No Longer Grey

The sartorial experiments and ramblings of a girl named Sarah

Cream and Taupe and Beige All Over: Adventures in Neutral Outfitting

by Sarah on December 28, 2018, 2 comments

shirt- vintage, pants- Everlane, shoes- Everlane, jacket- thrifted

Beige is possibly the least appealing word in the English language. It’s the lexical version of the waiting room in a dentist’s office or a pair of stretched out socks doomed to reside in the back of a dresser. The color itself seems like the most boring color in the world, surely in need of some sartorial condiments to make things interesting. Because of this, at first it would seem counterintuitive to style beige with more beige. After all, two wrongs don’t make a right. However, two beiges can make a killer outfit. Here are some tips for how to pull off head to toe neutral.

Break it up

The key to a successful neutral outfit is contrast, so even if it’s not in terms of color (the traditional way to add contrast), create contrast through other mediums. The best neutral outfits use a range of textures, all designed to break up the appearance of the outfit. Different finishes – glossy vs matte, knit vs silk, pebbled vs smooth all will help break up your outfit.

Beige doesn’t have to be beige

There are a lot of neutral browns. Camel, khaki, mauve, cream, white, eggshell, caramel, chocolate, the list goes on and on. Find out what looks good on you and which shades you think are pretty, and work from that color palette. Using different tones in the same color family helps keep a monochromatic outfit from being too completely monochrome. Tonal contrast guides the eye through an outfit in the same way contrasting colors can. Here, I’ve got gold, cream, camel, dark brown, caramel and rusty brown represented, but there are hundreds of other shades too.

Play with proportions

One color outfits can look blob-ish if not done correctly. The key is to have clear dividing lines between pieces, so that they don’t flow into each other and become a melted mess of beige. Do a half or whole tuck, layer a sweater over a different colored button down, cuff your sleeves and pant legs. Even just adding a shoe with a bit of a heel can change up the proportions, so don’t be afraid to try a heel.

Add the bling

You don’t have to be a diamond expert to know that a little sparkle can turn around an outfit. Earrings, some layered necklaces, even a funky pair of socks can help add interest to a simple look. Plus, throw on a scarf (remember that the way you wear your scarf matters) for some added textural interest.

Convinced, or not quite ready to put on a latte/ chicken nugget/ cinnamon roll costume that a taupe outfit really is? Let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Cream and Taupe and Beige All Over: Adventures in Neutral Outfitting

  1. Pingback: Dressing for a Cocktail Party: To LBD, or Not to LBD - No Longer Grey

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