Whether you’re trying to corral a wardrobe that’s outgrown its space, revamping to accommodate lifestyle changes, or just refreshing and updating, my advice is to always start with your basic pieces.
Above: a versatile “mini capsule” featuring navy and camel pieces.
Basics are the foundation of my wardrobe. They’re the starting point for most of my outfits, and I think of them as Wardrobe Glue. That doesn’t mean wearing all basics, all the time. But a well-chosen capsule is a great starting point, and can help banish those “nothing to wear” days.
Last week I wrote about using silhouettes to help select your basics and build a cohesive wardrobe. Today I’m talking about color, specifically the power of neutral pieces in a wardrobe.
Neutrals can often be combined with each other, as well as with other colors. In my opinion, neutrals add polish and sophistication, and make an outfit look pulled together. Even if you like to wear a lot of color, including a neutral piece often helps “ground” the look.
Neutrals can be black, navy, ivory, tan, olive, taupe, gray, white, brown. (And I count denim as a neutral.) You certainly don’t have to choose just one. (Mine are black, ivory, denim, navy and grey.) Though if you’re completely overhauling your wardrobe, I’d tend to focus first on the two that are easiest for you to wear and style.
Once upon a time, we were told that if wearing two pieces of the same neutral (e.g. black/black, or navy/navy) the color had to match exactly. That’s no longer the case. In fact, “tonal dressing” (different shades of the same neutral or adjacent neutrals) can look fresh and sophisticated. I’ve found the trick is to combine pieces with different textures. That way, a difference in color looks intentional rather than mis-matched. (Unless you’re wearing an actual suit, and then you do want to match.)
And those old rules about what neutrals can be combined…just toss those out the window. You CAN wear black with navy, or black with brown, or gray with olive, whatever suits your style and coloring.
🐆 And, yes, I still consider leopard print a neutral. 😉
What neutrals do you rely on most in your wardrobe? Any favorite combinations?
Just a note: you still have time to take advantage of some of the weekend sales.
Aquatalia – 30% off everything with code LONGWEEKEND
Eileen Fisher – 15% off full-price styles with code NEWYEAR