Many neutral and monochromatic looks gain from a pop of color. However, an outfit in colors without saturation is a different beast. This post explains the stylying concept of a look without color.
- Monochromatic looks win with a pop of color …
- What are desaturated looks?
- Black and white are a classic
- Best desaturated color combinations
- Desaturated prints are a statement on their own
- Prints in colors without saturation are easy to mix
- In summary
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Monochromatic looks win with a pop of color …
…. but desaturated outfits? I am always in favor to add a pop of color for interest and to brighten up a gray or rainy fall day with two exceptions: Wearing black with blush or black and white together. These two color combinations are already themselves a statement. They do not need a pop of color. Or as a stylist would say …
That accent would compete for attention!
What are desaturated looks?
The term refers to outfits that lack color. Every look that uses all kinds of gray starting with white to black on the other end. There may be also a very light pink, blush, baby pink in the mix. As so often a picture saves a thousand words. So take a look at the following examples.
See? The look lacks colors. In the example below, gray and different tints of pink are used. Thus, the concept is not limited to BW.
Think mono-chromatic – pair different hues.
The three different hues of pink work together as they are grounded by the gray tweed skirt, and gray tights. Thus, the idea of this look is to use two monochromatic palettes in one outfit to create interest. The necklace has different hues of pink and gray and ties the outfit together. The necklace is a gift from my husband. For more on how to style chic monochromatic looks in the guide at the link.
Another great desaturated combination is black with blush (see photo below). It has such a nice tension sort of soft and innocent vs. strong and dark. Like the Beauty and the Beast. It’s a ballroom or ballet classic. The male black suit and the female blush tulle skirted leotard and ballet shoes. When you pair these colors in one outfit, you get the stage dramatic tension of Romeo and Juliet instantly. Recall in these performances. There are no other colors – for a reason.Never add a pop of color to a desaturated outfit. #styletip Click To Tweet
Of course, one has to make sure that a desaturated outfit in all neutral colors keeps interesting. See the post at the link for a guide.
Black and white are a classic
This color combination builds on the biggest contrast between dark and light. Like day and night. The black and white combination can go from very professional to very dramatic depending on the cut and pattern. Black and white has been a trend as long as I can think off. It meanwhile is a Go-to rather than a trend. Therefore, I devoted an entire guide to how to style the black and white trend. Actually, there is even a long fashion history of dressing in black and white.
Adding a pop of red to black and white is very risky. One easily ends up in Santa Claus territory.
Stylist’s tip: Keep it just simple: Black-and-white. It is so mysterious!
You can find other examples of when not to add color when when pairing white and winter white for an outfit.
Best desaturated color combinations
Here is a list of other desaturated color combinations.
- Light pinks with gray or greige or taupe
- Blush and gray
- Blush and black
- Greige and blush
- Gray and black with or whitout white
- Several shades of gray. Actually, you can mix all patterns when they are gray.
- Beige and black
Stylist’s tip: Never pair beige and gray together. The former will than just look like the piece is dirty.
Desaturated prints are a statement on their own
Snowleopard falls into this category. In the 50s, leopard print was for date night and bomshells only. You wouldn’t had worn it to the office, church or any formal occassion. In this decade, leopard print became a classic, a perfect neutral.
Wear this print with a gray, black or white bottom. Add dress pants, skirt, jeans, leggings and even leather pants in these colors. Pair the look with matching shoes, pearls or silver jewelry and you look posh and stylish in no time. Never tried animal print? No worries, see this guide how to style animal print.
Prints in colors without saturation are easy to mix
The photo inspirations below provides another example that a look without a pop of color has not to be boring. In this example, both layering and mixing prints serve to make the look fly. Learn more on chic layering in this guide.
So-called desaturated outfits are statements on their own. They don’t need a pop of color. Black and white is the easiest combination. Prints in these colors are also the easiest to mix. Layering can make a desaturated look even more stylish.
Photos: G. Kramm
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