Fashion classics: monochromatic style

fashion classics

Happy Monday!  Welcome to a discussion on fashion classics: monochromatic style.

As I surf fashion online, I have seen more and more brands advertising monochromatic styles.

It has almost been presented as a fashion trendin a couple of places…but, I would call this a fashion classic.

Monochromatic dressing, which many of us call a column of color, has been popular for years.

I see it as a fashion classic especially for women over 50.

It is a tried and true wardrobe favorite, which works well for those who love it.

Years ago a fellow blogger told me that her mother-in-law only wears monochromatic style underneath a variety of toppers.

That was her daily choice of dress. 

Here are the reasons I believe this fashion classic works for so many women.


fashion classics

I personally believe this fashion classic is popular for two reasons:


For those who basically own tops and bottoms in matching colors, then just add a variety of ways to top off the looks from jackets, to kimonos, to cardigans, to ruanas, etc. the closet is simple to organize.

They are wearing one column of color every day and just having fun with the tops or accessories as the icing on the cake. 

The ease of organizing a wardrobe this way is attractive and does make it a fashion classic.


I know that I for one began to wear this fashion classic as a way to slim down my style…and appear smaller than I am.

Often times, monochromatic dressing can be magic and take off at least five pounds or more.

Just remember, for this to work your fashion classic monochromatic style must be the same matching colors.  

I think we would agree that not all navy blues are the same…not all blacks are the same…and on and on.

In order for your two piece monochromatic column of color to be exact they are best purchased from the same brand and color line….or else it might not have the slimming effect.

In fact, different shades might chop your body into pieces and add the look of weight.

The women I know who love monochromatic fashion classics, usually purchase from:



DILLARDS (Click here, then go to Sales and Clearance at the top and check out the sale prices for Eileen Fisher)

Chico’s Travelers Collection

I do love this way of dressing as a fashion classic.  It can be a very polished look.  However, due to my creative bent I would get bored wearing monochromatic style every day.

Also, there are women who consider this style to be “aging,” and I can see why they would say that…to me it is all about what it put on top of the column of color.

So, what do you think?  Fan?  Not a fan?  Could you see owning an entire wardrobe of monochromatic pieces with toppers?

I am so curious to know what you think about these fashion classics.


fashion classics

Doggy fashion classics must include sweaters for colder weather.

I recently bought Tux this Paw & Tail Reindeer Christmas Sweater from JCP…he deserved a perk for the holidays. 

At these prices, I almost ordered two, but reminded myself that we do not have that much cold weather…and he is a fluffy one!

See all JCP Dog Sweaters…a good place to treat your special one.

Ok, ladies…I would love to know what you think about this fashion classic today.  I believe you will be seeing more of it next year.

Let us know and make sure that you……………………………


By Pamela Lutrell

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fashion classics


  1. I love column dressing and agree that getting the top and bottom to be the same color is important.

  2. I love monochromatic dressing and do it often. I own the jacket in the top picture and often wear it exactly as you showed. It’s a perfect way to show off my jewelry, shoes, and bags. I find that wearing different shades of the same color can be done, but it’s tricky. I know mixing shades/tones of the same color is favored by younger people, but to my eye it sometimes looks like you tried to match and missed. Navy, as you noted, is a particular culprit. I do appreciate JJill and Chicos, which seem to keep the same shades of colors in the line through multiple collections. I would not wear this look as a signature, or daily look, because I would become bored as well, but it’s a fave for sure.

  3. I often wear a column of black with a more colorful topper. I’ve noticed some women whom I see on tv often also seem to wear such an outfit. Senator Elizabeth Warren comes to mind because she’s most often seen on tv wearing what looks like a black camisole or black round-neck blouse/sweater with a more colorful jacket, often red or blue. I cannot remember her wearing a V-neck, or another color except once when she was interviewed in her house. You cannot see her pants but I’d guess they are also black. This would make an easy to travel with wardrobe…all black with colorful toppers. I’m reminded of pictures of ladies on cruises who are most often wearing all black or all white with their beautiful kimonos. .

  4. I do remember seeing other women on our cruise dressing this way because I was as well. Makes packing easier too!

  5. Check out Ellena Hue and the power of monochromatic fashion on YouTube. She has a different take on monochromatic style that doesn’t involve matching colors exactly, rather, it is about looking at the color wheel and using different tones of the same color. She has inspired me to rethink monochromatic in new ways.

  6. Good morning Pam! Hoping this message finds you feeling lots better. I’m lying low at home today healing from my fall ( actually faint). I’m bruised but okay.
    Well Tux certainly looks handsome in his adorable sweater! Cute as can be!
    On monochromatic dressing – truly is slimming but I just have two to three sets of pieces plus topper that work well and you have mentioned why – the column bottom and top must be nearly identical or it just looks “off”. I tried it with navy and it was quite a mismatch! New Black items look better (closer in shade) before dry cleaning or before laundering too often. But, I’d like to try grey!

  7. I love to dress this way. It looks good on everybody. I have a jacket very close to that one and I’m going to put together an outfit like yours. Thank you

  8. I do a version of monochromatic dressing, but prefer not to match exactly. I think it adds interest to have slightly different shades af the same color, and I’m always mindful of proportion and have never felt chopped up by this. I especially like to combine winter white and ivory tones with some camel… just feels so elegant to me. I think it is only aging based on choice of completer pieces, as many things can really add pounds and years. I see a lot of younger women doing monochrome and pay attention to how they interpret it to stay far away from an aging look. I just prefer mixing shades of the same color.

  9. I’m with Karen in loving a creamy column, and therefore have plenty of pieces, including the ‘third piece’ for an all-the-way look. I can do the basic column with a contrast topper, or a soft suiting pant and structured cardigan over a printed or other-color blouse, or a single item in cream with anything else in my closet. At home I shy away from wearing cream too much, as it could become stained. I keep these items for going out, generally something special – though never to our Italian restaurant in town! 🍝🍷

  10. I have never tried gray and now you have me wanting to!! I am so glad you are feeling better, Paulette…make sure you get lots of rest and care.
    Lying low at home is challenging but certainly has it’s nice moments!

  11. You are welcome, Donna. I have always liked the olive/military greens with black. They work well together.

  12. I am also seeing younger…really ages of women wearing monochrome lately. Thank you for sharing that it does not chop you up to wear the slightly different pieces. I am going to research this some more. I trust your opinion, Karen.

  13. Since I accepted my warmer color palette…I have fallen for the off whites..creamy whites and camels. I want to work more with that…but agree, it is not for wearing around the grandchildren and pets.

  14. I used to think the definition of column of color was all three pieces, topper, shirt/blouse/top, pants in one color. This can look very stunning or dressy.

  15. This is my signature look. It simplifies my life, elongates my short frame, moves attention from figure challenges and helps me look polished and pulled together. Attention is paid to accessories, jackets and cardigans which are extensive in my wardrobe. Also, my cost per wear has decreased since adopting the look. Can’t see myself going back. For dressier occasions, often I wear all clothing the same color. However, while the dye lots are the same, I vary textures.

  16. Interesting discussion. I am working on gray as my neutral for all into winter and have done it as a column of color, albeit with different grays based on what I already own. To your point about navy and black … I think that where we can go wrong is to try to match very closely but not exactly. It just doesn’t work. But, if we vary the shades of navy, indigo, and darker blue, then I think it can work. It may not be completely matchy, but it has the advantages of a column of color.

  17. I am a fan of monochromatic dressing as living in The Great White North like I do (Canada) one has only so much closet space to accommodate our four very distinct seasons so it makes it much easier to mix ‘m match utilizing not only similar colors but a variation in texture and weaves. i.e.: A gray silk blouse that one might choose for Spring with a pair of gray wool blend Winter trousers. Last but not least; do hope you are pampering yourself Pamela and in no time will be completely mobile. -Brenda-

  18. I am a fan of monochromatic dressing as living in The Great White North like I do (Canada) one has only so much closet space to accommodate our four very distinct seasons so it makes it much easier to mix ‘m match utilizing not only similar colors but a variation in texture and weaves. i.e.: A gray silk blouse that one might choose for Spring with a pair of gray wool blend Winter trousers. Last but not least; do hope you are pampering yourself Pamela and in no time will be completely mobile. -Brenda-

  19. I do like the monochromatic look, however, I don’t wear it that often because I don’t wear a lot of blazers, etc. You are so correct that you must buy them together.
    As for doggy sweaters, I have enjoyed knitting them as gifts. Every doggy should have at least one sweater!

  20. Hi Pamela,
    Tux is soooo cute! The monochromatic look can be very nice. Sometimes I like this, usually in gray, which I have found goes with everything. It’s not as harsh as black can sometimes be, or brown which can sometimes look too casual, or a lighter shade that is harder to manage. I hope your recovery is coming along nicely. 😊

  21. My Havanese is dark brown with white. I bought her a winter coat in red with white faux fur lining! I love a column of color and have in navy, brown and shades of cream, camel and tan. My best luck with color matching was with Chicos in dark green for Christmas and my birthday on the 14th. But Landsend is also good for casual color matching like the pale blue tee with the light blue plaid flannel shirt. I wear with light blue jeans from JCP. Today I am wearing black wash trouser jeans from Chicos with a black and white and grey buffalo check flannel shirt. I live in ranch country in southern Colorado. It is 58 degrees today and very windy and sunny.

  22. Love a column of color with interestimf scarves jackets or vests . Gives me a chance to wear cute jackets .. i have two red leather jackets and a black one which i love to wear duriimg holidays !
    chicos has provided lots of cute jackets over the years . Last winter i bought two of their longer reversible quilted vests which i love to create even more casual outfits over a column of color . one in black and a brown blk plaid and one in turquoise with a turquoise plaid reverse . I wearover a column of color or black ..
    .also for holidaya i love a column of black velvet skirt or pants and wear with a sparrklly jacket and velvet tank or a velvet jacket snd sparkly tank ,always fun .

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