This winter, I’ve been super into monochromatic looks. The word “monochromatic” is broken up into two pieces; “mono” meaning single and “chromatic” meaning color. That doesn’t mean wearing a monochromatic look; you have to wear all black or all white. You can layer various textures of one color and add depth and dimension from a single base hue and extend shades, tones, and tints from head to toe.
A monochromatic look is very chic, simple, and clean. If done right, a monochrome outfit can be just as, if not more show-stopping than a patterned dress or a statement jacket.
Let’s dive into the details….
For instance, say you want to wear a beige or camel look. Begin by pulling all the beige, brown, ivory, etc., pieces from your closet and separate them from the other colors. Once you have the items separated from the rest of your wardrobe, start having fun! Experiment by pairing different pieces to create new outfits. See what goes together and what doesn’t, and come up with a few of your favorite looks.
Here are my tips for going monochrome this year!
PICK THE COLOR THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU
It’s essential to pick a color that looks great against your specific skin tone and hair color. For women such as myself, with dark hair and olive skin, opt for a deep color like burgundy or brown. If you have fair skin and blonde hair, try navy.
I’ve chosen camel in the look below because I know it goes well against my skin tone and hair color. I love pairing gold jewelry with camels. In this look, I’ve opted for a more casual outfit but brought in a jersey blazer to add a sophisticated element. For me, this is the perfect weekend look. This outfit could easily be transitioned to a more dressed up ensemble by adding a silk cami and pumps.
On a recent outing in Canada with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wore an all-brown monochrome look. This leads to my next tip, mixing textures. As you see here, Meghan is wearing a silk slip skirt, turtleneck, velvet pumps, and a wool coat made by Reiss.
SHOP MEGHAN'S LOOK
This next look is perfect for touring around the city. I took this look at the streets of Budapest. I’ve mixed a wide variety of textures here; wool, cotton, suede, and leather. The jeans are sustainable, produced by Alice and Olivia. The lace-up suede boots are made by Vince, the wool coat by Madewell, beige scarf and hat by Rag & Bone. Viola! Here’s the perfect monochrome look with visual depth and dimension and shows that my look is not so one dimensional.
Some other texture combinations you could mix are chiffon and leather, cotton and denim, suede and silk.
NOT EVERY COLOR WILL BE EXACT AND THAT’S OKAY!
As you can see in my next look, the silk skirt has a lighter tone but still stays monochrome in the outfit’s entirety. Even though we brought in white with the boots and clutch because the skirt is so light, the white works brilliantly. Any other color with this look would stick out like a sore thumb.
The skirt and the sweater in this look are a part of the Alice and Olivia Spring 2020 Classics Collection. Stacey Bendet, CEO and Creative Director of Alice and Olivia, created this elevated workwear collection to take modern women from day to night.
In a recent quote from WWD to introduce Classics for Spring, Bendet says, “I have always set out to dress the modern woman — the young college graduate going for her first job interview to the female CEO. My goal is to dress her for her everyday life, nightlife, and work world. It isn’t just about modernizing and redefining workwear for the office; it’s about creating pieces that fit into a working woman’s world.”
SHOP THIS POST
BLACK ISN’T BLAND
Whether it’s black yoga pants with black sneakers, black bomber, and shades, or how I’m wearing here… head to toe black just got an upgrade. As with my second look in this post, I took this all-black outfit to Budapest. Packing monochrome looks made not only packing easier; it made my outfit selections more simple.
PLAY WITH PROPORTIONS
If you really want to step out and go bold, pick a bright color, as I’ve done with this Alice and Olivia outfit. While you don’t want a color to overwhelm you, there are occasions where you can take a leap and wear an all red, blue, or pink look.
To ensure the color doesn’t overwhelm you, play with proportions! If you’re wearing a crop top, opt for high waist pants; if you’re wearing puff sleeves like I am here, wear fitted bottoms. Wearing a bulky sweater? Pair it with skinny jeans.
If you want to ease into the monochrome trend, add a piece with a pattern. Monochrome looks don’t have to be made up of solid pieces. While solid pieces are best to achieve a monochrome look, easing in can be done by adding a print or pattern to break up the solid color blocks. Add white boots to an all pink monochrome look or an animal patterned boot to ivory or black suit. The options are endless.
I’ve pulled some of my favorite looks worn by a few celebrities. Beginning from the left and working clockwise; Jennifer Lopez is sizzling in Red, Gigi Hadid is bold in all-out orange, Victoria Beckham classy (as always) in maroon and pink chiffon, Blake Lively in showstopping yellow and green, Sandra Bullock in Sydney wearing all Blue, Jenna Dewan looking striking in lavender, Jessica Alba in pink, Meghan Markle gorgeous in brown, Rita Ora fierce in black, and Kendall Jenner chic in all-out grey.
Photos by: The Branding Babe