny mag navy and black


There was apparently a time when black and brown couldn’t be worn together, but that’s ancient history.  The past two years, red and pink were everywhere together, longtime feuding members of the same color family that were blissfully united.  And people have been breaking the “no white after labor day” rule for a while, with white denim now being stocked year round and “winter white” becoming a ubiquitous phrase on clothing tags and fashion blogs.  All of those so-called rules of fashion never seemed to bother me when broken–on the contrary, I love pairing certain shades of brown with black, and the red and pink color-blocking was one of my favorite trends last year.

Like brown and black, navy and black have long been seen as parallel color palettes that cannot coexist.  You had to have your navy pieces and your black pieces, and this resulted in me falling so head-over-heels with navy, as it was less harsh on my pale skin and pervasive in prep culture (I also went through a significant nautical phase).  Navy became my black, the staple that so many woman turn to without second thought.  And because navy and black couldn’t be worn together, I became that strange New Yorker who didn’t have a closet full of the latter.

Well, that changed.  As we head into September and Fashion Week, black and blue (particularly cobalt blue) is taking a stand–rather, they took a stand on the runways last fall and the look has finally trickled its way into the mainstream.  Last year the concept seemed downright rebellious to me.  One year later, as I’m seeing black and blue stripes in every store, it doesn’t really seem all that rebellious.  And I’m wondering: Are there any more color rules?  Should I care?

How strange it is to try on an outfit I previously wouldn’t wear because of supposed clashing, and not see a clash at all.  We all like to fancy ourselves independent thinkers; alas, I’m apparently just as susceptible to “trends” and desensitization as the next girl.  Let the black and blue (and red and pink, and black and brown, and white and winter) pairing commence.

Photo courtesy of NY Mag.


  1. […] (PS–This is actually a great way to try the navy and black trend). […]

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