50 Shades of Grey
“Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony." Coco Chanel
Take a look in my closet and you’ll see seven little black dresses, five white tees, and four pairs of black pants. Two black and white sweaters, six grey sweaters, and five white tank tops. It’s a general 5:1 ratio of neutrals to color, and I’m not mad at all. I love black on black as much as the next girl, but I find that it washes me out in the winter months. Crisp white plays well with my blonde locks, but doesn’t play well with my general messiness/proclivity towards spilling.
In between that perfect harmony of which Ms. Chanel speaks is the perfect neutral for me: grey. From ash to charcoal, slate to pewter, silver to smoke--there are literally fifty shades--or more! of this underrated neutral. Its diversity and versatility are all the more reason why it should heavily dot your closet.
A neutral in a fashionista’s lingo can be called as such based on how well it can blend with other colors. So a dictionary definition would call for black, white and grey, I would dare to say navy, camel and olive can typically play neutral to bolder pieces. And while I’m devoted to gunmetal and greige, you should play up your neutral of choice, whether it’s carbon and jet blacks, ivory and cream whites, or midnight and Russian Navy blues. Here's my do's and don't for neutrals--no matter the season!
Do invest. Most of your office wardrobe investments should in the neutral range, as they will give you the most cost per wear, go with anything, and aren’t too loud for your place of work.
Do try trends. If you’re buying something trendy, consider buying it in the neutral palette. A feathered mini, oversized fur, or wide-leg culottes can still make a statement without going over the top if it’s in a more muted color. Would you be more likely to re-wear a hot pink fur or a grey? Think about it.
Do consider your skin tone. While neutrals are great because they look good on everyone, some work better for others. If you’re cool toned, you’ll look better in the traditional black, white and grey--with silver undertones. If you’re warm toned, consider creams, chocolates and golds. Don’t know which tone you fall under? Check this site here.
Don’t stick to one shade. Just because you’re dressing in neutrals, doesn’t mean you have to play it safe. Mix tans with browns and creams with navies. A blend of neutrals as your base with a bold accessory in a fun color can be the most daring of outfit.
Don’t forget two of the best neutrals: animal print and denim. Not your traditional understated hues, utilize leopard as a neutral or denim as a base to play up brights. Your outfit will never be boring!
Don’t forget fabric, cut and fit. Just because your ensemble isn’t going to scream look at me! Doesn’t mean you can’t have pants that look, feel and fit like a million bucks. In fact, wearing neutrals allow you to pay more attention to the quality of the garment. Look for unique cuts or intricate details in a take on a classic, such as a funky hem on a plain white tee.