Every year, the runways at all of the world’s top fashion weeks are flooded with hundreds of styles, both new and rehashed. Season after season, we see fads and trends alike that elicit a multitude of reactions and emotions from top stylists and personal shoppers across the globe.
With so much going on in the fashion scene, it’s naturally a little confusing. However, if there’s one fashion trend that we’re sure is going to take off like a rocket in 2019, it’s Tonal Dressing.
Tonal dressing involves selecting a single colour or colour group, and then dressing up in various hues or shades from that colour family from head to toe — footwear, accessories, and jewellery included.
While this might sound at first like you’re about to play a game of ‘match the colours’, the end result tends to be fabulous if you play your colour cards right.
How to Do Tonal Dressing Right?
#1 Select a Muted Colour Family: If you’re looking to give this trend a try, we recommend starting with slightly muted colours such as shades of black, grey, beige, cream, and brown. Once you’ve selected a colour family you want to begin with, make a list of all the clothing items, accessories, and the footwear you plan to wear. If you’re a woman, you may even want to consider adding some jewellery to your list.
#2 Look for Individual Clothing Items: Start looking for a few options for each of the items on your list. This is part of our shortlisting process. Pick only those items that you truly fall in love with. A good idea would be to look for these outfits online, and make a virtual mood-board or a look-book. You could even take print-outs and create a physical, hardcopy look-book with cut-outs of shortlisted clothes.
#3 Top Down or Bottom Up: You can either start with the darkest tones of your chosen colour family on top, slowly fading to the lightest at the bottom, or the other way around; i.e. darkest at the bottom, and lightest at the top. An alternative way to go about this is to have random intensity hues adorn different parts of your body, unconcerned about the top down or bottom up approach.
#4 Accent Piece: When it comes to tonal dressing, having one pop-out accent piece in an eye-catching shade of the same colour family as the rest of your clothes and accessories, really helps draw the eye to wherever you want most attention. This accent could be your eye makeup, lipstick shade, scarf/cravat, or even your socks. You want to make sure it’s a small part of your entire outfit, and not a large one like a top or blouse.
#5 Experiment with Colours: Once you’ve got a hang of creating tonal dressing looks with subtler, muted colour families, it’s time to get a little bold with your choice of colours. Start creating looks with your favourite pastels, and slowly graduate to brighter palettes of reds, pinks, yellows, blues, greens, and oranges. If you’re super confident and like fluorescence, you could even add to your look a pop of neon from the colour palette you’ve chosen. E.g. If you’re choosing orange as your tone of the day, your clothes could go gently from burnt sienna all to sunny orange, before suddenly being interspersed by a neon orange in your socks.
The idea is to keep experimenting till you find the right shades for your skin tone and body type. Tonal dressing can really make you stand out from the crowd, in the classiest way possible.
The most important part of course, is to have fun while you’re at it!