Tuesday, August 21, 2007

006. Shades of gray.


Fashion news flash: apparently the "it" color for the season is gray. (Another set of hues also rumored to be big this fall: metallics, but I ask you, when have metallics ever not been big? Gold and silver will never go out of style. Duh.)

At first, I was baffled - no, dismayed - by the extensive amount of gray flooding the scene. There were gray dresses, gray shoes, gray scarves, gray handbags en masse. And quite frankly, I freaked. Because gray is not exactly my color. In fact, I don't even consider it to be a color. It's gray, for god's sake. Gray is what you associate with obsolete, ancient black-and-white films. It's the epitome of drabness, even more so than black. Black is sexy. Gray is...well...boring. And it washes you out! I scoffed at the idiocy of the trend.

But I kept on looking. (I couldn't help it; everywhere I went, I saw gray.) And slowly, I began to come around. I began to notice the subtleties of a single color. Gray can be warm or cold, metallic or misty. It has been proven that once you've been subjected to the same thing repetitively for a long period of time, the mind attempts to find variety, to keep itself sane. And so I began to notice the variety that a color I formerly considered so drab could possess.

Here are just a few of the gray gems I've been lusting after recently:
Botkier Bryant Large Hobo
Marni Sleeveless Dress
Diane Von Furstenburg Ungaro Dress in Multi
Morphine Generation Script Hoodie in Night and Knit Vest in Steel
Pedro Garcia Daimi Suede Pumps

The key to working the gray this fall is moderation and contrast: balance gray with more vivid colors, and don't wash yourself out by overdoing either.


Julie said...

So how would you suggest a person work grays into their wardrobe? Are patterned grays acceptable (last season's pseudo-plaid professional skirts, etc.)? What are the best colors to pair with what shades of gray? Are the fashion-illiterate doomed?

jealoushe said...

Doomed? The fashion-illiterate? No way. There are a few very simple ways to work grays into your outfits. The easiest is by incorporating gray as an accessory. Gloves are huge this season (more so than usual), so you can easily accessorize with a pair of gray gloves. I also love the idea of a long gray scarf: perfect for windy days. To add color, you could pair this with a scarf in goldenrod and a forest green peacoat. And a brightly colored frock would look great offset by gray leggings.

As for matching shades of gray with other colors, I try to think in terms of accentuation. Examine one piece of your wardrobe and see how you can emphasize or diminish it. If you’re wearing a basic red dress, that’s going to be the main focus, so choose a pair of charcoal gray tights that will create more of a shadow effect. If you’re wearing a glittery top, go with a neutral, mid-tone gray skirt. It’s like anything else: you don’t want every part of your outfit to pop at the same time. And remember to use colors that have the same warmth of hue. Wear wintry grays with similarly cold colors like metallics and pastels, and warmer grays like the charcoal I mentioned above with warm, rich autumn colors.

As for patterned grays, that’s perfectly acceptable. Grays seem to be appearing mostly as solids this season, but I can’t see why you shouldn’t recycle a perfectly nice skirt. The only problem with utilizing past years’ pieces occurs when they are so outrageous that they look odd when they’re not in vogue.