What I Wore When I Loved Even More Neutrals

Neutrals are the foundation of every wardrobe

 This week I’m sharing 7 neutral outfit ideas for fall. They are a mix of classy, chic, casual, edgy, dressy, and minimal. Come check out what I wore when I only wore neutrals!

a foundation of neutrals

Neutral colors are the foundation of a classic wardrobe, and mine is no exception. I wear black, white, and blue most of the time. To me all the blues are neutral: midnight, navy, cobalt, royal, turquoise and icy blue go with everything.

For the past few years I limited myself to four neutrals: black, white, navy and silver. I love those colors, but as someone who has always had a wardrobe of mostly neutrals, I felt extremely limited in my choices. So in the last month or two I’ve reevaluated my neutrals and added to them.

This week I stuck to a completely neutral palette, and I reintroduced some neutrals I had dismissed from my wardrobe a few years ago. I missed them, and I’m happy to have them back. The truth is some of them never actually left. I didn’t wear them, but I couldn’t bring myself to part with them either.

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Nude

I wrote about nude colored shoes here, and I stand by that post. In general I don’t care for nude shoes on me. But I have this one pair of shoes that I loved on sight, and I never could part with them. I didn’t wear them with an outfit this week because I ran out of days, but these shoes are also coming back into rotation. They are very close to my skin tone, and how can that be wrong?

Black

Black is the color of my soul. And honestly, I look great in blue, but I absolutely glow in black. I look ethereal. It’s my best color. And it’s the color I turn to when I’m stressed, tired, overwhelmed, sick, or need soothing in any way. I have more black in my wardrobe than any other color.

Black and white are as neutral and classic as it gets. I love this top with its edgy take on a classic Breton top. The neckband and stripe down the sleeve are faux leather, and there is an exposed zipper in the back. #truelove. It’s hard to see but there are tiny silver studs around the sole of my boots.

Brown

I felt a huge void, especially in footwear. Particularly boots. There is more to life than black boots. I kept trying to fill that need with bold colored boots, but that felt clownish. Too much. At the end of the summer I found the most beautiful brown boots, and snatched them up. I’ve been dying to wear them!

This beautiful saddle/cognac brown is a color I have always loved and been drawn to. I have a pair of riding boots this color, and I never parted with them. When I spotted these booties during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I literally stopped in my tracks. I. was. smitten.

So then I needed a purse the same color because I love to match my leathers. And then I decided a belt was also necessary. And now I’m possibly hunting a moto jacket, but the color has to be as perfect as this one. And just like on my bag and belt, the hardware will have to be silver.

I cannot tell you how amazing this brown feels in my wardrobe. I particularly love it with white, navy, denim, red, purple, cobalt. Maybe the only color I would hesitate to wear it with is green, but I’ve always had a hangup about wearing green and brown together because I would look like a tree. Maybe I’ll try it and let you know!

Navy

I love a deep, dark, midnight navy as much as I love black. In the spring I particularly love it to shake off the darkness of winter. In the Spring Guide this year there was not a stitch of black! I enjoy a navy monochromatic look as much as I love a black monochromatic look.

You might remember this top from when I wore all the specials, and I am excited to wear it again as a fall item! This time I paired it with denim ankle pants and metallic cobalt flats and belt. Like I said above, all the blues are neutral to me, particularly when paired together.

Silver

Silver has always been my favorite metal, even when it wasn’t cool. Gold has been all the rage in jewelry the last several years, and silver is also having a moment in accessories like shoes and bags. This silver tee was the unicorn find of the Summer Guide. I LOVE this tee. It’s like the fairy princess version of white. It’s magical. The silver booties are from the Winter Guide last year. The purse is from the Spring Guide, and the jeans and jacket are from the current Fall Guide.

I also have a metallic silver puffer jacket, a silver moto jacket, more silver flats and sandals than is normal or necessary, a silver sequin skirt and silver ankle pants. But I thought it would be a bit much to wear them all together.

Denim

Denim is undoubtedly a neutral. It goes with everything from sequins to flannel. The denim on denim look is coming back around, and just like any monochromatic look it is very flattering. It lengthens and slenderizes. There is no color or fabric you can’t pair with denim, including more denim. The trick is to avoid looking too cowboy. That’s why I chose black leather over brown. I added some edgy accessories like the belt and studded bag, and accessories. If denim on denim is too much for you, this would look just as great with black jeans.

Leopard

I also added back leopard, and have been wearing it non stop. I wrote about finding the perfect leopard print for a Classic Woman here. I love these flats and have worn them constantly. I also picked up a belt to go with it. It meets the same criteria as my leopard flats, and it has silver hardware. I love both. For now that’s all the leopard I need in my wardrobe. We’ll see if I change my mind or find something else perfect. I’ve worn this exact outfit I can’t tell you how many times since I was in college. It is a favorite.

Gray

One other color I discarded was gray. Now, I cannot deny that most grays look horrible on me. It makes my skin look ruddy. But there is this one clear, icy gray skirt that I’ve had for 14 years. It’s always been a favorite, and I couldn’t part with it. It’s been sitting in my closet and has survived countless purges even though I haven’t worn it in years. And now I’m bringing it back into rotation where it belongs.

You know what made me finally decide to bring this skirt back? Rewatching Friends on Netflix (it is as funny as it ever was, and nothing makes folding laundry a pleasure like the antics of my favorite Friends). The one where Selma Blair tries to seduce Chandler she wore this exact outfit, and I was like, “I have that outfit. I used to wear that outfit. I LOVED that outfit. I need to wear it again.” And so I did.

What are your favorite neutrals? Have you brought any old favorites back into the fold?

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17 thoughts on “What I Wore When I Loved Even More Neutrals”

  1. I think you’ve outdone yourself with this one! Love all the black, too. Always my "go-to" color. I have missed brown and gray and like how you have added both back. I think I could do a rich, winey-dark brown like you have. The richness is a bold statement on it’s own. LOVE the blue shoes!
    Karen Fitch

  2. Yay yay yay!!! I love how you’ve added these neutrals in a way that still feels stunning and very true to the clean, classic, polished style that is your signature. I was border line going to eliminate brown accents from my wardrobe, but no more. Thank you!

  3. Love the grey skirt. It’s a cool looking grey. Oh MY love those neutral pumps with black shiny borders, no less.

    I have grey hair and have always loved silver trimmings and silver. Do you have any thoughts on incorporating gray as a neutral when your hair is the same color.

    Thanks for showing those shoes; I was the one that wrote you about the leopard flats on YT.

    1. Sandy welcome! So I have been thinking about this very thing. My introduction to hues was when I was a little girl and my mom discovered Color Me Beautiful. She is a winter, and I was also draped as a winter when I was 8. I’ve known since a very young age what my best colors are. I remember that her color palette had a clear icy gray like this one. She had a blazer and a blouse. I haven’t tried wearing that color by my face, so I don’t know how it would look.

      My opinion is if it’s what is on your body, like your skin color, hair color, etc., how can that be wrong? Each of us decides what we will and won’t wear. I always ask my bestie how a color looks on me. She is always honest, and if it looks bad by my face or it feels weird on, I don’t wear it.

      If you love the color but it doesn’t love you back, try wearing it on your lower half. I think gray looks beautiful with bold colors. I always have. And I used to wear this skirt with those colors. And I will continue to do so.

    2. Hi Sandy! I have grey/silver hair too and I love incorporating it into my outfits, especially silver shoes to really "bookend" the silver. 🙂

  4. This post was so affirmative for me! I’ve been wearing black and/or navy for the last two weeks straight, and feeling like I should be wearing more color. But I don’t want to! After reading this I went back to my Pinterest boards and realized how much I gravitate toward neutrals with the occasional pop of color. And seeing all these great neutral outfits on you just reinforces how chic and not-boring neutrals can be.

    1. Megan I’m so glad this was validating for you. I’m trying to let go of should and wear what feels good to me on any given day. In college one of my roommates pointed out that almost all of my clothes were black, white or blue. So I intentionally went out and bought a shirt in each color of the rainbow. The truth is, I love neutrals and am generally happy wearing them. They don’t have to be boring!

  5. I think you would look stunning & fabulous in absolutely anything you choose to wear. Fun to see the Silver / Gray & the dark brown. Lovely.

  6. Hi April, I’ve been lurking on here for months and your blog is a must read for me. I haven’t done the dyt course yet but am probably a 4 w/ either a strong 1 or 3 secondary ( I’m basing this on my very asymmetrical features & being a lot more animated & random than her description of type 4s) With your help I’ve become laser focused on weeding out things in my closet that don’t do anything for me & have given away or donated so many things over the summer. I’m kind of intrigued by your recent addition of brown to your color scheme as I actually got a couple of brown shoes over summer. I wore a lot of bright yellow & orange this year & while I can rock black & yellow I think orange & black is too Halloween-ish (& I wasn’t able to find navy, white, or silver shoes that I liked). I also still wear gold & have no plans to scrap it even if I were to get definitively typed as a 4(although the gold has to be clear & bright, not brassy). I look good in silver & gold & don’t want to limit myself. I have heard Carol say that you can’t go by your skin tone but I disagree. When I was little my mom had that book Color Me Beautiful & we couldn’t decide if I was a Winter or Spring. A few years later they expanded their color palettes & I finally found where I fit-a Clear Spring( it’s kind of like a baby Winter or a combo of Types 4 & 1).For example, you and I have similar coloring but my skin has a yellow undertone & my hair has a lot of copper & red. Your wardrobe colors all work on me but some of your makeup wouldn’t. Carol seems pretty adamant that there are only 4 color palettes but I think everyone needs to adjust accordingly.
    I like your cognac boots/belt but imo wouldn’t get a moto jacket in that color, as you really are very cool toned & the cognac next to your face may not give you enough "punch". As much as I like colors like toffee & cognac they always seem to fall short if I wear them near my face, but I could be wrong. Anyway sorry for the epic length post & thanks for all you do!!

    1. Patricia it sounds like you are really narrowing down what does and doesn’t work for you! I’m honored to be part of your discovery process. I’ve seen the expanded color palettes for the seasons, and I find them confusing. I stick to a True winter palette for the most part, but I am finding some things I’m enjoying adding in. You may be right about the jacket. I’ll have to try some on and see how I do. If it makes me look ill I’ll skip it. Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing other thoughts and opinions.

  7. Love all these outfits! Wish you would shop for me. I love your edgy classy fashion. It’s exactly how I try to dress. Where did you get some of the tops? I love the striped with faux leather, the striped shirt under the black sweater and the black turtleneck with detail. I too am on posh and love buying and selling on it. Any tips for where to find items like you have on? Thank you!!!

  8. I just discovered your blog and I LOVE it. Earlier this year, I was feeling sloppy & frumpy and started to make an effort to get my wardrobe together. I stumbled on DYT & mistakenly typed myself as a 2/4. I did the free course and watched all the videos I could find (I never bought the books, style guide, or joined lifestyle.). I must’ve nailed the timing because now many of those videos are Lifestyle only. Every time I watched a video, I resonated with SOME of the type 2 stuff, but I found that I did almost everything the type 4 person did. I recently rewatched the type 4 course (they must’ve updated the styles) because this go ‘round, I really liked almost all the type 4 styles. (The first go ‘round, I was very put off by the type 4 clothes in the course video and that is probably why I decided I was a type 2. Lol.). I’m pretty sure I just got it backwards and I’m a 4/2. I like many of the DYT guidelines…but I also feel really good ina few things/colors that aren’t exactly type 4. I’m not going to give up anything I feel really good in…so I plan to do my own version. (So type 4 of me, right?! Lol.). I appreciate the DYT framework and guidance and positivity around style. I’m also really grateful to have stumbled on your blog. I appreciate all the content you share. Thank you.

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