A Rainbow of Non-colors

During the cold weather months, I wear lots of dark, neutral colors. One of the great things about neutral colors — and they have many virtues — is that neutrals can be combined very easily. A few combined make a sophisticated (though understated) palette.

Behold my neutral rainbow: the palest taupe scarf, fawn sweater, dove grey blouse, and charcoal pants.
A rainbox
A rainbow of non-colors

Look beyond me; we took these pictures on a snowy day
Clearly the star of this ensemble is the satin scarf, which is a few shades lighter than the sweater.
This sweater came from Tory Burch last winter. The scarf is attached to the sweater, but those of you who sew could make such a scarf (it’s just an oblong sash) and attach it to any crew neck sweater. Doing so with a few buttons (to make it detachable) would create flexibility.

lke this
The city is so beautiful as snow falls
Pairing this sweater with this little blouse only just occurred to me.
I was in my closet looking for a silk charmeuse v-neck top that is a close match to the pants and my eyes passed over this printed high neck blouse. The high collar and the pattern add to the fun at the neckline, rather than detract from it.

Luscious square knot
The scarf has to be attached to the sweater in some fashion if you want to create an off-center knot or bow. Fabric this slippery would swivel if left to its own devices . . . and then gravity would take the knot down to the center of the neckline.

As pretty as this scarf may look in a still photograph, it’s prettier in motion — walking outside if there is a little breeze. The scarf capers.
Warning: I have not attempted to eat a meal with another person (other than The Photographer) while wearing this sweater. Not sure how elegantly that could be carried off because the capering scarf at table behaves like a pair mischievous neckties, egging one another on. Here are my suggestions: No soup, no spaghetti Bolognese.
The scarf is alive and has a mind of its own; at meal-times, it has two minds

Sweater: Tory Burch; Blouse: JCrew; Pants: JCrew; Shoes: French Sole New York

10 thoughts on “A Rainbow of Non-colors”

  1. A capering scarf! I love it!

    Wow, this is such a pretty palette. I do love mixed neutrals myself. I think they work best when you mix cooler tones with warmer ones as you’ve done here. (Cool charcoal, warmer fawn/taupe — to my eye it looks like the dove grey could go either way and acts as a kind of bridge.) that said, I don’t think I’ve tried a palette quite like the one you’re wearing but I’m inspired to see if I can come up with something similar from my closet.

    If one wanted to do a side knot with an unattached scarf, a little vintage brooch might be just the thing to get it to defy gravity, no?

  2. Beautiful ensemble — I have a growing love of gray that is crowding out black in my wardrobe, and this outfit only confirms my affinity for the color. Love the layering of shades and textures and the scarf is just stunning. But I appreciate the tips on the actual use of something like that — add my two elementary-school aged boys to the equation and I really would struggle to keep it clean!

    • Hi Bubu — I have also drifted away from black and toward grey in the last five years. I think my subconscious understood that it’s an easier to color to wear. It’s less severe.

  3. At our house, my most playful cat would see this gorgeous scarf as a wearable cat toy (which could be an interesting product line, maybe for a Kickstarter campaign).

    It’s a beautiful outfit, but as a warm weather person who hates cold, dark winter (and will likely retire in a few years to some place with a tropical climate), I have to wear at least pops of bright color to survive until spring.

    • Lynne — You have tapped into one of my most ridiculous secret fears: that I will be blinded by Harper in a freak accident! Over the years, she and I have had some strange collisions . . . Have you scouted your retirement spot? Costa Rica?

  4. I actually have similar pieces but need to make the capering scarf. The outfit you devised is really clever and very put together. Perfection!


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