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Many women prefer neutrals. It’s believed that these colors 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. Read these fashion bloggers’ secrets of great all neutral looks.


    1. Wearing Neutrals Looks Classic, Professional
    2. Six and Counting Reasons to Wear Neutral Colors
    3. Style Bloggers Secrets of Great all Neutral Looks
      • Maria Kelly
      • Monika Faulkner
      • Susan Blakey
      • Leanne
      • Jane
      • Susan Blakey
      • Laurie
      • How I Wear My Neutrals
    4. Wrapping Up the Secrets of Great all Neutral Looks


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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.

Her looks are all head turners, no matter whether she wears a cheap dress meeting kids in India or a high-end designer.


Kate Middleton in all neutral look with black skirt suit with white clutch, black and white hat
The subtitle pattern of the classic skirt suit, statement hat, pearl bracelet and simple minimalist clutch make this outfit interesting and standout of the crowd. “File:Prince Harry and Kate Middleton at the Garter Procession 2008.jpg” by Nick Warner from Windsor, England is licensed under CC BY 2.0


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. 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.


Six and Counting Reasons to Wear Neutral Colors

There are many reasons to wear outfits with all neutral colors. Not only the reason that

  1. Neutral iolors make a look classy and posh.
  2. They meet corporate life office dress codes.
  3. These colors are the basics for business casual style.
  4. You just have loved neutrals all your adult life.
  5. You are on a budget and wear neutrals to avoid Pantome colors inspired looks that date your clothes.
  6. They are your wardrobe basics that were worth to splurge on.

Because there are 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

Maria of Passion Fruit Paws and Pegonies in an all neutral winter elegant casual look
Maria Kelly shows an example of her interesting all neutral outfits. I love how she plays with texture, cool and warm neutrals, layers and different fabric to create a great casual look with a twist to romantic. Photo: Courtesy to Maria

Maria Kelly the blogger at Passion Fruit Paws and Peonies answered:

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 look great in denim.


Monika Faulkner



Monika Faulkner the former blogger at Style is My Pudding – now blogging at Red Fox responded:

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!! 😉

More on creating non-boring neutral looks with texture.


Susan Blakey

Susan B. at un femme d'un certain age in a denim duster outfit
Susan Blakey in a posh casual denim duster outfit with white top, pants, and sandals. Photo: Courtesy to Susan


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!


Susan B. in a desaturated outfit
Susan donning an example of a posh casual chic black and grey desaturated outfit. Photo: Courtesy to Susan


More on how to accessorize with belts.



Leanne of Classy Yet Trendy in all neutral outfit
Leanne sporting a classy yet trendy all neutral winter to spring transition outfit. Photo: Courtesy to Leanne


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:

My favorite way to create interest to an all-neutral outfit is to add a bag, jewelry or scarf with color or a pattern.

More on styling with scarves.




Jane of My Midlife Fashion in a blue suit with gray shirt
Jane in a blue pants suit, gray graphic shirt, whit sneakers. The red trim on the sneakers, print on the tee and bag pull the look together in a cool way. The corporate suit looks modern and not like trying too hard with the accessories, sneakers and casual shirt. Photo: Courtesy to Jane


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:

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”.




Laurie of Vanity and Me's secret of a great all neutral monochromatic look is using tan as a pop of color
Laurie in a monochromatic outfit where she succeeds in giving the illusion that tan is actually a pop of color. Photo: Courtesy to Laurie


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.

Laurie's outfit with neutral pants, blazer, shoes scarf and bag in different shades
Laurie’s all neutral outfit of a fake suit that meets business casual very well. Photo: Courtesy to Laurie



How I Wear My Neutrals

Style book author in all neutral outfit in mixed prints and pattern
Me in an outfit of different shades of gray spanning the range from white to black. Eli Tahari glen check jacket, Brooks Brothers striped cashmere sweater, silk scarf, statement belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Oliveo high waist boot cut Italian denim jeans, Adidas sneakers



I love an all desaturated outfit where I can mix prints and patterns for interest like in the outfit in the photos above and below. You can find other examples at the links.

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. This look is one of my favorite Casual Friday outfits.


over 50 years old stylist in all basic color Casual Friday work look
Monochromatic “gray” Casual Friday look with Eli Tahari glen check blazer, Oliveo boot cut Italian denim jeans, and Adidas sneakers



influencer in leather shell
Oliveo cream leather shell over mock turtleneck with plaid skirt, GNW tights, Steve Madden Mary Janes, and Longchamp bag


Stylist tip: Style neutrals as if they were colors.]


The outfit below shows a casual weekend look in taupe, brown, denim and white.

over 50 years old Alaskan blogger in all neutrals weekend outfit with over-the-knee boots
BeBe leather jacket, Jeanne Pierre sweater, J brand jeans, statement necklace, Anne Klein leopard print scarf, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Dior over-the-knee boots (all own) and wooden watch c/o Jord



Wrapping Up the Secrets of Great all Neutral Looks

The secrets of great all neutral looks are creating interest and body balance without using fashion colors.

Do you know that there is a complete style guide on how to look great in black and white 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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