Why It's Ok That You Only Wear Navy Blue
Like a moth to a particularly weak flame, I can’t get enough of navy blue. The extent of my addiction became clear on a recent online shopping spree. With riches from Italian tailoring brands Lardini, Boglioli and Caruso and global mega-brands Gucci, Saint Laurent and Givenchy all at my fingertips, what did I buy? A khaki flight jacket from Aspesi? An ivory silk granddad shirt from Massimo Alba? Of course not: I chose four of the same navy crew-neck jumper. All made from fine-gauge merino wool. All from John Smedley.
The issue was compounded when, a few weeks later, I decided to embark on a mass wardrobe clear-out and discovered 14 of the same jumper (in various states) hidden among my navy-blue trousers, T-shirts and overcoats. Like a junkie in the depths of his addiction, I refuse to apologise for it. I know what suits me.
“For me, [navy blue] represents an infinite range of possibilities,” says Giorgio Armani. “Eminently versatile, [it] embodies countless variants and never ceases to inspire me with its timeless allure.” Quite.
Embracing yet exclusive, warm yet cool, navy blue got its name in 1748, when Royal Navy officers started wearing uniforms cut from dark-blue wool. As a consequence, it’s a colour that speaks of function and propriety as much as it does of elegance and ease. If navy blue was a person, it would be an aloof, sophisticated type. Someone of advanced years and extended means. Charles Dance, for instance.
Now that I own 18 (count ’em!) John Smedley crew-neck jumpers, I’m thinking of taking the plunge into navy-blue Smedders cardigans – but I’ll need to build up to that. Being quite so pedestrian with my colour choices is going to take a surprising amount of courage.