How to Wear Monochrome || Part One

How to Wear Monochrome-In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.

— Henry Wadsworth LongfellowHow to Wear Monochrome--21

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Blouse – Vince (similar) || Skirt – Asos || Mules – Miu Miu (similar) || Bag – Zara (similar|| Sunglasses – Karen Walker || Necklace – Chan Luu || Watch – c/o Daniel Wellington (use code ‘MUSHROOMSTEW’ for 15% off your order at DanielWellington.com)

Photos courtesy of fellow blogger Heidi

For the longest time I was scared to wear monochrome outfits. The idea of wearing a single color from head-to-toe sounded boring and unflattering.

Ah, the naivety of youth!

But as I’ve grown into my personal style these past few years, I’ve become more a risk-taker, challenging ideas like “no white after labor day” or “don’t pair black and brown” with reckless, wardrobed abandon. And along my journey, at some point, I discovered what an untapped resource monochromatic outfits were.

They’re easy to throw together quickly (when you limit yourself to one color you’d be amazed how quickly you can pull together an outfit). And it’s easy to replicate week-in and week-out without feeling repetitive. Just change your monochrome “color du jour” and you instantly have a whole new look.

Monochrome looks also happen to be particularly great for petite and curvy girls since they elongate and slim with very little effort. Hello easy chic! But monochrome looks can also be really tricky to get right — get it wrong and you may even look desperate or uninspired!

How to Wear Monochrome || Part One

1. Stick to One Tone

Keeping the color of your look consistent is the most important element to a successful monochrome look. Just imagine how weird my navy look would be if my top was a few shades lighter than my skirt. It wouldn’t have worked at all! Keeping the hue consistent makes the outfit feel more complete (and more expensive). Because the navy tones in today’s look match so well, my skirt + top combination almost looks like a dress from afar — a fun trompe l’oeil that bystanders will slowly notice more as they come closer.

2. Mix-up the Fabrics

I like to mix heavy-weight fabrics with light-weight ones, like wool with silk. Having fabrics with different properties helps create depth that would be lost in a single-hued outfit otherwise.

3. Keep it Light

One solid color can easily engulf your frame, especially if you’re petite like me. Finding pieces with sheer inserts, or slits for subtle “pops” of skin helps break up any heaviness wearing one color brings. No one wants to look like they’re swaddled in one solid, boring color!

4. Choose the RIGHT Color

Shooting photos of myself regularly for years has taught me so much about what looks good ON me ON camera. You’d be amazed at how many amazing outfits just don’t translate well in photos. Make sure to that if you’re only going to wear ONE color that it’s a flattering color on YOU. Choose something that contrasts well with your skin tone and that doesn’t compete with your natural coloring.

5. Add At Least One Contrast Element

A bright white mule, or a bold red lip can help a monochrome look feel composed and complete. Without some small contrast the whole effect can feel so much duller. Break up the monochrome through at least one different accessory to give the look roots and to keep it from looking too “expected”.

Have you ever worn a monochrome look before? What tips do you recommend?

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