When it comes to simplified style, no approach is as classic or as chic as the monochromatic outfit. Championing one color from head-to-toe, the look has been a signature for stylish women like Grace Kelly, Jane Birkin, Kate Middleton, and Victoria Beckham—and it's easy to see why. In a world abuzz with new trends in prints and patterns on a weekly basis, this no-fail option always looks refined, effortless, and intentional.
But while a one-color closet trick might seem like a no-brainer, it requires thoughtful consideration to get the monochrome outfit right.
How to master the monochromatic outfit
1. Incorporate texture
One of the most eye-catching ways to change up a single-color palette is with texture, which can add visual depth to an outfit. Using your chosen color, add surface contrast by layering a variety of materials, from velvet, denim, and leather to satin, silk, and suede.
2. Celebrate shades
By definition, monochromatic means sticking to one color, but you don't have to wear the exact same shade from head to toe. Keep things exciting with different tonal temperatures throughout your look—a light grey sweater pairs perfectly with dark grey trousers, while a rose-hued jacket works just as well over a pastel pink dress.
3. Embrace accessories
To keep one-tone outfits interesting, remember the power of the accessory. Break up camisole-skirt combinations with a chunky belt, enhance a suit with a same-color satchel, and bedeck that dress with a can't-be-missed fedora.
4. Try adding a pattern
When it comes to marrying the monochromatic outfit with patterns, it's best to be particular. Choose one statement design that you're drawn to, and build the rest of your one-hued wonder look around it with solid pieces. Whether you opt for animal print or polka dots, stripes or snakeskin, a touch of pattern goes a long way.
Monochromatic outfit ideas for spring
Ready to take monochrome fashion for a spin this spring? Here are five ways to do it.
Neutrals are some of the most tried-and-true ways to pull off the monochromatic outfit, with A-list devotees including JLo and Gwyneth Paltrow. The secret? The trench coat, one of fashion's most trustworthy and longstanding must-haves—is the perfect partner for spring pieces like the midi dress, strappy sandals, and a structured statement bag.
With warmer months on the horizon, a white outfit never looked better. Wear it from the ground up with squeaky clean white sneakers and cropped denim, and top it off with a loose-fitting white tank and utility jacket. For an unexpected detail, choose one colored accessory—like your purse—to switch up the palette.
Just because winter is coming to a close doesn't mean we have to bid adieu to rich hues. Enter sunbaked rust and gold, spring favorites for ushering in the dog days of summer. These deep shades of brown look best in a day-to-night jumpsuit and softly tailored jacket. Add fringe earrings and an eye-catching animal print clutch for a hint of texture and pattern.
When it comes to fashion savvy, grey is always a good option. For spring, keep the palette light (both in shade and in style): A silk camisole and tapered trousers cement the look, which you can polish off with a cascading collar jacket and sharp tote bag. Add excitement with a pair of animal-print ankle boots to really nail the trend.
Bring on the blue
We're thankful to see denim jackets making their spring debut, bringing with them an array of indigo-inspired accompaniments. (We love a cute jean jacket outfit.) Pair a lace maxi dress with aviator shades, and don't forget the strappy sandals and a straw tote.
Inspired to add a monochrome look to your spring wardrobe? Talk to a stylist to request a few curated pieces in your next Trunk.