Brown is the new beige
Not since the 70s has brown had such as significant presence as now. Previously considered dull and unsophisticated, brown has returned from fashion exile to be adorned head-to-toe by every fashionista from the cool streets of Denmark to the Kardashians & co in LA.
According to global trend forecaster WGSN, brown was the fastest-growing colour in womenswear in AW19/20
The progression from beige to brown is completely logical as the trend for favouring earthy, neutral tones shows no signs of slacking. Brown is a soothing shade that throughout history has been synonymous with modesty and simplicity – a sign of our times, for sure – and offers a back-to-basics aesthetic.
Forget boring brown, let’s talk tasty tones such as mocha, caramel, cinnamon, cocoa, chocolate & toffee – the entire spectrum of brown has become the colour palette of the season.
Brown hues are easy to mix and therefore offer a multitude of styling options. Added to the variety of fabrics and pieces that naturally lend themselves to brown from leather, teddy coats, tweeds, boots and corduroy; adopting this colour trend couldn’t be easier.
… small steps
If brown gives you the ‘ick’ – maybe inherited from childhood memories of sludge brown carpets and sickly floral patterns – then start with small steps and incorporate brown shades into your outfits by way of accessories. There’s a huge choice of brown footwear this A/W from chunky loafers to knee-high boots, plus delicious chocolate brown handbags and 70s-inspired scarves or the real vintage deal.
… go monochrome
A monochromatic look – that is an entire outfit consisting of tonal hues – gets top sophistication marks. It not only looks chic but does a brilliant job of creating an illusion of length. So combine pieces in different shades of brown that naturally complement each other to create a visual column of colour and an elevated look.
… with orange
This combo is probably most symbolic of the 70s colour palette, but this time around it is much less mournful and muted. Pair intense, acidic orange with less obvious caramel tones or a deep coffee brown to keep the look fresh. Think less Velma from Scooby Doo, more Victoria Beckham.
… with black
Don’t pay attention to outdated, so-called ‘Style Rules’ that say you can’t wear brown with black. Fashion has evolved beyond this restrictive mindset and there really are no rules anymore! Besides, brown and black makes an elegant, slightly edgy combo. If you are unsure about this combination, try adding a leopard print ‘anchor piece’ that will pull the whole outfit together.
… be vibrant
Brown is a great base colour which complements vibrant colours like electric blue, fuchsia and lime green. The key is to wear brown as the staple piece. Try a faux leather skirt or trousers in chocolate brown as the starting point and colour-block with a vibrant colour for a contemporary look. Or invest in a classic caramel or chocolate brown coat to wear over bold prints.
… with neutrals
If you are already a fan of neutrals, then brown is super easy and effective to slip into the mix. An extension of the earthy palette, brown will compliment beige, oatmeal and off-whites and update the paired-back look for the new season.
Have you found some renewed love for the colour brown?
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