Ask Jae: What to Wear With Navy?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Yay! Having questions to answer makes me a happy person! Because I get to play and make outfits and avoid work all morning long. If you email me a question, chances are I'll just email you back personally, unless it's information everyone can use.

Shanna sent me an email last week about what to wear with a navy cocktail dress:

I am going to a formal/black tie dinner for my husband's work in a couple weeks. I found a gorgeous knee-length navy satin dress that I love. Here's my question... do I wear pantyhose? Everything I read says pantyhose are out, but my legs are seriously pasty white! If I do wear pantyhose, would you recommend nude or black? Also, do I need to wear navy shoes with a navy dress, or would black shoes be ok?

Is there anything more fear-inducing than a husband's work function? It's like we all feel like our hubby's future success at a job lies in our hands. Or clothes, as it were. We want to look put together and attractive so that everyone at work can see how GOOD our husband's have it. And we want our husbands to not be embarrassed by us. I can understand that.

First of all, good on you for finding a dress you love. The outfits pictured here are with A navy cocktail dress, but not THE cocktail dress, but the style points will work with any style. PS it looked a lot more navy on my desktop but black on my laptop. USE YOUR IMAGINATION!

When it comes to legs, bare are king during the summer months. Tights are simply more of a winter thing. Does that mean you can't wear them? Absolutely not. You can totally get away with them in a pattern, rather than a solid. This updates the whole look and keeps it from looking too heavy.


When wearing patterned tights, it's important that you let them be a focal point. I tend to wear my patterned tights with more muted tones, especially when for a fancy schmancy party. You're not going to a rave here, so crazy shoes and jewelry must stay at home. But seriously, how cute and festive are these shoes? I chose black over navy because matching your shoes and your dress may come off as bridesmaid-sy. We do not want that. Also, you're going to need a clutch. I love the idea of a lacy one that mimics the look of the tights to pull it all together. I would say go with this look if you're a little more conservative.

Now if you're willing to bare those legs, you can make your dress look more summery with different accessories.


This is a more modern and fashion forward way to style the same dress for a different look. I love, love, LOVE turquoise with navy. It's just enough pop to give the dress interest without looking too kookookachoo. Then, I would prefer nude pumps. These are going to look the most season appropriate. (And are SMOKING hot, I may add. Find them here. I am buying them.) They will also make your legs look superlong.

(This is the back view of those shoes. I might die.)

A note about white legs. First of all, fairness is nothing to be ashamed of. I am SO WHITE. And I am not referring to the fact that I sometimes say "suckaz" like I'm cool. I mean literally, I am white in color. I've learned to deal with my fairness, but I have been known to get a Mystic Tan for special occasions. You can check to see if you have one in your area. If you're pale, go for a level one. It literally takes five minutes and is enough to make you all glowy and pretty. But seriously, don't let white legs confine you to wearing tights all summer long.

Alright, bloggy friends. Which outfit do you think Shanna should go to her hubby's work function in?


Anonymous said...

LOVE the second option with those lace up heels!! I must have those shoes!!

ellipsisknits said...

I really like the accessories on the second one, but is there a reason you couldn't wear patterned tights with it as well?

I totally feel her on the pasty spring legs thing. Plus, as a naturally chilly person I like the bit of extra warmth that hose give me.

Jae said...

Well, I don't super love patterned tights with peeptoes, but maybe a solid colored tight would work. I just think the second outfit gives a younger, more mod vibe while the first is more traditional and conservative.

And yes, I TOTALLY need some sun over here. It's rained for days and I think my legs are actually getting whiter.

Sara @ Our Best Bites said...

Oh my gosh, those shoes! I must have! They're like having naughty feet. I love them.

Crystal said...

Love the second outfit! Those accessories are killer. And I say, be bold, bare the white legs. In the good old days, White was the "it" thing. Go vintage.

Marisa said...

I think those turquoise accessories make the navy dress, unless it's super formal (but I would probably still wear them). But the shoes? Okay, I know they're funky and you all love them, but they look a little too sex kitten to wear to anything involving people my husband works with! Also, if you're too cheap for a spray tan, plain old self-tanning lotion works great for me if I just layer a little bit every day.

Jae said...

See, I LOVE the idea of something a little sexy with an otherwise button-down outfit. Nothing like naughty shoes to make your husband's coworkers jealous of him! lol

Erin said...

Oh my gosh; it's like you are psychic. I'm wearing a navy dress to a wedding next week and had absolutely no idea what to do with accessories/shoes. Nude pumps it is! You rock.

Michele said...

My legs are not only white,, but terribly hideous! So I would opt for something on the legs as well.I love the shoes too! Very naughty and cute. I prefer them in black. The lighter ones take me back to high school for some odd reason. Great optionns for the navy dress (which is my favorite color!). Thanks!

Lori Adler said...

I am wearing a knee length formal navy blue dress with tiny blue stones on designed work. Would pewter , navy, or champagne shoes look best?


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