Charleston, SC

A Neutral Dresser’s Guide To Color

As you almost certainly know by now, I am very much a neutral dresser. I love my ebonies, charcoals, camels, etc. and I stick to them with a fierce loyalty. I know from experience that when you are used to primarily wearing muted hues, throwing in a pop of color once in a while seems like a big statement — scary, even. But as with all things in life, less is more. The key is to carefully decide when and where to deploy color, which is not nearly as daunting as it may seem. Here are my top 5 tips on how to incorporate color without compromising your neutral roots:

1. Choose your key colors and limit your choices.

If you peek into my closet, you will see a sea of neutrals dotted with blush, bold red, burgundy, army green and a little bit of teal. Unless I come across a truly incredible piece, I don’t buy colors that are not on that list. Narrowing your wardrobe down to a few favorite hues allows them to become your signature and it helps you curate a totally unique style.

2. Add one colorful statement piece to a neutral base.

Not only does this simplify the process of getting dressed, it also makes a major statement. My outfit today is a great example of how impactful a carefully-chosen burst of color can be.

3. Make sure your colorful pieces are streamlined and minimal in structure.

This will help ensure that your styling comes off as intricate and incredibly chic instead of gaudy and immature. Think smart-but-fun sophistication, not technicolor whimsy.

4. It’s true that black makes everything look more expensive, so make sure your colorful pieces look the part.

Now, I’m not saying that they actually have to be expensive, but should still give the appearance of an elevated item. Avoid elements that are hard to pull off on the cheap, such as lace, embellishment, and complicated prints. It’s best to stick to understated pieces that don’t leave much room for error.

5. Know which pieces work best in color.

Personally, I tend to reserve color for my jackets and blazers, handbags, shoes and blouses. You will notice that my bottoms are almost always neutral to A) balance out the line of my body and 2) stay true to my style by avoiding color overload. A crucial styling tip: only allow color where you want the eye to focus on your frame. This is why you will never find my hips/thighs in neon!

While I admit it can seem a little risky to venture out of your neutral comfort zone, I promise that if you start slow and take the time to figure out which colors and pieces are the best fit for your personal style, you will be a pop-of-color pro in no time.


Shop the Post

Zara Collarless Coat (very old, similar here) // Equipment Blouse (I get mine via The Real Real pre-owned so they are typically $50 or less) // Current/Elliott Skinny Jeans // Le Specs Sunglasses // H&M Scarf (exact one, only $17.99) // Vintage Chanel Dual Flap Bag (favorite source for pre-loved Chanel bags here) // Valentino-Inspired Flats (under $50) // Everly Rings Stackable Bands – get 15% off with code ‘CHICSTREET’ // Cartier Watch (more affordable mixed metal watch that I also own here) // Lips: ‘Honeylove’ by MAC and ‘Stripdown” Liner by MAC


As always, thank you for reading.

Capsule Closet Pieces Used:

– Black Blouse

– Black Skinny Jeans

– Black Flats

Black Bag

– Black Sunglasses

– Mixed Metal Watch

  1. Natali Wrote:

    This is a perfectly styled outfit! I love your red coat! 🙂

    • Brenna Wrote:

      Thank you so much, Natali!