Whether you reach for an all-black ensemble every day or you love playing with different combinations of neutral colours, making a muted outfit look stylish is not an easy feat. Go too simple and you risk looking dull and drab, while amping up your outfit with the wrong accessories will turn your crisp and classic outfit from a fashion do to a fashion don’t.
Styling a muted outfit made up of garments in minimal and sleek designs in understated, neutral colours takes more than just combining different pieces of garments together. You would think it would be that easy, right? After all, we are not working with prints or mixing and matching bold colours here.
However, the pared-down look of a muted outfit is precisely why it can be tricky to make it look like you did not just put on the first few things you grabbed from your wardrobe. Different factors come into play when you wish to amp up a muted outfit, from experimenting with silhouettes to combining different textures to adding the right accessories. If you are looking for inspiration to dress up your muted outfit, check out the following tips.
Mix a Variety of Textures
A neutral look from head to toe can veer into plain boring territory when all the garments you don are made of the same fabric. This can cause your outfit to look one-dimensional with no interesting component in the mix. To stay away from this fashion faux pas, put together garments made of different fabrics. For instance, soften the look of a pair of black denim jeans with a black fisherman’s jumper (the all-black look will also make you appear leaner and taller, which is always a plus!). Or wear a sheer blouse with a pair of leather trousers for a sultry yet edgy look.
Choose Classic Staples with Interesting Details
The understated look of a muted outfit is not only achieved by a neutral colour palette, but also by the types of garments you decide to put on. Basic essentials are the way to go to achieve this classic and minimal style. However, as reliable as basics are in your wardrobe, they can sometimes be such a bore to wear, especially if you reach for these essentials almost every day of the week. How do you keep your outfit looking interesting then, without having to frequently splurge on new items for your wardrobe?
The answer? Look for classic staples designed with interesting details. For instance, instead of just buying a plain white t-shirt, look for one with an asymmetrical hemline. Want a plain black dress for when you are too lazy to put together a whole outfit for the office? Opt for a shift dress with a cut-out detail at the back or a frilly neckline, or go for a midi dress with a scalloped hemline. Details like these might seem minor but they are just enough to prevent your outfit from looking too plain and simple.
Pile On the Accessories
The great thing about keeping your outfit within a muted colour palette is it allows you to experiment all you want with your accessories. And trust us, when you have a muted outfit on, accessories are a must as they will prevent your outfit from looking too plain and boring. Whether you go minimal with a pair of ear studs or add a statement piece of jewellery such as a chunky necklace, accessories will up the ante of your neutral ensemble instantly.
If you want to keep your look chic and classic, stick with gold or silver jewellery in minimal designs. If your top has a simple neckline, dress up that area with a simple chain necklace that comes with a small pendant, and complete your look with one or two rings.
For something a little less subtle, opt for jewellery that are a little more “in-your-face” such as dangly earrings or a necklace with a larger-sized pendant. Or put on a stack of rings, mixing and matching different designs together to create an eclectic look.
Experiment with Fit
Donning a muted ensemble is great when you want to play around with the volumes and proportions of your clothes. Always wanted to try out the oversized trend but afraid you will look silly? Now is the time for you to experiment! Put on a boxy, oversized blazer and pair it with a pair of slim-fit trousers. Or channel your inner Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen by wearing oversized from head to toe, creating a chill and casual silhouette.
Colour Your Face
If you want to add pop of colours to your muted look, why not do it through your makeup? An all-white ensemble will look extremely chic when paired with a red lip. Or keep the attention on your peepers with a subtle wash of bold eyeshadow on your eyelids and top it off with a clean line of winged eyeliner.