Monochromatic Magic

by Meghan Gates, Salt Lick Lifestyle

Often times when I share my biggest style secrets, mixing patterns and textures is a top point that I make. This creates depth in an outfit and allows the eye to be drawn to a complicated, but well thought-out story. Recently though, I’ve been really interested in the monochromatic color scheme. I love challenging myself to be match-y, but not too much. For those that don’t know, “monochromatic” styling is the act of wearing different shades, textures, or patterns of the same color in one outfit. “Mono” means “one” and “chromatic” means “color”. It creates a seamless and tonal appearance. Color blocking can take things a little overboard, and sometimes mixing a few patters can be flat out difficult, but monochromatic dressing is much simpler than it seems. This technique by no means is understood to wear sunshine yellow from head to toe, and that’s the beauty of dressing monochromatically. The fun ties in when you get to choose different shades that coordinate, but aren’t exactly the same. When I style my outfits like this, I almost always get compliments. It can breathe life into old pieces and always exudes a level of put-togetherness and chicness.

Monochromatic dressing is especially enjoyable for those of us who own a lot of neutral pieces, but want to make a bold statement. Dressing in shades of nude, grey, or cream can have just as big of an impact as a brilliant royal blue statement piece. Often times, you already own what you need to achieve a cool, monochromatic look; you just need to look at your closet in a different light. There is no need to go out and drop a bunch of money on the newly trending pieces. By mixing different textures of the same color, you can pull out those older, simple basics and give them a whole new definition. Wearing jeans with a denim shirt is a perfect example of this that almost everyone has on hand. Whether you’re branding for the day, staying at home and cooking up a meal, or spending time in the office, the denim on denim monochromatic outfit will never fade out of style. The beautiful thing is that this style will work with any color you might choose: blush, teal, grey, purple, denim; if you can think it up, you can dress monochromatically.

Layers are an important part of monochromatic dressing as well. Layering a vest over a turtleneck or a cardigan over a simple blouse will create depth within an outfit. Strategic layering is also a great tool to utilize when wanting to accentuate or draw attention away from certain parts of the body. A knee length cape is very desirable for an individual wanting to create long lines and legs, while keeping the eye away from their hip area. A duster belted at the waist accentuates the natural curves of your body, while elongating the image as a whole.

For the outfit pictured, I chose to use a light camel/brown color. My shirt is a white graphic tee with brown in it to simply break the look up a little bit (monochromatic doesn’t have a set of rules). I started with a pair of tan corduroy pants and an awesome embroidered leather jacket, then went from there! I love my signature tan flat-brimmed hat, so obviously she had to make an appearance. I topped the look off with a brown re-vamped bag – complete with a camel colored wild rag – and a pair of short brown boots with cactus accents. Although this look isn’t traditionally “monochromatic” according to New York fashion week standards, it is still monochromatic in my book! I added small pops of pinks and turquoise to give the ensemble a western look, while still achieving the monochromatic feel. As I stated earlier, monochromatic is what you make of it. It’s a concept, not a rulebook. Whether that’s letting a few colored pieces in or staying a purist, you can make it what you like!

Meghan Gates is the manager and owner of Salt Lick Lifestyle. She is a professional blogger, using her talents in the writing, modeling, ministry, and styling capacities. Meghan’s passion for all things western and vintage stems from her ranching background and childhood. Her mission is to inspire the western industry with authenticity, grace, and kindness, and to move them towards their calling. When not working, Meghan can be found riding through cattle with her husband, listening to George Jones on vinyl, experimenting in the kitchen, snuggling with her dogs, or nose-deep in her Bible.