Hello, Lovelies! I hope you’ve been enjoying a wonderful weekend. Whether you wanted to knock out a few projects that have been hanging over your head for awhile, or you just wanted to relax, I hope your weekend was a really nice departure from your regularly scheduled week. 

Hampton and I carefully stepped out to a socially distanced surprise birthday party for a friend. It’s always fun to see the joy in the eyes of the birthday girl when she enters a room filled with well wishers. (We couldn’t see her smile since her mask was covering it, but that was ok. Her eyes said it all.)

Now.. because it was a party I had to figure out something appropriate and festive to wear. I feel so out of practice now that we never go anywhere. Have you felt a little out of practice, too? 

I struggled for a minute and then remembered my old standby, a column of color – the of-the-moment monochrome look.

The trend of monochromatic dressing is having its heyday right now, but it is nothing new under the sun. It’s the most classic and simple way to look instantly chic in minutes. 

Tips on how to look instantly chic

Here are a few tips I suggest for making your perfect look. These are suggestions, general guidelines, not rules, because the rules are THERE ARE NO RULES.

Stick with neutrals

Camel, taupe, winter white, blush, black, grey, subtle shades of blue. If you’ve ever met me in person, you’re thinking “Yeah, of course Catherine is suggesting neutrals” because I always gravitate towards neutrals. I don’t know why, but I just LOVE them. But I promise this guideline is not about me or my favorites. Bottom line – a column of neutrals makes your outfit look more expensive. There absolutely is a place and a time for a bright column of color, but that is another conversation for another time and another instantly chic outfit. 

Woman in chic monochrome grey outfit

Choose at least three pieces

I like to stick to my own personal Rule of Three. The Rule of Three is really just a guideline, but I highly recommend it because 2 pieces are just that – – simply 2 pieces. One more item adds interest and dimension to the outfit and generally helps me feel a little more pulled together.

Now, the Rule of Three does not necessarily have to be three articles of clothing. That third piece could be as easy as a belt or a statement necklace or earring or even a hat. Or it might be big, beautiful, wavy hair. Or conversely, your two-piece look might call for a sleek chignon. Just make it a little different from your everyday hair. If you’re not feeling the hair idea, another option could be a bold red lip, of course in a shade of red that enhances your complexion. (We’ll cover that in another post.) 

Woman in chic monochrome white outfit
Image via Pinterest

Choose pieces in varying fabrications and textures

The more texture and dimension you can add to your look, the better. The texture will keep the outfit from looking flat and dull.  Think matte vs shine. Flat vs 3D. Try a flat weave pant with a directional rib knit or a cabled sweater. A satin camisole and cashmere pant combination would give you a chic and luxurious look, and your third piece could be in another fabrication like a wool challis scarf. You get the idea. Mix it up!

Woman in chic monochrome grey outfit
Image via Pinterest
Woman in chic monochrome camel outfit
Image via Pinterest

Keep the colors tonal

The nice thing about dressing in a column of color is that the garments don’t have to be exactly the same color, and actually it’s better if they’re not. Color differentiation simply adds one more level of dimension. You just want them to be in the same family and tonally correct. 

Experiment with the structure of the outfit

OK…this is where your body type becomes a key factor. If you have a bit of an apple shape, I’m thinking you probably are most comfortable with a looser, easier top.  More than likely you have great legs – so accentuate the positive and wear a slim leg pant.

Image via Pinterest

On the other hand, if you’re a little rounder on the bottom and have a small waist, try a full leg pant and a close fitting knit that can be tucked in.

Image via Pinterest

If you’re a bit of a rectangle and kind of straight all over, I bet you have really nice long, lean arms and good strong shoulders. In that case, you could try something loose and easy on the top and bottom, but go sleeveless and show off those beautiful shoulders. Whatever your body shape, the key is to accentuate the positive. And I KNOW you have a positive!

Stay true to yourself

I will always encourage you to try new things, but if you already know a certain shape or fit doesn’t work for you, or a color just doesn’t feel right on you, it’s probably best to stay away from it. Stick with what you love and what you feel comfortable in.  Wear the shapes and styles that flatter your body and make you feel like the goddess that you are.

Thanks for reading! I hope you’ll follow a few of my tips and find out just how easy it is to look instantly chic without even trying.