There are two things you can count on from fashion this time of year.  The first is major sales.  Seriously, if you aren’t taking advantage of them you are missing out.  I don’t work much with clients in January.  Few are thinking about clothes, they’ve already stocked up on winter fashion and are just hunkering down until spring.  However, after a client of mine hit the stores this weekend, due to a fashion emergency, after looking at how much money she saved on what she bought she turned to me and said, “Why have we never gone shopping in January before?”  This is the time of year when stores are basically begging you to take their leftovers off their hands so they can stock up on spring and summer.  Even if you don’t get a ton of wear from the sale items you buy now, you can always save them for next fall.  This is what my mother, the biggest bargain shopper on the planet, does every year.  She explains it in this video.

The second thing you can count on this time of year is navy being in the stores.  Navy is, undoubtedly, the most popular resort/early spring color and it typically hits retail in January.   If you love navy this is when you want to buy it, and you don’t want to wait.  Despite the versatility and year-round flexibility, the color usually has a very short shelf life in stores.  If you don’t buy navy now there is a good chance that you will miss the window and not see much of it again until this time next year.   Sure, there may be dribs and drabs of it here and there as the year carries on, but definitely not at this level.

Yet, the urgency to buy navy isn’t just about the fact that it’s big in the stores right now, it’s also because navy is such an amazing color.  Think of it as black’s friendlier sister.  It is just as wearable as black, but better.  Why?  Well here are a few reasons.

Navy is a universal color  Unlike black, just about every human being on the planet looks good in navy.  If navy doens’t flatter you, you are the exception, not the norm.  Navy is what is called a universal color, meaning that all skin tones can look good in it.  You can’t say that about black, unfortunately.

Navy is a year round color Navy can be worn all year round.  It’s gorgeous in cashmere, heavy flannel while also being beautiful in cotton and lightweight summery fabrics.  Most people stray from black in the hot weather, but not navy.

Navy can be super casual and super formal Navy in a gown?  Gorgeous!  Navy in a pair of cotton shorts?  Equally gorgeous!  Few colors have the ability to look good in super formal pieces and super casual ones at the same time.  The richness of navy is not lost no matter what the silhouette or fabrication is.

Navy can match any style No matter what your style is, be it sleek, preppy, boho, casual, relaxed or athletic, navy works.  It’s a very non-specific neutral that lends itself well to a ton of different looks.

Navy matches everything Navy is just like black in this regard, but often better, when combined with other colors.  If you’re bored with your black, get to the stores right now and stock up on some navy.  Your wardrobe may feel refreshed with just this subtle tweak.

How to wear navy

To give you a little inspiration, here are five outfits using navy pieces to show how versatile this color can be.

Outfit #1

How to wear navy

In this first outfit, I am using this patterned knit dress from Boden.  A dress like this can be treated like a solid.  Don’t limit the function of a dress like this,  add different colors to it to change it up.  Take how I am styling it here, for example.  I added these bright blue shoes from Ann Taylor, that a client of mine just bought and are beautiful.  Next, this burgundy trench from Modcloth works so beautifully with the dress.  For a finish, I added this blue scarf from Norstrom and yellow MICHAEL Michael Kors handbag and hoop earrings from Stella & Dot.  If I owned this dress I would play with it to see all the different ways I could wear it.  It’s quite limitless.

Outfit #2

How to wear navy

For this outfit, I created an edgier casual look using this double cloth moto jacket from J. Crew.  To it, I added an oversized chambray shirt from Madewell and these olive distressed jeans from Tinsel.  When I was putting this outfit together, I loved the idea of popping the look with orange and used this Coach bag.  Then, as luck would find it, I discovered these booties from Anthropologie.  Lastly, I filled in the neck with this bib from Bauble Bar.

Outfit #3

How to wear navy

As I mentioned earlier, navy has a versatility to it that it can be used to create a variety of different styles.  In this outfit navy is used in a preppier way with this J. Crew cable sweater and a pair of skinny khaki jeans from Boden.  To bring in some color, because all colors work beautifully with navy, I added these peach Modcloth flats and mint earrings from Max & Chloe.  Tying the colors together, I used this scarf from Nordstrom and finished the outfit with a buff bag from Banana Republic and white bracelet from Stella & Dot.  In this outfit the navy looks fresh and springy.

Outfit #4

How to Wear Navy

I love this navy printed tunic top from Modcloth for an easy spring look, especially when paired with some boyfriend jeans.  To keep it easy, I styled this look with a pair of gold flats from Anthropologie, a long tassel necklace from Bauble Bar and, for a splash, a pink bag from Hobo.  Don’t like pink?  Add any colorful handbag color you want.

Outfit #5

How to Wear Navy

For the last outfit I created a super casual look using these navy pants from Athleta.  To give these pants some easy polish, I layered this topper piece from the Gap over a basic long sleeve white t-shirt and styled the look with a pair of navy booties, an orange necklace and tan bag from Furla.