Brown - boring or understated?

What camp are you in with this?

Here am I, posting this almost monochrome outfit on the first Sunday of the new year and I do wonder if this is a fashion faux-pas? Am I merely feeling a bit blah that the celebrations are over and the decorations all boxed up again until next Christmas and worst of all, it's a Sunday?

This work outfit was my way of a) celebrating the fact that I can fit into this dress again after a spell when it was too small, and b) testing myself to see if I can overcome my prejudice against the less colourful items in my wardrobe. I think what swung the vote in favour was this new-to-me coat (Karen Millen) that I bought from the Crisis shop in Finsbury Park in November. I was so keen to give it an airing during the festive period and do think it looks fab. But maybe I ought to have added a bigger splash of colour beneath it?

By wearing this vintage necklace (another new-to-me) I thought it did brighten the plain dress up a bit, but was it quite enough I wonder? 

I did consider wearing this velvet and lambswool coat for the Style Not Age challenge a few days ago - it does fit the bill perfectly for the theme of Winter Opulence. I love the luxurious feel of the coat, don't get me wrong, but I'm just not a big fan of brown that's all. 

The dress is a vintage piece from Marks and Spencer and is made from Pure New Wool. It's a classic shape in the most troublesome of colours - chocolate brown could be seen as elegant and understated, but it also might be seen as middle-aged, safe and boring. As ever, I may be accused of being too harsh. Please do feel free to step in here with your opinion.

The double buckle belt is a ploy of mine to add a funky edge to the ensemble. 

As is the use of these autumn hued Argyle tights and the overstitched ankle boots by Riva.

Such indecision isn't the best way to start the year off is it? I spent the day feeling a lesser version of myself in this. And so it came as no surprise to me to have someone comment on how very brown I was looking as I was queueing at the local shop. I had to agree. And now the jury is out. Will I be wearing this again, in part or all together? You tell me ...

                                                                           Anna x



  1. Anna, you look amazing! Fabulous outfit!

    However...I feel like you needed a bit more colour to break up all this brown. The dress is a classic but it really needs more visual interest - I think I would have gone with a wine/burgundy or orange belt to give it a punch. The double buckle belt is cool, but I think it's a titch bland here.

    The coat (Karen Millen!) is wonderful, but again, I think a patterned coat might have worked better to let the dress shine. I think this coat just gets lost in a sea of brown. Great pieces but maybe not all together.

    But as I said, you do look wonderful!

    1. Thanks as always for your comments Sheila which are right on point. I think I fell into the trap of having two items that I wanted to showcase and because they were the same colour I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone! Having said that, the feedback on Instagram about this outfit was very positive claiming it to be chic, classy etc.

  2. I love it! I like to wear brown, it's a color we don't often see in the stores. It's not boring or aging, it's cool. I love the belt, that one is really gorgeous. If you miss some color, try to wear it with orange or yellow!

    1. Cheers Nancy. Looking back at this a few days down the line, I like it better each time I see it. I'm not used to handling an understated look, but this is definitely growing on me!

  3. Anna, my comment is disapeared…
    I wrote a lot of my brown coat…(he wouldn't like to hear it, he lives in a dark corner of my closet and have very rare permission to go out)… but my suggestion is, try the dress with yellow, turquouse, orange or apple green companions, as well for the shoes!
    All the best - as always,

    1. Thanks Susa. (And yes, so annoying when that happens). Those colourful ploys were available to me, but I just wanted to try something a bit different for a change...

  4. Love how you've brightened up your brown dress, it really works with your multi-coloured necklace. Thanks lovely. Jacqui x

    1. I agree that the necklace made all the difference to this oh-so-brown ensemble x

  5. You look fab in this brown dress and the coat looks really luxurious and delightful to wear, and I like particularly how your necklace enhances the whole outfit!. Not being a huge fan of brown myself, I think that you rock it and it doesn't look boring, it looks really elegant!
    Totally agree with previous comments about brown looking fab with orange and rusty colors, but also with teal and turquoise!


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