Tag Archives: chambray

Monochrome-Color on Color

Perhaps one of the boldest statements you can make with your clothing is to go monochromatic. Color on color. More importantly, the same color. The biggest monochromatic trend this year is obviously the “Canadian Tuxedo”–or, denim on denim

The denim atrocity below is an example of what should not happen when wearing the “Canadian Tuxedo.”

(via iVillage)

You see, Britney and Justin are all clad in light blue–there is no variance of shade.

If that denim atrocity frightened you out of any hope of putting together a monochromatic outfit, don’t fear. It’s actually relatively easy to put together looks composed of one color that will not leave you looking like a ninja or a bowl of oatmeal.

The big secret when it comes to balancing the one color-coordinated outfit is to vary the saturation levels. In other words, the lightness or darkness of a color. For example, matching a bright coral top with a pale peach skirt, or a rich plum jacket with lavender pants. This mix of saturation levels varies the outfit enough so that you don’t look like a cartoon character.

Now, let’s look again at the “Canadian Tuxedo”. This time with a chambray shirt and dark navy skinny jeans. The light blue and dark navy contrast so that the wearer is not a blob of blue. Much better, eh?

canadian tuxedo

(via Pinterest)

Next up, let’s play with a monochrome outfit inspired by Pantone’s Color of 2013. A green monochromatic outfit is a bit more daring, but the vivid and fresh look is well worth it. Pull out some dark emerald corduroy skinnies, add the palest mint green top, throw in a few accessories and there you have it! You can even reverse the idea by wearing mint jeans and and emerald top.

monochrome green outfit

(via Pinterest)

Back in black. If you prefer not to look like you are a ninja attending a funeral, make sure to utilize different shades of black (like any type of gray!) in an outfit.

monochrome black

(via Pinterest)

Now for something a bit more challenging. Neutral beiges and tans. As mentioned before, a tan monochromatic outfit should not resemble oatmeal. The variance of saturation should be subtle and noticeable at the same time. Start with ivory, progress to beige, and move on to tan. Now it looks as though you are wearing nude colors, and not in the nude.

neutral business wear

(via Pinterest)

Until next time,



Expect the Unexpected

Lately I have been obsessed with exploring Scott Schuman’s blog, The Sartorialist. Forget what you know about perfectly matched ensembles and open up your eyes to some seriously cool street fashion. Schuman “began The Sartorialist with the idea of creating a two-way dialogue about the world of fashion and its relationship to daily life.” Schuman photographs real people on the streets, just the way they are. No fancy lighting, props, or gimmicks. Just the individual.

What I happen to love most about this refreshing take on capturing fashion is that every ensemble featured has inspired me to become more brave and curious with my outfit choices. I will be the first one to admit that I love to match and be perfectly coordinated at all times. Which has huge potential to lead to a boring and unmemorable look. Who wants to be boring and unmemorable?

I have collected a couple images of some outfits that I happen to love, that bring in a bit of the “unexpected element”. These two stylish ladies happen to be some of my close friends with amazing senses of style. So, let’s examine the unexpected and refreshing elements in their outfits.

First, let’s take a look at the fabulous Laura S.


This is an excellent example of mixing blacks and browns. The very neutral taupe color in the snakeskin printed pencil skirt lends itself well to bringing together the cognac colored leather jacket and the black pumps. With the leather and snakeskin, Laura could have tiptoed into the very edgy “biker at a bar” look, which while perfectly appropriate for the evenings and weekends does not translate into a business casual look on a Monday afternoon. The unexpected element of this outfit is the ever so classic and preppy gold-buckle pointy-toed black pumps. The addition of the shoes makes the whole outfit scream “Hey, I’m super fun and sassy…but I’m also responsible and know how to take care of some serious business.”

Clearly, Laura is a shining example of knowing when the right touch can bring an outfit to a whole different level.

Next is Claire B.

double button-upGold earrings. Chambray shirt. Cheetah print button-up. Red jeans. Riding boots. Gold bracelet. This is a lot of color and texture, but Claire pulls it off effortlessly. Claire could have easily just worn the chambray, or the cheetah print, and her look would have been stylish. The unexpected element of her outfit that really sets it off is her layering technique. A button-up shirt on top of a button-up shirt. How cool is that? I just love how the cheetah print peeks out of the chambray near the collar and down near her wrists.

Bravo to you Claire for your innovation!

Try something a little unexpected when you dress yourself next. It never hurts to be memorable, does it?



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