HOW TO: MONOCHROME OUTFIT TREND

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!

TEXTURE

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.

Texture - Monochrome

PRINTS

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!

Print - monochromePrint - Monochrome - 2

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.

Pop - monochrome

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!!

Just Do It - Monochrome

 

Which look is your favourite? Have you tried the monochrome trend? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love

Katie xx

ONE OUTFIT, THREE LOOKS

One thing I really love about clothes and styling is how an outfit can change with a simple tuck or different accessory. To me, the best pieces in my wardrobe are the most versatile – the ones that go with these pants, and that skirt, and can be tucked in or worn loose, to the office or to a smart-casual event. This capacity to be versatile is what I look for when I’m buying more expensive items, such as this Gorman x Mireia Ruiz top (past season, not available online), which I often wear to more formal events with the matching pleated skirt.

However, on this occasion wearing it with a black pencil skirt and black heels to work, I was struck by the fact that I could really change up the ‘tone’ of the outfit with a few simple changes. So I wanted to show three different ways I would wear this outfit at work, only accessorising with things I had in the office or my handbag. Obviously, these aren’t three starkly different outfits, but I think it shows how you can go from kooky and informal, to colourful and corporate with a few minor adjustments.

Head on over to my ‘About’ page to learn more about my work dress code and fit measurements. Item details and links are at the bottom of the post.

OUTFIT #1

This is how I planned on wearing this outfit when I packed it this morning – the matchy-matchy pink socks and ruffled top countering the stark blackness of the pencil skirt (one of my favourite flattering work staples, with a wrap piece to cover visible tummy lines). I felt work appropriate, but still relatively casual, and the bright stripes and peplum/ruffle made it an interesting outfit for work.

 

OUTFIT #2

It’s still a soft and not-too-corporate look, but just tucking the ruffle into the skirt and adding a simple cream cardigan has upped the formality of this outfit. Taking the ruffle out of the equation, and just tweaking the black-to-colour ratio of the outfit gives it a very different vibe. I also find that tucking in tops always takes your look up a notch, though of course not all skirts and pants look good over the stomach when you’re a plus sized gal. That’s what I love about this skirt, as it’s tight, but the wrap front just gives you that bit of confidence when sitting or going for the tucked-in look.

 

OUTFIT #3

To me, this is how to do colour in a more formal office. I was pinched for time getting this photos, but you could also take off the pink socks and add stockings, and you’ve really taken the outfit from casual to corporate. Again, it’s about tweaking your black-to-colour ratio a little further to the black side, and eliminating distractions from the sleek lines of the top to the skirt. You could also chuck on a black blazer, and really make this look appropriate for any corporate workplace. I love these sunglasses too, they’re so classic that they really tie this outfit together.

 

DETAILS

I went with a strong and structured hammered gold earring from Lovisa, a rosy/bronze eye make-up look, and my classic Bailey Nelson (prescription) sunglasses to finish off this look.

So there you have it! My take on transitioning an outfit from smart-casual to corporate, just by tucking in, adding a cardigan, or streamlining the look.

Lots of Love

Katie xx

Featured items:

  • Gorman – Stripe Top – Mireia Ruiz x Gorman SS18 Collaboration – $149 – Size 14 (unavailable)
  • Atmost&Here Curvy (The Iconic) – Marie Wrap Pencil Skirt – $59.95 – Size 20
  • Luca & Marc (Harris Scarfe) – Pineapple Cardigan – Size XL (unavailable)
  • Betts – Black Velvet Mary Jane Heels – Size 9 (unavailable)
  • Bailey Nelson – Emery Sunglasses – $145
  • Lovisa Jewellery – Earrings