How To Wear Neutral Colors and Not Be Invisible

I appreciate each and every share. Thank you!

Many times when we think about how to wear neutral colors, the overall look can end up being a tad muted. Not that muted is bad, but in this day and age when older women can relate to being invisible, it could be advantageous to spice things up.
You can still wear your neutral wardrobe colors, but let’s find some fun ways to stand out.

If you are reading this from MSN’s page, then click here to see all of the photos.

Quote of the day: “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. I learned that’s a total crock. You’ll work harder than you ever thought possible, but the tools will feel light in your hands.” Tim Cook

How to wear neutral colors
What are the neutrals?
Navy as a neutral wardrobe color
Grey and brown outfit
What colors match with brown?
Other ideas

There are many times that neutrals seem so easy and right, but when older women struggle against that invisibility factor, maybe it’s time to think about how to wear neutral colors WITH other colors, instead of just by themselves.

While I don’t have any issues combining bright colors together, it can feel overwhelming if you aren’t used to it. That’s where the idea of how to wear neutral colors comes in handy.
And since most of us have no problem styling white and black as neutrals, the three of us decided to explore the “other” neutrals.

How to wear neutral colors & stand out

What are Neutrals?

Just in case, you aren’t familiar with what stylists consider neutrals, let me list them for you.
Remember that this list is not all-inclusive. Why? Because there are a ton of shades involved as well as the fact that colors are subjective.

Insider tip: Did you know the ability to see colors is dependent on the rods and cones in our eyes? Men have a lesser amount of rods and cones and therefore “see” colors differently.
As well as that when we struggle with cataracts, colors “look” yellower.

List of neutral colors:
1-White. This also includes ivory, and yes, for the record, you can combine the two together (as seen in this post here).
3-Brown. Which includes tan and all of the shades in between.
4-Grey. Again, there are a ton of different shades of grey from light grey which looks like silver to charcoal grey.
6-Denim. I like to include denim in this list because our society wears it with everything. And that truly is the definition of a neutral.

I would love it if you sign up for the emails below. My email family gets personal tidbits of what’s going on in my life along with other happenings, sales, information, giveaways, extra photos, and interesting articles.

We’ve talked about the color navy in the past, but it’s a good subject to revisit.

How to wear neutral colors for women over 70

Skort: Land’s End-thrifted~~ Kimono: Sonoma-Kohls~~ Top: Chicos~~ Shoes: Aerosoles ~~ Purse: no label~~Hat: Bailey (was Lesley’s husband’s hat)

The color navy can be a wonderful backdrop to our summer wardrobe. You always hear about how it’s not as harsh next to our aging complexion as black can be.

Lesley is showcasing how navy can provide a fabulous column of color with a multi-colored kimono.

Now here’s the kicker. Did you think Lesley was wearing a dress?? I know I did. But actually, it is a skort and top. By wearing the brown belt between the top pieces, you don’t notice that the two navy pieces aren’t exactly the same color.

And for those of you who think you can’t wear a belt, you can!! Just try it before you say no.

Accessorizing with the Navy

Lesley is using the navy as the grounding neutral so the colorful kimono stands out. And then she incorporated other neutrals for her accessories and shoes.

The belt, shoes, and purse are all brown which melds nicely with the mustard and orange colors that are in the kimono.
Then Lesley’s necklace is a bronzish, gold pendant that is a great addition to the look.

Since we were outside for a time, she also wore an ivory hat with the same shade of brown trim on it.

Colorful kimono with neutral wardrobe colors

Grey and Brown Outfit

Now here is a color combination that you don’t see often. Grey and brown.
Personally, I remember making a curtain out of material that was made up of these two colors together. I didn’t love the colors of the material, so I’m not exactly sure why I bought it except it must have been cheap because it was at a time in my life when I didn’t have much money.

How to wear neutral colors with style

Culottes: Mom made them ~~ Cardigan: Worthington-thrifted~~ Top: St. John’s Bay-JCPenney~~ Shoes: Seven7-thrifted~~Earrings: from a cruise~~ Purse: Steve Madden-thrifted ~~Hat: no label-thrifted

And when I asked Charlotte to wear this color combination, she wasn’t so hip on it. I think the idea of a grey and brown outfit is one that seems to lack color.
Therefore, we decided to incorporate some other bright colors into the mix.

In fact, I almost think you don’t notice the grey and brown in this look because your eye is fascinated with the other colors. In fact, it’s the perfect example of how to wear neutral colors if you don’t want them to take center stage.

Charlotte started with these brown culottes that she made years ago. You saw her wearing them when we showcased gem colors. Knowing that this grey cardigan was part of the ensemble, I suggested a yellow top.

I think any bright-colored top would be a nice addition even without all of the other extras.

Colorful Accessories to Wear with a Grey and Brown Outfit

You may think that the yellow top is color enough for this grey and brown outfit, but at this stage of our life, I believe that more is better.
For that reason, my mom added turquoise and bright pink into the mix.

It’s been said by my interior decorating friend, Laurel, that turquoise goes with everything, so I love how it gives a boost to the yellow as well as the grey and brown outfit.

And then incorporating a hat of an entirely different color is the cherry on top.

Add color to a grey and brown outfit

What Colors Match With Brown Clothes?

As part of the idea of how to wear neutral colors, I wanted to talk about what colors match brown clothes.
Now brown has just as many shades as all of the other colors we know and love, so join me as I give 4 different options.

First up is a rust-brown that almost looks more like burgundy in these photos.

Insider tip: Remember that color is VERY subjective. And in all reality, it doesn’t matter what you “name” it, the important factor is how you wear it.

Dark rust as a shade of brown

Skirt: BGBGeneration-thrifted ~~ Top: from Fashom~~ Shoes: Walking Cradles c/o~~ Scarf: ~~ Purse: no label

This rust brown top was actually one of the pieces that Lesley kept from her Fashom box as seen here. However, she decided it wasn’t for her, and I told her I would take it. I just love the warm color of it and figured it would go with a lot in my closet.

For example, this chartreuse-colored maxi skirt. Chartreuse is not one of those colors you would think about much, but I’ve been surprised at how it also goes with a lot in my closet.

Insider tip: For any bright-colored clothing item that you are unsure about, pairing it with a neutral should be a great option.

Knotting Your Shirts

Making our clothes work for us is one of the keys to looking good. Sure, it’s great if all of your items are tailored to provide the perfect fit. But in reality, it’s nice to have clothes of differing lengths and silhouettes for many reasons.
Therefore, I like to say that we need to remember that we are the boss of our clothes.

For example, this brown top. It’s much bigger than my normal tops and more of a tunic length. But leaving it hanging down created a sloppy look. (Almost like the look seen in the section of “Tie up your top” with my tiered skirt.)

Therefore, I decided to knot both the front and back of this shirt to give it an asymmetrical vibe as well as to be more fitted. Yet if I had altered it to be shorter, then I wouldn’t have the chance to wear it long as a tunic as I have done in the past.

Accessories for the Extra

I don’t mind combining a lot of different colors together, but I know some women feel it can be overwhelming. Therefore, for this look, I decided to keep the shoes and accessories either matching or light neutral.

We were to be walking around the Pima Air and Space Museum, so I made sure I was wearing a pair of my go-to walking shoes. This pair is from Walking Cradles and is from many seasons ago. I like how they are crocheted with an open weave. Being that the crochet is fabric instead of leather, they seem cooler in the hot temperatures.

The clear purse is still one of my favorites, and I copied my mom’s trick of lining it with a scarf.
Then I layered 2 different clear and gold necklaces and wore clear earrings.

Knot your boxy top in front and back

Other Color Options of What Goes with Brown Clothes

Pants: Banana Republic ~~ Top: thrifted~~ Shoes: Walking Cradles “Natalia”~~ Belt: from jumpsuit ~~ Purse: Kate Spade-thrifted

Since the theme of the post is what to wear with neutral colors, I thought it would be fun to combine brown with another neutral. For this idea, I grabbed a dark brown, silk blouse and paired it with white pants.

To give some interest to the overall look, I added some snakeskin print with my shoes and belt.
These shoes were recently reviewed as part of Walking Cradle’s new sandal construction and are called the Natalia.

The belt is actually from this jumpsuit that I’ve had for years. And then I did add a purse that is a bright color.

Insider tip: Always remove any self-belts and hang them with your other belts. Then you will think to use them with other outfits.

Yellow and Brown

Pants: Banana Republic ~~ Top: Time and Tru-thrifted ~~ Shoes:~~ Earrings: Francesca

Another form of brown that we are familiar with is leopard print. SO I decided to showcase how a leopard print top would work marvelously with yellow pants.
Now in all reality, this option is not much different than my rust-brown top and chartreuse skirt that I featured above.

For this example, I stayed with the two colors of yellow and brown for everything instead of adding a third color. The shoes are more of a rust-brown and can almost look red in some lighting.

Insider tip: This is one of my favorite ways to wear a brooch lately. Put it on a waistband to act as a belt buckle.

More Colors That Go with Brown Clothing

Dress: Banana Republic ~~ Top: Gap ~~ Shoes: Abound

I always like the idea of pastel colors as an option for what colors go with dark brown clothes. For this outfit, I paired a light wash chambray shirt/light blue with the brown shirt dress. While I do think of chambray as denim which I even discussed could be a neutral itself, you could imagine this with a non-chambray but light blue top too, right?

Funny how I paired it with snakeskin sandals again. Even I get into habits with my color combinations!

I’ve worn this shirt dress in the past in multiple ways.

Other Ideas

How to wear neutral colors is something discussed often on this site. Have a gander at some of the previous ideas.
1-Can you wear navy and black together?
2- White and ivory combined
3-Black and white with baby steps to include color
4-What to wear with a black sweater
5-7 different colors that go with navy

How to wear neutral colors

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

My Goal

Thank you for visiting my space on the internet. I like to showcase how it’s never too late to look great for women of any age, size, or working with any budget.
I feel I’m here to help move beyond the fashion rules of yesterday and evolve. Style and clothes are made to give you joy. Not cause us stress because we are worried about what others think.

My hope is that you get ideas and inspiration from Charlotte, Lesley, and myself. It’s not about copying what we wear, but about using what you already have and updating items along the way.
Most of all it’s getting us to think differently and dare I say, have fun?

Welcome to Jodie’s Touch of Style. I’m here to prove that it’s never too late to look great. Clothing and style are meant to showcase your inner personality. So let’s have fun and try new things.

It’s not just about me on this blog, but also about my mother and friend. We get to showcase not only different decades of life but also different body shapes and unique personal styles.

Find out more about all of us here. And make sure to join the email list where I include so much more.

Facts: Some of these links are affiliate links. This means, if you click a link and make a purchase, Jodie’s Touch of Style gets a small commission at no extra cost to you. I do appreciate you supporting the brands that make this blog possible! I am also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Scroll to Top