Without conscious effort or even real knowledge, I've spent the last two years stockpiling neutral-colored pieces until one day last month, I opened my closet doors and was confronted by a wardrobe packed to the rafters with the following tones: blue, black, white, gray and a smattering of camel. At first, I recoiled - I work in fashion so a rack full of dull threads is absolute blasphemy - but after the initial shock wore off, I realized that even though I may not be a loud-and-proud maximalist, I love my set of deeply edited clothing. And here are five reasons why:
First: Everything matches. Having a color-scant closet has made getting dressed in the morning exponentially quicker. I have access to an endless combination of tops, bottoms and jackets and it never takes me more than fifteen minutes to choose something to wear. Whether I'm going to lunch with my best friend, have an appointment at an important showroom or a fancy after-work event on the books, I'm not concerned about being over or under-dressed. Though pared-down hues may not be head-turners, they're bona-fide classics and I'm okay with that.
Second: It makes me more adventurous with the trendier pieces I do want to splurge for. It may seem contradictory, but when that neon brocade blazer jumps out at me or a pair of hot pink pants screams my name, I can rely on the fact that I more likely than not own something that can temper any fabulously oddball decision I may make. A chambray button-down would look great with aforementioned blazer and a camel coat will mitigate the intensity in those pink pants - and they're both waiting in my closet itching for a chance to downplay any forthcoming kooky purchases!
Third: It forces me to pay attention to cut. Because I have a closet full of basic washes, shopping trips become more about finding the perfect slouchy white tee or the ideal cropped blazer (one that nips in my midsection, carving out a waist). Everything looks better when it appears tailored to my body, so even if I'm not wearing the coolest print of the season, I still feel like a million bucks.
Fourth: I can re-wear things and no one knows the difference. I'm a big believer in multiple wears before I throw my duds in the wash. It saves water, it saves time and it saves my sanity (no more last-minute trips to the Laundromat on Sunday nights). When you wear a loud look-at-me piece, it's instantly recognizable and if I feel so inclined to wear it the next day, it's noticeable. A couple weeks back, I wore an awesome navy coat with black lapels for nearly a week straight and no was the wiser (see first point about everything matching).
Fifth: I spend less time in front of the mirror. When the fit is taken care of and the color scheme looks good, every outfit is simply a matter of adding up the sum of its parts to equal a complete ensemble. There are some days when I can do the math in my head, reach for said pieces and I am on my merry way without even a glance into the looking glass.
And while some may say that it's boring and one-note, don't forget that these un-adventurous colors make a fabulous blank canvas for those funky accessories that often fall to the wayside: My jewelry, bags, shoes and even makeup don't have to vie for the limelight, and the outfit will happily take a backseat to conversation pieces that deserve their time center stage.
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