How to wear it: summer neutrals

I’ve been late in the game for gathering summer basics, so I reserved this past weekend for a shopping excursion with Karen. She’s always thrilled to come along whenever I hit up Lord & Taylor and Loehmann’s. The trip was a great success, and I ended up buying a boatload of neutral-hued pieces. While they may seem boring and bland, neutrals are an AMAZING way to get you through the summer. The different shades are ideal for mixing and matching together: white, light khaki, dark khaki, olive, beige, blush, and white. They all look good with each other.

The key is to add strategic bits of color to make each ensemble really pop.

Below are pics of some purchases and how I plan to jazz them up:

L&T had a bunch of lightweight dresses. This Jones New York shirt dress is a great office option, while the white and green frocks (both from BCBGeneration) are fun for the weekend or casual evening events.

All three offer an ideal neutral backdrop for a bib necklace in wow yellow. This brightens up your face without being overbearing. And if you’re feeling bold, you can also opt for a funky turquoise bracelet.

This Kate Hill belted jacket was a cool find, with its preppyish checkered print. And when I spotted this white Cynthia Steffe blazer in Loehmann’s, I couldn’t believe my luck. I have the exact same blazer already in a deep green, and have worn it to pieces. The slouchy, laid-back silhouette caught Karen’s eye as well, and we both ended up getting one–she opted for the khaki color.

All of these are perfect partners for a pair of colorful pants (red is the hue du jour). And if you want to take it to the next level, team with a soft pink top. Colorblocking at its finest.

I snapped this pic of me in the L&T dressing room where I fell in love with a light khaki button-down from Kate Hill. Karen was underwhelmed by the shirt when I picked it off the rack, but I knew it had potential. And I was right! She loved it so much on me, that she bought one for herself in white. She wanted to copy this Jones look we had seen earlier–neutralblocking as I like to call it. I’m excited to try the same effect with khaki on top and white on the bottom.


And what will make this look seem fresh and exciting is a pop of color using earrings, bold sandals, or both.

Once you get used to supporting neutral tones with a dash of color, you can start experimenting with combining two pops at once. Don’t worry. You won’t go overboard as long as you have the neutral foundation to keep things grounded.


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