Now that fall is here, clothing colors will start to get darker, richer, and less pastel-y. Scarves and gloves are finally freed from the depths of the closet and jackets take charge of the wardrobe. Darker colors tend to take over the fall season, but there is one color that pulls its weight in every season. That color is brown–yes, brown! They say black goes with everything, but brown is a lot friendlier when it comes to mixing colors.
Imagine this outfit without the brown items. While the colors still go very well together, it would lack some simple contrast and would look incomplete. If the shoes and accessories were brighter the outfit may have ended up looking washed out. If the same pieces were darker, the colors would risk looking segmented and chopped up. Outfits are ensembles, not pieces! The brown ties everything together by adding the desired darkness without being overbearing. As a result, you get an outfit that’s light and well put together.
Dark rich browns and lively tans are classic neutral hues that can roughen up or soften a look. As you saw in the first outfit, the brown brought the outfit together. Most of the time, the brown pieces will be shoes or accessories like a large leather purse for women or a trendy hat for men. Browns can add some life into darker combinations or enhance colorful ones by accenting the warm undertones. It can add color without adding too much color.
This cozy black and cream outfit is a great example of brown playing up both darker and lighter colors. Black is the main color and has the potential to make the outfit very gloomy. However, the boots offer the right amount of contrast for both sides and works right in the middle! It’s dark enough to enhance the black, but it’s also light enough to play up the warm tones in the scarf and sweater.
Tall leather boots for women is a coveted favorite in the colder months and are always sold in black and brown. Men’s leather boots are also a favorite, but men’s brown leather sneakers are a great option for more relaxed styles. We love colors, but brown is the easiest neutral to play with; especially for footwear. If you look at the two previous outfits, both pairs of boots work their magic in a shade of brown.
To have a direct side by side comparison, we pulled up this still shot of Leonardo DiCaprio (center), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (left), and Tom Hardy (right) from the 2010 hit movie, “Inception”. With DiCaprio and Levitt both sporting a similar brown leather jacket, you can compare how browns play with warm and cool color tones. Think about it this way; unless you’re going for a bold and loud look, most strong contrasting colors are for sport team logos and Lady Gaga. Everyday wear is more subtle and these two actors are wearing fine examples of it in brown. DiCaprio’s outfit is much darker and more “serious” looking, but note how it’s not completely masked out by another color.
Always remember that fashion is what you buy, but style is how you wear them! So the next time you find yourself stuck in a color rut, try playing around with brown. The color combinations may surprise you. Also, you can always start small with brown accessories to get a feel for combinations that you like. The more comfortable you get with mixing and matching colors, the easier it will be to style around larger pieces like brown blazers, pants, and dresses!