Jenny the Lilac Cat reacted to the Trump post last week by asking
The entertaining GQ clip suggests ‘brown and blue is a winning combination’. As my fashion guru do you agree?
I am with GQ on this. “Brown” and “Blue” are of course a wide range of shades and hues. GC was specifically proposing a fairly deep brown tie with a navy men’s suit. And here is a photograph of my daughter’s wedding. Shane chose a brown tie to wear with his smart navy suit and I thought it looked terrific. Absolutely spot on.
So what are the rules on wearing brown and blue together?
Let’s consider the two colours. Blue, a primary, is the cool colour. All the cool colours have blue in them. Brown on the other hand is not in the rainbow as it is not a pure colour. It is made up of a primary, plus the opposite (on the colour wheel) secondary colour. For example red (a primary) and green a secondary and red’s opposite or complementary colour) blue and orange , or yellow and purple. Effectively this means it is made from the three primaries coming together – red, yellow and blue. Brown therefore is a colour that can be warm or cool. Warm if it has lots of yellow in it, cool if the blue is stronger. Think of the sort of browns that are ochre and mustardy – these are the warm browns and the colour we probably think of when we think of brown – tan leather, donkey brown or tobacco . Orangey browns are also fairly warm – the gingers for example. The blue browns can look more like taupe – a little smoky given the addition of lots of blue – in their light incarnation these are the lovely, neutral stone colours. Then there is dark brown, almost black. This is a cool colour.
So which browns pair well with which blues, and for whom?
For someone with warm colouring the yellowy browns are a great basic, especially if your hair is light brown, with a yellowish or reddish tone. The yellowy browns are set off very nicely with the warmer blues (teal, petrol and blues with a bit of yellow in them).
If you have cool colouring then blue is great basic in all its incarnations. Use a cool brown, like Shane’s tie above. Wear dark brown shoes with a navy suit. Or a brown Alpaca hand knit with a navy T and dark jeans.
If you have deep brown hair and blue eyes and a clear pale complexion you may have bright colouring, for you the bright blues look good with brighter browns – the cool versions. This is the colouring that really rocks the bright navy dress with tan accessories.
Muted people really can work these two colours together, especially if both of them have a greyish undertone. Lovely grey-blue with taupe – perfect.
Light colouring is set off well by lighter shades – all the pale blues, stones and light creamy browns.
To my mind deep brown and deep navy are the perfect combination for someone with deep colouring, ideally set off with white. Shane has deep-cool colouring and looks great in a dark navy suit with a white shirt and dark brown rather than black accessories. So much fresher and more interesting. With deep colouring two or more deep shades can look really nice together, eg maroon and navy, black and brown, forest green and deepest brown.
Finally brown and navy can both play the role of neutrals – they don’t shout “colour” at us. This means we tend not to tire of them. They look elegant and classy. Most neutrals look well together. Also I want to say there is no rule about about any colour not being suitable for pairing with another one. If you follow the rule that colours stick to others in their “set”, as above, they will always look harmonious together.
I have some nice fabrics that contain both brown and blue. I look forward to making these up at some point!
And here am I (cool-bright-light) in light navy, cool brown and white. This colour blocked circle dress made a virtue of the fact that each piece was huge and had to be cut from sections. I put two of my favourite colours together, offset by white.
So in response to Jenny L I agree with GQ on this – blue and brown can be a winning combination.