How to pair dark neutrals

It's winter. It's cold. It's rainy. (Or possibly even snowy.) Wearing light colors is like taking your life in your hands—too many things dripping or splashing or smearing all over you to risk it. So dark colors it is. I've been living in some combination of sweaters, leggings, and waterproof outerwear for what feels like forever, and keeping it fresh is definitely a challenge. Lately I've been playing around with different combinations of dark neutrals, and one of my most recent discoveries is navy and charcoal gray. Navy is such an underrated neutral—black tends to get all the glory, even though navy is a little softer and thus more flattering on most people—and charcoal gray just goes with everything, plus it's excellent at camouflaging winter schmutz. Here's one of my favorite winter weekend outfits of late.

I'm sure a bunch of you are playing the world's tiniest violin for me, in that I get to wear a trench coat in February. But I am just as tired of this coat as you are of your down jacket right now. That said, for being waterproof, it's pretty darn chic, and as longtime Cheryl Shops readers know, I'm a huge Everlane fan. (You last saw it in this double-Everlane post.) It's a classic that you just can't go wrong with buying, and gives your entire look a more dressed-up feel—which is key, because the rest of my outfit is pretty casual. I'm in a size small; like most Everlane products, this trench runs pretty true to size.

I bought this sweater at COS when I was in NYC in December. I totally did not need it, but I wear it all the time. It's the perfect weight—warm enough, but not so bulky that you can't layer it under jackets or blazers. And as I noted earlier, navy is such an under-appreciated neutral. I don't own as much navy as I should, so working it into an outfit is kind of a fun challenge for me. It runs true to size—I'm in a small for reference.

And now onto the hero piece of this outfit: the leggings/skirt hybrid. Whoever invented this concept deserves an award: it's super comfy, because it's leggings, but the built-in skirt covers your butt so you can get away with wearing shorter tops (i.e. of the non-butt-covering variety) with it. I literally wear these at least once a week, if not more, and I get sad when I haven't worn them in awhile. They're from Cabi, which is a direct-sales brand—I bought mine from an Instagram friend's online sample sale. The knit is nice and thick, and the fit is true to size (I'm in a small).

Speaking of things I've been living in, if I were being totally accurate with this post, I'd be wearing rain boots. But since it managed to stop raining for approximately 20 minutes for us to shoot these photos, I was able to slip into my trusty Vionic oxfords, which are one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own. I like how the metallic finish complements the charcoal gray of my leggings (and helps elongate my legs) but looks just different enough.

As for my other accessories, these necklace are two of my favorite pieces from Stella & Dot's spring line, and even though one is silver and one is gold, I wear them together all the time, because mixing metals is totally a thing you can do. The bag I've had for awhile (you last saw it in Pebble Beach) and it's great for the weekend because it's so lightweight, I often forget I'm wearing it, plus it's expandable in case you need to stash something else inside.

We shot these photos in the Embarcadero Center, which is a shopping center attached to a bunch of office buildings and restaurants. It was pretty deserted on the weekend, but being there made me really miss spending time downtown—I frequently used to walk through this center on my way to my old job. But then again, I kind of love having places like this to myself on the weekend, because it makes me appreciate them even more.

OUTFIT DETAILS: Everlane drape trench | COS sweater | Cabi M'leggings (similar here) | Gigi NY crossbody bag (current season here) | Stella & Dot horn pendant and star pendant | Vionic Hadley oxfords (c/o)


Brooke said...

Thank you for this inspiration! I'm stuck in a winter rut!

Pumps and Push-Ups

Laura B said...

I absolutely love navy as a neutral! It goes with everything!

Straight A Style said...

I agree, navy is underrated. I love this color pairing!

Amy Ann
Straight A Style


this is very nice

Claire Justine said...

Great look Cheryl, love your legging. Were having some sunshine at the minute but I am not sure how long it will last! Thanks for linking up to The Wednesday Link Up.

Mica said...

Such a lovely layered winter outfit - I love darker neutrals like this in winter! :) The leggings / skirt combo is so fun - I remember the skirt over pants trend from when I was in school, was always so upset my mum wouldn't buy me a pair of pants like that, haha!

Thank you so much for joining the #weekdayWearLinkUp :)

Hope that your week is going well so far :) We are having some much needed cooler weather after what felt like a never ending heatwave!

Away From The Blue