I’ll go out on a limb and say that brown is the most underrated colour on the spectrum, IMHO. There, I said it. Where black is (understandably) a go-to, and camel its glamorous equal, brown is the perfect in-between. Like black and camel, it’s chic without being OTT, and smart without feeling stuffy. Most importantly? It’s nowhere near as ubiquitous.
If you’re keen to branch away from your usual autumn failsafe of a striped knit + blue straight jeans + heeled ankle boots, swapping out each piece with a brown alternative will instantly make an outfit feel more AW23-ready.
See it as a neutral, sitting alongside your favourite khaki, grey, navy and cream pieces this autumn, but unlike those shades, it packs a fashion-forward punch whilst not feeling too statement or trend-led.
Since it’s the most underrated colour on the spectrum, a brown fashion sighting is rather rare.
I’ve done a handful of double takes on the high street in the past few weeks, having spotted a chic woman in a brown trench coat or brown Chelsea boots – it almost feels like a top style secret to keep this lesser-spotted neutral under wraps.
Only those in the know are wearing brown waistcoats over silky cream blouses, or a brown leather bag with a cream knit and jeans right now, so it’s the perfect time to get in on the action.
Here are my tips for trying the trend:
A winter coat is one of the biggest purchases we’ll make this season: while a high cost doesn’t necessarily equate to high quality, it’s worth spending as much as you can afford on a cost style made from great materials and that you feel confident and stylish in. For me, a brown wool coat is exactly that.
I bought the brown coat of dreams about four years ago in & Other Stories and have worn it every winter since, so I can attest to its timeless style and versatility.
A classic coat style is a must to ensure maximum cost-per-wear and a wool number in this neutral shade will tick that box while also perking up older winter looks for the new season.
Go for chic accessories
Picture the scene: you stroll into your favourite high street store and head over to the accessories department. You’re eyeing up some chic leather knee-high boots and spot a luxe-looking leather crossbody bag out of the corner of your eye that you’re already picturing with your autumn outfits. Now I’ll bet those boots and the bag were tan or black. Am I right?
I’d go as far as to say we’ve been conditioned to believe that only black and tan are the true versatile wardrobe heroes, leaving red, white and brown (we’ll go into the other two another time) out to dry. Try a brown accessory and wear it in the same way you would a tan or black version and thank me later. And on that note…
Wear it with other neutrals
Chocolate brown comes from the same colour family as pale oat, warmer camel and neutral taupe, which means any outfit that you would wear those three shades in, brown works perfectly as a deeper alternative.
I particularly love it with navy, burgundy and cream, so for autumn, I’m teaming a silky brown midi skirt with burgundy boots and a cream knit, and my navy wool coat over a brown trouser suit and my trusty Adidas Samba trainers.
Brown is the unexpected neutral to know now – you heard it here first!