If there’s one thing that I think every wardrobe needs it’s a great assortment of neutrals. They’re ideal for mixing and matching and are ultra versatile, but because of this, they might be considered a little flat or boring. But I think they’re anything but. In fact I think they’re the ultimate workhorses of any wardrobe because not only can they be treated as a blank canvas but they can also be quite impactful by employing accessories or various textures into the mix.
The benefit of working with neutrals is that it provides the perfect base to start with and allows you to elevate it easily with a few simple style tricks.
A great way to bring neutrals to life is to mix textures. By bringing a tactile element into your look whether it’s mixing a soft cashmere with a luxe linen in a neutral shade, you can instantly add a little depth to your look. Also incorporating things like denim and leather into your outfit can easily amp up any neutral tones.
As always accessories are key. Given that neutrals tend to be quite pared back, they can easily be lifted by adding strong accoutrements like jewellery, shoes or bags. This will also allow you to incorporate a few contrasting colours and textures into the mix making for a more impactful outfit.
Adding touches of colour
The beauty of neutral tones is that it acts like a blank canvas and you can easily incorporate touches of colour into it. Choosing strong shades like punchy pinks or deep blues act as the perfect complementary hues, instantly lifting a palette featuring beiges, creams, tans or whites.
Block and ombre styling
Playing with a neutral colour palette and its various shades makes for an eye catching look. You could try working similar neutral shades together for a colour blocking effect — something that was quite prominent at this year’s Fashion Week. Another alternative is working with one neutral colour and incorporating varying shades of it for an ombre effect.
How do you elevate the neutral tones in your wardrobe?
Heading out for an evening to ourselves is something Luke and I try and do every so often. I think when you have been together for awhile, especially when kids enter the picture it’s nice to be able to reconnect and remember what it was like during the early days. It’s also the perfect time to enjoy the process of pulling a great outfit together and getting all dolled up! Here are a few of my tips on how to elevate your next date night outfit.
Push your boundaries
I always like to make a point of wearing something that’s just a little more special than what Luke would normally see me in. That could be something such as a great dress that I’ve been wanting to wear or just an outfit that I would never usually wear when I’m just in everyday mode. Also it’s a great time to experiment with a new look — if there’s a particular trend you’ve been wanting to try or something that you’ve been eyeing but haven’t found the occasion to wear it, why not do it during date night?
Pay attention to your accessories
When I’m looking after the girls, simplicity and comfort is key. I don’t have time to fuss around with earrings or bags because kids just don’t wait for things like that! So I always like to make an effort when it’s date night. Statement earrings are always a great option to consider but it’s also the perfect time to introduce a new bag into the mix or a beautiful necklace. I know it’s easy to stick to your tried and tested pieces but consider this the perfect time to do something a little different.
Throw practicality out the door
Date night is the perfect excuse to wear something that’s a little bit sexy and yes, completely impractical. That means letting your fave silk blouse out for the evening or wearing your favourite skyscraper heels—it’s the time to just focus on feeling and looking great and not if you’re going to be able to run after a toddler in your outfit.
Wear amazing shoes
I think wearing a killer pair of shoes is always a guaranteed way to feel great. If you’re always in flats or sneakers then the next time you head out, take it up a notch and let your beloved statement heels take centre stage. Think of it as a way of getting more out of your wardrobe too.
Spend time on your beauty look
Don’t let your look down by forgetting about your hair and makeup. Date night’s actually the perfect reason to stop and take your time with your beauty look. Try a new hairstyle or do a smoky eye or statement lip and enjoy the process of getting all dressed up.
There are pieces that I have in my wardrobe that are definitely more evening appropriate but that doesn’t mean that that should be their only purpose. Often looks that are for night events tend to be a little more expensive due to their style and construction, so to ensure that I’m able to make every fashion dollar stretch further I’ve taken to reworking them to be suitable for daywear. And it’s not at all hard or expensive to do.
One way I’ve been doing the night to day transformation recently is with the below Zimmermann top which is too pretty to relegate just for the evening so recently I’ve been teaming it with jeans to make it more suitable for casual wear. This is something that you can easily do with other pieces in your wardrobe. Often teaming something that’s a bit dressier with something more relaxed such as jeans can tone it down and make it appropriate for off duty style. I teamed this particular look back with a pair of slingback flats which are polished yet not too over the top for day and a mini crossbody bag. The end result was a laidback look but with just the right amount of polish.
If I were to wear the top at night though it’s a different story. In the evenings I tend to favour a look that’s a bit more feminine and formal. So in this instance I swapped the denim over for a midi skirt in a similar colour palette as the top. And switched out the casual crossbody bag for a structured clutch with a chain strap handle which definitely adds to the nighttime vibe. I’d also go for dressy heels and leave the flats at home. Overall what I was going for with this particular look was something that’s a little more sophisticated and dressed up, lifted up by chic accessories that have a modern feel.
I did the below transformations with just one top but you can do this with pretty much anything you’ve designated as ‘nighttime only’. All it takes is a few key choices that dial down it’s dressy feel for day, then swap it for elevated pairings at night and you’ve instantly got double the wear out of your wardrobe.