The gray on gray aesthetic opens up a wealth of styling possibilities, ranging from relaxed and expressive to curated and bold. The essential styling tips below will keep you in a world of soft, muted tones that embrace your every move like a fashionable aura. And the other, more complex guidelines will introduce you to the power of intentional contrasts.
As outlined in our opening article, the first choice to make is between similar and different shades of gray…
How To Wear Gray On Gray: Mix-And-Match The Shades
Perhaps counterintuitively, gray on gray can be cheerful and charming. That’s if you wear light shades of gray that are as close to each other as possible. The effect will be that all the attention gets diverted away from the clothes themselves and towards your face, your silhouette, your movements. In other words, it will help your personality shine through without saying a word. The effect is similar to wearing an all-white look, but without the loss of practicality.
For darker shades of gray, consider the opposite as your starting point: an all-black look reads sophisticated, curated, deep. But it’s also rigid and somber. So, a lesser known hack is to go for dark grey instead – a slightly softer and approachable option that still has enough star power to differentiate you when walking down the street.
And, if you want to mix the two options, the rule of thumb is to start with the darkest shade and continue with lighter shades going up. White shoes will add more contrast, keeping everything fresh. In essence, you’ll want to create a visually appealing, uh, sandwich: light shoes, dark gray bottom, light gray top.
How To Wear Gray On Gray: Add Texture
Texture variations work like visual cues. They can supplement the lack of color in all-gray outfits to keep you looking stylish and expressive.
If the shades are similar, wear flowy fabrics or airy silks under a crisp, tailored outer layer:
With contrasting shades of gray, keep it in the family. For example, a dark gray knit dress plus an even darker wide hat:
Accents like rips, zippers and oversized buttons can intensify any gray outfit, whether in lighter or darker shades. Ruffles, fringe and other details that add movement will make for some amazing street style photos!
How To Wear Gray On Gray: Consider The Proportions
Proportions are the next step. While mixing-and-matching shades defines the general attitude and textures add some punch, getting the proportions right is the hallmark of refinement.
The simplest way to go about this is to have a fitted base and add a billowy coat or jacket. Generous, 80s-style sleeves are making a comeback, so take advantage! Just keep in mind that, whenever it comes to volume, opposites attract. Think: skinny bottoms plus a generous top or shoulder pads on a fitted mini dress.
Once you’ve grown comfortable with volume, you can turn it up a notch. An oversized suit could be a foolproof incursion – it’ll keep everything cohesive, while also overriding all expectations. Or, for a nonchalant aura, don some wide legged pants with pockets and a light, oversized sweater.
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