Ever since a 1926 issue of Vogue dubbed Coco Chanel’s black crêpe de chine dress “the frock that all the world will wear”, the little black dress has been the basis for modern women’s cocktail attire. But have you considered wearing navy instead? It’s called the universal color because it’s flattering to every skin tone, a quality that doesn’t apply to black. And as a neutral that can be worn with any style of clothing, navy provides the same type of blank canvas as black for creating different looks based on a variety of accessories.
So as an alternative to the LBD, here are seven navy outfits for this holiday season. Each features one or more pieces from my Holiday Season collection, to add sparkle, color, uniqueness, and elegance to your party attire. Each jewel is guaranteed to make you feel extraordinary! Whether you wear cocktail dresses or trouser suits, I hope these styling tips inspire you.
1. One of my favorite color combinations is navy and emerald. This outfit, based on a simple navy sheath, is adorned with these Emerald, Diamanté & Pearl 1950s Earrings by Schreiner. Measuring 1 7/8” by 1”, these ear clips were designed to frame your face and add elegance to what you’re wearing. I’ve shown a pearl bracelet, but you could wear a tennis bracelet instead, if you have one. An emerald bag adds another punch of the accent color, and black evening sandals complete the look.
2. At 3 ¼” long, these Sapphire Aurora Borealis 1950s Chandelier Earrings by Hattie Carnegie are the only jewels you need to accessorize a navy one-shoulder dress. The iridescence of the stones (due to the aurora borealis coating) creates flashes of color as the earrings move. I’ve added sparkly shoes, so you’ll be glamorous from head to toe, and an elegant (but subdued) evening bag and shawl.
3. This example of an evening suit combines navy silk wide-leg trousers with a fitted velvet blazer and a silver tank top. Add a touch of 1950s glamour with this Diamanté Floral Brooch by Miriam Haskell pinned to the jacket lapel (or shoulder, if you’re wearing a different style). Diamond studs (real or faux) complete the jeweled accessories. You could add sparkly shoes and a chic navy evening bag.
4. The round neck of a silk bias-cut dress is the perfect backdrop for this four-strand, opulent Pearl, Gemstone Bead & Rondelle French 1950s Necklace by Louis Rousselet. The baroque pearls are accented with sapphire, ruby, emerald, and amethyst blown-glass beads and rhinestone rondelles. The array of colors makes this piece extremely versatile. You could wear the matching earrings (which feature a cluster of pearls, gemstone-colored beads, and rondelles) or your own diamond studs.
5. Here’s another navy evening suit embellished with a brooch on the jacket lapel (or shoulder, depending on the style). The richly-colored stones of this intricate Emerald, Sapphire & Golden Topaz 1950s Brooch and Earrings Set by Hattie Carnegie flash with the light. The navy jacket brings out the green in the brooch, so I’ve chosen a green evening bag.
6. Metallic dresses are a current trend. This one in navy jacquard with a gold lamé print requires little embellishment, so I’ve chosen the earrings from this Gold Rhinestone Starfish 1950s Brooch & Earrings Set by Alice Caviness. A simple gold evening bag, navy evening pumps, and a navy shawl complete this original and elegant ensemble.
7. This navy dress has gold and silver brocade, so your accessories could incorporate either color metal. I prefer silver, so I’ve chosen these gorgeous Diamanté Trembler 1950s Earrings by Christian Dior for several reasons. Their flower motif coordinates well with the flowers in the metallic weave of the dress. The earrings frame your face with sparkles but don’t compete with the powerful print of the dress. And the earrings move as you do because of their construction (hence the name trembler). A simple silver bag and navy pumps complete this ensemble. Please click on the link above to see more detailed photos of these extraordinary earrings.