It might sound counter-intuitive, but choosing one shade to wear head-to-toe can often make more of a statement than wearing a full spectrum of color. This style of putting pieces together creates a tonal look, and it’s a great style to have in your repertoire.
To pull it off, you combine the same color of pieces. Rather, the key is in the combination of pattern and texture that brings visual interest to your outfit, without looking washed-out.
So what’s the difference between monochromatic and tonal dressing, you ask? While monochromatic, one color, means just that: wearing all one color in various textures and patterns from head to toe. Tonal dressing, on the other hand, means putting pieces from the same color family together, like light blue and navy blue and all shades in between. It’s a subtle difference but brings about very different looks. Tonal dressing is not only a fabulous look for women but is increasingly popular for men to wear, too.
Style Camel Layers for a Tonal Look
For my take on creating a tonal look, I’ve applied the strategy to my top pieces and styled the layers with camel hues.
The First Layer of the Tonal Look
The first layer is a slightly cropped camel cardigan buttoned up as a single layer. My sweater is an older version found in a recent closet shopping expedition. Hey, check out your closet! You’ll be surprised at all the great “finds” in there! lol!
These high waisted straight leg jeans supply the backdrop to the various camel shades including my older oak-colored booties. The buttoned-front accentuates the high waist and gives me a little more “leg.” Much needed for us shorter gals! I am loving this “mom” jean style and the raw released hem is a cute touch.
With this super plain look, I tied this cute animal-print scarf through a belt buckle instead of adding a belt. Adds a little fun to your outfit! And the camel background adds to the tonal effect.
The Second Layer of the Tonal Look
A classic camel blazer is such a wardrobe workhorse! This one, in wool, is perfect for the winter months.
It’s a basic J Crew blazer I’ve had for some time. The color has a slight rust cast and is called “Heather Camel.” As a classic, it’s regularly stocked in Classic, Petite, and Tall sizes. (See below for the link.) While it’s pricier than some, it’s a basic you’ll wear year after year and is a great workwear piece.
The Last Camel Layer
This dark camel coat has appeared in a couple of my recent posts. (First, in the post, The Camel Coat: A Winter Staple.) It’s actually been getting some wear as we’ve had some on-and-off blustery and cooler days!
The Last Layer: Accessories
To keep everything in the camel color family, the booties are also a camel-ish shade. The hoop earrings are in tortoiseshell resin and were a bit trend last year. I still pull them out regularly and style them with browns and neutral outfits. These are no longer available, but I’ve linked some others below. And of course, tortoiseshell sunnies for this bright and blustery day! The final touch is a gold initial necklace for a little flash of bling.
Shop the Post
Since I’m shopping my closet and combining “older” items, some of the following pieces are exact while others are similar. Happy shopping, my friends!
Give the tonal look a try, my friends. When in doubt, start with blue shades, like light blue, medium blue and navy. Have fun creating new looks with old wardrobe finds.