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In 2020, the seasonless shade offers fashion lovers a sense of both style and stillness.

By Lindsay Samson

July 27, 2020

In case you haven’t heard yet, Classic Blue is Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year. Described by The Pantone Colour Institute as a “resilient color that highlights dependability, trustworthiness, credibility and constancy,” the shade’s revived ubiquity in the fashion world suggests a return to the tried and true. Innocuous yet far from boring, blue is an ageless color, one that’s said to evoke feelings of calm, confidence and connection.

Like a well-behaved toddler, blue has always played well with others—whether it be with differing shades of the same colour, bright citrus hues or even glaring greens. Genderless and accessible, it also likely already makes up part of your core wardrobe. While last year it was the sunny pastel orange hue, Living Coral, that reigned supreme, the 2020 shift to Classic Blue feels like an antidote to the chaos of this year. Deep, rich, and reassuring in its reliability, it’s a color that provokes thoughts of dusky, star-filled skies, still ocean waters, and soft, velvety fabrics.

When it comes to the personal application of the shade, there are a myriad of ways to incorporate the hue into your look. Similar to fashion’s most beloved staple—the color black, of course—blue really does go with just about anything. For a touch of whimsy, try gently incorporating the color into your look by donning the geometric, math algorithm-derived, white and blue prints of Diarrablu’s kimonos, jumpsuits and swimsuits. Delicate and understated, these gentle splashes of blue lend any look a light, summery air. 

If elegance is your style language of choice, there’s quite a lot to be said for the Studio 189 Blouson Ladder shirt and its matching A Line skirt. An impeccably hand-crafted cotton set made in Accra, Ghana, it features a specific, hand-batiked blue ladder design. Made-to-order and polished to perfection, the ensemble is a celebration of flawless craftsmanship and the perfect delivery mechanism for its rich, blue prints. Then there’s Kiko Romeo's royal blue Semna Jacket; with its ambitious sculptural elements: this piece takes artisanship to the next level. Hand-painted by Sudanese artist Eltayeb Dawel Bait, the jacket’s bright blue glow boldly states its presence.

Photo: Coast Long-Line Jacket. Courtesy of NKWO

Photo: Ladder Set. Courtesy of Studio 189

Photo: Semna Jacket. Courtesy of Kiko Romeo

Perhaps fuller silhouettes are more your thing? In that case, designer Awa Meité’s Indigo Bouffant Sleeve Vest is the true blue statement piece. Oversized with gathered sleeves, the tie-dyed garment is best paired with sleek, fitted bottoms in neutral tones like black or white. But if it’s something a little more streamlined you’re after, turn to the Zoputan Boyfriend Shirt by Orange Culture. Painstakingly cut and crafted from a silky, sky-blue satin, it’s emblazoned with the print of a man’s shadow on the front and features a stylish mandarin collar and side slits. Whether worn on its own or over a pair of shorts, it's a special garment; one that exudes androgyny, simplicity, and power.

We cannot pay homage to blue without extolling denim. Though largely used in the production of jeans, Nigerian fashion line, NKWO, has found another use for the always-in-style textile. Using a modern strip-weaving technique, the brand turns left-over pieces of denim into a new fabric reminiscent of handloom woven cloth—an invention they call the Dakala Cloth. Given their deep shade, experimental shapes, and avant-garde asymmetrical patterns, NKWO’s Coast Long-Line Jacket and Sweet Knot Skirt (both made from the cloth) are a blue dream for the daring dresser.

Just as Pantone’s name for the Color of the Year suggests, blue is a classic, and its versatility means that it’s one you’ll very rarely go wrong with. Your investments in blue are likely to pay long-lasting dividends; those pieces are the ones that will steadily carry you from one season to the next. Blue carries in its tones a sense of peace and tranquility. Considering the storms of 2020 thus far, is there anything of which we’re more desperately in need than such an air of serenity?

Shop the Edit

Sirene Kimono
Sirene Kimono
Sirene Kimono

Diarrablu

Sirene Kimono

$145
Dark Blue Ilamoye Mule
Dark Blue Ilamoye Mule
Dark Blue Ilamoye Mule
Dark Blue Ilamoye Mule

Shekudo

Dark Blue Ilamoye Mule

$229
Zoputan Boyfriend Shirt
Zoputan Boyfriend Shirt
Zoputan Boyfriend Shirt

Orange Culture

Zoputan Boyfriend Shirt

$200
Semna Jacket
Semna Jacket
Semna Jacket
Semna Jacket

KikoRomeo

Semna Jacket

$390
Egun Pearl Necklace
Egun Pearl Necklace
Egun Pearl Necklace

Pichulik

Egun Pearl Necklace

$195
Bumi Jumpsuit
Bumi Jumpsuit
Bumi Jumpsuit
Bumi Jumpsuit
Bumi Jumpsuit
Bumi Jumpsuit

KikoRomeo

Bumi Jumpsuit

$255
A Line Ladder Skirt
A Line Ladder Skirt
A Line Ladder Skirt

Studio 189

A Line Ladder Skirt

$225
Blouson Ladder Shirt
Blouson Ladder Shirt
Blouson Ladder Shirt
Blouson Ladder Shirt

Studio 189

Blouson Ladder Shirt

$195
Multicolour Nafa Belt Bag
Multicolour Nafa Belt Bag
Multicolour Nafa Belt Bag
Multicolour Nafa Belt Bag
Multicolour Nafa Belt Bag
Multicolour Nafa Belt Bag

Bouswari

Multicolour Nafa Belt Bag

$200
Sweet Knot Skirt
Sweet Knot Skirt
Sweet Knot Skirt
Sweet Knot Skirt
Sweet Knot Skirt

NKWO

Sweet Knot Skirt

$245
Indigo Bouffant Sleeve Vest
Indigo Bouffant Sleeve Vest
Indigo Bouffant Sleeve Vest

Awa Meité

Indigo Bouffant Sleeve Vest

$300
Crystal Blue Aja Clutch with 
Blue Ostrich Feather Charm
Crystal Blue Aja Clutch with 
Blue Ostrich Feather Charm
Crystal Blue Aja Clutch with 
Blue Ostrich Feather Charm
Crystal Blue Aja Clutch with 
Blue Ostrich Feather Charm
Crystal Blue Aja Clutch with 
Blue Ostrich Feather Charm
Crystal Blue Aja Clutch with 
Blue Ostrich Feather Charm

OKAPI

Crystal Blue Aja Clutch with Blue Ostrich Feather Charm

$670
Blue Karima Weekender
Blue Karima Weekender
Blue Karima Weekender

New Tangier

Blue Karima Weekender

$461
Antique Baroque High-Neck Top
Antique Baroque High-Neck Top
Antique Baroque High-Neck Top
Antique Baroque High-Neck Top

Lisa Folawiyo

Antique Baroque High-Neck Top

$418
Coast Long-Line Jacket
Coast Long-Line Jacket
Coast Long-Line Jacket
Coast Long-Line Jacket
Coast Long-Line Jacket

NKWO

Coast Long-Line Jacket

$775
Batkara Layered Coat
Batkara Layered Coat
Batkara Layered Coat
Batkara Layered Coat
Batkara Layered Coat

Lisa Folawiyo

Batkara Layered Coat

$1,073