So often when I’m trying to put together a quick outfit for work as I rush out the door, rather than going for contrasting or complementary colours (the classic for many office workers is black pants/skirt and some kind of top – nothing wrong with that, of course, but it’s not very me!) I tend to reach for monochrome outfits. For me, keeping everything in the same tonal family is a super easy way to quickly put together an outfit that looks very curated and thoughtful. Since this isn’t something everyone feels comfortable with, I thought I would put together a few tips that I use to make sure the matchy-matchy looks cool not kitsch! I’ve used examples pulled from my instagram, so if you’re interested in more looks like this, go check it out.
For those who don’t know, a monochrome outfit is when you stick to one colour or colour variants within the same tone. And it doesn’t just have to be black and white!
This is a really nice way to break up a monochrome outfit – introduce texture! This could mean mixing fabrics, a fun earring or necklace, or a fuzzy jumper. I don’t do this one as often as some of the other tips I’m going to talk about, but I’ve included some ways I’ve worn textured monochrome below. On the left, I’ve kept the grey very tonally similar, but gone for this pleated skirt dress and patent grey boots to keep things interesting. On the right (also an example I will be using for my ‘pop of colour’ tip below) I’ve got for a LOT of pink, but added pom pom earrings, a fuzzy cardigan, and shiny-toed shoes in a rose gold. Both very different looks, but still using monochrome as the basis of putting the outfit together.
This is easily my favourite way to rock the monochrome vibe, as you can tell from how many examples I was able to find from my instagram archive! Sometimes trying to match prints can feel overwhelming and end up looking kitsch or not very together. However, I find that matching prints to otherwise cohesive tones or colour palettes allows the print to do all the talking, but keeps the whole look quite purposeful – these are often my ‘most complimented’ outfits!
If you’ve a sharp eye for detail, you will also notice that this is how I wear a lot of my Gorman prints – 4/6 outfits below have Gorman items in them! But you can see how keeping one piece bold and the others in the same tonal range makes everything look really thoughtfully put together. I particularly like the plaid grey pants in the bottom left and the subtle red print on the top right!
POP OF COLOUR
This probably isn’t how a purist would recommend you tackle a monochrome outfit, but I find that just breaking up similar tones with a pop of something else can really ‘make’ the look. These are three examples where I’ve stuck to a relatively monotone colour palette, but just added something else to the outfit to ‘oomph’ it up – a maroon/purple skirt for the pink outfit, the grey skirt to the white outfit, and the black pinafore in the pink outfit.
JUST GO FOR WHATEVER MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD
This isn’t so much a tip as it is an encouragement to just wear what makes you feel good! For me, I adore pink and often just want to wear as much of it as I can at one time. So the monochrome look works well for that, as long as I match my pink tones and keep things in the same colour family (ie warm pinks/blue-tone pinks). Find what works for you and wear the heck out of it!!
Which look is your favourite? Have you tried the monochrome trend? Let me know in the comments!
Lots of Love