F2014 7: Monochrome vs. Color

F14 - 7 (Black, Mint, & Silver)

Do you remember the 1998 film Pleasantville? The one that starts in black & white and gradually reveals color as characters gain knowledge? That's what came to mind when I came across today's inspiration photo. Featuring a decidedly strong color against an otherwise monochromatic palette almost always looks stunning, and chances are you already have the necessary components in your closet.

Here are three tricks I've found most useful when creating this look:

1) Go for the scarf. I have yet to see someone look the worser for wearing a scarf. Provided you choose one that reflects your personal style (i.e. one that you LOVE!), it's hard to go wrong here.

2) Choose one of your best colors. Black, gray, and white are neutralizing but not necessarily flattering on all skin tones. Opting for a color that matches your eyes, contrasts your hair, and/or evens your skin tone will bring the outfit together best. Teal, purple, periwinkle, and medium navy are considered flattering to most skin tones, so if you're feeling uncertain, try one of these!

3) Up the contrast. Once you've chosen a color, consider what neutral (black, white, or gray) will provide the most contrast. In the example above, I used a black palette to make the lighter mint shade stand out. As the inspiration photo shows, gray would accomplish this as well, but in a subtler way. If you were to choose eggplant or indigo, white or gray would clearly highlight these colors better than black.

What color do you love against a monochrome palette?

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