Three Monochromatic Colorways to Try This Fall

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Monochrome = Minimalism

Anyone can wear head-to-toe black—it’s safe, it’s fast, it’s easy. It’s also been done. The only other way to achieve the same chic effect, but in an unexpected way is to dabble in literally any other color on the spectrum. You can channel Lupita Nyong’o and go bold and wonderfully bright with fuchsia or siren red, or you can dial it down with muted shades, a la Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid.

The word “monochromatic” breaks down into two pieces: “mono” meaning single and “chromatic” meaning color. So a monochromatic outfit would consist of pieces of one color.

This doesn’t mean that you would only wear solid black or solid red from head to toe. No, the joy of a monochromatic outfit is wearing different shades and tints of the same color.

If you take blue paint and add white to it in increments, the color of blue would progressively get lighter resulting in a variety of lighter blue tints. If you were to add black to blue, it would get progressively darker, resulting in a variety of darker shades. The light tints and dark shades of a single color are what is best used to create a monochromatic outfit.

It’s scary—we get it. After so many years of being conditioned to avoid doubling or tripling up on the same color, committing to a single shade can feel like you’re crossing into taboo territory. A few helpful pointers: Start with a color you’re comfortable with (like navy or gray), introduce texture wherever you can to add depth and dimension, and break things up with tonal shades.


Pull from beige, ivory, and warm sienna to create an overall “tan” look without actually using tan pieces. An abundance of texture, like soft wool, suede, and open knits, help add dimension, too.


There isn’t as much freedom for navy, tonally speaking. Instead, break up the solid shade with hardware, like the grommets of a belt or the chain strap of your purse.


You’ve got the whole tonal layers thing down pat. The next step? Tailored, streamlined separates for maximum polish.

The joy of going with a monochromatic color combination is that it will work with virtually any color you choose: purple, red, blue, green, brown, pink…you name it. So there is no reason for you not to delve into this style, because there are bound to be certain colors that look marvelous with your skin tone, eyes and hair, which will only be enhanced where pairing multiples of the same color together in one outfit.