One of the most interesting neutrals is gray (or ‘grey’ if you go by British English). Not considered a color, gray is a monochromatic. Yet it can lean to being a warmer brown-gray or a cooler blue-gray. In it’s purest form, gray is neither black or white, but right in the middle, enjoying perfect neutrality. It is the Switzerland of color. A perfect gray is achieved when you mix a perfect hue such as red with it’s direct complement (blue-green on the Munsell wheel.) It can also be achieved when you shade white with black. Black reflects no color and white reflects all color. Gray reflects color yet it is harmonized to cancel each other out.
When we consider gray in our environments and in nature, we think of stormy gray clouds, solid marble, industrial steel, cold concrete and other man-made structures. Gray is serious, calm and collected. Even hematite has a calm, cooling effect when you hold it – it is known for it’s strong, grounding energy.
With our wardrobes, gray can take on similar, yet also very different, meanings. When you wear gray (or silver), it sends various messages about you, depending on the value (light gray to dark charcoal) you wear:
- Serious, Corporate – a good neutral dark gray without warmth or coolness
- Professional, Classic – medium + dark charcoal grays
- Cool, Modern – light-medium to silvery grays
- Solid, Sophisticated, Timeless – neutral grays
- Non-Committal, Neutral – light grays
I put together three outfits that use gray entirely. Pictured above, here they are from left to right:
- Joe’s Cool Off Skinny Jeans in gray. These jeans are perfect for hot & humid days as they are lightweight and made with moisture-wicking COOLMAX….love, love, love.
- Bailey44 Shrimpton Sweater. Made with a bit of angora, this sweater has an asymmetrical bottom hem that creates a drape off your left shoulder. Nice Fall transition item!
- Gabor Gray Sandals. These stylish sandals have a low heel and look great with jeans, dresses and skirts alike.
- Ficcare Hair clip in Silver. This large style version is a master at holding thick hair stylishly.
- Charcoal Rag&Bone Jeans. Lightweight jeans that are essential for summer and early fall. These are boyfriend style and can be worn with boots or booties.
- Armani Knit Turtleneck. This lightweight, yet warm, turtleneck has a great side keyhole feature on front.
- Hobo Cross-body bag. Made of a soft leather, this has an adjustable body strap and fits most everything you need without looking oversized.
- Gray Rocket Dog Boots – vegan friendly and stylish. Great price, too!
- Theory Ashtry Cardigan. This cashmere sweater-overcoat hybrid can be worn open or belted with this simple gray belt.
- Michael Stars short-sleeve pocket tee in gray. Not shown but a super popular style that is perfect for wearing alone for a more casual look or layered underneath the cardigan.
- Maison Margiela Skirt. A really awesome taupe & “lead” colored print that looks great with a smart jacket or belted top or cardi as shown.
- Tom’s Wedge Bootie. A great dark gray suede bootie to wear now on a cool day, and in the fall.
For more inspiration, check out my Pinterest page.
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