Style

The Monochromatic Look: A Fail-Safe Way to Stand Out

645569fc-7d3b-4e63-bc24-53c021528a5eAs I mentioned in a previous post (which you can check out here) one of the easiest outfits to make you look like a style guru is through dressing in an outfit all in one color. This strategy can be as bold or subtle as the color you choose to wear, and is effortlessly chic. It can be an unexpected choice, some people stray away from a head-to-toe look in one color for fear of looking like a walking high-lighter. If you’re one of the skeptics, start off with a neutral, such as grey, camel, or the always on-point color black. From here you can work your way up the rainbow, no color is off limits (except nude–eye-catching, yes, but not a good look). Some of my favorite monochromatic looks feature the most surprising colors, like candy-apple red, cotton candy pink, and canary yellow. The drama really comes with amount of a single color, so don’t stop at just your clothing. You can match your shoes, handbag, jewelry, lipstick, everything, in your ensemble.

I will admit there is one obstacle you will most likely face during this endeavor; getting everything to match perfectly. We have all had to change out of an outfit after we take one look in the mirror and discover that our black top and bottom don’t exactly match (I mean really, how many shades of black can there be?!). But I will let you in on a few tips to save your sanity, I’m nice like that. My number one rule, and I cannot stress this enough, is when you are trying to see if two colors match, stand about a foot away from the items. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve worked with clients who practically take out a magnifying glass to two items and try to find the slightest difference between the hues. They always do find a difference, because the chances of two colors matching from two totally separate items of clothing, typically in different fabrics, and  sometimes from different manufacturers even, has to be microscopic. Save yourself the antagonizing. No one is going to be that close to your clothing anyway, except maybe your significant other. So, again, look at the items the same distance as if you were talking to a close friend. Still match? Good, moving on. Next, be sure to look at the items in different lighting. I usually just check indoor lighting and take a look in front of a window for natural lighting. If you work somewhere with florescent lighting, you might want to check by that too. But otherwise, if it passes the natural lighting test, you’re good to go.

The key to this strategy is keeping it simple. Like color-blocking, you want the focus to be on the color, not any crazy design feature. That does not mean you cannot experiment with silhouettes and textures, but it is best to keep these to a minimum. And if you’re really uncomfortable with making a commitment to one color, feel free to have a slight break with a nude or neutral shoe or accessory.

Whether you stick to simplistic and neutral, or go bold with vibrant color, monochromatic outfitting is one of the easiest style sticks in the book to look innately chic. Just don’t let anyone get too close to you with a magnifying glass…

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