How to Master the Style Understatement with Neutrals

Outfit of neutral color clothing

Who says bold pops of color are the end-all, be-all of style? Neutral color clothing too can be trendy and sophisticated when coordinated in a purposeful way. Plus, fashion gals on a budget benefit from the versatility of neutrals — pair them with almost anything to minimize your cost per wear.

Here are a few inspirational style tips for wearing timeless neutrals.

Neutral Color Clothing — Style Tips

Do get to know your skin tone

The first rule of wearing neutrals involves knowing your skin tone. To avoid looking washed out, start by choosing neutral clothing that creates a contrast against your skin tone. Have pale, porcelain skin? Then you’ll want to sidestep that all-white sun dress.

Do use the full range of neutrals, formally and informally.

Neutrals go beyond black, white and beige. The list of neutral colors also includes:

  • Navy
  • Olive
  • Burgundy
  • Brown
  • Khaki
  • Metallics: gold, silver, bronze, copper, gunmetal and pewter

Within the above colors, you also have ranges from light to dark. There are many shades of neutral between deep brown and beige for example.

When it comes to formal settings or classic business wear, it’s easy to reach for a black pair of slacks or sheath dress. But black isn’t the only neutral game in town. Step out of your comfort zone and try other dark neutrals. Really, every girl could use a Little Navy Dress, and the other dark neutrals can be as versatile as black.

The same rule holds true for your casual ensembles. When you’re shopping basics, look for clothing across the full gamut of neutrals for maximum versatility.

Do create contrast with neutrals.

While there’s nothing wrong with dressing head-to-toe in neutrals, the look can be a tad boring if you’re too monochrome. Create visual interest by combining lighter and darker neutral-colored clothing. The contrast between the varying shades helps separate each piece — so you don’t look like the backdrop in a Pottery Barn catalog.

Another fashion girl trick is to use texture to create contrast. Play with layers, lace, metallics and ruffles to take your neutral outfit to the next level.

Do play with patterns.

Patterns are an easy way to enhance the look of a neutral blouse or jacket. From a casual striped tee to a lightweight cardigan with a dainty flower design, you’ll find the right pattern can transform the look of a neutral piece. Stick to one patterned piece and keep the rest of your outfit classy and simple.

Do flirt with color.

The best way to wear neutrals is with pops of bold color. A white pair of jeans with a cheery yellow blouse or black leggings with an oversized red sweater creates the perfect balance of neutrals and colors. You can also add in hints of vibrant color through your accessories. A sparking gem on a piece of jewelry or a colorful scarf may be just what your outfit needs to stand out.

Bold color may be the leading lady of your style statement, but neutrals are the all-important supporting cast. How are you wearing neutral-colored clothing this season?

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