Jess Cart­ner-Mor­ley

The Guardian - Weekend - - Starters Contents - @JessC_M

You’re not go­ing to like this, but we are at peak grey. For a decade, grey has been the go-to shade for your ur­bane-but-laid-back life­style. Grey marl sweat­shirt in your cup­board, Pav­il­ion Gray walls in your kitchen, Inkwell fil­ter on your In­sta­gram grid. But fash­ion is al­ways, in the end, cycli­cal, and grey is get­ting close to be­com­ing bor­ing again. Any­one re­mem­ber John Ma­jor?

You can re­set pretty much any­thing, in fash­ion. There are no fixed points.

Grey can go from bor­ing to chic and back again. And the mean­ing of neu­tral can shift, from a la­bel that brack­ets to­gether pen­cil-shaded cool tones – pa­per white, char­coal, blue-grey, black – to one that takes in the nat­u­ral shades of au­tumn. Fall­ing leaves. Black­ber­ries. Mud. But­ter­nut squash at lunchtime.

Mus­tard is now a neu­tral. Oxblood is a neu­tral. Caramel is a neu­tral. Now that they are neu­trals, you see, you can wear them with­out the state­ment-mak­ing as­so­ci­ated with wear­ing colour. (The as­sertive­ness of wear­ing red, the kook­i­ness of yel­low.) You can let these creamy, spicy, earthy tones layer on top of each other, the way you did with mono­chrome.

If this colour pal­ette is new to you, your in­stinct might be to get it off-ther­ack. There will be ver­sions of this look on man­nequins in any store you walk into this month, af­ter all. But, re­sist. Shop your closet first. Pull out every­thing you have in these colours – skirts, trousers, knits, jack­ets, the lot. Pile every­thing on top of each other, see which shade com­bi­na­tions look right next to each other, and put out­fits to­gether that way. You might not hit the topto-toe jack­pot, but you will likely land on a way to wear clothes that have lan­guished ne­glected, and a much bet­ter idea of what, if any­thing, you want to buy.

At this point, you might look at your­self in the mir­ror and think – hang on, I look quite… colour­ful? Isn’t bur­gundy quite close to… red, af­ter all? Do not re­treat back to grey. It’s a chilly enough world out there. Warm it up a lit­tle. Life is less bor­ing that way.

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