When we change the season, we also change the star color. This autumn, we are not going to talk about red, mustard yellow, or even violet, petrol-blue, or terracotta-orange but about ‘brown’. The color of cinnamon, chocolate, chestnuts, and English tea. The color of sofas bought in the 70s, of paper bags, and fallen leaves. It doesn’t sound glamorous at all. But, in spite of all these, the entire fashion industry declared that le choix du jour is brown, in all of its shades: chocolaty brown, tobacco, rusty, caramel, cashew, chestnut, coffee brown… It was highly present on catwalks (for Chloé, Rochas, Marni, Fendi, Jacquemus, Alberta Ferretti, Derek Lam, Max Mara, and many others) so that now all fashion stores to propose this color in numerous juxtapositions, textures, materials, color associations, retro or modern reinterpretations.
The worst part is that, according to my observation, it is not a color too much appreciated by women. It is “controversial”, it polarizes opinions. Many find it outdated, a color that lacks life and elegance, a modest, even ugly color. Others find it limiting when it comes to their stylistic choices: how the hell can you even match brown with something else? Can someone else wear it as well… even if she is not 70-years-old just yet? On who will this color fit? But there are also women that enjoy it: they consider the shades of brown as refined, luxurious, and with a strong retro-nostalgic spirit, softer than black and less boring than grey.
In order to find the courage to wear this color, this is what I discovered.
You can match brown with black
I set on the side the fact that brown is considered the new black (although I eagerly wait for the day when black will be the new black!), discovering delighted that some shades of brown look great when combined with black. A caramel-brown dress and black boots? Absolutely. Chocolate-brown cardigan and black handbag? Oh, la, la that looks great…
The secret to making this match right is not to choose those lifeless, faded, and dark shades of brown. Also, when you think that the association appears like missing its desired effect, consider adding some spots of ochre, golden yellow, pumpkin orange, white, or red.
Monochromatic brown outfits need a well-studied styling
Medium dark or dark shades of brown can fit women of all ages, although I do recommend to simplify your choices. You can put together a monochromatic brown outfit, with the condition to overlap clothing items with different textures and surfaces.
For instance: a chocolate brown shirt-dress made out of toile, matched with a pair of tobacco brown suede leather boots, and a knitted brown cardigan. Or: a milk coffee satiny shirt, worn with cashew brown tweed trousers, and a chocolate brown leather jacket.
Denim, in all of its shades, works great with brown
Well, what doesn’t match with denim? Exactly. To avoid torturing yourself with assorting shades of brown for a monochromatic outfit, match a brown piece with anything made out of denim.
The simplest option: a brown sweater, a pair of indigo jeans, and white sneakers (olive-green or burgundy red). Or: a brown skirt, a denim shirt, and coffee brown short boots. Brown also looks stunning when associated with shades of intense blue (meaning not the most washed or bright shades of blue) and with petrol-blue (or dark turquoise).
Match it with pink, red, or burgundy red
A surprise just as pleasant would be to match brown with shades of pink: blush, rosy, vintage, magenta, even salmon pink. All of a sudden, your outfit will get a more feminine air, it will be fresher, and with a delicate note (with the help of bright or soft pinks) or a modern note (if you use loud shades). The effect is different when you match brown with burgundy red or warm red, but the result is truly spectacular.
Prints with shades of brown are easy to wear
Hello, animal print! Prints inspired by “untamed felines” – leopard, cheetah, tiger – are based on shades of brown, beige, black, and, occasional, spots of white and yellow.
It is enough to take one of the brown shades of the print you are about to wear and transfer it on a leather jacket, a cardigan-coat, a pullover, a tank top, a pair of culottes, or on accessories. It will be very easy to wear a brown clothing item with white dots (dress, skirt, shirt) or an item made out of tweed, with checks in shades of coffee brown and ochre yellow.
Brown coats, bags, and shoes should be “placed on the list”
Just like in the case of any other difficult trend, accessories are the simplest option to integrate it into your wardrobe. A pair of boots or high booties made out of brown leather will be easier to match with a higher number of outfits than the same pair of shoes on black. The same goes for bags: leather (regular or suede) in shades of cognac, tobacco, or chocolate, is extremely versatile and has a luxurious appearance, especially when the leather is pressed (having the aspect of crocodile, python, or another reptile).
You will be able to continue wearing faux-fur coats in shades of coffee and brown, while teddy bear models are still highly sought after. Of course, on the top of the stylistic pyramid sits an elegant coat, in shades of rusty brown or caramel brown.