As much as I love color, I don’t wear a lot of it. In the summertime I break out it out, but in the winter I wear a lot of shades of grey, camel, navy, brown and olive. I then use my accessories to add some pops of color, and that’s only if I am in the mood for it. There is certainly nothing wrong with a colorless wardrobe. It can look very chic and sophisticated, but, it can also look repetitive and boring if you aren’t careful, especially if you basically wear the same type of look over and over again. If you are seeking to diversify your wardrobe, but don’t want to do it through adding a rainbow of colorful shades to your closet, here are tips on how to look stylish when you don’t wear color.
How to look stylish when you don’t wear color
#1- Dress tonally
Dressing in just one neutral color can sometimes look flat, or at least repetitive. However, when you dress in tones of one or several neutral shades an outfit you can look more interesting. I do this a lot with shades of camel and grey in one outfit to create a sophisticated look that doesn’t appear too one-note. If you prefer black, try shades of grey and black, there are so many colors that fall into the brown spectrum, like camel, tobacco, khaki, cognac, chocolate, and more. And, remember, you don’t have to stick to one tonal palette. Like I do, I often wear shades of grey and brown in one look.
In the outfit above, I added an oatmeal modal long sleeve t-shirt from Banana Republic to a pair of brown pants from Theory and layered an elm colored cardigan from J. Crew over it. The outfit is finished with a pair of leopard flats from Nordstrom, a cognac handbag from Lucky Brand, a plaid scarf from San Diego Hat Company, tortoise earrings from Kate Spade and gold Alex and Ani bracelet.
#2- Add just a splash of color
When it comes to color, a little goes a long way, especially when you don’t like to wear a lot of it. Adding color to your wardrobe can be done in super small doses and make a huge difference. Try a colorful pair of shoes, a necklace or bracelet with some color or other small accessory details. Because your wardrobe is primarily neutral based, you’ll find it is really simple to add these small touches of color.
In the navy and ivory shift dress from Boden above, the simple addition of yellow shoes goes a lot way in adding some interest to the outfit. Plus, the good news is if you don’t like yellow you an choose any color you want because the dress is navy and ivory. To finish the outfit, I kept everything else simple and colorless by adding this navy handbag from Elliott Lucca and navy link necklace from Diana Broussard.
#3- Add some texture
For the sake of simplicity, you have kept your wardrobe primarily all one color. While this strategy has some merits, it also has some drawbacks. Have you ever tried to match shades of black that weren’t sold together? The chances of you matching separately sold black pieces is harder than trying to catch a well oiled piglet. It never happens. Always make sure you have some pieces in your favorite neutral shades that have some texture to them. They will be easier to work with because the shade won’t have to match so exactly.
In the outfit above, I used this bouclé jacket from Rebecca Taylor and styled it with a pair of black pants from Elie Tahari. To finish the look, I layered an ivory crepe shell from Ann Taylor underneath it and used these black booties from Vince Camuto and handbag from Nine West. Lastly, I added this long necklace from Lagos that has some cobalt in it, for a subtle pop. But, of course, if you are really against color you can always wear a plain silver necklace.
#4- Look for styles in interesting and unique shapes
If you have been sticking with a small color palette of neutrals try to diversify the shapes and styles of your neutral pieces. Instead of having a dozen black turtlenecks or navy basic cardigans, look for interesting styles in the neutral colors you prefer.
Take the olive blouse from Topshop above. It looks more interesting than a basic blouse and doesn’t requite a lot of jewelry to look finished. I styled it with this cognac leather skirt from Hugo Boss and finished the look with a pair of brown suede boots from Nine West, olive handbag from Banana Republic and smoky quartz earrings from Stella & Dot.
#5- Choose colors that can act like neutrals
If your colorless wardrobe is starting to feel a little limited, there a plenty of shades out there that are more colorful but subtle enough that they can be worn like neutrals. Colors like this are deep burgundy, rich rusts, dark plums, deep teal colors and hunter green.
In the outfit above, this Reiss dress in a rich juniper shade that even the most averse to color could embrace. Because this might be a stretch for some, I used subtle accessories, including these suede pumps from J. Crew and MICHAEL Michael Kors bag in buff and a gold bracelet from Bauble Bar and pavé hoop earrings from Ann Taylor.
If you like a little or a lot of color, there are always ways to look stylish. I hope these tips give you some ideas for adding some style to your color-free wardrobe.