Gray Pieces

Gray Pieces
Thursday, November, 06, 2008 As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, we always find ourselves drifting towards the dark side. We slowly slip into our inky winter wardrobes, forgetting that, in addition to being chic, black is terribly severe and tough to wear well from head to toe. Fortunately, there is another option on the color wheel, a shade that's slightly softer (but just as somber) than our go-to hue. Today we're celebrating that friendly neutral by revealing our Top Five favorite gray goods.

We decided to explore this gray area because, frankly, we feel that the color is underappreciated. That's right, dear readers, you totally take gray for granted. Thanks to a little informal polling on our part, we know that when you're considering a new purchase-no matter if it's a splurge-worthy bag or simply a new pair of tights-basic black almost always wins out over our shade of choice. We know that black seems practical, and it is, but gray is an equally pragmatic choice. It's a seriously versatile color and with many variations (from deep charcoal to dove to taupe) can work with your entire closet. Think of it this way: gray doesn't really go with anything, so therefore it's perfect for everything! Read on for few of our favorite gray pieces, at least one of which is sure to become a beloved part of your wardrobe.


Surface to Air Weekend Bag ($610)
Lately we've been obsessing over all things from the visionary brand, Surface to Air, like their luxurious, utilitarian bags. The softly relaxed Weekend Bag (which is available in smog, shown above, and black) is the ultimate androgynous tote and has a pleasantly distressed patina. Another non-neutral option is Anthropologie's Cracks & Crevices Bag ($228), a medium gray slouchy tote with the same practical shape as the Weekend Bag.

French Connection Ripple Rib Skirt ($148)
We've been blathering on about body-conscious pieces for ages now, but we've yet to see something quite like this skirt. Unlike the standard, ultra simple, body-con gear, this skirt has an unusually special look, thanks to a high-waisted shape and pronounced ribbed texture. The combination of the two results in an ultra chic item that looks far richer than the price tag suggests. Our strictly minimalist readers can get a smooth knit version of the look with the Lux Pencil Skirt ($28) in gray at Urban Outfitters.

H&M Gray Collar Coat ($129)
Shopping at H&M is always difficult for us. It's not for of a lack of goods, but rather because there are always so many heavenly fashion-forward pieces. Narrowing down our favorites usually takes time, but we grabbed this fantastic taupe topper the second we walked into the showroom. The pleat details help the coat to drape beautifully and the statement collar can be worn wrapped around the neck (as we styled it) or hanging loosely, like a scarf. Though our readers in colder climates might balk at the slightly shorter sleeves, the abridged arm length offers an excellent opportunity to show off a cool pair of gloves. (We used Club Monaco's Amanda Gloves ($89) in gray leather.)

Citizens of Humanity Birkin Dress ($188, 310.360.8008)
There are so many reasons we fell for this fitted charcoal frock: it's sleek, sporty, sexy, and, best of all, totally attainable! The dress has a Robert Palmer girlish-meets-nineties-supermodel air (we could totally see Linda or Christy wearing it), though it actually looks lovely on normal-sized women too. It's made from a double-knit cotton jersey with a little stretch, which is very flattering on curves, and the seamed detailing elevates the figure-friendly design. We paired it with a sophisticated tuxedo blazer and a wrist wrapped with heavy metal chains and bracelets, but obviously you can personalize it any way you want!

Bally Suede Pumps ($439)
There's something so unexpected and delightful about a pair of gray suede pumps and this amazing version from Bally tops our list. We adore the moderately rounded toe and the slim-but-sturdy tapered four-inch heel. Wear them with some matte black opaques and they'll really pop! If you're hard on your shoes or just don't feel like spending such a large chunk of change, check out Banana Republic's Virginia Suede Pump ($160). They're a bit lighter in hue and shorter in height, but at less than half the price, they make for an excellent substitute.

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