Hello ladies! I just returned home late last night from a whirlwind trip to Georgia. We celebrated my nephew’s wedding on Sunday. But we also just had some special times with family (and perhaps future family!!!) this weekend. It was a fast trip, and James and I took the scenic route home yesterday through the Smokie Mountains. So today I’m dragging a bit from the travel and also just the emotional highs I’ve been riding the past few days. Oh, and then there’s the increased sugar intake! Ha! Anyhow, that’s why I’m a bit late getting today’s post up. Thanks for your patience.
We took these photos a couple of weeks ago when we were having some true fall temperatures. And I can’t wait for those cooler temps to return, hopefully this weekend. I’ve styled an elevated casual fall outfit with a mixture of neutrals.
My jeans and t-shirt are both black. I’ve accented this otherwise black pairing with deep cognac brown accessories and then I lightened the look up a bit with some prints and a creamy beige jacket. I love the way these mixed neutrals work together to create an elevated but easy outfit for fall.
I actually get a lot of questions about mixed neutrals. I also receive a lot of queries about how to choose your belt color. So I thought I’d simply address those questions in today’s post.
Neutrals are, well, neutral. So you really can mix them endlessly. I received a rather sharp comment on my recent video about the Fall Capsule Wardrobe for Travel from a viewer who felt like I’d committed a major faux pas by combining my dark brown shirt with black travel pants and leggings. I beg to differ. Black and brown are beautiful together – rich, deep, intense and perfectly acceptable. These mixed neutrals create texture and depth in an outfit.
And knowing how to combine neutrals effectively can actually save you a lot of money in the long run. You don’t have to have a pair of shoes in every neutral shade in order to have a high functioning and beautiful wardrobe. For instance, yes, you can wear brown loafers or mules with black jeans. And you can even wear black pumps with your navy pants. You just need to know the secret that makes mixed neutrals work.
That secret? Just make sure you include at least two splashes of the neutral you’re using in your accessories in your outfit. That’s it. This is not brain surgery; just good style. So you’ll notice I’m wearing both a black top and black jeans. I also have a little black in my shoulder bag. Then I’m wearing a deep cognac brown belt and mules (or here at Nordstrom). For additional fortification, I wore my brown leather strap on my watch (use code KAYHRMS for 15% off your purchase).
Note, I’ve created a column of black with my top and jeans. (Yes, a black belt would have made that column smoother, but I was more concerned about mixing neutrals here.) So you really could pull off this combination of black and brown with a dress, too. You don’t have to wear two pieces of clothing in the first neutral. It’s those accessories that work best in multiples.
If I’d worn all black and a black belt, but then added the brown shoes, the outfit might have looked a little off. But it still wouldn’t be wrong. It wouldn’t have looked quite as cohesive, but there are no hard fast rules about mixing neutrals. But since I’ve worn similar (but not exactly the same) tones of brown in my belt and footwear, the outfit really comes together and my choices look a little more intentional.
Remember, intentionality is one of those little clues that triggers the brain to think, “oh so chic!” When we make intentional style choices it looks like we’ve put thought and effort into our appearance. Thus, we look “pulled together.”
But I’ve also added a soft tannish beige jacket to this otherwise dark outfit. Here’s the thing. Maybe the only jacket you have in your wardrobe that fits the bill for this day is a tan, beige jacket. You don’t want to let that keep you from wearing your black jeans and tee if you want to. Right? So what do you do? You add another splash of that light neutral to your outfit.
I added a little of that softer neutral in my shoulder bag. But I also wore a silk scarf with a good bit of the same lighter neutral. And because I chose to wear both the print silk scarf and the leopard print side of my reversible tote, I’ve made another style choice that creates interest and texture to this otherwise plain outfit. Mixing prints is still very on trend and it adds depth in an outfit.
The key? Make sure one of those prints is a classic that really reads like a solid, such as animal print, plaid, polka dots or stripes.
So don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit this fall. Combining neutrals such as black and brown, black and navy, brown and camel, even camel and grey can look rich and deep and oh so chic. And mixing prints can add interest and texture to your outfits. Let me know how you wear mixed neutrals.
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Blessed for My Day
We can be women who perpetuate disharmony and strife in our churches and families, or we can be instruments of unity and grace. Almost every day we have the opportunity to help others get along graciously or sow seeds of discord. Which will you choose today? Will you encourage others to forgive, give grace, seek common ground and search for the truth? Or will you be party to gossip, let false accusations go unchecked, listen to complaints and listen to slander without checking the facts?
Oh, and let’s not assume that there is some middle, neutral ground. When we choose to just “stay out of” the conflicts around us, we actually give credence to those who are stirring up the strife. God’s Word instructs us to “help” others get along, to point them to Jesus and to draw the opposing parties to common ground where they can restore the unity that only Christ can keep.
I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. ~ Philippians 4:2-3