Versatile Neutrals - Top Trend or Wardrobe Staple

Posted by: Fiona Keeble, September 15, 2023

Not only is it now the time we at House of Colour launch our Seasonal Style Guide and new colour trend report, it’s also second-hand September when the focus is on sustainable fashion. According to the British Fashion Council there are enough clothes on the planet to dress the next six generations of Humanity. In short, we don’t need to buy another item of clothing in our lifetime, and whilst we all know that is never going to happen, recognising the importance of a considered purchase is not only a benefit to the planet but also to the pocket.

This Autumn “versatile neutrals” is one of the key colour trends, which, will feature heavily on the high street. Classic Grey’s, Oat Milk Tones and Midnight Blues are starting to fill the rails.

Neutrals should be the foundation of any wardrobe, think of a pyramid, at the base are your key investment pieces coats, suits, boots, and bags etc.  These are the items expected to last some considerable time and buying them in your own personal classic style and in your best neutrals will give you greatest flexibility and best value for money.

Neutral colours also provide a solid base on which to build an outfit so investing in quality items is worth the extra, the better the quality the more stylish and chicer your look. A term client’s often use as one of their key objectives in a Style session is to achieve “effortless style”. Knowing how to use a combination of your best neutrals is key to achieving laid back chic. Darker neutrals tend to present a more authoritative look, so pairing a dark neutral with a lighter will give a more relaxed feel. Two neutrals for most people in an outfit is enough unless you have an Autumn skin tone when tonal dressing can be one of your best looks so choose three shades of the same green or brown to achieve that look.

If you want to make a statement, wear one of your wow colours against a neutral background to really make that colour pop! Red features significantly again this season and tends to go well with all neutrals, with primary red being the only colour that suits all skin types. Black, navy, grey and whites go particularly well with red for cool skins whilst brown, beige, camel and cream set off red for warm skins. An outfit made up of neutral colours will often look incredible with a pop of red lipstick so long as it’s a red that suits your skin. Summer palettes glow in cherry and coral red, Autumns beguile in rust or brick reds, Winters captivate in scarlet and carmine, Springs look gorgeous in geranium and poppy red. You can also add your pop of Colour with accessories. A top handle bag or statement earrings.

It’s also best to know your “white” generally, Springs suit creams, Autumns should choose oyster, Summers should opt for a soft white and Winters look gorgeous in pure white.

When thinking about which neutrals suit us it all depends on our skin tone. Autumn colour palettes suit rich, warm earthy colours such as dark brown, tan, oyster, coffee, khaki, lizard grey, dark olive, and marine navy, whilst Springs suit warm, clear colour choices like chocolate, beige, dove grey, bright navy, tan, honey, and cream. Winters look gorgeous in deep, cool colours such as silver, greys, charcoal, indigo, black, mole and stone. Summers suit cool, subtle neutrals such as pink beige, mushroom, rose brown, dark blue grey, light blue grey, soft navy and burgundy.

So which neutrals should we be looking for in the shops this Autumn.

The lockdown lounge look is on its way out as we move towards more formal tailoring Classic greys create a more low-key luxury look and feel, that’s going to be popular this season. Use varying shades of grey to create an effortless look, for Springs choose Dove Grey, Autumns Lizard Grey, Summers dark blue grey and Winters from light to dark and charcoal.

Oat milk tones from Mushroom shades to richer parchment shades of Oat milk are beautiful neutrals to add to your AW23-24 wardrobe. Hard to find Mushroom and Powder pink for Summers, camel’s mid peach and beige for Autumns and beige, honey, cinnamon, and oatmeal for Springs. These Oat milk tones are not going to be for the Winters out there, but all is not lost sophisticated shades of deep, dark, and inky blues will offer a great alternative to black for winters. Of course, there is a Navy for everyone so Spring look for a bright warm navy, Summers look for French navy and Autumns, marine.

Neutrals form the cornerstone of any well curated wardrobe, they offer versatility because they will pair well with all the other colours, if you invest well your neutrals will give great value, knowing the colours, styles and shapes that inform your own signature style ensures that every penny of your wardrobe budget is spent wisely.

Autumn / Winter 23/24 is going to be an opportunity to search out some of those sometimes hard to find neutrals, but it’s not a trend, it’s investing wisely and curating a sustainable, versatile, and conscientious wardrobe for your future!