Based on the results from the polls in the last couple of posts, it looks like some of you still aren’t fans of color. I understand that some of you will never be fond of color and will stick to your stance of “monochrome or bust” (which I totally respect). However, for those who are still confused or unsure about how to incorporate color into your daily look, I offer a few tips for both those who don’t have enough color and those who have too much color in their wardrobes.
Dark shades vs. black
Love blacks and greys? Try wearing dark shades of colors instead, like the pieces shown to the right. They are still dark and gloomy and kind of hardcore (if that’s what your thing) and forgiving of stains and post-meal bloat (if that’s what you’re worried about).
Adding colors like these will lend an outfit a bit more visual depth than just black, white, and shades of grey, which can often appear a bit flat when used alone in an outfit. I personally lean towards dark blue (which is a neutral in its own right), purple, and burgundy when I make replacements such as these, though dark green and brown would work equally well for this purpose. Try mixing dark shades for a subtly dynamic outfit. All the qualities you love in darks with all the awesomeness of color! Wendy (in the 2nd picture, not me, hehe) shows this off very well with her use of dark blue and brown with black.
Accessorize in Technicolor
It’s kind of a cliche for fashion magazines to say that you can “punch up” a neutral outfit with bright accessories, but like I’ve found with a lot of cliches, this concept only is one because it’s true. Wearing colorful accessories can make your monochrome (or multicolor) outfit more dynamic. Jewelry, belts, tights, bags, and shoes are all candidates to throw a “punch in the vertical direction” at your outfit. There are two reasons why this is one of the simplest ways to wear color:
1) Accessories are usually relatively small compared to, say, pants. Because of that, even super-bright accessories are subtler than you might expect. It’s a good way to wear bright color without looking too crazy.
2) “Flattering” colors matter much less with respect to accessories than they do with, say, shirts or dresses. It’s pretty much impossible for a bracelet or bag to make you look fat or washed-out, for instance.
In any case, colorful accessories add AWESOME to your outfit, especially if it’s otherwise monochrome. The first picture is my attempt to demonstrate this to you… and yes, I look weirded out because I almost never wear this many neutrals. AriElise does this a lot better than I do with her rainbow scarf which totally makes the outfit.
If you have a menagerie of colorful clothing and constantly feel like your clothing doesn’t go together, neutrals are your best friends. I don’t know how many times the addition of a plain black sweater or a simple navy blue blazer has saved my colorful outfits from looking too crazy. This is also why most of my shoes and bags are black, white, or brown.
Adding neutrals to colorful outfits is a great way for you to incorporate both colorful pieces and the staples that you almost certainly have already. And if you’re guilty like I am of never buying neutrals, trust me, they make your outfits SO much easier to put together and more intentional-looking, so it’s definitely worth it to invest in some! Check out fashion_lover’s bright but casual outfit to see how well a dark blazer can balance out a bright floral dress!
A few suggestions:
-Black, grey, or navy blue cardigan/blazer
-Black or grey tights (I assume everyone has a pair by now)
-Neutral shoes with an interesting but simple design
-Neutral bag that grounds even the most colorful look
Keep in mind that dressing in color is pretty hard in terms of getting colors to work harmoniously; you’re not necessarily going to get it right all the time, so just keep trying combinations and have faith in yourself. [Cheese alert] As always, I’ll be skulking around the style gallery and looking for style.