A monochromatic outfit is a look, a mood, and a fabulous styling trick for staying interested in your steady diet of casual separates. One challenge we all face with our closets is maintaining the excitement we feel over new pieces for extended periods of time. What felt fresh and new a month ago is 'been there, done that.' You're tired of wearing that same old blouse + jeans + sandals combo on repeat and girlfriend that's totally normal (not to mention relatable). Finding new ways to style your separates is what you're after and one way I love to do that is by wearing a monochromatic, or tone-on-tone, look.
Does it take a little forethought? Yes it does. But as with all things worth having, it's time well spent to feel your best and find joy in your style. When you enjoy what you wear -- because you feel confident, put together, and like yourself! -- it's a feeling that's worth the upfront time investment.
Here are my recommendations for styling a monochromatic look:
Play with texture. Try a knit sweater or bodysuit with a dressier trouser, or a structured blouse with a fluid pant. Makes it looks less like a suit.
Tonally similar colors are A-OK. You don't need a co-ord set or matching suit to get the look right. Crisp white with ivory can even work. Black is the one color that doesn't work if two tones don't match exactly IMO.
Get your proportions right. Monochromatic outfits make unbalanced outfits extra noticeable. Be sure everything fits to a T (really a good practice no matter what you're wearing) and you don't lose your body shape in a shapeless block of color.
In this post I styled four different monochromatic looks for you to use as inspiration! A little casual, a little dressy since you can wear a tone-on-tone look to work and on the weekends! Definitely think it's a great way to insert more energy into your work wear rotation.
Let's start with two simpler color palettes in which most of us already have a variety of pieces: blue and white.
Chambray Shirt (similar) // Jeans // Bag // Sandals // Sunglasses // Earrings
What some would lob a 'Canadian tuxedo' accusation at is, to me, just pure Americana. Does any other country in the world love their baby blue denim like the US of A?? I adore a chambray button-up shirt with a pair of jeans in a different shade of blue. A lighter shirt with a darker pair of jeans is your best bet for starters. You can wear true skinny jeans, straight leg mom style jeans, or even a cropped or demi-boot cut jean.
I wore this outfit to a recent shoot with some blogger pals of mine to showcase my spring capsule wardrobe. (Stay tuned for that post, so fun!) All the pieces -- the bodysuit, the pants, the hat, the mules -- are some I wear ALL the time. Like, I'm worried people think something's wrong with my scalp because I wear that hat constantly. It's easy to see how several white pieces would be versatile in a capsule wardrobe for spring and summer. I chose to style them into a monochromatic look to show yet another way to put them together.
Photo by @_kasey, edited by me // Flower truck: Blooms on Tap // Venue: The Barn at Honeysuckle Hill
Bodysuit // Pants // Hat // Stacked Heel Mules
This outfit is also a great representation of my minimalist-modern-meets-boho aesthetic. The silky bodysuit with balloon sleeve and rancher hat have that romantic hippie boho vibe going on. A cropped wide leg pant with stacked heel mules is a more restrained, minimalist look. The combination of them together in the white/ivory tones made me feel like a Coachella bride and I'm here for that!
Cardigan // Pants // Sandals // Tote Bag // Scarf (similar)
Take it from me: a pair of pink pants just makes you happy! They're also fabulous for making standard basics look new again. A colorful pant in a modern silhouette will do that. If a cropped wide leg pant isn't for you, a pink trouser or pair of chinos would work great, too. I paired mine with this cardigan worn as a top! That's another easy styling tip to get more wear about what you own: rethink your sweaters to wear buttoned up as tops; or, layer them over your dresses.
Hi, it's me, the utility trend knocking down your door again. Seriously though, this "trend" doesn't really go out of style. A cargo-style blouse is a classic anytime in an earthy olive green. Wear it with jeans, white or black pants, with skirts or shorts. Right now I love an olive blouse with a flowy pair of paper bag waisted trousers. (In olive. That's obvious right?) The casual blouse with the dressier pant creates such a stylish contrast. Throw a white blazer over top to finish the look to wear to the office.
Shirt (similar) // Pants // Heels // Bag // Sunglasses
Where are you at with monochromatic outfits? In like Flynn? Cute but too complicated? Just a 'no' all around? If you're sitting there thinking 'I like the way it looks but I can't pull that off' I encourage you to rethink it! Remember that it takes time and experimentation to find the look for you. As long as your tones complement one another and the proportions of your pieces are balanced, you'll nail it from the start!
Thank you so much for coming by the blog today! Always appreciate your support and social shares so much.