Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Choosing an Accent Color for Grey

I love grey, and it's rather easy to shop for, but you do want to be aware of the varying shades of grey (some very yellowish, and other quite blue). They don't always blend as well as one might prefer! The answer is generally to carry a key piece with you when shopping, to avoid any sort of "mis-remembering" of the color...

Yes, I've included this really great turtleneck AGAIN. I'm smitten with it, I tell you, but I absolutely CAN'T justify buying another sweater. I will probably survive the lack, I suspect!

Trousers – L.L.Bean; cabled turtleneckL.L.Bean;  
grey cotton pants – AG Jeans; cashmere crewneck – L.L.Bean

It is incredibly easy to pair the grey core outfit with black or navy, so I thought I would wander further afield, into some warmer neutrals. This might be an excellent way to easy yourself into a warmer wardrobe, or to test-drive the possibility of a warm neutral.

And silver metal on the earrings was, to me, critical to tie the warm colors into the coolness of they grey. These little details can make a difference.

Brown vestLands’ End; smoky quartz earrings – Bhavesh; infinity scarf – Missoni;
 brown leather gloves – Agnelle; brown boots – Munro; gold square earrings –  
Robert Lee Morris; khaki vestL.L.Bean; scarf – Accessories 212; gloves –  
Johnstons of Elgin; chukka boots – Tory Burch

Brights were fun - cool shades were the obvious choice. As has happened before in this series, I could NOT find blue loafers that looked good to my highly critical eye, so I opted to choose classic, timeless grey ones. Always a safe, and a good, choice!
Red vest – Lands’ End; red onyx hoop earrings – Bhavesh; red plaid scarf – Chelsey;
red gloves – Talbots; red boots – Hunter; blue chalcedony earrings – Neeru Goel
blue vest – Lands’ End; lace print scarf – Bindya NY; blue gloves – Coach; grey
 loafers – Anne Klein

Yet another example of how well a white or off-white vest works with any color! And I used this blue vest again, because I thought it was a great combination with the grey. However, this is another case of never finding the perfect blue shoe! So I took this occasion to remind you that unless it's snowing, sneakers are still good for many of us.

Ivory vest – Lands’ End; stud earrings – Kendra Scott; ivory plaid scarf – Faliero 
 Sarti; cream gloves – Halogen; ivory loafers – Tod’s; blue earrings – Givenchy
hooded fleece vest – North Face; zig zag scarf – Missoni; blue gloves – Portolano;
 canvas shoes - Keds

And WHOOOOT!  I found a MUCH less expensive blush vest than the other one we've been admiring...  The mint is a tricky color, but can be so beautiful. The scarf doesn't exactly match, I don't think, but it still holds the outfit together in a way I can't quite explain.

No, you're not too old for high-tops. 

Blush quilted vest – Viyella; pearl and silver earrings – Srimuang; diamond 
patterned scarf – Forever 21; blush gloves – New York & Co.; canvas shoes – Keds
green earrings – John Hardy; mint vest – Olsen; butterfly scarf – Becksondergaard
mint gloves – Johnstons of Elgin; grey canvas shoes – Converse

So I'm going to look at camel in this context, and taupe, and teal/petrol blue, if I can find the appropriate separates. (teal might make olive look easily found!) Other colors?


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  1. I've been really enjoying the way that you have been using the scarves as link pieces in this series. You have found some real gems. Thanks Janice, for all your hard work. :)

  2. Those smoky quartz earrings went RIGHT onto my Amazon wish list! Gorgeous!

  3. From Margie in Toronto - Love the grey! I've never really considered these vests before (too short & top heavy) but since I've lost weight I've been considering things that I've never worn before and these vests (with all their accessories) are just so wonderful! Too cold for now but definitely something I'll now consider for early Spring walks.
    PS - had to contain myself at a sweater sale on Saturday - I'm known for my cardigans, especially in cashmere and there was a sale! I'm already covered for this year's accent colours (red & pink) and I already own a number of my neutrals so decided no - the colours that I would have picked up would have been outside of those and I'm really trying to be more disciplined these days. But it was hard.

  4. Margie you are so restrained! We receive the online sales here down under in Australia and it can be difficult! I know what Janice means about grey shades having been caught out on line on a site we can't return.. Oh dear for a cool Christmas! Chris in Australia X

  5. Gray and camel is one of my absolute favorites. Way back in the day I was analyzed as an autumn with winter influence, and I have been pairing black, gray and navy with warm colors forever. This is a great series.

    1. Grey and Camel is a go to for me as well! I am always on the hunt for scarves that combine the two... I am a 'Spring' (strawberry blonde, freckles) and need the warming effect of camel on the neutrals. Janice, I put those gold square earrings on my Wish List. Thanks for the work you put into this series!

  6. Love the mint vest - not something you see everyday and nice change of accent.

    Mary mcm

  7. I'm going to try my mint green scarf with grey. I would not have thought of it but with my chalcedony and silver earrings, it will probably work.

  8. This has been a great series. I've worn tons of black for many years but having just celebrated my 50th birthday I'm starting to notice that black often looks too harsh on me, so I'm thinking about moving into more of a charcoal gray. Could you do a series with charcoal as the neutral?

  9. For me, gray is the new black. My closet is slowly making a transition. Thanks for some new ideas. Also, thanks for your note last week about Neiman-Marcus' closeout site. I ordered a cashmere sweater (my annual Christmas gift to myself) for about 20% of it's normal "store" price. Thanks!

  10. I absolutely love grey, but I need to be very careful about choosing Greta with a blue undertone. Love the idea of mixing in a pop of red.

  11. Converse high tops are the most comfortable walking shoes for me! I think some people find them hard on their arches. I find grey to be very tricky. Some greys look awful on me and others great.

    Deb from Vancouver

  12. Janice,
    As one of your "brownies " with my warm coloring, the brown and olive posts have been right up my alley, so I'm really looking forward to the camel and taupe posts as gray is still too cool toned for me. I love how you have broken down the accents into neutrals, brights, and pastels. That process of color selection had not occurred to me !

  13. When I went on a 3 week trip to the UK (In September), I packed stuff that was grey (light and dark), teal, or spruce, with black purse/boots and I think it looked great! It actually made me evaluate my closet for fall/winter and colors.

  14. Lovely series ! I would like to see Denim blue as a neutral if that works for you,

    1. Oh yes, I second that! Denim jeans and jackets are such wardrobe staples. Thank you for this series, Janice, it's very helpful in strategic wardrobe-shopping and for planning future purchases.
      Robyn in Tasmania

  15. I have a gray pair of jeans that have a distinctly pink undertone. Odd, but I like it.

  16. I've always loved gray with maroon or oxblood or whatever they're calling it this season. :)

  17. Gray with soft yellow and then with lavender or orchid please!