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A fashion and style blog for the over 40s covering body shapes, colour palettes, how to wear neutrals, style personality and capsule wardrobes. Come on in!

3.18.2014

Two Amazing Neutrals That Every Woman Can Wear

As much as I break the rules (not I hasten to add intentionally, it just seems to happen), I am a huge advocate for building a cohesive wardrobe that is wearable, practical, exciting and age-appropriate. Hmmmm I don't half set myself some challenges with this blog, how on earth do I write about all that! Actually it's not that difficult and you may be disappointed to know that I'm not giving away trade secrets that you don't already know.

What is a capsule wardrobe? Hell, I don't know. If it means that it ticks all the boxes above then I have one. So where do you start? Well with neutrals of course. Simples! Correct me if I'm wrong but a lady with a huge wardrobe is the first people to turn around and say "I've got absolutely nothing to wear" and that's because she has jackets in every colour of the rainbow and patterned tops and 10 green shirts, long skirts, short skirts and don't even get me started on jeans. Chaos, I'm talking sheer and utter chaos! She can't see the wood for the trees.

What she really needs are basics that she can build on. Do you remember my Stan I Have A Plan post (read it here). Well, the clothes on this rail would see me through the whole year if need be. They all work with each other and that's because I chose a neutral colour, navy blue.


A neutral doesn't date unlike fashion colours which are bang on trend eg. pastels for Spring/Summer 2014. I bet we will be sick to death of them come Christmas. The idea is that you invest in neutrals, so spend a little more on them as they will last, I promise and then update each season with fashion colours. If you recall I chose mustard and in the end I bought just one scarf in this colour, that's all that was needed. I do fib a little because the mustard on the High Street was more ochre and I didn't like it so I ventured into yellow instead (but only one top and another scarf).

I've picked out two fantastic neutrals that I think everyone can wear with a little tweaking, there's just a few points to note.

1. Ladies with a dramatic look - dark hair, dark eyes (DEEPS) or dark hair, bright eyes (CLEARS) or grey/silver haired (COOLS)
You can wear the following neutrals with deep colours, don't be afraid to pull black into your outfit. You can also wear a strong crisp white too (white is a dramatic colour). Less successful would be wearing these colours tonally - you need contrast to balance out your own strong look.

2. Ladies with red or golden tones and a warm skin tone (WARMS)
These neutral colours can look a little flat as you're all about 'richness'. Team with warm colours such as coral, aqua, yellow and lime. When you're looking at a colour, think back to mixing paint at primary school. Is there a lot of yellow needed to make the colour. If the answer is 'yes' then it's probably a warm based colour.

3. Ladies with mousey or mid-dark blonde hair (SOFTS) or very blonde hair (LIGHTS). These are stunning neutrals on you and worn tone-on-tone with little contrast (eg. sky blue) will look amazing.


So, first up we have, drum roll, surprise surprise

Navy

Tell me this is not a stunning jacket! I don't know what's happened to Warehouse this season but they've produced some stunning pieces.

Warehouse Blue Quilted Cropped Jacket


It works with jeans, it works with white linen trousers in the summer, it works with a dress in the evening. By golly it even works with a jumpsuit. I reckon that's £45 well spent.

Definitely an investment buy this next one but I've had leather jackets in my wardrobe for 15 years and more, price per wear has got to be in the single figures now. This leather jacket is by Jaeger and is stunning. Perhaps not zipped up! Dress up, dress down. Dress warm, dress cool. It's one of those jackets that you can wear differently every single day of the week.

Jaeger Waisted Leather Jacket


You don't have to keep your neutrals to jackets and coats either. I love this little number from Next. Such an easy-wear top that can be styled many ways.

Next Layer Embellished Top


Or this v-neck top which I'd be tempted to try with a thin white shirt underneath and sleeves rolled up and chinos

BHS Navy V-Neck Top With Stud Detailing


And finally, every woman should have a navy dress in her wardrobe. It's a great alternative to black, still just as slimming but not as severe on the complexion. This is a typical Whistles under-stated dress that will look sensational on.

Whistles Blake Dress



Lets have a look at our next colour,

Charcoal Grey

I've really fallen for this jacket. In the 'olden days' we would most certainly have kept this for 'best' but now it can be dressed down with boyfriend jeans and a slouchy t-shirt. I love this idea.

House Of Fraser Trimmed Textured Jacket by Mango


I can't write this post without mentioning the Queen of Neutrals, Mint Velvet. This dress would be my go-to dress for anything. I adore it. In fact, had I been a festival goer, this would have been my pick to go with hunter wellies and denim jacket. But of course it would work equally well on a date night with the hubby or even sat harbour side in St Tropez. The opportunities are endless.

Mint Velvet Slate Double Layer Georgette Dress


Staying with MV, what a striking top this is. Another piece that won't date and you can wear over and over again.

Mint Velvet Jasmine Print Biker Top


And I think we'll leave it there for today. The whole idea with neutrals is that you can team them with your favourite fashion colours to achieve lots of different looks. So are you a neutral lover? Or do you prefer to fall into your wardrobe every morning and see what comes out. Makes life interesting I suppose.

Of course I practice what I preach and here I am wearing none of my neutrals (doh)! Everything old other than the sweater which is H&M this season (sorry no link)


See you soon


Donna












































35 comments on "Two Amazing Neutrals That Every Woman Can Wear"
  1. You look absolutely AMAZING today Donna .. absolutely gorgeous

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  2. Gorgeous sweater, such a beautiful colour and perfect with the necklace.
    Abbi x

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  3. You look gorgeous Donna! Such a lovely outfit & look on you! I love the MV charcoal dress & it is so versatile! I can't wait to work on my back to work wardrobe! Ax

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  4. Love your outfit today Donna & that H&M jumper is fab!
    Jane xx
    www.mymidlifefashion.com

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  5. Am such a navy fan myself, just easy and effortless I've chosen yellow and orange as 'my' extra colours this season I think.

    Sweater is stunning - does NOT look H&M.

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    1. Gorgeous accents Cathy, I'm seeing lots of orange coming through at the moment as well as yellow x

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  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE your outfit - you look so young with your hair tied back!! I need you to come and streamline my closet - Stan I have NO plan...

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    1. Ha you make me laugh Joanna. You would be thoroughly miserable with a capsule wardrobe.

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  7. Very lovely look today. The colours are perfect. x

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  8. The girls are right .. you look fab today! And I'm loving the idea of the neutrals. I've been veering very much towards navy and creams recently and suddenly, it's much easier to get dressed each day! Delighted to hear that charcoal grey is a neutral too!

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  9. whow you do know your colours because that jumper is your colour - great look today donna. xx

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    1. It's kind of inbetween a soft jade and duck egg blue, perfect for a Soft palette x

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  10. What a great post. I really like the warehouse quilted jacket and the MV Biker top.
    Love your outfit styling. The jumper & the untucked shirt look really good together
    :0)
    Paul

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  11. Gorgeous outfit Donna - really interesting about colour tones and which ones to choose, also LOVE that little Warehouse jacket. I have to be blinking awkward though as I change my hair from red in the winter to bright blonde in the summer! I end up having to change make up - everything ... mind you a good excuse to buy a whole new wardrobe :-) x

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    1. Ooh I see that as a benefit, new wardrobe, new make up bag...x

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  12. Phew....plenty of those neutrals in my wardrobe, both colours I love! Looking fab in your outfit Donna x

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  13. Brilliant idea, and you have chosen some amazing pieces. That said, I couldn't live with a capsule wardrobe - what about all my frocks!

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  14. Love your outfit Donna, gorgeous shade of green in that jumper. Sometimes I wish I had a capsule wardrobe, it would make getting dressed in the morning so much handier as I usually faff about for ages over it. But I know it would never work for me and I'd end up getting bored. I do love a bit of Navy though!!

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    1. It definitely makes it easier to get dressed but I know where you're coming from Trea x

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  15. I picked up your H&M sweater and then put it back the other week - couldn't decide on this colour or the peachy/pink version! Love this colour on you - you make the whole process look so easy! I am a big fan of navy and charcoal grey - have loads of the stuff - love the Mint Velvet dress - see I'd want to wear that with my DrMs - would you tell me off if I did? :) xx

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    1. I think the MV dress would look fab with DrMs. You are obviously a creative style personality xx

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  16. I love a capsule wardrobe. Mine is and I have black, dark grey, brown, creams and my accent colours are olive green and warm browns/rusts/orange. Im warm light blond with dark green eyes, freckles and warm skin tone. It just makes life so much easier doesn't it.

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  17. I've tried on that Mango jacket - I love it! It's on the right side of understated dressy. An oxymoron of a jacket. I may have to make it mine!

    And I love that coloured jumper - it reminds me of a top I bought from Toast last year which I sadly returned as it did nothing for me. Looks so light and fresh with the white shirt.

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    1. Thanks Sue. Oooh you've seen the jacket in real life??? x

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