Many women prefer neutrals. It’s believed that they are easier to style. Sure they are, but the look can fast be cookie-cutter. I interviewed seven experts how to create interesting outfits with neutrals.
- Wearing neutrals looks classic, professional
- 6 and counting reasons to wear neutral colors
- Style bloggers secrets to great all neutral looks
- Maria Kelly
- Monika Faulkner
- Susan Blakey
- Susan Blakey
- How I wear my neutrals
Disclosure: There may be affiliate links in this post.
Wearing neutrals looks classic, professional
In a recent post about wearing more than three colors in one outfit, I stated that the safest way to create great looks is wearing neutrals in a non-boring way. Think Kate Middleton‘s looks, for instance. These looks are all head turners, no matter whether she wears a cheap dress meeting kids in India or a high-end designer.
What I meant with boring were these white, gray plus navy, or camel, winter white plus brown typical work clothes color combination of Corporate Style. Some of you will agree with me that when the entire office wears variation of the look, it seems like wearing a corporate identity. Not only for the wearers being restricted to these combinations, but also to whoever enters the office as a customer.
All the employees seem to wear an uniform.
Take a photo of that crowd in gray buttons, white shirt and navy blue blazer, and post it on Instagram. Check how many likes you get. In a group photo, the look is pretty boring and reminds of a British Boarding School photo.Neutral colors are classics. #stylesecrets Click To Tweet
6 and counting reasons to wear neutral colors
There are many reasons to wear outfits with all neutral colors. Not only the reason that
- They make a look classy and posh.
- They meet corporate life office dress codes.
- They are the basics for business casual.
- You just have loved neutrals all your adult life.
- You are on a budget and wear neutrals to avoid Pantome colors inspired looks that date your clothes.
- They are wardrobe basics that are worth to splurge on and you did.
Since there are so many benefits to invest in neutrals, you need to have a safe hand for your personal style and/or styling to stick out of the crowd of people wearing neutrals. I asked some of my blogging friends who are experts in styling exciting looks in basic colors,
What is your secret to create interesting looks just wearing neutrals?
I am so excited these incredible stylish ladies were willing to spill their secrets and share them with my lovely readers.
Style bloggers secrets to great all neutral looks
Maria Kelly the blogger at
Passion Fruit Paws and Peonies answered:
Use cool and warm neutrals for an interesting all neutral look. #styletip Click To Tweet To send an all neutral look from drab to fab add jewelry. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet
Wearing neutrals is an endlessly chic style. I would say my secret to wearing neutrals well is to be careful mixing very warm and very cool colours together. So watch the tones of your neutrals. Another tip is to break the colour up a little. I have worn blue denim jeans and a heather vest top. But the tone still matches so I think it works. With this look too much jewellery would be distracting. There are already plenty of textures and colour changes going on. However, for another neutral outfit a statement piece of jewellery might be exactly what it needs to send it from drab to fab. Neutrals is a classic look so a perfect opportunity to look elegant. But it’s nice add a little modern touch or twist to the look for fun and to make it look more interesting
More on how to style denim in this guide.
Monika Faulkner the former blogger at Style is My Pudding – now blogging at Red Fox responded:
The secret to great outfits in neutrals is using texture and more texture!! #secretsofstyle Click To Tweet
My secret to creating interesting looks just wearing neutrals would be texture, texture, texture!! Tone-on-tone outfits could definitely be a bit boring if you don’t make an effort to create some contrast with different textures…which includes both different fabrics (like my faux fur vest and woolly sweater) and different patterns.
And while we often think of beige, grey, black and white as our only “neutral” options, blue denim goes with absolutely everything, too…which is a sneaky way to add a touch of colour into an otherwise tonal ensemble!! 😉
See this post for how to create an interesting look with texture.
Susan Blakey, the blogger at une femme d’un certain âge said:
Creating visual interest with an all neutral outfit can be more challenging than with color or prints. I find that mixing textures is one good way (especially if you like wearing black as much as I do!). Contrast between light and dark neutrals can create focal points. Playing with proportions and layers in a way that spotlights the silhouette creates drama and interest. And don’t forget great accessories…they add personality and verve to a simple palette!
Great accessories add personality and serve to a simple palette! #styletip Click To Tweet
See this guide for more on how to accessorize with belts.
Leanne, the blogger at Classy yet Trendy has a classic casual style with trendy twists. She is big on capsule wardrobes. No wonder she fits her secret in an easy to remember one sentence statement. She said:
Add a pop of color to an all neutral outfit. #classicstyle Click To Tweet
My favorite way to create interest to an all-neutral outfit is to add a bag, jewelry or scarf with color or a pattern.
You can find more on how to up your style with scarves in the guide at the link.
Jane the blogger at My Midlife Fashion has a very European approach to red. Like me she counts red to the “neutral color family.” She answered the question as follows:
Fit is key for a great look. #styleadvice Click To Tweet
I’ve attached a copy of an outfit & my answer to your question of what my secret is to creating interesting looks just wearing neutrals “is that I truly believe in well cut & fitting pieces that have that extra little bit of detailing. Whether that be shoulder epaulettes, pleating or statement buttons. This together with statement accessories will transform the simplest & plainest of looks into something eye catching & individual”
<b>Comment:</b> Jane like me wears red like a neutral.
Laurie the blogger at Vanity and Me illustrates how she works with neutrals using her outfit in the photos above and below as an example.
I have worn this neutral outfit with a silk patterned scarf and matched the bag to the scarf to pick out the same colourways. Providing the accessories has brought the outfit to life. I like to wear a very monochromatic classic style because I’m petite and I wear the same colour tones throughout my outfits adding interest this way with accessories.
Use a basic color like for a pop of color. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet
How I wear my neutrals
It doesn’t have to be a monochromatic one, but monochromatic outfits are a great way to wear your color palette’s basics. The jeans’ fabric is Italian style which has an interesting weave all in itself. The blazer has a classic glen check – and at the moment very trendy – pattern. The scarf and sweater stay with the sort of geometric theme. I wore this outfit for Casual Friday at work.
Style neutrals as if they were colors. #styletip Click To Tweet
Do you know that there is a complete style guide on how to look great in neutrals right here on the blog?
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Photos of me: G. Kramm
Other photos: Courtesy to the respective bloggers
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