Navy is a flattering colour to wear. Not in the complexion-enhancing sense so much as in the more significant all-round-vibe-enhancing sense. It won’t make your cheeks look peachy or your eyes piercing, it will emphasise your sparkling mind and innate class. Think of it like Touche Éclat for your personality instead of your under-eye shadows.
The magic happens because wearing navy makes you look like the sort of person who wears navy, and that is in itself a good look. Simple as that. The sort of person who wears navy has more gravitas than the person who wears, say, pink, but she doesn’t take herself quite as seriously as the person who wears black. She is as chic as the person who wears grey, but a little more grounded. She has just the right amount of French-girl allure: the messy-haired sexy bit, without the calculated coquettishness.
Most importantly, wearing navy makes you look fashionable. The centrality of navy to modern style cannot be overstated. A navy jumper is the old school tie of the 21st century fashion establishment, a dog whistle which can be heard and understood across a city, from one catwalk show venue to another. Having a collection of navy jumpers, and an obsession with hunting down the perfect one, is to this decade’s fashionista what devotion to the perfect black trouser was to her 90s predecessor.
And this has never been more true than this season. At Dior, designer Maria Grazia Chiuri followed up her feminist slogan T-shirt debut with a collection which was almost entirely navy. (Yup, that’s how on-trend navy is.) Christian Dior himself described navy as “the only colour that can compete with black”; the current Dior designer says she is intrigued by it as the colour of the Madonna and the colour of the military, of school uniforms and of spirituality. Ladylike or masculine, depending on the way the light hits, navy is the most modern of colours.
Fashion can get complicated. Navy simplifies things, somehow. A long handkerchief-hem skirt could feel like a self-consciously on-trend piece, but dark blue takes the drama out of it, making it easy to wear. It is the colour of fashion without the fuss. Very us, no?
• Jess wears top, £283, monographieparis.com. Skirt, £45, marksandspencer.com. Mules, £195, lkbennett.com
Stylist: Melanie Wilkinson. Hair and makeup: Samantha Cooper at Carol Hayes Management using Mac and Bumble and bumble.