You think dressing in just one colour looks kinda boring? Think again!

When executed well, dressing monochromatically can be a real head turner.

A common misconception is that monochrome dressing means wearing black and white (and sometimes grey). But it actually just means wearing separates of one colour. Any colour.

Mono = one and chrome = colour, so, therefore, you can wear different shades of a single colour to create an overall tonal look.

what is monochromatic dressing

Image credit: merriam-webster dictionary

You can also choose to wear one shade of one colour from head to toe, which is a statement in itself. Mixing in different textures and fabrications can add interest and features to your outfit.

I recently wrote a post titled ‘22 ways to wear black & white for the races’, so in today’s post I’m going to stick with talking about colour monochrome.

Why you Should Give Monochrome Dressing a Go

It’s On Trend

Dressing monochromatically has many benefits. For starters, it stands out.

An outfit made up of complementing shades of the one colour is eye catching. I love seeing it in pretty pastel colours like red and pinks or blue and baby blue.

bree laughlin

Image credit: @breelaughlin

Monochromatic looks are very popular on this year’s runways.

monochromatic fashion trends designer

Image credit: Vogue

It’s Easy to Experiment with

Dressing monochromatically is also a safe way to experiment with fashion.

Wearing bright, bold colours and even prints together is adventurous- but dressing in the same hues and shades of one colour is a little less so, but still provides a chic and stylish effect.

No matter what colour you choose, if you mix shades and tints of that colour, it will work together.

It Forces you to Think about Fabrics and Textures

Experimenting with different fabrications and textures works amazingly with monochrome dressing, adding interest and features to your outfit.

When you can’t rely on colour to give your outfit contrast, if forces you to think of creating it in other ways. I like the look of mesh mixed in, as well as embroidered fabrics and laces.

monochrome race dresses

Image credit: @Rebeccalharding, @alicebright__

It Makes you Look Slimmer

Dressing head to toe in one colour means that the line from your head to your toes is uninterrupted, elongating your silhouette. This means that you will appear taller and slimmer (without dieting, hooray for that!)

4 Tips for Dressing Monochromatically

So you’re ready to give monochrome dressing a go? It’s simple and you can experiment with lots of different techniques. Here are a few ways to get you started…

Tip 1 – Choose a Colour that Suits You

There’s no point dressing head to toe in a shade that doesn’t suit you. Choose your favourite colours and play around with them.

Select your base colour such as one of the 12 tertiary colours

Choose a tertiary colour to begin with. From this colour, you will create your overall colour palette.

colour wheel

Select shades, tones and tints of your base colour

With your chosen colour, think about what shades (your colour with black added), tones (your colour with grey added) and tints (your colour with white added) you can make with it. There are so many options here.

monochrome shades of colour

Image credit: Canva

If you want to get really technical…

You can use an online tool like Paletton or Adobe colour wheel to generate your colour palette. Print it out and take it with you when you go shopping and hold up different garments to see if they match.

choosing monochrome colour palette

Image credit: Adobe Colour

Tip 2 – Add Interest

Incorporate textures and different fabrications into your outfit to create depth and add interest. You can do this with laces, leather, fur, feathers, embroidery, patterns, embellishments, sheer panels etc.

white dress fur frills fabric interest

Here, Elizabeth has used fur and pearls to add different textures, creating an overall appealing look. Much better than a plain white dress in all the same fabric. Elizabeth was the winner of our Monochromatic Challenge in the Field Fashion Community Facebook Group!!

Tip 3 – Dress to Enhance your Body

Wear darker shades on areas you want to hide, pants or skirts for example, and lighter colours on areas you wish to accentuate.

Tip 4 – Add a Print for Fun

Incorporate a print in the same shade you are working with. Make sure the base of that print or the overall look of the print is in your chosen colour.

Here Kerrie wears a pink base dress with contrasting hem and sleeves in a pink printed fabric creating a beautiful overall monochrome look with interest.

pink with print pattern dress

Image credit: @milva.carucci.designs

Arriell has chosen blue as her base colour and has opted for a print in her skirt in varying shades of blue and two shades of blue in her boater too. A stunning ensemble.

shades of blue race dress

Image credit: @arriell_s

Race Goers who Wore Monochrome Outfits

Fashionable ladies have been rocking monochrome all across the country and nabbing some sashes along the way. Here are a few favourites from recent events…

How amazing do these two look in their monochrome outfits! Chloe opted for a lavender purple dress with a boater in a shade darker purple. Meanwhile Amanda is wearing a dark sea green skirt and has a lighter tint for her top and millinery.

shades of purple racing fashion

Image credit: @_cloflo

Peta looks lovely in her Milva Carucci dress. Her choice of mesh fabric with the darker colour underlay works beautifully in creating a fresh and chic finish.

tonal look appearance colour

Image credit: @petaanng

Field Fashion Community Monochrome Themed Competition

Recently in the Field Fashion Community Facebook Group we held a monochrome competition. The ladies blew me away with their creativity and interpretation of the challenge.

Here are a few examples of how they did it…

Shades of a Colour

I love Angela’s peach tone outfit; my eyes were immediately drawn to it. The colours look so beautiful together.

shades of peach racewear

Sally has worked in a number of shades of purple which really suits the outfit and gives it contrast and balance.

racewear all in one colour

Pink and red will never get old!! It’s stunning together. Bethy has incorporated lace and sheer panels to create depth and interest to her ensemble.

dressing up for the races

Aren’t the darker shades of blush millinery and shoes a nice pop in Jacquie’s outfit rather than adding in another separate colour. It works beautifully.

style trends

A very classy ensemble put together by Kristy. The subtlety of the colours lets the styling take the spotlight.

Subtle monochrome colours

Tie it in with a Print

Ali chose yellow as her base colour and mixed it in with a skirt featuring a lighter tint of yellow as the base colour with a print throughout it.