Dimensional Tonality

Mastering monochromatic dressing

by Aonika Laurent Thomas

The absolute tried-and-true method for polished, timeless style is tonal dressing. Tonal dressing elevates your outfit to the next level. If you’re a lawyer or a politician, if you’re giving a presentation or simply want an audience to pay attention to the words that are coming out of your mouth, this one is for you.

So what is exactly is it? Tonal or monochrome dressing is simply wearing coordinating pieces in a similar shade of the same color or the same hue, head to toe. Successful businesswomen and men have figured out that tonal dressing crushes in the boardroom and street style: Exude confidence, elongate your torso, and just look marvelous. It sounds easy, but can be a bit difficult to pull off. The first and easiest option is going for all black or all white, head to toe. Here are a few tricks to pull it off:

  1. Mix textures.

    Multi-textual layers are key to adding depth to any outfit. Compliment casual knits with shiny elegant finishes. Pair suede and silk or cashmere and leather. Feel free to play.

  2. Add a print.

    Adding a print will give the look a little more edge. Rich textured chocolate trousers, chocolate boots, and a leopard sweater are an excellent example for fall.

  3. Try a metallic.

    For a chic sophisticated look, add a metallic belt to any tonal look. This creates simple clean lines while giving your outfit a pop. No belt? No problem. A metallic shoe gives the same spark.

  4. Go neutral.

    Don’t be afraid to use a neutral (nude, camel, or cream) with layering if you’ve opted for a bold color such as the trending ultra violet or a bright yellow.

  5. Experiment with layering.

    Make a statement by wearing the same shade in a matching suit: red suit, red silk blouse, red pump, and red wool coat. Trust me.

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