We’ve all seen that extremely chic person or celeb wearing an amazing monochromatic look, but what monochrome style hacks do you need to know to pull it off? Can anyone do it? The short answer is yes; you can pull it off. But you may need a few hacks to help you. Keep reading to get some great tips!
Monochromatic is defined as one color. Mono, meaning one, and chromatic, meaning color. It’s a classic trend that, when done well, translates to a very beautiful and chic outfit and style. But how exactly can you pull it off? Just read some of these tips to start putting your best monochromatic foot forward.
Choosing A Monochromatic Color
Building your outfit with monochromatic colors isn’t as difficult as you might think. The hardest part is choosing a color that works great for you. Pay attention to the undertones in your skin and what your skin does in summer months vs. winter months. Most skin colors, from very pale skin to darker skin tones, experience a slight shift in pigment and undertones from summer to winter months. You’ll want to pay attention to this, choosing the perfect color for you.
Now that we know that our skin will experience slight differences in warm vs. cold weather, we can begin to choose colors for any time of the year to pull off our monochromatic look.
Nic Tip: Work with colors you’re already familiar with and know that look great on you when just starting out with this trend. Because you’ll be dressed head to toe in this color choice, if it’s not flattering to your skin tone, it can quickly become a fail instead of a win.
How To Build Your Monochromatic Outfit?
Once you know the color you want to wear, use that as the base of the outfit. From here, you’ll need to find pieces for the entire look. There are 2 ways to do this:
- Some people, when wearing monochromatic colors, will wear everything, including shoes/belts in the same color.
- Then you have other types of people who will add a pop of color with their shoes and belts. *I don’t consider wearing a very dark monochrome color (like charcoal grey or navy) and pairing it with a black shoe, for example, as a pop of color. A “pop of color” would be a color that obviously stands out against the color of the rest of the outfit, hence the phrase “pop” of color, since that’s what is being added to the color selection.
I recommend making this decision based on where you’re going. If you have to be more serious/professional, stick to the matching color shoes. If you’re going somewhere where you can show your personality a bit more, go for the pop of color. If you’re really living on the edge, that pop of color can be an animal print or a really bright color.
While all of your pieces are the same color, a great way to add depth and dimension to your look is to play with textures. So, for example, perhaps you pair a silk charmeuse cream blouse with a wool boucle’ cream skirt, cream opaque tights, and cream leather ankle boots. The various textures in the outfit bring life to it and elevate it a bit more than if everything was the same texture.
Image Via @jlo on Instagram.
In this image, JLo is wearing a white monochrome outfit. Notice the texture of her sequin pants + her boucle’ trench and hat, + the delicacy of her silk chiffon ruffled blouse. It all pairs perfectly to add texture and interest to a monochromatic outfit.
Notice also how she kept her shoes in the same color as the overall monochromatic look and opted against adding a pop of color, as the event was a more serious occasion.
2. Individual Pieces
The great thing about monochromatic dressing is you can wear dresses, blouses, trousers, trenches, literally any of your favorite pieces. The only thing you need to do is wear a consistent color throughout the outfit.
Nic Tip: Don’t get so hung up on your colors matching exactly; it’s ok if they don’t. It’s perfectly normal for colors to be off a shade or 3 when dressing with monochromatic color. So if your blouse is slightly darker than your trousers and your shoes are a completely different color from both, that’s absolutely fine and normal.
Image via @whowhatwear on Instagram.
In the above image, we see former First Lady Michelle Obama, wearing a classy monochromatic outfit. Her turtleneck is slightly darker than the color of her overcoat and trousers, and because of the glossy leather of the belt, it actually looks lighter in the light than the other pieces. That’s ok.
3. Putting It All Together
Now that we have the basics covered, you just need to put it all together. One of my favorite things with monochromatic dressing is the opportunity for accessories to stand out-since the canvas is all one color. This is a great time to wear that broch you love or earrings that you never get to wear. Take a moment as an opportunity to feature those pieces that sometimes get overlooked because of all of the attention that our garments typically get.
In the image below, Beyonce pairs a very bold diamond choker with her green suit. Because the suit is all green, it really highlights the choker. Also, notice how she “popped” the color of the suit with the white shoes and sunglasses that match back to the white topstitching on the suit.
Nic Tip: Beyonce opted to not wear a blouse (as far as I can see); if you’re recreating a similar look, opt for a low cut bodysuit or blouse under the blazer. You could even wear a regular blouse and leave more buttons than normal unbuttoned.
Image via @beyonce on Instagram.
4. Head To Toe Print
In recent years, dressing in monochromatic prints has become very popular. It’s essentially wearing a printed top, with the same printed bottom or along all over a printed dress. This can be slightly more difficult to style, but all of the previous tips we just learned still apply.
The biggest thing to pay attention to is the size of the print. If you’re more petite, opt for smaller prints so as to not overwhelm your frame. If you’re taller, your frame will be able to handle a larger size print.
Nic Tip: Because the print will add additional color, just make sure that’s a color that works for your skin tone as well, particularly if it’s a larger size print since it’ll be much more present.
The models in the below image are probably tall, so wearing the matching tights with the allover print dress is a bit easier because of their height. If you’re shorter, try a similar look without the tights, it may flatter your frame more. Also, notice that the models are also wearing a larger size print, which works for their taller frame.
Image via @versace on Instagram.
Adding monochromatic looks to your existing style is so much fun! With these hacks, you should definitely be on your way to executing the look of your choice as a pro in no time!