By: Heather Hooke

As someone who has worked in the fashion industry for years as a personal shopper and Beauty Stylist for NORDSTROM plus Lead Business Manager for Bare Escentuals cosmetics and other top beauty brands, I have learned a thing or two about the rules of fashion. It’s important to remember when it comes to fashion, there are so many fads out there that come and go. Some are worth keeping around and some are down-right scary (ummm hello, 80’s neon gear and shoulder pads lol)! One that never seems to get old for me is the power of layering neutrals for any occassion! I love this sophisticated look so much because it comes across so clean, classy and effortless. I don’t know if I can say I have a favorite color, but if I did it would probably be neutrals (okay, okay, if I haaaaad to choose it would be taupe…or gray… okay, lavender)! Lol anyway, regardless of the specific tone, neutrals have always given me a sense of calm like going to the spa (hence, why when you follow me on instagram, to the design of my BLOG, all the way to our home decor layering neutrals and fabrics is the common denominator of my personal style). So, I feel I’m a bit of an expert in learning how to make this look work throughout the years and throughout the different seasons!

For some people, this can be a bit scary. It can almost seem too clean or be a little nerve-racking on which colors mix and match well and which are way too similar. To be honest with you, as a fellow fashionista who has studied the art of fashion through years of passion and executing I’ll tell you – it’s definitely a fine balance. You gotta mix logic of what fabrics, colors and trends are appropriate for the current season and look aesthetically pleasing with your intuition of what feels right and reflects your personal style in a timeless way! Trust me, it’s not as complicated as it sounds once you get used to it. And sometimes, less is more… especially if you’re new to this look; it’s better to be monocromatic than to have too many color combos and textures going on. Below is a breakdown of 5 tips I recommend next time you want to pull off this chic look so popular this time of year.

Are you going with dusty pinks, camel, beige, or charcoals? Decide what the occasion or event is and plan accordingly. In my opinion you can NEVER go wrong with a good taupe or black mono-tone ensemble! This always looks classy and is pretty much appropriate for any occasion – any time of year!

When it comes to layering neutrals, a great rule of thumb is to allow yourself up to 2 more neutral accent colors which looks really chic without looking like you don’t own a mirror! For example, if you chose tan, you could add details that are in the same color scheme like dusty pink and gold or even a really light seafoam green and silvery grey, depending on the look you are going for.

That being said, make sure you don’t choose 2 accent colors that are too similar to the main color scheme you chose. For instance, you chose camel and then have a taupe and beige accent color. No, no, no! These colors are way too similar and you may come across like you thought the colors were the same for a monochromatic look gone wrong or that you are mixing newer fabrics that look more “fresh” with seemingly older fabrics that come across more “faded” when in all reality it’s just a different color altogether. Avoid this common fashion mistake by creating enough contrast in colors!

Rule of thumb is you really want to stay within the same temperature scheme as much as possible, while layering in neutrals for interest. Back to the example above, camel is a warm tone (yellow undertones like the sun); where as taupe is a cool tone (gray undertones like the night time sky); beige is a bit more neutral (a mixture of warm and cool tones). Many people who are interior designers (another HUGE passion of mine) and work with paint colors will get this, same for those who work in any creative industry that involves color balance like professional makeup artists, hair colorists, etc. I’m not saying you can never break the rules (sometime the best fashion statements are when we do break the rules); however, for the most part you want to keep the look either all in the warm family or cool family. The nice thing is whatever you choose, you can absolutely add in neutrals for balance (i.e. camel with beige or taupe with beige just not all three). This will create interest and depth to your look and will make your fab self look on-point.

This is one of my favs which has become a secret sauce of mine in recent years in all aspects of my style (fashion, makeup and interior design)! It’s not being afraid to add different contrasting textures, styles and even animal prints – as long as they all reflect a part of your personal style and personality you can definitely pull this off with confidence! For instance, I LOVE lace and leather. One is super feminine and sweet and reflects my girlie romantic side and one is super edgy and has depth. Right away, I think of ballet pink or ivory lace mixed with black leather details and a neutral shade like beige or cream. Another look is taking taupe (as you know my obsession) and mixing in python print heels and a scarf which would allow you to bring in light pinks and grays to see the whole look come together into fabulousness!

Play around with these rules and most importantly, have fun with it!!! Remember at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or how people perceive you – it’s all about rocking the look that reflects your personal style and rocking it with confidence – & THAT – my trubeautys never goes out of style!

Until next time, namaste BEYOUtiful xo!

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