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What Color Sweater Pairs With a Navy Dress?

by Jennifer Blair

There's something classic and timeless about a navy dress that makes it a year- round staple for many wardrobes. Throwing a sweater over your dress is an easy way to stay warm in colder months -- and spice up the look of your outfit. Navy is technically a cool shade because it falls within the blue color family, but it functions as a neutral when it comes to fashion. That means you can pair a navy dress with sweaters in a wide range of colors and create a variety of stylish outfits without any worries about clashing.

Monochromatic, Sort of

A sweater in virtually any shade of blue complements navy and allows you to play with color in a subtle way. Throw a sky or robin’s egg blue cardigan over your dress to lighten up your look and bring the focus to your face. Go for a deeper shade, such as cornflower or a blue-gray hue, for added interest. Or make a statement with a cardigan in a bright blue, such as turquoise, cobalt or royal blue.

Pick Another Neutral

Create an especially low-key, basic look by pairing your dress with a sweater in another neutral color. In the spring and summer, wear your dress with a light neutral. A crisp white cardigan over a navy dress conveys a fresh, nautical-inspired vibe, while an ivory, cream or beige sweater can give your dress a softer feel. In the fall and winter, pair a navy dress with a sweater in a dark neutral, such as charcoal or chocolate brown. It used to be considered a fashion faux pas to pair navy and black, but a black cardigan over a navy dress actually works well for a modern look. Sweaters in mid-tone neutrals, such as gray and tan, complement a navy dress year-round.

Pretty Pastels

A sweater in a light color creates a striking contrast against the backdrop of a navy dress. Pastel shades can help transition your dress from fall and winter to warmer weather months. Pull on a butter yellow cardigan over your dress, for example, or pair it with a soft baby pink V-neck sweater. Lilac and mint sweaters are appealing, too. For the most eye-catching look, though, go with a peach sweater – because blue is opposite orange on the color wheel, navy and peach create a natural contrast that’s sure to get you noticed.

Bright and Bold

Counteract neutral navy with a bold-colored sweater. A bright red or tangerine cardigan over a simple navy sheath is a striking contemporary look. Or experiment with vivid kelly green, lemon yellow or royal purple sweaters to give your dress more personality. Branch out in fun, modern colors -- like lime green or fuchsia -- if your navy dress seems a little drab.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images