Friday, August 26, 2016

One Dark Grey Dress in a Capsule Wardrobe: 14 Ways to Wear It

I could wear this dress a lot...


a perfect dark grey shirtdress
Dress – Humanoid

At its most basic, you can approach this dress with simple metallic silver accessories, or you can combine silver and shades of grey:


how to accessorize a grey shirtdress: silver, or black, white and grey
Dress – Humanoid
earrings – Gianluca Anzani; bag – Ina Kent; flats – Balenciaga
earrings – Madewell; scarf – BP.; quilted flats – Munro

I love the contrast between the deep, cool color of this dress and the equally strong, but warm shades of camel or caramel. Mixing warm and cool colors isn't off-limits, if you balance the strength or intensity of the colors.

How to accessorize a grey dress with camel or caramel
Dress – Humanoid;  
earrings – Shlomit Ofir; bracelet – Carlos Munoz;  
cardigan – Dorothy Perkins; loafers – UGG
second cardigan – J. Crew Factory; earrings – Ice.com
amber bracelet – Ice.com; boots – Sam Edelman

Truly, I don't think there's a color in the world that doesn't look good with navy. I particularly like the subtle contrast between these 2 dark colors...

How to accessorize a dark grey dress with navy
Dress – Humanoid
earrings – John Wind; field jacket – L.L.Bean; boots – Aquatalia
scarf – Marks and Spencer; cardigan – L.L.Bean; earringsNarinee
infinity scarf – Dorothy Perkins; pumps – Sőfft

Back in the '80s, there was an approach to dressing that encouraged you to find your best lipstick and blush colors, and the to find clothes that matched those colors. Not bad advice...

How to accessorize a grey dress with bright red or deeper burgundy
DressHumanoid
necklace – Dorothy Perkins; cardigan – J. Crew
pumps – Sole Society; shoulder bag – Fossil
cardigan Lands’ End; necklace – Vanessa Mooney;  
bag – Kendall + Kylie; flats Isolá

Shades of green are terribly hard to find, so when you get your hands on your "accessory family" in green, make sure to try them out with everything you own. I think this worked well:

How to accessorize a grey dress with shades of olive green
Dress – Humanoid
earrings – New York & Co.; field jacketL.L.Bean
scarf – Idea Plus; flats – Dr. Scholl’s
cardigan – Uniqlo; earrings – Majorica
scarf – Faliero Sarti; flats – Trotters

Sometimes, there's nothing easier than just wearing a simple column of one color. I'm particularly smitten with this print cardigan - it has just enough interest to it, without making the ensemble at all difficult to wear.

How to accessorize a grey dress with shades of grey accessories
Dress – Humanoid
earrings – Judith Ripka; bracelet – Nialaya
cardigan – Uniqlo; flats – Naturalizer; bag – Ina Kent
cardigan – Anrealage; earrings – Givenchy; bracelet – Givenchy
bag – Ina Kent; pumps – Hispanitas

And dark grey is an excellent base upon which to work some magic with really strong secondary colors. I love this mustard yellow... (and yes, this is the SAME cardigan, just in 2 different colors...) Oh, and I feel like BOTH scarves would look good with the mustard cardigan; what do you think?

 
How to accessorize a grey dress with vivid tones of mustard or teal
Dress – Humanoid
 scarf – Hermès Cavaliers du Caucase; cardigan – J. Crew;  
bracelet – Dsquared2; boots – Bella Vita
 cardigan – J. Crew; bracelets – Nest
scarf – Mantero; flats – Sam Edelman

I'm also daydreaming about a lighter grey dress, with muted pastel accessories...

love,
Janice

One Dark Grey Dress in a Capsule Wardrobe: 14 Ways to Wear It
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26 comments:

  1. I love the way this dress comes alive with the mustard cardigan; it would also look great, I think, with butterscotch amber jewelry.

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  2. A highlight of each night of the week is checking out your latest post, Janice. This is the first time I've commented, and I'd like to thank you for presenting such valuable style guidance, I appreciate it and you have definitely had a huge effect on my wardrobe. If I'd may, I'd like to give feedback on your preponderance for grey. I get the safety of grey as a base wardrobe core, I am sure it is failsafe as a chic staple and I understand it's usefulness as a tie-in tone that sets off accents beautifully. I just wish grey wasn't so dreary to wear. Psychologically it's such a depressing "non" colour - it evokes in me feelings of cold foggy winter mornings, old laundry that's been washed to death, school textbook from a lifetime ago, naval lint. For weeks I've been looking for any woman who shines in grey - does one's eye colour pop? Does one's hair look extra glossy when she wears grey? Does she wear her grey clothes with panache or does her grey outfit make her look bland? Is it a merciful relief if she's managed to wear a bright scarf near her face? Almost without exception the examples I've observed would undoubtedly look healthier, happier and more stylish in a colour with some personality, not lifeless grey. Judging by today's list of labels, the only other hue you have posted more on is black - another "non" colour. I certainly don't hanker for posts on primary colours, but am I the only one who feels glum every time you post a new article featuring grey? I'd love someone to tell me what I'm failing to appreciate. Sincerely, Rebecca in Rose

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    1. I would have to disagree - but I do understand your concerns. Grey can be mousy or drab - but the same could be said for black, or beige or khaki - it's all about your personal colouring and how you wear the colour itself. This particular dress appears to be a rather steel grey and very dark - my personal preference is for a much brighter, lighter shade of grey which can be quite vibrant, especially with a deep red or a bright pink as an accessory. While my own colouring works well with grey, beige is not a colour I can wear next to my face - it completely washes me out - BUT - I have learned from Janice that a rich caramel actually works well for me. Colour certainly is very personal and we all have our likes and dislikes but I think the one thing that I've really learned from Janice is not to dismiss something without giving it a try - perhaps not a grey dress but grey pants or a grey sweater over a pink shirt?

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    2. well said Margie. All colours are either good, sad or indifferent depending on the styling and the person wearing them.
      Deb from Vancouver

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    3. I agree with Deb. After years of messing around with colour, I've come to realise that it isn't specific colours that work/don't work on me, but particular combinations, and the colour combined with the style of the outfit. From the above, the grey/turquoise, or grey/mustard would be fine, the grey/burgundy wouldn't work at all. So I have stopped either buying or throwing away things entirely on the basis of colour, my criteria are - will it work well with a favourite outfit? The Vvivienne Files are great for throwing up new inspiration as to how to integrate what I might have thought was a 'problem' colour.
      ALice

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  3. Rebecca,
    Neither gray nor black, or even navy looks good on me with my light, warm coloring, but I still learn from Janice of how to put ensembles together. Could it be that gray is not a neutral that works well with your own personal coloring ? Sometimes we instinctively stay away from colors that are not friendly to our own personal appearance.

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  4. Color IS such a personal item, isn't it? And it's also affected by one's geographical location. I've lived in the Midwest, Southern California, and now the Midsouth, all in the US, and I've noticed differences in the way the light reflects off colors. It affects how people dress and the colors they wear. I think gray and black are especially appealing to people who live in northern urban climates. Sunny, beachy San Diego, not so much.

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    1. SO true! I've also lived in several areas of the US and have noted how colors that work in one place (and not just clothing--makeup and hair color, too) are "off" in another.

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  5. Or personal associations with certain colors? I happen to love grey foggy days, the different shades of grey seen in a city skyline, dried seaweed on grey rocks before the tide comes back in. I find the neutral shades of the rocky New England coast and beaches to be very soothing. Not so much the intense bright colors of the Caribbean. Everyone is different, and thank goodness for that. Janice has helped me put together a cohesive wardrobe that works beautifully for me and has helped me immensely in packing light for travel.

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  6. Grey is definitely my first choice neutral and I am amazed at the accessory colour possibilities. My workhorse dress last winter was navy but I'll bet that any of these looks would work as well with it. I live in a Northwest Marine climate and these neutral colours suit my natural setting. Colour is such a personal preference!

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  7. I never owned anything in grey until a few years ago, feeling much more at home in warmer tones next to my face. With my hair growing more and more grey that has changed. I still warm it with gold jewelery or a scarf, but my first heathered grey turtleneck that I bought about five years ago is still a favorite.

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  8. I could take bits and pieces from previous comments and make them my own! Everyone is different... My hair is going grey so I am buying more grey even though my skin is warm tones... Grey can be mousey and drab... Janice has helped me put together a cohesive wardrobe... My clothes are a riot of colour as 30 years ago I was a fine Spring. Now as I have aged I am wearing light warm muted colours. I actually have a lovely shirt that is a riot of colour but those colours are light and muted (not warm or cool). I am like a bee to a flower when I see clothes in beautiful colours but I also understand that Janice prefers achromatic wardrobe. Each to their own and we can learn to adapt an idea to suit ourselves. Hugs all round! Carol S

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  9. Grey and the other neutrals look stunning when matched with a person's coloring. My problem is that black and grey are sophisticated colors that go well in a city/upscale setting. Unfortunately, my best colors are warm. I have yet to figure out how to obtain that same sophistication using colors that look best on me. I use navy a lot but sometimes even it is too dark. It is tricky to match navy pieces. Ivory, beige, and coral work well but I consider those more daytime, casual colors. Interesting subject and comments today.

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    1. Lillibridges, I think camel and cream is one of the more sophisticated combinations out there! Beautiful camel wool trousers with a cream cashmere fisherman's knit sweater. DEE-vine!

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    2. Definitely camel and cream for sophistication - and both work well with grey. But camel (or even a gold metallic) with navy (or a royal blue if you prefer something not quite so dark) would also give you a very sophisticated look for both day and especially the evening if you use the metallic.

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    3. Thanks. I like these suggestions.

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  10. That is a great dress style in any neutral I think and I would also wear it over narrow pants in the cooler weather. I have copied it into my one note for sewing inspiration. A person could wear it every day with all your styling suggestions and most people would not notice that it is the same dress.

    Deb from Vancouver
    Deb from Vancouver

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  11. I bought a dress like this at a huge discount for fall, but I don't understand how it's supposed to fit. It looks good from the front but I'm not sure about the side and the back! Shirt dresses confuse me.... This is Gail Finke (for some reason I have to sign is as anonymous today)

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    1. I admit to the same issue with shirt dresses. The last one that I owned I did as Deb from Vancouver suggests and wore it over narrow pants -

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  12. And there ARE different grays out there--I have 2 pieces of linen fabric, one of which is "bluer" than the other. Color is an amazing and fascinating subject, for sure.

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  13. This is an interesting style of dress. I think I might be too round for this style though. I would wear it with leggings or skinny jeans in a light denim color I think. I am becoming more intrigued with the gray/camel/caramel color combo too. Isn't it amazing how we all relate to the same color? :) Vive la difference!

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    1. Once saw a woman in downtown Chicago (early November) dressed in light/med gray with caramel accents. She looked incredibly chic.

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  14. Gray is one of my favorites, whether it is considered a color or a non-color. I am an artist and love color, and my house has plenty of color, but gray just makes my heart sing. Unfortunately as I age and gray is creeping into my hair, I find that I can wear medium or light gray less successfully, as it emphasizes my gray hair and washes me out (I don't so much mind the gray hair, but don't want to look mousey.) But luckily charcoal is still my friend. I love it with caramel/cognac along with leopard print (scarf or flats). Some of your examples above are so delicious - that garnet red, the mustard, the peacock(teal?), the silver accessories, AND the gold ones. Now I just need a gray dress! - nancyo

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  15. Some beautiful options above- the one I love the most is the grey dress with the green jacket. There is something about that colour combination that tantalises me.

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  16. Gray didn't made it into my autumn color this year, and my gray dress is very different from this one, so I didn't recognize it at first. Now re-reading this article again (for the sheer joy of reading) I can see how my dress goes perfectly with my autumn capsule - so I'm not sure if I will be able to resist the temptation... or maybe I can postpone it for my winter capsule. Ah, color cravings.... this spring/summer I did the limited palette for the first time, that is my current capsule. I admit it was very challenging to let go (and pack for the future closet shoppings) all other colors from the rainbow closet I used to have B.J., but now I can see for myself that it works great!

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  17. Gray and camel have always been personal favorites of mine. I've been advised to steer clear of both gray and black, but find them to hard to give up. So I am happy to see Janice include some warm options with gray. If gray and camel work, why not give mustard a shot. It's all in how you pull things together, being sure to have some shade in your outfit that flatters your personal coloring.

    I cannot believe that, at 67, I am finally understanding why some clothing choices worked and some didn't. Janice's blog has been a wonderful help. Her blog was the first one I followed in 2011. And it all came about as I searched the Internet for articles on what to wear in Dublin!

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