Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Style Help: Neutrals and Color Play

If you've read this blog for any amount of time you've probably picked up that I'm a huge fan of a pop of color.  While I oddly feel a little naked without some color in my outfit, even if it's just in a teeny tiny piece of jewelry, I really love an all-neutral outfit as well.  It just takes a little more courage for me to wear one!

Today we're talking neutrals and color.  Below I created 3 outfits where the clothes are all neutral and showed different ways to add color with the accessories.  Hopefully it helps give you ideas on how you can experiment with colors (or neutrals, in my case) a little more.

BTW, the top I'm using is awesome!  You have to click to the item's page to see, but it's spotted except the dots are irregularly shaped which I love.  Not only can you put it to good use in a lot of neutral outfits like the ones below, but it'll definitely go with more colorful pieces.  And it can be dressed up or dressed down.  AND it's $18!  

Outfit 1 - Casual 
I paired this top with longer shorts for a casual but clean look.  On the left is the outfit with neutrals to complement the neutral outfit.  On the right I used orangey-reddish accessories as pops of color against the neutral outfit.  One easy way to play with color is to match your shoes to your bag!

Note: Shorts come in 5" too, and they both have pretty good reviews online.

Shop Outfit #1:
Top: H&M
Shorts: Old Navy
White Tote: H&M
Black/Tan Sandals: Target
Orange Bag: Dorothy Perkins
Coral Sandals: Old Navy

Outfit 2 - Dressed Up Casual
I love to how boyfriend jeans look dressed up!  It's a great mix of casual and dressed up, so I never feel overdressed or underdressed.

In terms of color, in Outfit 1 I talked about matching your shoes to your bag, but an even easier way to add color is to only use color in one piece.  I kept the shoes neutral and used a mildly colored clutch on one side and a blue satchel on the other.  You could also do the reverse and wear colored shoes with a neutral bag.

Shop Outfit #2:
Top: H&M
Jeans: Target
Nude Heel: Target
Wedges: Target
Blue Satchel: Forever 21

Outfit 3 - Work (or Going Out)
I found a cute neutral fit and flare skirt to pair with this top, but you could also go with a khaki colored pencil skirt.

One way to play with neutrals without being really all neutrals is to stick with colors that are kind of in the same area as your neutrals on the color wheel.  For example, since this outfit has brown in it, I used tan flats that don't exactly match the skirt but are in the same color family.  And then I bought in an orangey tote which isn't necessarily a neutral but doesn't deviate too far from the browns either.  Even though I snuck some color in there, it doesn't look too crazy when paired with the browns.

On the right side I did the opposite and used complementary colors.  With the neutral outfit being a canvas to play with lots of color, I went with berry shoes and a green clutch, which are on opposite ends of the color wheel.  A neutral outfit makes a great playground to have fun with colors in small doses!

Note: These would both be great looks for work, except the clutch on the right side should be exchanged for a tote.  As it currently is, you could wear it for going out if you added some gold bracelets and a necklace.

Shop Outfit #3:
Top: H&M
Skirt: Target
Tote: Dorothy Perkins
Flats: H&M
Clutch: Dorothy Perkins
Pumps: CL by Chinese Laundry via Amazon (only $27!)

Which side do you lean towards more--pops of color or mostly neutrals?  How would you experiment more to expand your comfort zone?


  1. I always lean towards the pops of colors. My personal favorite look is the top with the shorts. I've been failing at working my shorts into my daily casual wardrobe.

  2. Cute outfits. I love a pop of colour!!!!!! Great top, so versatile.



  3. I am in process of calming down from high pattern to colour/stripes and black/white and I've found that professional pedicures get me through most crises! Current colour obsession raspberry love it! (think it's also called watermelon)

  4. Bargain Shopper MomTuesday, July 22, 2014

    Love these outfits! Such great ideas. What do you use to make the style boards?

  5. I am loving the top and the bright orange bag. Also, I have those Target jeans and they are soooooooooo comy.

  6. Yeah? I really want to buy them once this baby's outta me. Do they fit true to size? And how much do they stretch out after a few wears? (I might order them NOW so they don't run out, since I have 90 days to return. :P) And could you link me to any style posts of you wearing them? Thank you in advance!

  7. I think they fit very true to size. Target jeans and pants I usually go a size up but because these have a looser fit mine were fine. They don't get too stretched out, but the denim doesn't have much stretch to it at all. You could probably go 4 times and then they'll get saggy. http://www.stylizedwannabe.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2014-04-01T20:33:00-04:00&max-results=7 I'm wearing them here and I also have the lighter and medium washes but no photos of them.

  8. You look great! Thank you for all the info. I'm probably gonna order them later today unless I forget. Haha. Thanks again.

  9. Hi Ladies!! I have being reading this blog and it's a god send!! After 2 babies and many body shapes LOL.. finally i;m on the road to build a new wardrobe, i;ve been trying some nice blouses ( solids& patterns ) to my collection and being a 5'2'' pretty pear is difficult to buy off the rack .. i found some interesting pieces on white plum , forever 21 and h&m , but i wanted to know what are your thoughts on quality , as if i going to spend money in alterations i want to know that im getting some quality on the piece. What do you look for in terms of materials, stitching , price to determine is a good quality item ?

    Thanks so much

  10. I love the combinations!


  11. Hi Noelle, I'm so glad to hear that!

    Have you seen this post on Tailoring 101? http://www.puttingmetogether.com/2013/02/wardrobe-from-scratch-part-3b.html
    And this post on Shopping Mistakes I've Made touches a bit on what I've spent money on and wasted money on: http://www.puttingmetogether.com/2012/09/shopping-mistakes-ive-made.html
    Good luck!

  12. How do H&M items fit? Similar to Old Navy's sizing?

  13. I find that Old Navy tends to fit larger. H&M depends a lot on the brand and garment. Sometimes it's TTS and sometimes it's small for me.

  14. Thanks! I looked on H&M.com today and liked some of the blouses, but wasn't sure if they would work. There's not a store near me.

  15. In late fall, winter, and early spring I find myself nearly head to toe in neutrals. But the rest of the year, I prefer colors. I love those purple heels you linked to! I wish I could try them on before ordering them, since that style of shoe (the exposed arch) is so hit and miss on me.

  16. I'm French and this is how we generally dress here in France.
    I read all kinds of articles on blogs about how to get that French chic look, but the secret is this! Find your best neutrals, in shapes and styles that suit your body shape and personality, then just add in pops of colour, especially with accessories or a jacket/cardigan :)

  17. The blue crossbody is sold out! I'm so sad!!!! Does anyone know if Forever 21 restocks?

  18. I definitely lean more towards neutrals. I really would like to be super stylish and experiment more but I don't really know how! I have a three year old and almost 2 year old and I am finally getting my body back!! I hope to use Audrey's knowledge to build my wardrobe once I'm ready to invest in new clothing.

    Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your baby girl! I'm so happy for you and your hubby!


  19. Ooh, that's great to know! Do you laugh or roll your eyes at articles and blogs talking about looking French? I always wonder what real French people think of those ;)

  20. Aw MAN!!!! I was highly considering purchasing that this week! It was in stock the day I posted this. Booooo :(

  21. Thanks, Elise! Hopefully you can do a lot with your current neutral wardrobe by just adding colorful accessories and colorful cardigans down the road!

  22. It's back!!! I'm not sure if the website is different in Switzerland (where I am right now) or if they restocked that quickly, but I'm buying it before it's gone :)


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