Ever notice how when people discuss their favorite colors, gray rarely gets a mention? More often, the color gives many of us pause—fashionistas included. It’s the hue of rain clouds and is often associated with melancholy and gloom. But when worn right, gray ensembles look sharp, sophisticated, and anything but sad. The key is learning how to wear gray without blending into the background.
The good news: wearing gray is actually pretty easy. Like black, gray is a neutral that goes with everything, so you’ll never be pressed to find items that match. It’s a hue that flatters all skin tones, comes in infinite textures, and chances are, you probably already have some gray in your wardrobe.
Here are four ways how to wear gray that’ll help you stand out in any setting:
1. Make Gray Glam
Can gray have glitz factor? Yes. Silver, an ultra-luxe shade of gray, is perfect for an elegant night out. Try it in velvet for a lush, sophisticated look, or opt for silver sequins over gray sheer silk to channel 1950s Hollywood glam. Pair a sharp gray dress with your favorite black pumps and purse and you’ll be ready to rule the red carpet or turn heads on the dance floor.
2. Wear the (Gray) Pants
If you’re getting bored of denim, but can’t seem to let go of your classic jeans-and-a-blazer go-to outfit, try some gray slacks. This swap is one easy way to look polished and sharp at the office, while dipping your toe into the gray trend.
But if you’re still pining for jeans and want to go gray, you’re in luck. Gray jeans are easy to come by and are a worthy investment, as they look fantastic in all cuts and with all kinds of tops. And if you feel like you’ve entered a style rut, changing the shade of your jeans is an easy way to shake things up.
3. Mix Up Your Textures
Just because gray is a neutral, that doesn’t mean it can’t pop. Pair a gray blazer with a printed blouse for a wow moment at the office. The gray outer layer defines the outfit’s shape, while a patterned top adds a bold visual element. Together, this is a perfect example of how to wear gray that defies boring or expected office wear.
The best part? This is a styling technique you can try again and again. Mix and match a great gray blazer or jacket with tons of blouses and camisoles for a superb look, no matter your mood or the season.
4. Pop with Flower Power
Do floral prints work in gray? Absolutely. Because gray is a muted color, it gives floral patterns an opportunity to really pop.
Gray floral dresses look a little more casual than black ones, and a little less bridal than ones in white. Try wearing a gray floral dress with sandals for a casual summer look, or some stylish black flats if you’re headed to the office or a more formal event.
A gray floral option is a versatile and unexpected take on fashion’s most popular pattern, and it’s a look that works whether you’re attending a day wedding, speaking at a meeting, or meeting a friend for brunch.
At the end of the day, how to wear gray comes down to one thing: fearlessness. Dare to forget the drab rep and just go for it. Even if you aren’t quite ready to make way for an all-gray look, pieces in this fabulous color will be worth every penny—trust us.