Mary Lou Andre
Monday, 16 February 2015

50 Shades of Gray

By Mary Lou Andre

A home improvement project brought me to the paint store this past weekend in search of the perfect shade of gray for our new bathroom. We picked out a few samples, tested them on the walls and finally settled for a shade that made everything in the room fall into place with the intended style. Extra bonus, I can now say I’ve seen “50 Shades of Gray!”

Whether you decide to see the movie or not, it is fun that “gray” is getting so much “play” right now. Not only is it a box office sensation and hot base neutral in home décor, but it’s also a great way to lighten up your wardrobe as we head into spring.

While we love gray with black, camel, red and brown as a way to transition a wardrobe for fall, pairing gray with green, pink, light blue and yellow is a great way to give it a spring twist – even when it’s still cold out.

graytwistwomen

Here are four mid-winter twists on gray for women.

graytwistmen

And four for men.

graybooties

For women, gray booties can also help lighten your look as we weather the rest of winter.

graytrack

For both guys and gals, gray inspired track shoes can help put a spring in your step.

Finally, many lingerie companies are jumping on the popularity of gray, introducing lines in this soft base neutral in honor of the movie. I’ll leave that to your imagination (and own web searches!) but did want to share one Boston-based company doing a nice job with the trend – Vienne Milano. I appreciated receiving a pair of their signature thigh-highs as part of a PR campaign. Their packaging is beautiful and the quality of their hosiery superb. Fun fact is that thigh-highs work really well under slacks when you want extra warmth without panty-lines. In any regard, I am sure glad I can claim to be trending in this area as well – thanks Vienne!

From all of us, here’s to dressing well!

Click to Share:

About the Author

Mary Lou Andre

Mary Lou Andre is a nationally recognized wardrobe, dress code and corporate image consultant, speaker and author. She is founder and president of Organization By Design, Inc., a Needham, Massachusetts-based wardrobe management, fashion and image consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations understand the power of being appropriately dressed in a variety of situations.

Learn more about Mary Lou » 

Related items

  • 5 Ways to Wear Short Pants in Cold Weather

    Not too long ago, short pants were a seasonal wardrobe choice worn mostly in warm weather. Today, they are literally "cropping" up in all seasons giving the trend a much wider range of style interpretations for both men and women. They can be preppy and very casual when worn with sneakers and other flat footwear and quite fashion-forward and sophisticated when dressed up with heels and a variety of hosiery.

  • A Sneaker Moment: 5 Ways for Guys & Gals to Kick Off (and Kick Up!) Summer Style

    Sneakers are indeed having a moment. No longer just for exercise, they are showing up in board rooms, at parties and being worn with everything from jeans and shorts to skirts and dresses. The devil is in the details when sporting your runners. To kick off the busy summer season, we share 5 ways to wear all your sneakers well.

  • Comfortable Shoes for Uncomfortable Feet

    Over the years, the number one style issue that the majority of my clients ask for help solving is finding comfortable shoes that are still attractive. Arthritis, bunions and other ailments, along with simply wearing heels that are too high for too long, are typically cited as the causes for all this foot (and shoe!) angst.

    With so many fabulous comfort shoes available on the market these days, you really don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. By considering these 4 ideas, you’ll be jumping for joy, possibly in a pair of heels, nonetheless!

  • Five Ideas for Adding the Power of Red to Your Day-to-Day Style

    The Power of Red. No other color is charged with as much energy, power and, on days like today, fun and passion!

    In honor of Valentine’s Day, we share five fun ideas about how to use red to punch up your day-to-day style.

  • Kick Up Your Office Party Attire: 7 Stylish Ideas for Men & Women

    Interested in kicking your office party attire up a notch while still keeping things business-appropriate with the powers that be? Read on! 

Comments  

Phyllis Fredericksen 2015-02-17 10:29

Can you please address what to wear with leggings for women over 60. I love the look, but at 5'9" it's often difficult to find tops long enough. Thanks!

Reply
Mary Lou 2015-02-17 11:01

Best way to carry off this look is to wear a long tank top un-tucked over your leggings -- Nordstrom has some great sleeveless tanks that are cut long and will end mid-thigh (maybe a little shorter on you!) Complete the look with a long, flowing cardigan and a long necklace. A cuff and hoop earrings will further balance the outfit on your tall frame while also adding age-appropriate signature flair.
Good luck!

Reply
Michelle Owings-Chri 2015-02-17 12:11

I have gotten thin enough to purchase "off the rack" leggings. I am only 5'4", will be 59 in May, and was just talking about this with my sister yesterday. Thanks for the advice, Mary Lou, and for the question, Phyllis!

Reply
Phyllis Fredericksen 2015-02-17 13:21

You're welcome! I just love the look and how comfortable leggings are, so I appreciate all tips:)

Reply
Cathy 2015-02-17 12:38

Hi Mary Lou,
I am also looking for that perfect shade of grey! Can you share the paint color you found with the rest of us? Grey is a difficult color - with various base undertones (as in clothing) and it has to be "that perfect shade" ……. Thanks for your help.

Reply
Mary Lou 2015-02-17 18:39

Hi Cathy --
We went with Benjamin Moore "pebble beach" in the bathroom. Our bedroom is soon to be Benjamin Moore "calm" and our kitchen was recently updated with BM "silver bells."
Hope this helps!
Mary Lou

Reply
Carol friedman 2015-02-17 21:06

Love your "gray" paint color selections. Gray is the perfect timeless neutral. In home decor and fashion. Every color is relative to the natural light in the space. Easily 50 Shades of Gray to consider. Perhaps time to turn my design focus from interiors to me. I need a makeover..Think of you often. Best carol Friedman

Reply
Mary Lou 2015-02-17 21:26

Great to hear from you Carol! Think of you often too. We can help arrange for a makeover anytime -- it would be awesome to work with you!

Reply
shital kakkar mehra 2015-02-17 23:29

Very interesting article...

Reply
Peg Cronin 2016-12-01 17:40

Elizabeth Mayhew, a decorator and contributor to the Washington Post wrote a comprehensive "7 shades of Grey" back in 2012 which is most helpful in selecting different shades of grey for every room in your home. I personally used it as a guide for 6 rooms in my home and have had so many compliments on the choices. Each and every shade is so easy to live with and works well with just about any accent color. I call it the "new white".
Highly recommend!

Reply

Add comment


Security code
This step helps prevent unfair use of automated programs. If you can not read this code click on Refresh link and try a different one.
Refresh