3 Ways to Wear Multiple Neutrals Together – Mixing Grey and Brown Outfits

Sometimes considered a fashion faux pas, it’s actually fine to wear neutral clothing with other neutrals. Learn how to do it here.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase through our links. Please read our full disclosure here.

How to mix and match multiple neutrals - neutral clothing guide and tips for mixing neutrals
Jacket via Amazon

Do you own a closet full of black, brown, grey, and brown outfits and neutral clothing? If so, why not try and mix up your wardrobe by combing multiple neutrals into one outfit? (Who says you need color?)

You’d be surprised at how often we are asked, “is it OK to wear black and brown together” (or black and navy, navy and brown, and so on). So today we’re here to demystify the process.

Although sometimes considered a fashion faux pas, it’s actually fine to wear neutral clothing with other neutrals. You’ll still match and look super-stylish.

Check out these three neutral clothing outfits for ideas on mixing neutrals in a look:

The 3 Best Ways to Wear Multiple Neutrals Together

Breaking the Barrier: Black & Brown

Although wearing black and brown together is often considered to be one of the biggest fashion “don’ts,” we all know that fashion rule is outdated.

This particular color combination is actually what inspired me to write this article. When done right, black and brown look surprisingly chic together in the same outfit.

An outfit set of black and brown neutrals - how to wear black and brown together.


For this look, I took a basic black high waisted jean and added a light brown sweater. This brown teddy coat adds a bit of trendiness to the look but is also perfect for when the weather starts getting a little chillier.

The black Michael Kors boots are a bit pricey but they will be in your closet forever. You can match these boots with literally any outfit and for any event. Going to a meeting with your advisor, fall brunch and shopping with the girls, or even just regular class? Rock these boots and you’ll look 10/10.

The zipper on the side of the boots matches with the light tortoiseshell pattern on the bag. These little details help tie in all of the brown in the outfit. The bag also adds a textural contrast to the look.

A Trendy Approach: Camel & Gray

If you’re a girl who loves trends, try mixing two classic fall colors — gray and camel — into a single outfit. The result creates a classic, yet fashion-forward look.

An outfit set full of light gray and camel colors with gray pants, camel coat, light cray top, light brown shoes, gray tote


Camel coats are always essential for the fall/ winter. You can use them to add class to any outfit, whether dressy or just a bit more than causal.

For example, in this set, I paired the coat with some gray trousers. It’s nice to invest in a pair of dress pants like these because besides styling them into a semi-chic outfit, you can use them for any business casual setting.

The light gray sweater is perfect before it gets exceptionally cold out — it’s such an early to mid fall staple.

Next up, the beige sneakers are perfect if you are not in the mood to wear booties or a slight heel. You might initially think they’re too casual but thanks to the dressier nature of the coat and the bag, the sneakers actually look balanced.

Like I said before, the bag really uplifts the outfit, matching perfectly with the pants and bringing the whole look together.

Going All Out: Gray, Navy & Black

After mastering the art of mixing two neutrals, try combining three (or more!) neutrals into a single outfit.

This can work for a multitude of different color combinations, but I decided to work with two shades that aren’t often paired together — black and navy — with some splashes of gray.

Mixing neutrals - An outfit set with black jeans, blue coat, light gray sweater, black shoes and bag.


It might seem unusual to pair all three of these colors together. But as you can see, they actually all flow and look cohesive in this look.

Having basic pants like these black jeans sets the outfit and then you can add this gray sweater for contrast. It is not fitted, giving the whole piece a cozier look.

This double-breasted navy coat makes the outfit chicer and adds that navy contrast for interest.

Now to tie in all of the other pieces — a black tote bag and some black booties help to even out the other neutrals and ground the outfit.

This is a perfect look for fall when you don’t want to cave in and wear head-to-toe black, like so many of us tend to do. Instead, just take these three colors and be a little more unique!

Tips On How to Pair Neutral Colors (Black, Grey & Brown)

Tips On How tTo Pair Neutral Colors

1. Pay Attention To Contrast

As much as we love our neutral colors like grey and brown, it’s important to remember to pay attention to contrast when pairing shades like these. Wearing colors that are too similar in the shade can result in a bland and boring outfit. 

To avoid this, mix things up by either mixing varying shades of neutrals (like a dark charcoal gray and a light camel brown), or pairing your neutrals with brighter colors or patterns. This will help add some visual interest to your look and make it more eye-catching.

 Paying attention to contrast is also important when it comes to choosing accessories. If you’re wearing a neutral-colored outfit, consider adding a pop of color with your shoes or handbag. This will help add some extra personality to your look and make it more unique. 

So next time you’re putting together an outfit, remember to mix things up and pay attention to contrast. It’ll make all the difference!

2. Consider Seasonality And Formality

If you’re thinking about what colors to wear for your grey and brown outfits, consider the seasonality and formality of the occasion. For instance, grey and brown can look great together during the fall and winter months, but may not be as great a choice for a summer wedding. 

It’s also important to consider the setting. Generally, black and white read as more formal than grey or brown. That said, grey and brown can be dressed up or down depending on the event. Just be sure to consider the context before deciding what to wear.

3. Consider Wearing Dark Shoes

If you’re looking for a way to change up your grey and brown outfits, for instance, consider wearing dark brown shoes. This can help add some contrast and make your outfit more interesting. Plus, it’s a great way to show off your style. 

In general, a darker shoe works well with an outfit that’s comprised of a bunch of neutrals. This is not a hard and fast rule, though — sometimes a bright white boot, for instance, can provide a ton of needed contrast.

What do you think of these outfits and neutral clothing in general?

For more on this, be sure to check out our guide to styling white and beige outfits.

Do you like mixing neutrals? What’s your favorite neutral clothing combination? Which outfit is your favorite? Be sure to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

If you liked this article about grey and brown outfits, consider checking out these other articles below —

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2010; it was completely updated and revamped in 2022 with new photos and information.

26 thoughts on “3 Ways to Wear Multiple Neutrals Together – Mixing Grey and Brown Outfits”

  1. I love this article!!! I have red hair, so color chose is extremely important to me. But i also love neutral colors; professional, classy, elegant. I’m glad someone else sees you can pair ’em together and rock it!

  2. I’ve been wearing black and navy together before I even knew that it was a faux-pas amongst some old-fashioned rules. Navy is actually one of my best colours, and I often use it to break up the harshness of an all-black outfit. I find that all-black drains my colouring, but navy brightens my pale pink-ish skin tone. I love the outfit that you put together with those neutrals!

  3. Almost all my everyday outfits are spins on these… I automatically mix my neutrals – its just a habit. I shy away from bright things because I prefer to be mellow. Red looks good on me but I just subconciously never go anywhere near it in a shop!

    I love corals, camels, blues, greys, browns and greens.


  4. I’m IN LOVE with the Camel and Grey approach. That mini dress would be perfect with a pair of sturdy boots and some delicious knubby tights. I absolutely love camel – I’m so excited to bring it into my wardrobe this season!

    I LOVE you collegefashion.net! You make every day at University a little bit more fashionable. <3

    chloe **flowerponychloe.blogspot.com

  5. I still am not really keen on Black and brown, especially the tones you chose. I think this combination works better with a light brown, and textured or pattens with black in them. When they’re just solid, white or creme should definitely be incorporated to make the look feel less harsh on the eyes. I love the camel and grey also! As far as the black and navy and grey, I love navy blue with cheetah print (in either a combination of grey and black or tan, brown and black) I think this is a GREAT way to mix neutrals together, also a striped piece with white and any of these colors is awesome also. Great post!! Neutrals are in everyone’s closet, but remember to use pattern, texture and a variety of fabrics to keep it current and interesting.

  6. I love the second one :]]]
    I’ve been using this a lot this week because I’ve been doing a style challenge wearing the same pair of camel shorts in different ways for a week. Camel works so well with other neutrals!! I love camel and black and camel and brown :]]]
    I always mix navy and brown together- I always feel I can’t wear brown with black or navy with black so I pair the two :]]]

    Charlotte xxx

  7. I’m with Rin on this one!

    The first two looks look great.. I love how transitional the first outfit is, and the second one, I’m just positive it’ll garner attention! The third.. ok, black and navy, I’ve tried out and it just doesn’t suit me.. and gray and navy kinda makes me cringe. But I kinda want to see someone rock it though! It’s interesting to see how some people can rock certain colors so effortlessly haha 🙂

  8. oh i love mixing neutrals. i probably take it to the next level, as alot of my clothes are neutrals with bright accessories. i love wearing navy, black and brown or navy, black and grey together.

  9. I love mixing neutrals! My fave combination has to be grey and black (with sprinkles of navy in between) my fall wardrobe is always a mix of neutrals with purples and deep reds thrown in! lol I love this post!!

  10. I really like the brown and black combination. The camel and gray is cute too. But I’m still still not a fan of black navy.

  11. I love all these looks! I like how they are simple enough that most of the items are already in your closet, but still really chic and trendy. Great work. 🙂


Leave a Comment