Yes, this has happened to me, and I don’t think I am alone. Have you ever arrived at work only to find, under the bright fluorescent lights, that the navy blue pants you thought you were wearing were actually black?
Several years ago, I was at a staff meeting that had about 1,000 people gathered. The speaker was a well-dressed, serious woman wearing a navy skirt suit, navy hose, one navy pump and one black pump. She wasn’t making a point; rather she had fallen victim to the early morning, poor closet lighting trap that has caught many of us.
Here is my trick. With any garment whose color can be mistaken (generally dark blues and blacks) gather them up and go to a window or use an Ott Lite (natural daylight light used by many seamstresses). With a permanent marker, write the color in the waistband, brand label, or inside lining of the shoe.
I keep my shoes in the original box, so I don’t have any difficulties knowing their color. Hose and tights can be tricky, so I keep them in Ziplock bags with the color written on the outside.
Pants and skirts tend to be my problem. If I find a style I like, I buy it in both navy and black. Sometimes I can compare them to each other and figure it out, but sometimes I can’t. Writing in the waistband has saved me time and many a fashion faux pas! Go ahead…no one will know it is there but you and your dry cleaner.
Bonus information: If your skirts and pants don’t have a light-colored waistband or brand label on which to write, use an iron on garment label. Just iron the white label in the waistband and write the color on the label with a permanent marker or laundry marker. I purchased my iron on labels at Staples several years ago, but I found similar ones at Amazon.com. Search for “iron on laundry labels.”