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5 Tips to Help You Pull Off Monochromatic Outfits

by Caroline Grace


Monochromatic outfits are a huge trend for spring on both the runways and the street style scene, but wearing one color from head to toe in real life might seem more than a little intimidating. Single-color outfits are a bold choice, that’s for sure, but you don’t need to be super brave to make them work—you just have to be thoughtful with your styling. Here are five simple style pointers to guide you.

1. Choose Your Color

If you’re a woman who typically wears multiple colors in an outfit, deciding on one shade to commit an entire look to can be tough. Start off by considering which colors suit your hair color and skin tone best. For inspiration, think about an outfit that you already own and love to wear, or one that people always compliment you on. You can also start by choosing a single favorite piece in your wardrobe and build the rest of your look from there.

Pastels like sky blue, pink, and lilac are trendy for spring and look soft but impactful when worn in full. Bright hues like strawberry red, sunshine yellow, or lime green will always look the boldest when worn as a distinct overall silhouette, and an all-white outfit can look extremely striking.

There’s also nothing wrong with going for a classic monochrome look with a gray, navy, camel, or black outfit. Consider starting with one of these more subtle colors and then working your way up to something more bold.

2. Try Going Tonal

No one wants to look like a massive block of color when wearing a monochromatic outfit. This is the hardest thing to avoid when styling this type of outfit, but with the right tricks up your sleeve, you can break up the color and emphasize your silhouette—rather than hide it. Creating a tonal look is one of the easiest ways to achieve balance in a one-color look.

Say that you want to create a tonal look with blue garments: you might choose an indigo blouse, a sky blue sweater, and navy leather ankle boots to finish the look. Color scales are so fun to experiment with—and now’s your chance. Try shopping for different pieces online by searching for a specific color, or arrange your entire closet by color and see what new combinations you can pull together.

Try Going Tonal

3. Play with Textures

The other key way to break up a monochromatic outfit is to play with different fabrics. If every piece in your look is the same color and texture, you’ll likely feel like you’re lacking a silhouette and figure definition. But wearing multiple textures and patterns in the same color will make the optics of your outfit much more flattering. For instance, think about a red lace shirt tucked into burgundy wool trousers with a glossy poppy-colored shoe.

And don’t underestimate the power of prints here. A printed blouse with patterns in the same color may be all that’s needed to pull together a monochrome suit at the office.

white shirt for mono look

4. White Shirts Are Allowed

If you’re really at a loss for how to finish a tonal outfit, you can always play the joker card—a white shirt. White or neutral shirts are welcomed in this trend as a means to break up a head-to-toe one-color outfit. This article of clothing can help neutralize particularly bold color choices, so consider the white shirt to be your one cheat item when going monochromatic.

5. Think about Your Added Extras

The final thing to keep in mind is your accessories. The right shoes and bag, in a complementary color, will provide the perfect finishing touch to a monochromatic outfit. Taking the time to match your accessories will give the entire look an added sense of sophistication, which is especially key if you’re planning on trying this trend with office attire.

If done right, monochromatic outfits can look sleek, bold, distinct, and modern, as well as help define your incredible figure—it’s truly the new, glamorous form of power dressing. What better way to stand out from the crowd?

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