Color Story: Yellow and Gray
Yellow seems to be a very hard color for most people, which is interesting, considering what delightfully cheery connotations it has. On the other hand, it also conjures raincoats, caution tape and neon! Add that to the fact that most of us have some type of yellow undertone to our skin color, and you can see how yellow is one of those challenging choices. But who doesn’t love a challenge? Especially when it’s so bright and energetic as only yellow can be.
You know how we’re always being told that neutrals ‘go with everything’? Well, black and yellow can look a little stark and bumble bee-ish; brown and yellow just plain weird; and red and yellow like a fast food joint! But gray and yellow: now you have something! Yellow’s opposite on the color wheel is purple, of course, and often gray will have purple in it. This will look especially terrific together. But so will other grays with brown/beige (the current rage for ‘greige’ falls into this category) or a perfectly neutral gray.
Here’s another idea: use yellow in small doses, at least to start. Light up a fairly neutral outfit of gray with a significant punch of yellow. Easiest is a bag, scarf or jewelry; more daring may be tights or shoes (I confess I have long been on the hunt for a pair of yellow sandals). If you’re concerned about yellow near your face, a handbag will alleviate that worry while still adding the lovely accent. Pattern will also break up the yellow: see the stripes and plaid below.
What I especially love is the balance you achieve when you pair yellow and gray. Gray reads as sophisticated, subtle, and elegant. Yellow lightens the mood with her charm and moxie, and gray helps ground her a bit. The combination has become very popular, and yet, still looks fresh (at least to my eyes). Here’s a master of style, Diane Kruger:
Although I can’t quite sign off on the fuchsia clutch and lipstick (though, hey: credit where credit is due. It matches the Vh1 logo perfectly, doesn’t it?) I do love the two shades of yellow here with the gray.
How about you? Will you add some sunshine to your rainy day neutral? Or is she just too much for you?