With a season built on bold colours and a neon revival, those of us not particularly inclined to don a bright yellow skirt can feel a little put-off. But just because certain designers took to the colour spectrum like first graders do to paintbrushes doesn’t mean you’ve got to shy away from neutrals for sake of staying trendy. Here’s our guide to your closet workhorses, and the pieces that you’ll wear (even when the neon trend is long gone).
True, wearing a white suit or a white pair of pants isn’t exactly synonymous with understated, but if you’re hoping to embrace light over bright, white can be the perfect middle-ground between low key and dynamic. While designers like Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren paired together varying textures of the same shade, Calvin Klein brought a minimalist aesthetic back through slip dresses and clean lines. Not particularly inclined to go head-to-toe white? Worry not: pairing a dress with a denim jacket or a white blazer with wide-legged jeans will still capture one of the season’s hottest looks, but without the total commitment.
The ultimate neutral, denim itself is enough to make a statement if you’re not necessarily keen to embrace the wide world of vibrancy. The likes of Stella McCartney and Celine have used a clean, retro type of denim for midi skirts inspired by the 1970s, so if you’ve tired of wearing just a typical pair of jeans, spring’s latest approach provides enough character to prevent you from playing it totally safe. Willing to take a risk? Derek Lam showcased denim suits and denim-on-denim also this season, and paired with wooden clogs and a cross-body bag, you’ll seem far from neutral at all.
While we seem to have forgotten the safari trend that usually rings in the early days of spring collections, the safari palette (khaki shades, greens and browns) is not only part of the season’s diverse range of looks, but an excuse to wear stereotypical neutrals without the playing it safe connotations. Donna Karan showcased shades like khakis, cré¨mes and light browns through dresses with a hint of glamour, while Jason Wu used an understated spectrum to add even more power to bold blouses, tailored shorts and pleated pants. Remember: provided the styles themselves have personality, whether or not they’re neutral will be an afterthought.
Grey and Black
While grey was almost as prevalent as black on this year’s runways (read: in hiding), certain designers took advantage of the near-metallic shade to propel minimalist themes and prioritize style over vibrancy. Pringle of Scotland showcased an ultra-feminine layered skirt that also boasted the season’s affinity for sheer, while Gucci created an ultra-modern aesthetic through a streamlined mini-dress designed specifically to make a statement. As for black? Rely on Calvin Klein. While black t-shirts, tank tops and shorts will always be in style, the designer proved that taking risks in terms of trends (like pajama wear and one-piece suits) is a little bit easier if not going overtly bright.