4 Fashionable Shades of Blue

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Navy Blue - A Basic Fashion Color

A Leroy Nguyen model wears a navy blue dress at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia for Fall 2014. Mark Nolan/Getty Images

True navy blue is the darkest shade of blue, so dark, in fact, that Navy blue can look almost black. It's sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a black garment and a navy blue garment in low light. Originally, the term "navy blue" developed because this dark shade of blue was the color of the uniforms of British naval officers.

Navy blue makes for a winning fashion color for several reasons:

  • It's one of the fashion neutral colors. That means it can be worn with any other color, so it's a very handy color for mix-and-match purposes. Navy blue jackets or trousers are good examples of wardrobe staples that mix well with other separates.
  • Navy blue is a slimming color because it's dark. That's the reason, navy blue is one of the top colors to use when creating a monochromatic fashion look.
  • Navy blue reads as a professional, businesslike color, when it's the hue of a typical business garment, such as a jacket or a tailored dress. That makes it one of the top power colors for women and, thus, a good color for petites to wear to work.
  • Navy isn't as harsh in tone as black, and so it's a better choice for women who want to wear a dark neutral color, but don't look good in black because wearing black washes them out.
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Dark Blue - A Basic Color for Fashion

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge departs New-Zealand
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wears a dark blue dress as she and Prince William depart from New Zealand on the way to Australia in April 2014. Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Dark blue's a basic color in fashion, one that every woman who owns a pair of dark-wash jeans has in her closet. Although occasionally dark blue is tagged as "navy blue," there is a difference: dark blue is a lighter shade of blue than navy is, but dark blue isn't so dark that it could possibly be confused with black as navy blue sometimes is.

Dark blue works well for both casual occasions and business attire. It's a very good shade of blue to chose for jeans for petite women because it's more slimming than light blue denim. Business-wise, a woman wearing dark blue projects a professional image.

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Cobalt Blue - A Power Color in Fashion

Amy Adams cobalt blue gown
Petite actress Amy Adams wears a cobalt blue gown on the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild in January 2014. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Cobalt blue, sometimes called electric blue, reads as a power color in fashion, and, of course, it's a stand-out on the red carpet, as demonstrated by Amy Adams in her cobalt blue gown pictured here. With its eye-catching properties, cobalt blue is a good color for a woman to wear when she wants to be noticed, whether it's at work, at an event, or at any social occasion. According to Harper's Bazaar, this hue is "assertively chic" and "makes a bold statement but still looks professional."

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Turquoise Blue - A Universally Flattering Color in Fashion

Fan Bingbing in turquoise blue gown
Fan Bingbing wears a turquoise blue gown on the red carpet at the 2014 Bejing International Film Festival. Feng Li/Getty Images

Turquoise blue, which takes its color from turquoise stone, the semiprecious gemstone, has the distinction of being a universally flattering color for women to wear. No matter what color a woman's hair and complexion, she can wear turquoise blue successfully. Turquoise blue garments, such as tops, dresses, and jackets, add some brightness to a woman's wardrobe, and they're typically worn during the spring or summer seasons.

Turquoise jewelry has remained popular, especially Western turquoise jewelry, for decades. Belt buckles for Western belts as well as earrings, necklaces, and bracelets frequently appear set in sterling silver although turquoise is sometimes set in gold or other metals. Both vintage Native American and vintage Mexican turquoise and sterling silver jewelry are collectible today along with more modern jewelry styles of turquoise jewelry. Dressing in Western fashion style almost always means wearing a lot of of turquoise and sterling silver jewelry.