Are you one of those people who has far too many items in your wardrobe that just don't seem to go together? Maybe you're looking to downsize to a universal wardrobe. Or perhaps you're just looking for those 5-10 neutrals that will reconnect those stand-out pieces in your wardrobe like you never thought possible. Luckily, we at Kariella are here to help!
Today, we're going to look at those quintessential items that are both neutral (meaning they can go with everything) and stylish. We're going to show you how to look for these items, plus how to incorporate them into your current wardrobe without having to completely clean shop. Sound like a plan?
Let's get started!
1. Choosing Your Neutral Colors
When selecting your desired shade of neutral colors, it's good to know just what those colors are. People think of the variations of black, white, and brown (such as beige, slate, taupe, cream and ivory) as being the only neutral shades out there. And, while they may be right to some extent, there are some more surprising neutrals out there that can easily be added to your wardrobe. In fact, you may already have these colors in hand without even knowing that they're neutrals!
The most popular color neutrals that, at first glance, appear to be quite far from the realm of neutrals, are burgundy, navy and denim blue. Others, the earth tones such as sage and burnt orange, can also be used as neutrals. Even certain animal prints can be a neutral! So don't go throwing away that little leopard print number just yet.
Finally, we have the metallic shades of gold, silver, and bronze to complete our pack of neutrals.
We also have the style choice of being neutral. This calls for simple outfits, understated accessories, and overall, a less-is-more mentality. Check the style featured above.
Our Eclipse Jumpsuit in olive by Kariella features a light cowl neckline and spaghetti straps. With jogger-style bottoms, this can be dressed down with flats or sandals, or up with a pair of heeled boots or fancy pumps.
Eclipse Jumpsuit, $102
The Sundance Cardigan, also by Kariella, features a heavyweight knit material in crisp ivory with a texture detail and kimono sleeves.
Sundance Cardigan, $112
To finish off the look, we have the Diane Necklace, another stunner by Kariella. Featured in a marbled amber plastic interwoven together, this piece is bold, yet lightweight. It fits together beautifully with other neutrals; or wear it as a neutral with a brightly-colored ensemble for a truly versatile look.
Diane Necklace, $26
2. Acquiring Your Neutral Pieces
When shopping for neutrals, it's good to start with the basics and work your way up. For starters, try to find one item of each of your basic pieces and make sure that they all go together. For example, try to find one pair of pants, one dress, one skirt, one top, one sweater, one pair of shoes, one piece of jewelry, one accessory, and one jacket, all made from good quality materials that'll last a while. Stick with the standard neutrals colors, and make sure the styles of each piece are just understated to make them go together, and just unique enough to make them stand out.
This is what we would call your starter wardrobe. From there, you can build your closet, adding more tops, accessories, pieces of jewelry, maybe a long cardi or a signature scarf, into the mix. The more you add, beginning with your basic neutrals, then expanding to more of the bold neutrals, the more variations you can make that will all go together for whatever occasion you're dressing for. It's also a great way to utilize every single piece in your wardrobe without feeling like you're wasting half of it. That's always a plus, right?
Let's take a peek at the outfit above. We have a cool neutral look going on that has a bit of elegance to it, but that's entirely simple, too.
The Eyes Open Sweater by Kariella is the focal point. With an off-the-shouler look and an open back that ties together, partnering with an ultra-soft ribbed material that gives it some texture, it's got that pop of style that takes it far beyond the mundane sweater that everybody has. Meanwhile, the slate grey shade adds a modern flare that can be dressed up or down – up with a bit of metallic jewelry to compliment it, or down as a stand-alone statement piece.
Eyes Open Sweater, $58
Next, we have Kariella's Rewind Lounge Short, a pair of cool sage sweat shorts with a bit of flare, adding more shape and texture to the outfit. Comprised of a soft cotton material with an elastic waist band, these are perfect for hanging around the house, but also cute enough to be seen worn out in public.
Rewind Lounge Short, $46
Add in a belt with a neutral shade and a unique design, plus a piece of soft jewelry that adds a bit of sheen to the outfit. We recommend Mineral and Matter's Opal Ring for such a purpose. Whimsical, yet understated, it goes perfectly with our selection of greys, but can be worn with any number of neutral (or even non-neutral) outfits.
Opal Large Ring, $52
3. How To Apply Your New Neutrals To An Already Existing Wardrobe
Chances are, you've already got a closet full of clothes, some of which may go together, but a lot of which don't. You've followed step #2 and have purchased your base wardrobe. Now what?
This is a great opportunity for you to don the persona of a 10-year-old and play some good old fashioned dress-up. Use your new neutrals and any others that you happen to have in your wardrobe. Use Step #1 to guide you through the process of determining what's neutral and what's not, and place all your neutrals on one side of your room. The others – bold prints, bright colors, the outrageous cocktail dress you bought at a boutique that one time you were in Malibu – can be placed in another pile on the opposite side of the room. Now, let the dress-up begin!
Start trying everything on, and we mean EVERYTHING. Mix and match different tops with different bottoms. Try the outfit with every piece of jewelry and accessory you have. Put on flats, sneakers, high heels, boots, etc. Try turning each outfit into a winter outfit or a spring outfit. See if it stand the test of time so you don't have to pack it away for half the year because it's too summery. When you find a winning outfit, take a picture in the mirror or lay out all the pieces on your bed and take a picture of that. Use it as a reference for later.
This process will take a long time, but it'll be worth it in the end. You'll be able to work out outfits for even the most difficult pieces, ensuring a fashionable reason to wear those items you never thought you'd be able to wear, while also getting rid of pieces that you know you're not that interested in anymore. It's a great way to prune, mold, cut back, but also build the perfect wardrobe that'll last you probably a lot longer than you think.
Kariella's Feline turtleneck in a sheer black, animal print fabric with a bit of sparkle, is the perfect bold neutral that can serve as the center to any neutral outfit. As it's light, it can be worn most seasons out of the year, even on a chilly summer evening.
Feline Turtleneck, $52
Next up, Mavi's eco-friendly, high-rise mom jeans feature a mid-weight denim composed of partially recycled cotton, offering a minimal stretch that has a rigid look with trendy details like subtle rips and a fringed hem. As denim is a highly popular neutral that can be sported any number of ways, we recommend picking this pair up for all your neutral outfit endeavors.
Star Jeans, $118
Top off the look with a pair of Diff sunglasses in a classic movie star shape, partnered with a subtle pair of metallic hoops by Nashelle. Not only will you be city chic, but you'll also be supermarket chic too!
Donna Sunglasses, $98
Continuous Hoop, $52
And there you have it!
Your quick and easy guide to building a neutral wardrobe that'll pass through the seasons with comfort and style. Leave us a comment below and let us know if this was helpful! Or add in your thoughts on how you like to build your neutral own wardrobe. We love to hear from you!
Until next time, happy neutral-ing, Bellas!