Published on April 4, 2014—  Leave a comment

How to Wear The New Neutrals (Without Blending Into the Wall)

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Beige may have gotten a rap as boring and bland, but this year, it’s the belle of the ball– as are camel, sand, pale pink, and of course, white, preferably all at once. Neutral colors are one of the hottest trends for spring, and yes, it’s possible to wear them head-to-toe without looking washed-out or blending into the wall. Here are some of our favorite tips for creating neutral ensembles.

1. Mix shades and textures. The best way to avoid looking bland in a neutral ensemble is to keep things interesting within the limited color palette. In general, you don’t want to repeat the same texture twice, and repeating neutral colors should be kept at a minimum in clothing (it’s fine to have a more matchy accessory; more below). Lace, chunky knits, stripes, denim, silk: don’t be afraid to mix it all up! For example, this sand-colored Old Navy cami has a heathered texture that contrasts nicely against a crisp pair of white jeans from LuckyA pale peach, striped Benetton sweater over the other two pieces brings in extra texture and a third gradation in color, differentiating the neutrals to the eye and making the outfit look less monochrome.

2. Pay attention to fit. Because neutrals draw a lot of attention to the body (unlike our favorite slimming pal black), it’s important to find pieces that fit you well. Many women wearing neutrals opt for classic, ladylike silhouettes like a blouse tucked into a skirt with a nipped waist, or a long tunic over fitted pants. Try this flowy sand-colored Nanette Lepore blouse over a pair of Bebe dress pants, or tuck a fitted Ann Taylor tee into a versatile white Calvin Klein pencil skirt. Take the colors in reverse with this knitted cream top and tapered Khakis pants combination.

3. Accessories are key. To keep the all-neutral look from getting too sloppy, feminine accessories are the way to go. Many women top off dressy occasion outfits with a trusty pair of nude heels, but they also look great in casual ensembles– try them with a pair of white skinny jeans or a more casual pale pink skirt. (For those who haven’t taken the plunge, this snakeskin Guess pair are great— and add a little bit of extra texture as a bonus.) A sparkly statement necklace like this one from BaubleBar keeps the look bright, but adds more texture and playfulness. And of course, a structured bag in white, brown, or light gray is always a good choice when you’re aiming to appear professional.

Shop all our new neutrals picks >>

How do you pull off the neutral look? Share your tips and tricks in the comments.