Before I get into this post about wearing neutrals, I wanted to apologize to all my readers for not updating my LGBThursdays recently. I’m currently in the processing of adding autism advocacy to this blog, and LGBThursdays will switch off every other week with those posts. For now, I apologize for the lag, but I want the new addition to be as smooth as possible.
I love color. Color is my go-to when it comes to wardrobe. Color and glitter. I’m well known for wearing all-rainbow outfits, or daring colors that draw attention to me. But I also use neutrals a lot, and I own a lot of neutrals. I wanted to talk about how, as a unique fashionista, I navigate the problem of making neutral colored clothing fun.
I love my new white Scarves for Paws scarf, and sometimes I feel like I seem drab when I’m wearing a lot of white, black, beige, gray and related colors as opposed to my brighter attire. But I know I’m not drab–people still look, and compliment me. So I decided to figure out how I managed that balance.
Adding accessories makes neutrals pop. Accessories can do a number of things–dress up an outfit, dress it down, make it more unique. When I’m looking it turn a neutral outfit into one I can wear to a nice restaurant or a business occasion, I wear simple jewelry: pearl bracelets and my Alaina name bangle. (My Cape Cod bracelet is on me always.)
When I want to make an outfit more fun, I add a pair of cat ears. People still think of that ‘crazy fashion girl,’ without even noticing my outfit is entirely neutrals.
When my neutral outfit is feeling boring, adding accessories with a pop of color can make it more interesting. You can add baby blue shoes, rainbow bracelets, or a bright red necklace to a neutral outfit. In this way, the accessories themselves would make a statement, rather than the outfit as a whole.
Using unique and fun neutral clothing. Just because something is neutral colored does not mean it is boring by nature. I only white and blush tulle skirts. Nobody would think of them as bland or ‘typical.’ They don’t blend in. But they’re still neutral colors. This makes them both daring and versatile. They match a lot of outfits and are more likely to be considered ‘casual’ or ‘business casual’ than a colorful tulle skirt would.
That outfit is neutral. But you would never call it boring!
Layer your neutrals with patterns and textures. A lot of what makes neutrals easy to wear is how easily they match other patterns and textures. A brightly colored skirt can sometimes look out of place with a shirt if it has a busy pattern or a strange texture, such as lace. But neutral colors dull down the patterns and textures enough that they don’t feel too busy, while the patterns and textures make the neutral outfit more interesting.
Often, I’ll layer a white tank top underneath a black lace shirt for this kind of effect, with jeggings on the bottom. The texture of the jeggings is unique, and the lace stands out against the white, despite the fact that all colors are neutral. It still pulls together for a fun way to use contrast and layers to be fashion-friendly.
Don’t always follow the rules. I never follow the ‘fashion rules’ and I’m often still complimented on my insane, daring style choices like cat ears headbands in class. I wear white after Labor Day, and before it, and during it, if I want to. I don’t think about mixing stripes and polka dots. If something looks too busy and I’m not going for that look, I change it a little. But basically, think of yourself as your guidepost–if it looks good to you, some people will appreciate the style. Others won’t, but there’s no way to please everyone. With style and fashion, you can only always make yourself happy, and you’re the most important opinion.