I've never been drawn to muted, earthy tones. Sure, rust makes blue eyes pop and khaki is a solid shade in its own right, but sand, beige and camel? Not for me, thank you. Perhaps I've avoided those hues for fear of them washing out my fair skin, or because I find excitement in electric blues and zingy fuchsias rather than subdued neutrals.
But it's been hard to deny the appeal of natural colours in recent months, thanks to a flood of designers who refreshed them on SS19's catwalks. Burberry led the charge with its traditional trench coats and checked shirt and coordinating camel trousers, but the palette was everywhere from Chanel to Dior, Fendi to Loewe.
How do you wear the trend without blending into the background? Here are three ways I styled neutrals, from giving the classic camel coat a 2019 refresh to pairing it with animal prints.
White jeans can be intimidating but turn out to be the perfect bedfellow to a beige knit. This Carcel jumper is heavenly, the boxy neckline giving it a point of difference (the fact that the brand employs women in prisons in Peru and Thailand, giving them new skills, fair wages and the ability to earn a living is pretty great too). Teamed with sage green boots from Topshop and a Rixo silk scarf (tied around the belt loop), the neutral shade goes from bland to brilliant.
The Really Wild Show
I'm pretty sure the last thing you'd ever find me in is a utility boiler suit, but here we are. Everyone from Ganni to Topshop via Kenzo and Coach is offering the all-in-one, which is about as comfy as nine-to-five wear gets. As the fashion adage goes, animal print is a neutral, and so this rollneck is the perfect partner for a sand-hued piece. Just add perspex-heeled boots.
Update A Classic
A camel coat is one of those items owned by people with capsule wardrobes – the same people who own thousands of Breton striped tops and a pair of perfectly fitting and versatile cigarette trousers. To give it a 2019 refresh, I've paired it with head-to-toe neutrals: a silk midi skirt (sales of which have been through the roof since Réalisation's leopard number), a matching fine knit, and the most-loved hiking boots of the season.