All in the Details

3 Accent Color Ideas If You Always Wear Neutrals

by Laura Lajiness


Neutral lovers will all agree: there’s a refined simplicity that comes with wearing black, white, or navy top to toe, season after season, year after year. Yet sometimes, outfits can be elevated to the next level when you break up those tones. With a few clever accent color ideas up your sleeve, you can enliven your monochromatic outfits and add spark to your chic closet, without teetering into rainbow-bright territory.

In the spirit of transitioning from winter to spring, here are three accent color ideas that are tasteful and perfect for those who may be a bit intimidated by color. While there’s nothing wrong with neutral colors, if you’re feeling inspired to re-think your favorite black blazer, white sweater, or navy jeans, color-pop ideas like these are the perfect way to invigorate your wardrobe this spring.

1. Heels

There’s a lot to love about outfits rooted in black, navy, and gray, but an all-white ensemble is decidedly fresh for work (despite being a tremendously vulnerable canvas for coffee spills) in the form of a stylish sweater and tailored trousers; a button-down shirt and white jeans; or a sheath dress and blazer. To inject a bit of color without overdoing it—and as a way to transition away from the winter routine of black boots—a heel in an unexpected hue, like dusty red, is a unique accent color idea that will invigorate an otherwise one-tone outfit. No matter the shade you choose, a colorful heel in a classic silhouette—like a pump, sleek sandal, or minimal wedge—is ultra-polished and versatile enough to wear with a range of classic wardrobe staples like blazers, dresses, and skirts when the mood strikes.

Suede strappy pumps in rococo red

2. Handbags

Whether you’re a lover of black-and-white separates, head-to-toe camel, double denim, or all three, pairing your outfit with an eye-catching handbag is an easy way to enter the world of color. From vivid totes to splashy satchels and color-blocked clutches, a colorful handbag is a playful accent that you can experiment with while still feeling comfortable in your beloved neutral attire. As an accessory, you set it down periodically throughout the day, which means you can take breaks from the color infusion. What’s more, you can easily swap between a colorful bag and a neutral one throughout the week, depending on your mood.

Leather colorblock clutch

3. Scarves

For some, head-to-toe black may feel too severe, but many professionals lean on all-noir looks as a daily uniform. When thinking up accent color ideas to break up black separates, a colorful scarf is a smart solution that’s versatile to boot. Much like a bag, you can take it on and off throughout the day, making it a safe option for those with color trepidation. For an office-appropriate look that seamlessly transitions to evening, tie one around your neck in lieu of a necklace, around your wrist as a bracelet, or onto your bag as a vibrant accent.

Colorblock oblong scarf

Featured in this article:

Suede Strappy Pumps, $135

Leather Colorblock Clutch, $138

Colorblock Oblong Scarf, $54

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