If you were under the impression that grey is a boring colour, allow me to correct you. There are so many more shades than 50 (FYI, EL James) and when you discover that, your wardrobe will become more interesting, sophisticated, and even expensive-looking.
Grey may not have a glowing reputation – grey area, grey weather – but monochrome’s middle ground is fruitful in fashion terms. The US artist Helen Van Wyk expressed it beautifully when she said, ‘Grey is the queen of colours, because she makes everyone else look good.’
It’s true. While optic white and jet black can look a little jarring on some skin tones, everyone can carry off grey, whether it’s silvery and pale or a rich, saturated charcoal.
Van Wyck’s words can also be applied to the way that grey enhances the colours with which it’s teamed – look at how Victoria Beckham wears it with a ruffled blush blouse above. And you could imagine her suit looking just as elegant with a yellow T-shirt or a pistachio-green camisole. It’s proof positive that grey suits aren’t just reserved for anonymous businessmen.
While a colour so widely used and versatile can’t exactly be described as a trend, there is more of it around than usual in the autumn/winter collections. There were layers of charcoal houndstooth at Officine Générale; minimalist separates at Tory Burch; swishy maxi-skirts at Me+Em; plus ‘party grey’ at 16Arlington, with sparkles and a croc finish.
Let the catwalks be your guide and embrace the most ‘fashion’ way to wear grey this season: head to toe. This does not mean every piece must match perfectly: different shades can look wonderful together, particularly if you layer different textures, such as a fuzzy knit top with sleek, tailored trousers.
Less is more, so keep silhouettes clean and don’t over-gild the lily with extraneous accessories.
Don’t wear more than one additional colour outside of the grey palette (see Selena Gomez’s deep-red lipstick above, or the flash of cobalt shown in the Prada look below), but do try wearing it with bold silver jewellery that complements the palette.
If you’re daunted, don’t be. There’s nothing challenging, or complicated about this look, it’s truly one that everyone can try. And now is the time to do it, because the grey scale has never looked so good.