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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