Black, white, gray, brown, navy, and ivory are all popular neutrals. However, take a look at the color wheel–they are not included. But let’s not count that against them. After all, every one of us wears neutrals.
And decorating and dressing in a neutral palette can be very sophisticated.
Neutrals are NOT in the Color Club
Neutral colors like black, brown, gray, navy, beige, ivory, and white do not belong to any specific color group. Therefore, our eyes are not particularly drawn to them. In some cases you may not want to stand out, e.g., while traveling or in a big city, where the uniform is sometimes gray or black. You can intentionally use neutrals to blend in.
Think about your wardrobe. How much black do you wear? Gray? Brown? As we mature, our skin, hair and lips fade. Color can help us regain that youthful radiance.
If you have read QUINTESSENTIAL STYLE, you know that some neutrals are more flattering than others, depending on your color type. For example, High Contrast color types can wear black well, while Light Bright color types might look better in navy. Some color types look better in white rather than off-white and vice versa. (Determine your color type on page 22.)
But, as we say in the book: “Don’t rush to throw out every black, white, or unflattering neutral you own.” If you want to wear neutrals, you can inject pops of color, especially at the face, using accessories like scarves, pashminas, or colorful jewelry. Even a hint of bright lipstick can pull the eye away from a not-so-flattering neutral.
In decorating, as in dressing, color will bring your eye right where you want it to go. Take a look at these rooms decorated in neutral tones. Colorful accents magically pull your eye to them.
Try adding bursts of color to your neutral wardrobe.
Notice the first photo. The model is wearing softer tones of red, turquoise, and camel in her scarf to accentuate her neutral browns.
In the second photo, the model similarly accents her look with a red and black tartan scarf. She amps it up even further with a swipe of red on her lips.
Try adding accessories that match your eye or hair color.
We can’t see this model’s eyes, but I bet she has blue ones.
Jennifer Anniston looks fabulous in this icy blue scarf that matches her eye color to perfection.
So give your neutrals a break–a color break.
Create a “color break” between your face and a less than flattering neutral simply by using colorful accessories, jewelry, lipstick, or blush.
Color is the great communicator. Use neutrals when you want to blend in or create a sophisticated look. Use color when you want to be noticed!