Cobalt blue

Modern red has dominated as the "it" colour of this past spring/summer. However, the stealth hit colour of the season is cobalt blue.
Pigment composed of cobalt salts
Whenever I think of cobalt blue, I am reminded of my first inorganic chemistry lab experiment, which was to make a complex salt of cobalt. Cobalt is a transition metal, and as with many other transition metals, it can form complex salts which are very brightly coloured.

Cobalt salts have been used for centuries to tint and decorate glassware and ceramics.
19th century apothecary jars

Ming Dynasty porcelain ware
Rodarte's spring/summer 2011 collection was "inspired" by Ming Dynasty porcelain.

Rodarte spring/summer 2011
After seeing the photos of the Rodarte collection in Vogue, I remembered that I have a blue and white silk print dress by Comptoir des Cotonniers that I bought last year but never got to wear.
Comptoir des Cotonniers washed silk dress
Ash strappy sandals
J. Crew also carried some really nice pieces in cobalt blue this past season, which they called "Casablanca blue" and "brilliant blue". I picked up this silk tank top during the late spring sale. It goes nicely with my revamped H & M white denim skirt.
J. Crew Fineline silk cami in "brilliant blue"
H & M white denim skirt
J. Crew "Camille" sandals
Are you wearing cobalt blue this summer?


  1. That colour looks amazing on you! I love Cobalt blue too but I'll have to tell you privately about why I hate the name :P

  2. Hi Louise

    It is a stunning colour and I use it in painting. It is also one of the more expensive colours, perhaps the pigment is costly. The colour looks wonderful on you. I have shoes and a scarf in that colour.
    Have a lovely week and that sleeveless top is appropriate for this hot weather!
    Helen xx

  3. Hello Louise:
    Yes, such a wonderful colour, Cobalt Blue. An absolute favourite with us, although never for wearing, just decorating. We have a collection of chemist jars in cobalt blue and the way in which they diffuse the light is absolutely beguiling.

    The colour looks very good on you and, teamed with the white skirt, looks perfect for the season.

  4. I think blues have been sorely under-represented in fashion lately, and I'm hoping for a comeback. I love them, but wish that we would get out of the denim/cobalt/navy rut. There are so many subtle shades of blue, and I thought it was supposed to be the universal favorite color!
    The Rodarte Ming inspired line looks lovely.

  5. i dont have anything in that color.
    i never liked it,but it is growing on me.
    it looks great on you!

  6. What a beautiful summer dress, it looks perfect for these hot summer days and nights. I also have the fineline cami in brilliant blue and I love it, such a gorgeous, saturated shade and the silk is divine.

    Cobalt blue is one of my favorite colors. I love to wear cobalt tops and sweaters with my orange pencil skirts. It's also a great way to splash some color onto neutrals.

  7. Oh to have your brains Louise! What a great feature.
    I don't think i have any blue bar jeans oh and my wrap which was sold to me as dove grey - it's a stunning colour and I would like to source more of it.

  8. Cobalt & denim look so fresh. I loooove that dress. Wear it!! :)

  9. Elaine: Now I am so curious! You will have to send me a PM with the story!

    Helen Tilston: A pair of shoes and scarf in cobalt blue sounds lovely! Yes, I am not surprised cobalt-based pigment is expensive as cobalt is one of a group of transition metals that is highly prized for its use as a catalyst. All of these metals have seen a massive increase in price as demand far outstrips supply.

    Jane & Lance Hattatt: Thank you! Being a chemist, I have a particular fondness for old fashioned apothecary jars. However, with the advent of amber glass (which is superior to blue glass for protecting the contents from light exposure), chemists no longer use cobalt blue glassware, which is a pity.

    Sue: I am quite enjoying the comeback of brighter blues like cobalt blue. For a while it seemed like all there was available was pale blue and navy blue.

    ina: Thank you! I actually think cobalt blue is universally flattering!

    xoxo: Thank you! Yes, I agree, the Fineline cami is fantastic, definitely one of my favourites from J. Crew this year. I wore the CDC dress the other and it was perfect for the boiling hot weather we are currently experience (40C with the humidity!).

    Bourbon & Pearls: Ah, thank you so much! I do love that wrap on you, it looks so wonderfully luxurious. Big thanks for following!

    Gigiofca: Thank you! I will definitely wear the dress as much as possible this summer!

  10. Gorgeous dress!! YES - I love cobalt blue!!! I think that's one of my hubby's favorite colors on me! I love your blog - great info!!! :)


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