I feel like I’ve been trying to write this blog post for awhile now but have struggled to put into words all of the knowledge I feel I’ve gained about curating a killer neutral wardrobe throughout my capsule wardrobe building process. So before I layout some “tips” or “hacks” I’ve figured out along the way for you, just remember that I’m no expert. I’m just sharing my experiments in the world of minimalist fashion, from one lady to another ;)
Here we go…
HOW TO NEVER LET A CLOSET FULL OF NEUTRALS GET BORING
1. Be totally sure neutrals are your jam. I know that catch phrase is probably overused at this point and time. But here? It 100% applies. First and foremost.
If you’re thinking about curating a minimal wardrobe (capsule or otherwise) comprised of a neutral color palette — there really shouldn’t be any question in your mind as to whether or not this color palette is you. We all go through times of experimentation — I tried out way too many styles in college that I liked, on other people — but I think we all have a sense of at least one outfit that we feel embodies every aspect of our style. That you feel totally you in. That my friend, is your jam. Go with it.
2. Don’t be deceived into thinking that color is the only way to add visual interest to an outfit. It just flat out isn’t. In fact, unless there is some element of contrasting colors within the outfit that create energy — it’s likely that the outfit is creating harmony instead. Which although is also pleasing to the eye — is a totally different kind of thing [thank you Color Theory 310 from junior year for that bit…]
Visual interest can just as easily be added through texture, shine, pattern, and [my current personal favorite] juxtaposition. In addition, any one of these methods can be combined with another to add perhaps even more visual interest. Think: boxy graphic tee [pattern] under a black moto jacket with quilted sleeves [texture] paired with skinny jeans, casual flats and delicate jewelry [shine]. The semi-structured upper portion of the outfit is in direct contrast to the casualness of the bottom portion [juxtaposition]. Or you could switch out the flats for a nude pump to play up the masculine vs. feminine of the whole thing. The possibilities quickly become endless…
3. Identify your base outfit and go from there. Remember the outfit I had you picturing at the end of tip #1? That’s your base outfit. Mine happens to be jeans and white t-shirt. When you have a home base, it’s: easier to build of off, less scary to start building and always incorporates the innate you. You know, because when you let you shine through — you look, act and feel more confident and are just well, way cooler. Am I right?
4. Remember that neutrals are actually kind of relative. Are they blacks + whites? Browns + creams? Greys + more greys? How about them all? Oh and what about navy…?
You see where I’m going with this? When you think “neutral wardrobe” it’s not the same as what someone else sees when they think “neutral wardrobe.” Shake it up a bit and explore what other people’s neutrals look like. You might surprise yourself and come away with a whole slew of ideas and inspiration.
5. Embrace classic pieces and try out trends with accessories. Somewhere along the way I adopted the mindset that “classic” was a sophisticated way of saying “boring ” or “frumpy”. And it’s not. So not. Now, I know classic to be synonymous with timeless — and you’re kidding yourself if you say you don’t want a timeless wardrobe. Seriously, who doesn’t want that? Trying out trends with accessory pieces like: scarves, hats, jewelry, etc. is not only less committal (ahem, cheaper) — but when you pair these smaller detail trend pieces with a base outfit comprised of classics, everything is so much more grounded. Grounded creates presence, presence creates impact and… isn’t that what an on trend piece is supposed to accomplish?
6. Wear those classic pieces in non-classic ways. Think half tucked white button down with boyfriend jeans, a structured blazer over top a loose boxy tee, gingham layered with plaid, or a striped tee with a patterned pencil skirt. Classic pieces, although simple by nature, don’t merely offer simple “inside the box” solutions. Because of their versatility they actually offer the most possible number of solutions and truly the most opportunity for creative expression. All while looking effortlessly cool.
And that’s it. I think that’s all I’ve got.
Do you ever think that a neutral wardrobe would/will get boring? What are some of the ways you’re dealing with that?