An all-brown color palette combined with menswear-inspired pieces could add up to a one-way ticket to Frumpsville, but when executed the right way, the result can be truly stylish. Take the monochromatic ensemble--specifically, a Dries van Noten coat, Marc Jacobs' Green Gabardine 3-Button Boy Blazer ($995, 212.343.1490) and matching Ankle Pants ($595, 212.343.1490), and leather brogues--Agyness Deyn wore at the Gotham Independent Film Awards in New York two months ago, for example. The model's decision to blend varied shades of brown with clean silhouettes resulted in a nuanced look that is both harmonious and visually interesting. Get the scoop on its success in today's Why It Works breakdown.
Coat: In keeping with the look's borrowed-from-the-boys theme, choose a long overcoat in a khaki or camel hue. The subtle color contrast between the coat and suit keeps the look from feeling one note and allows the individual pieces to stand out on their own.
Similar Essentials: Fleurette Notch Collar Long Coat ($585); Steve Alan Jacqueline Wool and Cashmere-Blend Coat ($258).
Pantsuit: Pick a pantsuit with a streamlined silhouette so as not to distract from the color variations. A cropped trouser will add a touch of femininity to the overall look, while showcasing your footwear.
Similar Essentials: Rachel Roy Quilted Jacket ($139) and Ankle Pants ($97); Express Ultimate Double Weave Peplum Seamed Jacket ($118) and Ultimate Double Weave Editor Ankle Pants ($70).
Shoes: Complement the suit's boyish look with a dapper pair of oxfords.
Similar Essentials: Jil Sander Patent Oxford Shoes ($376); Dr. Martens Joyce English Brogues ($162); Chelsea Crew Sterling Lace-Up Oxfords ($49).--Jessica Baker