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A Guide to Wearing (And Pairing) Neutral Colours

Wardrobe Rehab Apr 20, 2017

Neutral Wardrobe Guide

A few months ago we published a guide about how to develop your wardrobe colour palette, and a few of you asked about how these concepts around colours applied if you are trying to go for more minimalist and neutral tones.

With a heavy focus on on minimalism these days, it’s no surprise that many of you are interested in how to develop and pair your neutral wardrobe. And whilst the whole point of adopting neutrals into your wardrobe is to make it really simple to pair colours, the last thing you want to feel is bored with how colours can go together, which can sometimes happen when you stick with a simple palette.

Luckily,  there are a few different ways to experiment with how you pair neutral colours that will keep your outfits interesting, which is what we’re going to share more about here. And whilst neutrals aren’t for everyone, (and it doesn’t even need to be one or the other – some days I’m all about neutrals and others I love colour),  there are lots of benefits to simplifying your dressing process, like time saved and a wardrobe with greater longevity.

Below we’ve developed another outfit colour guide, this time for neutrals, using colour theory to help decide how outfit colours could be paired. Read on below for more detail!

Colour Theory

In terms of neutrals, there are two elements of colour theory that are useful to understand so you can experiment with your outfits.

Analogous: Analogous colours are hues which appear next to each other on the colour wheel. By pairing these types of colours you create a tonal outfit, where all the colours are a similar tone. 

Complimentary: These are colours which are roughly on opposite sides of the colour wheel. They create outfits with maximum contrast due to their relationship with one another. 

How to Experiment With Neutrals

As we mentioned before, developing a neutral colour palette isn’t about just having one or two colours you wear, unless that’s what you want of course! If you’d like some diversity in what you wear, the following two options are greats ways to experiment with what you wear.

Contrasting Neutrals

Contrast outfits involve putting together complimentary colours. This type of dressing results in outfits that have a pop factor as the colours are clearly defined within the outfit. This is often termed ‘colour blocking’, and applies whether you’re wearing brights or neutrals. Fyi – this is the main way I approach neutral dressing as it gives a clean and sharp look.

Tonal Neutrals

Tonal outfits involve experimenting with analogous colours – i.e. ones that are next to or near each other on the colour wheel. It can involve choosing a single colour and wearing items that are different shades of that colour in one outfit, or picking similar tones. This results in a more muted palette where there is less delineation between the colours, and hence a less colour blocking or popping feel.

If the concept of a neutral wardrobe still scares you, you can also add in some other colours such blue, stripes and some classic prints such a leopard to add a bit more personality to an outfit.

In case you’ve missed it, read the 5 steps to Wardrobe Rehab here.

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Tags Colours minimalist Outfits Style Wardrobe Rehab

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