Neutral Fashion & How to Wear It

How many times have you heard someone say, “That’s a neutral, you can wear it with anything”? Have you ever wondered what the heck they are talking about? Let’s not stay neutral on this subject and have a look at what neutral fashion really is all about!

What is Neutral Fashion?

In a nutshell, neutrals are shades and tones of white, grey, black, navy, brown or khaki and are the building blocks of any wardrobe because they serve like a blank canvas that you can build upon. Investing in key neutral-toned pieces is a great way to start building your closet because you’ll always have those key starting pieces. As a result, it’s more cost effective to have high-quality basics that you can dress up season-to-season.

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Neutral Tones Chart

How Do You Wear Neutral Fashion?

Some basic neutral pieces you’ll want to invest in are:

  • Good pair of jeans
  • Black pants
  • Basic tees in various shades
  • Crisp, white shirt or blouse
  • Denim jacket and/or beige trench coat and/or black blazer
  • Little black dress

Just that will get you started on at least a week’s worth of outfits. You can dress them up or down with fun non-neutral items such as:

  • Shoes in a cool pattern or bright colour
  • Scarves with various prints
  • Bold purses
  • Fabulous accessories

Most commonly, you’ll see a full outfit in a neutral tone that’s jazzed it up with a printed scarf, coat, accessory or “pop” of a non-neutral tone like red. Other times, the main piece of clothing is bright and bold, with a neutral jacket or sweater overtop. Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 6.50.52 PM

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Neutral Fashion With A Twist

While typically neutrals are solid colours, they can look fantastic partnered with patterns like plaid, checks or even animals prints. What makes a pattern a neutral is either commonality or tone. A bright red plaid is certainly not a neutral but a soft blue plaid could be. Houndstooth and leopard are also considered neutrals because they are “common” patterns. 
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Same goes for metal-tones. Any shade of silver, bronze, copper or gunmetal can be used as a neutral. Commonly used in belts and jewelry, they look great overtop just about anythings… so have fun with them!

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Neutrals give you a lot more flexibility as base pieces and can save you a lot of money in the long run. But, don’t be afraid to add some fun, loud, even bold prints to your wardrobe that can look great with neutral jackets or accessories. The key – as always with fashion – is to be comfortable and confident in your outfit.

I’ve been updating my favourite key pieces for this season in my Winter Look Book, see if you can spot the neutrals! Mixing prints is a topic we’ll tackle another day 😉


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