In this post, you’ll find tips on how to style monochrome outfits.
Fashion is fun. Styling an outfit is an amazing way to get your creative juices flowing. But, sometimes it can be overwhelming. Look, I get it. It’s a fast-paced, ever-changing industry. Trends and styles come and go in the blink of an eye. It can be too much to handle if you are dipping your toes in the pool of fashion for the first time.
I’m here to help.
In this new series, I’ll give you styling advice to tackle some of the most confusing and difficult styling areas. I’ll lay out all my tips, tricks, and hacks to help you create amazing outfits. Also, I’ll give examples in three degrees of difficulty to teach you step by step.
To kick it off, let’s talk monochromatic!
Below, I’ll show you three monochrome outfits (plus even more examples at the bottom) and teach you how to create a monochromatic look step by step.
What is a monochromatic outfit?
Monochromatic means “one color”. And monochromatic color schemes come from a single base hue (e.g., blue) and are extended using this hue’s shades, tones, and tints (e.g., pastel blue and navy blue).
In fashion, this means that we create and style an outfit using shades of a single color. While you can stick to just one hue, you can balance it out using different shades and tints. The best part of a monochromatic look is that it’s an easy way to create a cohesive and put-together outfit.
When worn with style, a monochromatic outfit can be both unexpected and fashion-forward. (The monochrome trend is everywhere right now!) It might seem tough to pull off, but I promise it’s easier than it looks.
Tips, Tricks, & Hacks for Wearing Monochrome Outfits:
Look, I love color. Especially in my closet. I literally have a rainbow rack in my bedroom (see below). This makes it so much easier when I want to do a monochromatic outfit.
Having a ton of things in the same color is super useful, but I know not everybody has that type of closet. The good news is that it’s not essential if you employ the right styling rules.
Before going monochromatic, there are a couple of things you need to know. These tips and tricks will help you create a monochromatic look without breaking the bank.
- Be comfortable. Start off with a color that makes you love and feel comfortable. If black is that color, go for an all-black ensemble. If it is green, go green. Also, if you love that color and you feel comfortable wearing it, chances are you have more items in that color.
- Black and white shoes get a pass. Maybe you are trying an all-orange outfit. There’s only one problem: you don’t have orange shoes. Relax, it’s not the end of your monochromatic outfit. Just use your white or black shoes, they will still look great, I promise.
- Patterns and textured fabrics are your best friends. Textured fabrics add depth and make the outfit look interesting. Patterns usually come in more than one color, but that’s okay as long as the predominant color is the one you chose to match the rest of the outfit.
- Makeup and hair are also accessories. Maybe you only have a dress in that color and you want to add more things to it to *make* it a monochromatic look. try matching your makeup and hair accessories as well.
Now that you have these tips, it’s time to style an outfit. If nothing else, rocking a single shade will make you look at your wardrobe with fresh eyes and help you see new clothing combinations that you never would have thought of otherwise.
So pick your favorite color and let’s get going!
Monochrome Outfit Examples:
1. Easy Mode – Jeans & Neutrals Monochrome Outfit
Let’s start with no fuss and no complications. Something easy. We all have a perfectly good monochromatic look waiting inside our closets and most of us don’t even realize it. That look? Your jeans and a plain, neutral top.
Blue denim is a staple in everyone’s closet. For my easy-mode monochromatic outfit, I grabbed a pair of wide-leg blue jeans and a navy blue sweatshirt. Then, for shoes, I just put on a classic pair of blue Converse. I had a bit of trouble accessorizing until I remembered I had this blue neck scarf.
Taking this look as an example, you can try a monochromatic outfit with your favorite pair of jeans as a base. They can be blue, white, off-white, beige, or black jeans, paired with a top in the same color family.
If you’re styling blue or off-white, try to balance lighter and darker tones together instead of going for just one hue. This way creating a cohesive look will be easier. (I did this above with a dark blue top and light blue jeans.)
Since these are neutrals, shoes and accessories shouldn’t be a problem. But, if you are still not sure, my recommendation is to stick to similar hues. For lighter outfits (white, off-white, or beige), stick to lighter shoes and accessories. For darker outfits (blue, grey, or black), stick to darker shades.
2. Medium Mode – Orange Monochrome Outfit with Patterns & Textured Fabrics
Now, let’s kick it up a notch. For this one, I’ll add patterns and more texture. Patterns can be difficult to tackle, but the easiest way to make them work is to include them in a monochromatic look. Just remember: focus on the predominant color of the pattern.
For my medium-level outfit, I decided to do an orange look. For the base of the outfit, I paired a basic orange tank top with patterned cropped pants.
The pattern on my pants has pink and white, but the print is mostly orange, so the pants still work. To add some depth and layer it up, I threw on an orange silk shirt. Finally, went with a pair of white chunky sneakers that have the tiniest orange detail on the sole.
Patterns and fabrics can make a monochromatic outfit so much fun! The most important piece of advice I have is: don’t be scared to play with pattern and texture, especially if you are going to try a very colorful monochromatic look.
If you are scared of mixing too much pattern with too much texture, try a patterned item with a simple texture (silk, linen). This can be tricky, but with experimentation, you’ll see what works best with what is in your closet.
For this type of look, I fully recommend using your makeup as an extra accessory. You don’t have to do full eye makeup as I did above, but a coordinating lipstick or blush could be good.
3. Hard Mode – Pink Monochrome Outfit
Now, let’s apply all of our tips to create one outfit.
When you’re getting advanced, it helps to take a deep look into your closet and ask yourself, what is the dominant color you see? This color is probably the best one to create a full-on monochromatic look. When you are adding all these elements together, you need a variety of pieces to create a cohesive look.
For my difficult-level monochromatic outfit, I wore a basic, cropped, light-pink top. For bottoms, I added a pair of tie-dye pink mom jeans. To layer, I put on my fluffy pink coat. Finally, my shoes are a pair of pink Vans and my bag is a light-pink color.
This type of look exemplifies all of my tips at once: It’s a full-on monochromatic look in a color I feel comfortable in and love wearing. For me, pink is the color that features most in my wardrobe. That doesn’t mean that all of my pink items work together, but I got to this specific combination after experimenting a bunch.
This look checks all the boxes. The tie-dye pattern has different shades of pink, the coat’s texture adds depth, and the accessory and shoes reference different items in the look. They all work together to create a bold monochrome look.
Other Monochrome Outfit Examples
Here are some more monochrome outfit examples from the CF archives, in case you want tips on styling your favorite color:
Yellow Monochrome Outfit
When it comes to wearing monochrome looks, variety is your friend–especially when it comes to trickier colors such as yellow. By selecting pieces in a bunch of different silhouettes, materials, and/or shade variations, your outfit will look intentional and put-together, as opposed to haphazard.
To get this look, begin by tucking a loose-fitting light yellow shirt into a pair of bright yellow culottes. Next, put on some cheery yellow hoop earrings, as well as an artful raffia-wrapped bangle. These cool knotted sandals ground this quirky look and would be so chic paired with many different looks in various colors.
To complete this bright and fun ensemble, grab a fashion-forward bright yellow crossbody bag.
Blue Monochrome Outfit
Perhaps your style is more mellow, and you’re looking for a monochrome look that’s a bit more subdued. That’s where this cool monochrome blue outfit comes in!
To copy it for yourself, start off by styling a trendy pale blue top with a super-cute pair of retro-inspired blue denim shorts. After that, don a simple-yet-attention-grabbing blue opal necklace, which is bound to reel in a ton of compliments.
As far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with a classic hair accessory. And, this chambray headband fits the bill. Speaking of “classic,” these blue Keds make for a lighthearted and comfortable footwear choice. Moreover, these sneakers are perfect for days when it’s not quite sandal weather, but you still want to get away from heavier footwear.
To complete this casual-chic look, pick up a faux-leather powder blue backpack.
Pink Monochrome Outfit (#2)
For this pink look, I put together something a little dressier that can be worn both during the day and at night. To get this fun and feminine look, begin by putting on this pretty pale pink poplin top. After that, add a gorgeous dark pink eyelet embroidered midi skirt.
Add some lighthearted and dainty pink jewelry, such as these cute climber earrings, this vintage-meets-modern charm necklace, and a classy double-layer beaded bracelet.
A pair of oversized pale pink sunnies make for the perfect way to accessorize this sweet ensemble. And, as far as shoes go, you can never go wrong with timeless pinky-beige heeled sandals.
To complete this girly and glam outfit, reach for a vintage-inspired pale pink beaded bag.
Black Monochrome Outfit
This black monochrome outfit is a great look for a nice dinner out with family or an evening of drinks with friends.
The turtleneck gives the look an overall luxe feel, and accessorizing is kept to a minimum. This way, the dress and waistcoat can speak for themselves.
Denim Monochrome Outfit
Denim-on-denim used to be a “don’t”, but lately, it’s definitely a “do”. You just have to do it correctly. You can create denim monochrome outfits the
Make sure when you’re mixing denim, the washes are different. At least one of the pieces should be a dark wash, like the jeans above, or even darker. Wear the western button-down tucked in, or wear it untucked, unbuttoned, and over a retro tee. Add extra quirk with a denim scrunchie, and you’ve got the throw-back look down.
Gray Monochrome Outfit
This cool and casual look is perfect for a weekend, school day, or really any sort of “on the go” day. The tee and ripped jeans are perfectly contrasted with girly accessories, like a pom hat and a sparkle shoe.
The blazer is black, but it complements the gray very nicely and keeps the outfit from appearing drab. Try a pop of lip color with this look to stand out!
Final Thoughts on Monochromatic Outfits:
Creating a one-hundred percent monochromatic outfit is tough. Even with the type of closet I have, I ran into some hiccups. But it is a type of look that is really satisfying to master. Borrow from your siblings’ closets, your parents, even your S/O. Switch and match fabrics, patterns, and items to find the right combination for you and the look you have envisioned.
Give monochromatic a try! Especially if you have a lot of neutrals in your closet. Instead of going the contrasting route, going monochromatic can open a door of endless possibilities for neutral closets.
This is just a beginners’ guide, but I hope it is helpful for those of you who don’t know where to start off. Experimenting with fashion is cool. It can also be scary. Since it is the first thing people see, their reactions can have a huge impact on our confidence and self-esteem. This directly impacts how we choose to present ourselves to the world. And looking for tips and tricks on how to style a look can be confusing. There can be so many rules that don’t matter, and so many unspoken tricks that do.
With this new series, I hope I can be of guidance for those of you who find fashion a tiny bit intimidating and confusing. I’ll try to clear all the confusion, give as many tips as I possibly can, and share all my tricks with you.
The most important advice I have right now is: fashion is yours. And there are no rules.
What Do You Think of Monochrome Outfits?
Would you wear a monochromatic outfit? Which of these looks do you like the most? Do you have any styling questions you’d like me to cover? Let us know in the comments below!