The January Blues

Forget Black Friday, that was soo last year. I am calling this month Blue January – and not for the reasons you might think. The sales are in full swing, bank balances are running on empty and the weather isn’t really living up to its potential so all those lovely hats and gloves are a bit redundant. This new year needs something fresh.

A fabulous alternative to the black ankle boot - reduced to £62.99 at Aldo

A fabulous alternative to the black ankle boot – reduced to £62.99 at Aldo

I started my training as a stylist with colour analysis which wasn’t something I had given much thought. Black was slimming and most widely available (pun unintended) so invariably I had a wardrobe full of black. Who doesn’t? Well men don’t actually, which is interesting in itself. My female friends are in far better shape generally than their male counterparts but you don’t often hear a bloke asking if a pair of trousers comes in black “as they’re more flattering”. I think the answer is they care less. Anyway, having been told I was a ‘Summer’ (rough translation: cool and muted shades) the one awful truth was that black had never been and would never be my colour. Even if I dyed my hair black and wore dark coloured contact lenses. In the end it comes down to skin tone you see. There were tears. Well, you try sitting exhausted after a sleepless night and a Giardia diagnosis, scrubbed of your make-up in a roomful of strangers. It’s no picnic believe me. It was a turning point though.

Navy with black - once one of the biggest style crimes

Navy with black – once one of the biggest style crimes

I haven’t worn navy since I last wore my school uniform. I don’t dislike navy it has simply never occurred to me to wear it and I am convinced this is because I wore it day in day out from the age of seven to sixteen. My uniform was actually rather nice as uniforms at all girls’ schools go – kilt, white blouse and v-neck jumper – but there wasn’t much room for customising. My friend Sara came up with the innovative short socks over tights with clumpy shoes combo but they soon put a stop to that. Then there was the tried and tested rolling up of the skirt to make it mini (fyi this doesn’t work brilliantly with a kilt) but bar the electric blue mascara (Sara again) and frosted lipstick (me) that was about it. So yes, I think we can safely say by the time I entered the sixth form I was well and truly over navy.

So not a school jumper - reduced to £75 at Reiss

So not a school jumper – reduced to £75 at Reiss

But now here we are and Navy Is Having A Moment. It hasn’t been this available for years and the whiff of Sloane ranger it once had (think Lady Di) has given way to a hint of Home Counties (more Kate Moss at the weekend). And what’s a girl to do when you can buy all your staples in a colour other than black which just happens to be far more flattering on your face than black and although it is not black it is still as smart and stylish and streamlined as black and goes with almost as many other colours as black. And and… did I mention it isn’t black?

…but this is – Mila Kunis

This is not what I mean by navy having a moment by the way


I haven’t gone cold turkey on the black, far from it, but my boyfriend did express surprise last weekend when I put on a black dress for the theatre. There are some things that your wardrobe would feel bereft without and as with black trousers and black stilettos, it is quite possible that a working female living in London would be arrested if she were found to be without at least (ahem) three LBDs.

Dress reduced to £49 at French Connection

Dress reduced to £49 at French Connection

This January snap up the navy pieces from the sale rails; it’s classic, classy and apparently you can even wear black with it this time around. There are rules of course – just look what Kate Middleton has done to her navy get-up by adding those awful wedges. Look at Mila Kunis making a fairly ordinary trouser suit actually look cool by adding the colour pop stilettos and you start to see my point.

Trench coat £245 at Reiss

Trench coat £245 at Reiss

And if that doesn’t convince you, did you know that there is a shade of navy for everyone and that includes those ‘Winters’ who are lucky enough to look good in black? I know, nobody said life was fair. Happy New Year Everyone!

Dress reduced to £75 at Hobbs

Dress reduced to £75 at Hobbs

About aftercarrie

I help people refine their wardrobe to suit their shape, colouring and lifestyle. I am a style consultant, personal shopper and colour analyst working in London. Be the loveliest possible you. My first book SHOPPED was released on 5th July 2016 (September Publishing).
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