I really am trying to wear a little more color these days. Red is a favorite, as I shared in this recent blog post. And for the first time in a long time…maybe ever…I’m trying to incorporate a little pale purple into my wardrobe. But I still have a passionate love affair with neutrals, and I’m not giving them up. Some say wearing all neutrals can make you look boring and even older than you really are. But today I’m sharing tips for how to wear neutrals without looking boring.
This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links I potentially earn a commission on your purchases, but at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting my work here by shopping my links.
To illustrate my points today I’m bringing in photos from my recent YouTube videos. Readers often ask me how they can pin these outfits in their Pinterest boards. My assistant always makes them into LTK posts, so the best place to see and shop them is in my LTK Shop. In fact, that’s honestly the best and easiest place to shop all of my content. But I thought we make good use of these outfit photos today by bringing them onto the blog. So pin away!
Tip #1 – Keep it simple.
Really, the clean aesthetic of neutrals is what makes them so pleasing to many of us to begin with. So one of the best ways to wear neutrals and not look boring is to embrace that simple approach.
I’ve done a couple of different things with the outfit pairing above. In one outfit I wore cognac accessories and in the other I bookended the look with coordinated booties and sweater. But in both outfits I did keep things relatively simple. Don’t be afraid to let enough be enough.
Just to illustrate this first tip further, the very casual and affordable outfit above follows the same principle. Simple can look sophisticated and classy, not boring at all.
Tip #2 – Create pleasing neutrals combinations.
Not to contradict the tip above, but simply to provide another option, work to create pleasing neutrals combinations. I still (generally) like to keep my pairings of neutrals down to two, maybe three, on the rare occasion. But I’m always looking for the most appealing combinations I can create from the neutrals in my closet.
I think one of the best places to get inspiration for pleasing combinations of neutrals is in nature. A couple of winters ago I did a video on Style Inspiration for Wearing Grey in Winter and I shared there how nature is the best place to find beautiful pairings for this neutral.
Would you like to see a similar video this winter? Maybe for a different neutral, such as the trending chocolate brown or camel? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
But whether you pull your inspiration from nature or architecture, look for combinations that are pleasing to our eyes. Think outside the box of black plus beige. And don’t be afraid to pair neutrals that may seem to contradict at first. I love the combinations of navy and brown, shown two photos above, and the soft pairing of beige or oatmeal with grey above. What are some of your favorite combinations of neutrals? Share in the comments so we can all benefit from your insights.
Tip #3 – Add a little light to the mix.
Remember, these are not rules, just tips. So you can pull from them here and there for different effects. One of the things I like to do to lighten up an all neutrals outfit is simply to throw in a little white or soft beige.
There’s nothing wrong with a deep, moody combination of darker neutrals, of course. But sometimes adding a little light to an all neutrals outfit can make it seem a little more cheerful, less melancholy.
You can add a little light to an all neutrals outfit with white (or beige) sneakers, t-shirt, jeans, sweater or shoulder bag.
Tip #4 – Keep the quality of your garments high.
Personally, I believe that as we get older quality of garments becomes all the more important altogether. And that doesn’t mean you have to spend a bundle. Just this weekend I was in Goodwill doing some shopping for an upcoming video and noticed quite a few high end brand offerings in good shape. You’d do even better probably at consignment stores or other thrift markets, including online shops like Poshmark. Or you can do like I do and wait for every single item to go on sale before purchasing.
Remember my recent video about Wearing the Elevated Basics Style Trend? I made this same point there. If you’re going to keep your outfit fairly pared back and basic, then you need to wear good quality basics.
And, by high quality, we don’t necessarily mean ritzy brand or expensive to begin with. Learn to look for quality, not in the name of the brand, but in the stitching, the fabric, the finishing touches and the sourcing of the garment instead.
Tip #5 – Don’t forget to accessorize.
Since we are talking about wearing all neutrals and not looking boring, I think it’s important to state the obvious: accessorizing is crucial.
Accessorizing can be as simple as added a little carefully chosen jewelry. But it can also include adding a belt, pairing your shoes and handbag or wearing a scarf or sweater over your shoulders.
Tip #6 – Add some interest to your all neutrals outfit.
Don’t forget another fun trend for 2023: adding some whimsy or joy to your outfit. I’m all in.
You could add some fun contrasting socks, like I did in the outfit above left. It’s so on trend to wear some socks that show. And the best way to do that is to wear socks that contrast so it looks intentional. But you could also wear a fun print or graphic, like I did in the outfit above right. I’d just be careful to keep everything else in your outfit fairly basic and straightforward. You don’t want to create a competition for focus in your outfit.
Adding a print to your outfit, even if it’s still in a neutral like the animal print quilted jacket in the outfit above, is another way to add a little interest to your all neutrals outfit.
Tip #7 – Add some color to your appearance with makeup.
I do think it is very important to add some color to your appearance in your makeup when wearing all neutrals, especially if, like me, you have grey hair. Add a bold lip, some “nature-inspired” blush and a soft dusting of eye shadow can help you wear neutrals without looking boring.
My favorite lipstick for fall and winter is Estee Lauder’s lipstick in Rebellious Rose. I also have and am wearing above (and in most of these photos!) their blush in Rebellious Rose and lip pencil in Rebellious Rose. This pretty, deep color is considered to be a neutral that most women can wear. It’s a moist, long-lasting lipstick that goes on nicely and I really enjoy wearing it.
Do you like to wear all neutrals occasionally? Do you have additional tips for keeping those all neutral combinations from being boring? I’d love for you to share in the comment section. Just click on JOIN THE CONVERSATION below to open the comment area. If it’s your first time to comment, your comment will need to be approved before it is published, but I’ll get to it soon. Thank you so much for dropping in today. Have a blessed and beautiful fall day!
Blessed for My Day
As we continue to hear reports about the conflict in the middle East, I thought I’d provide some scriptures that would help us know how to pray. These are words from the Bible that also will help guide our hearts and thoughts as we take in the news and have conversations with other people about these happenings. I’ll refrain from making political statements about this situation, and I’ll ask you to do the same in the comments section. But I will gladly share scriptures that can shed light on the situation. After all, this is how we should approach every dilemma in our personal lives and in the news.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. ~ Genesis 12:1-4
“And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” ~ Genesis 17:7-8
I’ll provide more scriptures on this topic throughout the week. I think it might be a good idea for us to keep this topic out of the comments section this week. And instead, let’s just quietly meditate on these verses and allow God to speak to us through them. Thank you so much for understanding.