Ever try putting together a monochromatic outfit? While it sounds easy (pink with pink, red with red, green with green, etc., etc.,) in actuality, it can be a little tricky to pull together a cohesive look.
We’ve gotten a few questions recently on exactly this issue: what is the best way to go about pulling together a monochromatic look? So we’ve rounded up some tips (and examples) of how we approach monochromatic outfitting.
Bottom line? Your best tools are creativity, open-mindedness, and a little bit of fun. Don’t be afraid to play around!
Looking for holiday outfit inspo for 2022? Run (don’t walk, sellout risk is real) to our holiday style page.
5 Tips For Creating Monochromatic Outfits
1. Define Monochromatic As A Range of Similar Tones, Not An Exact Match
Don’t feel hard-pressed to find all perfectly-matching pieces! Some color/hue variation adds necessary depth to the look. You might be surprised by the wide range of similar tones that work. Think: mixing dark pinks with reds, teals with lighter blues (or even navy blue). Try a soft peach with an intense orange. This depth is what keeps the outfit interesting and elevated.
2. Pile On The Texture
Texture takes monochromatic outfits to the next level. Combine a nubby wool with silk, or a furry texture with denim. In fact, in our monochromatic outfit examples (below), you’ll find that each look consists of three to four different textures/materials. This amount is just right.
3. Make A Monochromatic Look Pop With Makeup
Going green? Wear some emerald eye liner. All white? Pack on shimmery highlighter with a heavy hand. Berry wines? Get a matching lip stain. Totally navy? Do a deep, blue smokey eye. You get the idea. Coordinating your makeup is also a really affordable way to get a monochromatic vibe…even if your outfit isn’t strictly all monochromatic.
4. Don’t Overlook The Power Of Tights
Matching your tights to your footwear (or skirt) is another easy way to get a monochromatic vibe without committing to the whole outfit. That said…if you do want head-to-toe monochromatic, it’s usually relatively easy (and affordable) to find a pair of tights to tie two similar shades together.
5. Closet First, Shop Second
Creating these outfits does not take a trip to the mall or an endless perusing of Nordstrom’s website, filtering each category by color. No. Take a look in your closet first to see which color is the most do-able to layer on and go from there! THEN see if you want to add another matching accessory or piece.
That said…I do have some good suggestions below… (*wink*)
7 Cute Monochromatic Outfit Examples
As I mentioned before, most of these outfits combine three or four different textures, and many of them have a range of shades, too. For fun, I also included some makeup picks (and yup: there are plenty of tights).
Monochromatic Look 1: Finely Pine
You simply can’t go wrong with an all green outfit for the holidays. (It looks WAY less like a Christmas tree than you think.) This swingy tiered corduroy dress is so perfect for the base of a green-heavy look. It’s simple, but offers a really pretty silhouette and square neckline. Add some jewelry and a l’il green bag and yup, you’re done. Oh, and these super-interesting mixed media booties. The patchwork is subtle but totally to-die-for.
Monochromatic Look 2: All The Winter Whites
White will always be one of my favorite colors no matter the season…and it works SO well here. Um, have you seen these satin trousers?? I have been swooning since I saw them. They’d look so freakin’ good with a graphic tee and a cropped fleece coat. If you’re loving layers, add a lace long sleeve top under it for (no warmth really, but) some pretty boho feels.
Monochromatic Look 3: More Wine, Please
I think this one is my fave monochromatic outfits of the bunch (shocker, it’s prob the most color-rich.) I just really love mixing deep burgundy wine colors with a lighter, more popping berry like the color of this Apparis coat (which, unfortunately is almost sold out. Here’s a similar color.) Those SHOES, too? The embellishment is surprisingly digestible along with the velvet texture. They’re luxe as hell. I think tights would look just fine peeping through, too.
Monochromatic Look 4: Midnight Dreams
Oh man — I’m also dying for this navy look. I feel that it’s more unexpected than wine or emerald for the holiday season. It’s pretty understated being a darker, classic color, but piling it on in a bunch of different textures (greetings, sequin romper) makes it way more fun. Again, I added a pair of opaque tights to match, which I feel ties it allll in. And what do we think of adding a faux fur vest? I love the texture play (as always) and the fact that it lets those flared sleeves breathe.
Monochromatic Look 5: Pop That Champagne
Talk about romantic, feminine and flirty! This outfit checks all those boxes…and I don’t know which piece I love the most. Tucking a pretty cami into pants or a skirt is a sure fire way to elevate any outfit, even one that’s elevated as is. ( Velvet mini skirt, sparkly cashmere cardi, golden bow heels, I’m talking about you stunners.) This ‘fit would look even better with a champagne flute in hand. Hehe.
Monochromatic Look 6: A Noir Moment
This one is so edgy while being soft (in vibe and feel) and I loooove that. Also really enjoy how this sexy silk cami has the potential to look like a dress paired with this silk midi skirt that I’m obsessing over. Complete the look in a rugged and rebellious way with a pair of combat-esque boots (these are heeled, so they feel a little bit fancier) and a cool smokey eye. Gorg.
Monochromatic Look 7: Feeling Gray (In The Best Way)
Got a neighborhood party or dinner down the street? This insanely fun look is perfect for you. It screams chic metropolitan in a cozy, functional way. Throw that wine bottle in your backpack and tie up a pair of high-tops with a formal(ish) dress and you’re golden. Juuust holiday enough (per the sequins and tights) with a really relaxed and smart feel. Converse and dresses is one of my fave combos, and it’s just so cool to take that duo into the wintertime.
Going monochromatic really isn’t as hard as it seems. Step out of your comfort zone for your next holiday party and go mono!
Oh, and check out our Nordstrom Looks page for some really good Holiday outfit inspo and tips every single day.