Skip to content

Chambray, Sky or Navy? As long as your are blue, I’ll love you..

Now that we have White out of the way, I decided to tackle Blue. I’ll go out on a limb and say this – I suspect everyone likes blue or at least some shade of blue. Blue says cool, comfort, cozy, effortless, put-together and many more things, without even trying.

Blue doesn’t try to stand out. It lets you shine, by taking a back seat. In denim, it is the color of the cowboys, the 60s, and Americana. In Chambray it became the color of the US Navy (borrowed from the French, of course). In royal and cobalt shades, the Queen rocks it. In Gingham and light blue, it belongs to Dorothy.

Dior New Look and Vogue 1920s cover.jpg

Left: Dior New Look as Vogue cover, Right: Another Vogue cover from the 1920s. Below: Dress Patterns published in Vogue. Women used to take these to their tailors to get clothes stitched.

Old Dress Catalogue

In varying hues, it belongs belonged to the working class man – coal miners to cops. Somewhere in the last 50 years, working women and home makers alike embraced blue and made it their own. Jeans were officially introduced for women in the 1930s. In the next couple of decades, they were embraced like there was never a time without them in women’s fashion. Sailor Pants and Denim subcultures kept reaching new heights with each decade that passed.

levis Women's Jeans Ad.png

They were called Lady Levi’s!! 🙂 More interestingly, we are back to wearing a very close version of these with boyfriend jeans and high waist denim.

1952 Denim

When we wear blue in basic, every day fabrics, are we unconsciously telling the world that we, along with men, can handle activity, responsibility and the metaphorical ‘heavy lifting’?  Are we implicitly communicating that even if we love our pinks, silks and taffeta, we can still be no-nonsense in denim, chambray and navy? Did the women who came before me and who fought for equal rights in the 60s and 70s need their Blues to convey rebellion and independence? Was it a way of defying patriarchy?

I don’t know. May be it’s all my head. Paraphrasing Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, ‘…However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and its sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact you’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff’

So, it could just be that blues textiles are easier to manufacture. Plainer the fabric, easier to wash, easier to make. Isn’t it convenient for fashion brands and clothing companies if men and women wore the same kind of fabrics?

Let me stop my ramblings here! Below are some of the dresses I am currently loving. As usual, all of them are not in my price range or budget for summer. That doesn’t stop me from loving them.

Navy Set 1

Dress 1: MM LaFleur Inez Dress                                 Dress 2: Brora Linen Tennis Dress

Dress 1: I have already waxed poetic about how much I love the shape of this dress in a previous post.  The very sweet blogger behind sont des mots let me know MM LaFleur fabrics could be a hit or miss. I have decided to take a chance on them this year. I might actually bite the bullet and order this next month.  I will keep you posted about what I think if I decide to keep it. The Inez dress is manufactured in USA. (Not all MM Lafleur clothes are manufactured in USA. I am still building my notes on the brand. They have been very open about it.)

Dress 2: I first heard of Brora through Lady Sarah’s posts. Their cashmere (both fabric and end product) is still made in Scotland. I decided to check out their USA online site about a month ago, I think. In the hot desert that I live in, I have no use for more than 1 or 2 sweaters, which I already own. I stumbled upon Brora’s dress section and it was love at first sight! Some of their silk chiffon dresses are ‘Oh, So Pretty!’ I loved this navy linen dress a lot. It seems perfect for work. Brora’s cotton dresses are made in Lithuania from start to finish. I am in the process of finding out more details about the labor conditions in their ‘contractor factories’ outside of Scotland, by contacting the customer service department. But, I have a feeling that what I’m going to hearing will be good, given the brand’s core values.

Navy Set 2

Dress 3: A.P.C Shirt Dress                                                       Dress 4: Theory Shirt Dress

Dress 3: I believe A.P.C releases at least two blue dresses (one denim, one cotton?) every season. I love the fact that some of those dresses are brand staples and are only tweaked a little bit each time. I particularly loved this one from their latest collection. It seems perfect as a work dress or a day dress. It is made in Italy.

Dress 4: I love the silhouette of this Theory Belted Shirt dress. It seems more forgiving than the A.P.C one which has a straighter cut. Theory, as a brand, has been a hit or a miss for me in the past. Some of their silk dresses are good. Some are very thin. This dress is marked as ‘Imported’. I know that most Theory clothes are Made in China or Vietnam. So, I am not entirely sure. Project Just says the holding company is not as bad as some of the other companies. Check out the Size and Business Model Tab. I did not know that Theory and Uniqlo were owned by the same company! Interestingly, of the 4 dresses here, this is the most expensive one. But, there will always be a sale very soon with Theory. Saks already has this dress at a better price.

I love that both these options are collarless.

Story Time: A few years ago, when Alber Elbaz was still working at Lanvin, Acne Jeans collaborated with him to create a denim collection. When you bring the detailing of couture to a fabric like denim, magic ensues. At that time in my life, I couldn’t afford any of those clothes in at  full price. This was my absolute favorite dress from that collection. It is still on my small list of  fashion items that got away. Who knows, some lady might end up selling it on Ebay or The Real Real and it will resurface again? Are you noticing that denim dresses are coming back again? This one stole my heart. But, it is definitely out of my price range. Also, I don’t think I would do it justice as I am only 5’2” on my best day.

Question: How do you feel about blue and it’s various shades? Is it a wardrobe staple or too boring for you? Do you prefer black or gray or some other color instead? As easy as Denim is, I have a love-hate relation with denim shopping. I don’t own more than 2 to 3 pairs of denim at any given time. How about you?

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    I’D BE BLUE..WITHOUT CHAMBRAY!!!

    Like

    May 13, 2017
  2. LOVE YOUR INDEPTH DISCUSSIONN AND MULTIPLE EXAMPLES! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    May 13, 2017
  3. LL #

    Yes to all of this. I previously expressed how much I liked that MM LaFleur dress and the general design of it, but now I see the Brora one. Dark blue, linen, and in such a flattering cut. I want it, but can’t buy it.

    And I agree with everything you say about the color blue.

    Like

    May 13, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you LL! I am not even sure where this whole train of thought came from. May be the current political situation, reading Handmaid’s tale, and women’s marches?

      The Brora one is my favorite too. Especially because it is in Linen and more breathable than the MM LaFleur dress. It is expensive and I only have a very small budget this summer. I think Brora will eventually go on sale because I see another dress of similar design on sale here:
      https://www.brorausa.com/shop/textured-linen-tennis-dress

      Like

      May 13, 2017
  4. I am also drawn to blue – I like it because it’s so easy to pair with other colours and also other shades of blue (whereas wearing something like red head to toe is a bit much and head to toe grey reminds me of elephants) and it’s less severe than black (I like an all-black outfit from time to time as well though!).

    Like

    May 13, 2017
    • SA. #

      Grey and elephants!! 😆
      You are so right about blue! I just did not realize it until you pointed out. You can pair varying shades of blue together unlike some other colors. Even within all black outfits, some of the shades don’t go well together.
      I also wear all-black outfit when I don’t want to think too much. I am just trying to break that habit as black looks too severe on me.
      The other day I wore all black including my handbag. As soon as I put on my 🕶 my husband joked if I was going to a ‘women in black’ movie audition.

      Like

      May 13, 2017
  5. love this post (and thank you for the link) and navy is my wardrobe staple. Not quite as as harsh as black, but still easy to wear. I wear lighter blues and aquas in the summer. such a soothing colour… and adore your vogue illustrations, such inspiration!

    Like

    May 13, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you Lady Sarah for introducing us to Brora 🙂 I can’t get enough of their website!!
      I have a thing for old illustrations and magazines. Some of the pearls of wisdom in there!

      Like

      May 13, 2017
  6. It’s weird, I’ve never been into blue so much. My favorite colors, when I used to wear color, where warm, earthy tones of orange and a lot of green. I did have one royal blue silk shirt that I loved and wore a lot in high school, and which I later gave to my cousin who had been admiring it. Nothing else that I can remember since then. But yes, I’ve read somewhere that most humans find blue an appealing color. I also read that blue color was not mentioned in ancient texts (like Homer describes the sea as “wine” colored:-) but other cultures also fail to mention blue in their old texts, and there is a theory that humans didn’t perceive the color blue until recently in their history. Red was the first color ever described. Isn’t that very interesting?

    Like

    May 14, 2017
    • SA. #

      It is very very interesting that Red was the first color described. I wonder if they described it in the context of the color of blood, which is very hard to miss even for early man 🙂 or were they drawn to red in the nature around them?! I am the daughter and granddaughter of farmers. So, I have a special place in my heart for Green and Browns/ Oranges. May be that also explains my affiliation towards prints on clothes inspired by flora and fauna? One time, my husband remarked that a particular dress I was wearing almost resembled the floral curtains in his grandmother’s home and let me tell you, he did not mean that as a compliment.. haha!

      In Hindu scriptures, our dark skinned Gods are referred to as the ‘Blue Hued’. One of our Gods is referred to as Neela Megha Shyama which literally translates to ‘one with skin colored like a dark cloud’. I always found that interesting and wondered if Indian poets shied away from calling our Gods and Goddesses directly dark skinned and referred to them ‘Dark Blue Skin Toned’. Isn’t interesting, how each culture seems to shy away from certain colors?

      Liked by 1 person

      May 15, 2017
      • That’s cute about the curtains 😄 Men can make the most unnecessary sartorial comments, if you ask me. My husband used to comment much more on my black outfits but has stopped now since they’ve become all I wear. But he does get happy to see me in pink once in a blue moon. I also looove floral prints, if there are any prints that I like. I can’t resist a good floral.

        Oh, there was something in that article on the blue color being late to be perceived by humans, regarding the sky color. It was something like blue was not the first color that comes to mind to subjects who don’t have the preconceived idea that “the sky is blue,” you know?

        Yes, that’s right, Lord Krishna is always depicted as blue. Never thought about it.

        “The color of the dark cloud”! That is so beautiful! The poetry of it, but also the color itself. I have a huge weakness for that indecisive grey-blue of an ovecast sky.

        Like

        May 15, 2017
      • SA. #

        I know! Maybe we should do a post about Husbands & Clothes or Husbands & Fashion? Most of those unnecessary comments are hilarious and it also gives me a little insight into how my husband perceives my sartorial choices.
        Thank you for sharing that about Blue. I will read up more about color and history. The color of overcast sky – it makes me either MORE happy or MORE sad or MORE introspective, depending on what mood I’m already in.
        The little bit of Grecian Mythology I’ve read is very beautiful and I suspect a lot of the nuances are already lost in translation. Even within Hindu Mythology, it is the stories and the beauty of the language that makes me happy to read rather than the religious implications of it.

        Like

        May 16, 2017
  7. D #

    Great post, and I like all of those navy dresses! Also, I had no idea Lanvin and Acne had done a collab.
    – D
    http://www.styledtour.blogspot.com

    Like

    May 18, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you! I’m loving your blog and style!

      Like

      May 18, 2017
      • D #

        Thank you – likewise!

        Like

        May 23, 2017
  8. Navy blue dresses !! Thank you for this post.

    Like

    May 18, 2017
    • SA. #

      You are most welcome! Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

      May 18, 2017
  9. theory wasn’t always owned by Uniqlo. I noticed that when they changed the font on their logo a few years ago. It used to be the same company as Helmut Lang and Rag & Bone. I don’t know if they’re still related today. And I remember their stuff being made in the US.

    Like

    May 18, 2017
    • SA. #

      You are right PPP! Theory was made in US for about a decade and even after it was acquired. I think they still make some of the best women’s trousers, in USA or Imported.

      Like

      May 18, 2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: