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.
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.
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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.
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