Navy Always Looks Expensive—8 Colours to Wear it With This Autumn

Anyone who knows me knows that 90% of my clothing, shoes and accessories are noir. Call me unoriginal, but I simply struggle to beat the versatility that black pieces offer. Plus, it's incredibly classic—history has shown that this shade doesn't date. But even I can admit that there are times when an all-black outfit feels a little heavy.

Enter navy. Almost as versatile but significantly softer, navy is a chic alternative to black. Maybe it's the summer and you don't want your clothes to become a heat magnet, or it's autumn and you're craving a lighter palette to combat those cold weather blues. Navy ticks these boxes and more, offering up an expensive-looking solution to your sartorial fix.

That being said, while every colour works equally well with black, certain hues complement navy better than others. After tuning into how our favourite influencers have been styling navy, eight pairings in particular stood out. There's no exact science; if it goes, it goes. But I think you'll agree that for whatever reason, each of the following combinations is a match made in heaven...

1. Camel


(Image credit: @modestmira_)

Style Notes: Camel looks expensive, navy looks expensive, so it makes sense that the two would work so well together. You could also reverse Mira's look—have a camel knit on top and navy tailored trousers on the bottom.

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2. Olive Green


(Image credit: @theannaedit)

Style Notes: Yes, navy works great with neutrals, but don't be afraid to experiment with brighter colours. I love how this olive green shade lifts the dark navy, especially with the blue denim in the mix.

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3. Grey


(Image credit: @frannfyne)

Style Notes: Grey is a relatively modern shade, particularly variations with cool undertones, giving the timeless navy a very 2023 spin.

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4. Reddish Brown


(Image credit: @greceghanem)

Style Notes: Rich reddish browns look divine with navy, as you can see from Grece's ensemble. Just so good.

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5. Yellow


(Image credit: @lizzyhadfield)

Style Notes: Those drawn to brighter hues, consider layering a yellow knit under your navy outerwear. The sleeves will peek out and bring some added interest to the look.

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6. Black


(Image credit: @femmeblk)

Style Notes: Forget what you've heard—black and navy can in fact be worn together. There are no rules in fashion, and it appears the style set has decided to fully embrace this controversial combo.

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7. Off-White


(Image credit: @louisahatt)

Style Notes: On brighter autumn days, pull out those cream and off-white pieces in your wardrobe to refresh your navy staples. This nautical colour palette works whatever the season.

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8. Light Blue


(Image credit: @deborabrosa)

Style Notes: When in doubt, pair your blues together. The contrast between a light cerulean and a deep navy is always chic.

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Next Up: Sorry Barbiecore, These Colour Trends Are Set to Dominate the Rest of 2023

Freelance Fashion Editor

Bébhinn Campbell is an Edinburgh-based fashion and lifestyle writer. After receiving an Audrey Hepburn box set for her 10th birthday and subsequently swooning over the actor’s wardrobe, Bébhinn felt pretty confident she wanted a career that involved clothes. She started her first blog at age 14—the title was a pun, but we’ll leave it at that—and went on to intern at print and digital publications in Berlin and London, including Dazed & Confused and Indie magazine

A job at a fashion startup took Bébhinn from Ireland to Scotland in 2019, where she now works as a freelance journalist and copywriter covering everything from travel and interiors to styling advice. As a contributor for Who What Wear, Bébhinn always keeps her eyes peeled for emerging trends and looks worth writing about. She prides herself on her ability to cut through the noise and identify solid investment buys, exciting new brands and updated takes on classic designs. 

While she still loves Audrey Hepburn films, these days, Bébhinn’s sartorial taste sits closer to Annie Hall’s and Alexa Chung’s. In her spare time, she’s likely cooing over cute dogs on rescue websites, playing folk songs on her guitar and browsing bookshops for new additions to her already-overpacked shelves.