Adding Color

I have written in the past about how my attempts to add color to my wardrobe – my clothes are mainly neutrals, and not just that, but cool toned ones – as in predominantly black, gray, and white. While this makes it pretty easy to get dressed most days, you do end up feeling a bit boring. When I only have a few minutes to get dressed, this is a good approximation version of what I end up wearing, most days.

Everlane Gray V Neck

Gray, gray, and black! By the way, I’m wearing an Everlane cashmere sweater – review to come – and my Frye boots.  I think all in all at least neat looking…but like I said, looking at yourself in all grays and blacks every day, especially when the weather is cold outside, can feel a bit dreary.

So, the easiest way I’ve found to add color? One way has been through shawls. I always find myself drawn to a few brighter shawls each season – this is one of my favorites, called “Zebra Pegasus,” from Hermes. Actually I usually find myself drawn to the very neutral black/white/natural colored Hermes shawls and scarves each season, but I try to force myself to at least try out the brighter color ways. And I usually end up being convinced!

Everlane Gray Cashmere

Another way I’ve found to add color? Through outerwear. For some reason, buying colorful outerwear has always been more fun to me. I have a red Max Mara trench that I love, several brighter vests, and this season, I also added this parka from Mr and Mrs Italy (formerly Mr and Mrs Furs).

Mr Mrs Furs Hood

This is my second outerwear item from the brand, and I have to say that I love them. Both of my pieces are more statement outerwear – one is camouflage, and this other has the baby blue! I love it. Of course, I know it isn’t for everyone – a friend of mine commented dryly when he say it, “It looks like you killed a Smurf”.  I can’t help but laugh about it even now.

But, I adore the Smurfiness of this parka, and I always feel like it livens up any neutral outfit I might have on, underneath.

And of course, the final way that I try to add color to my wardrobe…through bags. This is the first outfit I had on, in all grays, but with my parka and a bright colored Kelly bag added. An easy way to add color for me…next step, knitwear!

Mr Mrs Furs

For fellow neutral lovers – what are some of the ways you add color to your wardrobe?


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  • Whitney Farris
    November 30, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Scarves and shawls are my go to items for pops of color. As I have said earlier I normally swim in a sea of black, but I have slowly been introducing some color items into my wardrobe. I used to hate prints and would never wear them, but I have gotten over that phobia of mine.

    • Katherine
      November 30, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      A sea of black…sounds like me too 🙂

  • Amy
    November 30, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I absolutely LOVE your coat. That blue is fantastic. That being said, $4800 definitely qualifies it as cost- prohibitive! I will say though, that I loved your feature on cashmere, and have really enjoyed the Everlane sweaters that I have purchased. I think the quality is great for the price!

    You look amazing for being a new mama. Good for you!


    • Katherine
      November 30, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      Thank you Amy! The parka I got was unlined so quite a bit less…try those styles instead of the lined 🙂 I’m glad you are liking Everlane, which styles did you get?

      • Amy
        December 1, 2015 at 12:14 pm

        Their v-neck cashmere sweaters! Love them!

  • Belen
    November 30, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I’m a neutral girl too. My pops of color come either via jewelry, purses, scarves or shoes, and the occasional bright jacket.
    But… my staple are red short nails. Red manages to go with everything, so no matter how “boring” I dress (I have a thing for grey too!), my hands always add some brightness. And they make me happy when I look at them!

    Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

    • Katherine
      November 30, 2015 at 10:06 pm

      Red short nails look so chic! Great reminder, I used to do this and always felt like it added the necessary pop of color 🙂

  • Ella
    November 30, 2015 at 10:41 am

    I completely agree – coats and shawls. I bought a pink Max Mara coat on impulse when I was cold in London last spring and it has gotten a lot of use. Scarves too, actually – I often wear a little 90 cm twill scarf over a black or navy dress. But for me the bag has to be neutral – in my line of work I think you can carry a bag that is fancy or colorful but not both!

    • Katherine
      November 30, 2015 at 10:07 pm

      I’ve been eyeing several pink Max Mara coats…yours sounds lovely!

  • Cassie
    November 30, 2015 at 11:33 am

    The colour way on that shawl you’re wearing is stunning! I love it. I tend to add colour with scarves, though I’ve found recently that adding it with shoes works nicely as well. It’s a little harder to do during boot season, but I like the look of bright pumps and flats with otherwise neutral outfits.

    • Katherine
      November 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      Bright pumps are a great idea!

  • Sabrina
    November 30, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    May I ask what size if your parka? I am trying to order one with the quilt lining (I live in warm climate) from they Italian site but can’t decide between XS and XXS. I’ve tried an XS (with the fur lining) at Barneys when I was in NYC and found it a tad big. I am 5.2″ and 110 pounds.

    • Sabrina
      November 30, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Sorry hit the submit button too fast and forgot the most important thing – Thank You!

      • Katherine
        November 30, 2015 at 7:43 pm

        No problem! I have an XS with a fur lining, and it’s the right size for me…but the one without lining, XS is a bit big. I’m wearing XS – I didn’t even know they had XXS, if I had known I would have opted for it for the unlined.

        • Sabrina
          November 30, 2015 at 7:57 pm

          Thank you! Their Italian site has a configurator that gives you a few custom choices (very limited in my opinion). But they do offer XXS which is nice. It will take 5 weeks for custom offer. How do you like the unlined vs the fur lined? I love the fur lined but wouldn’t get a chance to wear it unless traveling up north.

  • Sabrina
    November 30, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Sorry hit the submit button too fast and forgot the most important thing – Thank You!

  • Iris
    November 30, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Love this post! I have the same issue. I have added a red cashmere peplum sweater from ann taylor this year. yay

    • Katherine
      November 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      Cashmere peplum sounds like a match made in heaven.

  • Lygie
    November 30, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Your parka and Kelly are a gorgeous combination!

  • Glenda
    November 30, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    I wear mainly solid color pieces–jackets, tops, bottoms, shoes, bags, gloves, coats, everything!–in navy, grey, white, and red. But I have about 10 (mostly Hermes 90cm square silk) scarves in a riot of colors & patterns that I usually top every outfit with. It’s easy for me to get dressed, everything is mix ‘n match, and the pretty colors & patterns in the scarves make me happy!

    Must say: that smurf gave it’s life for a beautiful & worthy cause! =D

    • Katherine
      November 30, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      H silks are one of the most gorgeous ways to add color in my opinion…and you can never go wrong with one of the silk prints, classic and forever.

  • Coco
    December 1, 2015 at 1:47 am

    My dress code for office is conservative plus certain days I have to stick strictly to black and white so my wardrobe consists of white, black, navy, grey…all boring colors like you say… plus when the dreaded white and black code comes into play my accessories have to be in dark colours and discreet.

    So I only get to add colours with scarves or jewellery on none black and white days. I have several 70 hermes scarves. However I am so sad that they are showing wear and tear after use for only ONE year!

  • Sarah
    December 4, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Although I live in relatively cold London, I can no longer bring myself to wear fur. I used to have clothes with fox fur and coyote trimmings and justified them by saying they were “culled” as opposed to bred in captivity, (which most would agree, is a truly horrible way to keep animals) But after researching it – it was decided not to wear any fur at all. Not even rabbit fur – technically a food by product.

    • Katherine
      December 4, 2015 at 9:18 am

      Hi Sarah, I know you have strong feelings on this topic and appreciate you sharing. I admire your thoughtfulness in how you purchase and consume.

  • Ava Lon
    December 6, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Dear Katherine,

    I did a double take at the first photo and exclaimed, “Yes! She got the Silver CDC!!!” Is it? On your right wrist it looks like perhaps you bought the huge (and very heavy, but oh so spectacular) Silver CDC?! Or am I just bleary eyed from exhaustion? 😉 If I am mistaken, at least you can get an idea of how the Silver CDC would look on you – quite marvelous IMO! 😀

    You really look so tiny in these pics – goodness, I don’t know how you do it! Then again, I am sure Baby Feather is making you run around after him making resuming pre-baby-body a piece of cake for you.

    Like you, I incorporate color w scarves and accessories in general, occasionally red polish on my nails but rarely. At least you add grey, I’m mostly all black all the time. 😉 I love the “smurf” coat on you! And with your Ghillies, well, it’s just the perfect marriage of casual chic! Brava!