Style Tips: How to Make Interesting Outfits With All Neutrals

Some people fear color in their outfits, but I fear neutrals.  (I’ve said it enough times on here to annoy myself!)  I’ve always loved all-neutral outfits on others but worried they were boring when I did them.  Over the years I’ve learned some tricks to make all-neutral outfits NOT boring that I’m sharing with you today!
What inspired this post was not an itch for all neutrals…it was actually the grey tee featured in all three outfits below.  It’s got that cool texture that I (naively) would call heather, but I guess it’s called “melange”?  Whatever it’s called, I love that it makes a plain neutral tee much more interesting!
The tips below are in random order and not necessarily isolated to each outfit they’re mentioned with.  Also, as usual all items are under $50, except the black LOFT jeans when they’re not on sale.  (They’re my favorite jeans, but wait for a 40% or 50% off sale!)

Mix Neutrals

There are many colors that fall into the category “neutral”–greys, whites, creams, khaki, tan, browns, navy, black, and even olive counts.  Mix them up!

Add Pattern or Print
See that leopard sneaker above?  The color palette of leopard print is still in neutral territory but incorporating a print gives the outfit more visual interest.  Whether it’s a shoe, scarf, bag, or other accessory, add one with a pattern if your outfit needs more oomph.

Shop Outfit #1:
Top: H&M
Jacket: Old Navy
Jeans: LOFT
Necklace: ModCloth
Shoes: Old Navy

Why Accessories Are Helpful – Add Texture & Shine
When you’re not playing much with color, playing with texture will be important.  Add accessories made of material like leather (shoes, bags, or a belt), canvas, and straw (like the hat) to bring an outfit to life.

Jewelry also goes a long way.  Whether it’s a shiny statement necklace like this, a simple gold pendant, earrings, or bracelets, they add texture and usually some shine.  Both elements help to elevate an outfit without needing to add color.

Shop Outfit #2:
Top: H&M
Skirt: Old Navy
Hat: Off 5th
Necklace: Nordstrom
Bag: Nordstrom
Shoes: Old Navy

Let Your Shoes Speak
If a patterned shoe is a little too much for you, go for a solid shoe that has more going on.  While the sandal above is neutral all of the straps draw your attention to it.  With the rest of the outfit being neutral, that busier shoe ends up making a statement.  

Shop Outfit #3:
Top: H&M
Jacket: Target
Shoes: Target
Shorts: Old Navy

What’s your favorite trick for spicing up neutrals (without adding color)?

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  • Reply
    August 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks for those Tipps! I always have problems mixing neutrals. Somehow I end up looking boring 😀 Or maybe I just do it wrong. 😉


  • Reply
    August 13, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    This is my area of specialty! I love mixing neutrals, that is totally my comfort zone, color is what gives me trouble. I love that grey tee though, I may have to look into that one. 🙂

  • Reply
    Anna Belle
    August 13, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Ok, you have nailed my style completely. Can you box all this up and just mail me everything? I am so going to buy those Old Navy slip-ons – but how funny is it that they are called "brown animal" and "gray animal." Does Old Navy not have permission to use the word leopard?… Regardless, love them!

  • Reply
    August 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Love this Audrey. I like to add jewelry to spice up neutrals.


  • Reply
    August 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I need that shirt. NEED.

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    August 13, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I totally thought of you when I saw it! I'm hoping it's still around after I have this baby so I can hunt it down.

  • Reply
    Shopping My Closet
    August 13, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Great tutorial!

    Liz @
    Come by! Weekly Style Me Wednesday fashion blog link-up

  • Reply
    August 14, 2014 at 1:25 am

    and yet again, I'm reminded how amazing and different every body and pregnancy is! With all 4 of my babies, I was never dilated at ALL until the day I went into labor!!! I hardly ever even had braxton hicks (and I went the full 2 weeks overdue with my 4th)!! Can't believe you are at 4cm and 80% effaced! I hope you have as glorious and rewarding birth experience as I had…it truly is miraculous and I'm so glad God gave that privilege to us women 🙂 You look amazing!!!!!

  • Reply
    August 14, 2014 at 6:27 am

    So exciting!! Also, I hear its good to sleep late as often as possible before the baby arrives. Who knows when you'll be able to do that again.

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  • Reply
    Valentina Duracinsky
    August 14, 2014 at 9:22 am

    all great outfits! Good cause I just bought a t-shirt that exact grey color!

    Valentina Duracinsky Blog

  • Reply
    Meghan Hayes
    August 15, 2014 at 1:48 am

    These are great tips. I'm one of those people that feels like it's not an outfit without a bunch of patterns and a splash of color. I'm trying to migrate in a different and more flexible direction though.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Get it now Audrey!! I just searched on the UK one and we don't even have it 🙁 H&M change their stock pretty fast.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    You know this is right up my alley! Excellent basics. I'm working on my fall capsule and have pretty much all these items in it, so I'm excited to wear some similar outfits.

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Exploring My Style
    August 17, 2014 at 4:58 am

    If you were 4cm dialated I'm shocked you haven't gone into labor yet! The anticipation is killing us!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    I adore neutrals, and I think you have put some excellent tips on how to pull off a neutral outfit. Some of my favorite ways to wear neutrals are mixing them (olive and black are my favorite, but I also love camel/cognac and black as well), adding a fun piece of jewelry, wearing shoes with a little pizzazz, and layering neutral pieces.

  • Reply
    Dream & Scheme
    September 8, 2014 at 3:28 am

    My style aesthetic tends to lean more towards tailored looks and clean neutrals. But, I also like to play with trends and feminine details. That’s why I love these styling ideas on this post and had to mention it here:

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    September 8, 2014 at 4:47 am

    Thanks so much for the mention!!

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