Versatile Neutrals for a Capsule Wardrobe

When I am putting a capsule wardrobe together one of my first considerations is the neutrals that will go into the colour palette. And when you have colour and shoes to consider you may think it’s not the most important part of the wardrobe! But they are actually the foundation of a successful capsule wardrobe because they can be worn alone or with any other colour you add. In fact dressing in neutrals can be a really chic look.

While I would usually recommend that you spend more on neutrals than other pieces – because of their versatility and cost per wear – they don’t have to be out of your budget. Take the example below. A really chic look of timeless pieces and an updated pair of wardrobe staple trousers for 3 different budgets:

capsule wardrobe key pieces, capsule wardrobe neutrals

High end – Silk shirt Equipment // Pendant Astley Clark // Bag Chloe // Trousers Victoria Beckam // Shoes Jimmy Choo

Upper High Street – Shirt Boss Orange // Pendant Hobbs // Trousers By Malene Birger // Bag Michael Korrs // Shoes Hobbs

Budget – Shirt Uniqlo // Pendant John Lewis // Bag Modalu // Trousers French Connection // Shoes Miss KG

Neutrals worn alone can be striking, black and white for example, or look expensive and luxurious in a soft palette as shown below. Some neutrals are universal, including taupe, charcoal grey and pewter – meaning everyone can wear them. So if your wardrobe is a mish mash of colours start with these and you will find that they pull together pieces that may not otherwise work. Especially if you find a scarf or necklace that includes several of the colours plus the neutral.

Here is an example of how to wear pewter whichever colour type you are:

capsule wardrobe versatile neutrals, how to wear neutral pewter

See how neutrals can look wonderful alone in the first two outfits below or worn with another toning colour, blush, in the third option.

capsule wardrobe neutrals, how to wear neutrals

Taupe Jumper John Lewis // Necklace Eclectica Vintage // Skirt Maxmara // Bag DKNY // Shoes Kurt Geiger // Grey cardigan // Top Marella // Scarf Maxmara // Bag Whistles // Trousers Mint Velvet // Shoes Miss KG // Blush cardigan Jigsaw // Top Gerard Darel // Scarf Maxmara // Bag LK Bennett // Skirt Red Valentino // Shoes LK Bennett

And look what happens when you add one coloured/patterned piece – a completely different look.

How to wear neutrals, mixing colour with neutrals, capsule wardrobe

Blue skirt Boden // Blue/yellow top Whistles // Blue spot top Hobbs //

Don’t under estimate those hard working neutrals – and if you would like to know which you should include in your capsule wardrobe why not order your own personalised online colour analysis?


  1. February 11, 2015 / 1:02 pm

    Hi Maria.. Love todays article, I have 2 events this month a pub lunch with my parents for my birthday & a restaurant meal with my son to celebrate his 26th birthday & wanted an outfit that would be suitable for both.. Lo & behold, there it was today, when I logged on to see your latest post, the black trousers & white shirt outfit is perfect… I will be opting for the budget version as lots of expense this month but I think that outfit looks just as nice as the High End outfit…. Well done Maria & thank you for saving my poor feet from walking round & round Bluewater Shopping Centre. Debbie

    • Maria
      February 11, 2015 / 2:12 pm

      It’s a pleasure Debbie, thank you for your comment. I’m glad I have helped. Have a fantastic birthday I hope you get spoiled.