Style Essential: Not-So-Boring Brown

Brown style inspiration

Let's get one thing straight. If anyone tells you she's excited about adding brown to her wardrobe for spring, she's lying and is never to be trusted ever again. Because brown simply doesn't inspire excitement. It's the chromatic equivalent of the Plain Jane girlfriend joke in Arrested Development: "Her? Brown? Really? Brown? Her?" One can be aware of brown, vaguely interested in brown, but excited about brown? Nope. Never.

Inspired by brown style

That said, the fashion powers that be are mumbling about brown. It's the next It hue, they're saying. What's more, they're wearing brown, top to toe, in all its many iterations. Russet and cocoa, mocha and maroon. And they're looking not-half-bad. Minimalist but warm, textured and clean. The mere fact that I'm not immediately rejecting it the way I did the brown crayon in kindergarden suggests that dowdy chic might be worth considering.

Best of brown for spring

The question that remains, of course, is how to wear brown for Spring 2015. As always, material is key. Think camel culottes in a fine-gauge wool, a leather biker jacket in wrinkled cognac, a butter-soft bucket bag in sand, or pointed loafers in caramel patent. Oversized is okay, but keep silhouettes crisp and tailored to avoid a prairie revival vibe. Finally, mix and match shades of brown for maximum impact, and offset them with unexpected accents like navy or orchid. Exciting? No. But interesting? Absolutely.

  1. Ha- I always get far too excited about finding just the right rich shade of brown! Great picks- I think I know what I’m wearing tomorrow…

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