I've Studied it Closely—These Five Colours Pair Beautifully With Brown

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(Image credit: @_marissamartins_)

Over the past few years, I've had something of a style evolution and it's been spurred by colour. While I've known what shapes and styles I like to wear for quite some time, I realised that although I appreciate monochrome outfits, I was craving warmer tones. I've always been a lover of neutrals but as I've gotten older, I've realised that I don't necessarily want a wardrobe devoid of colour. I found myself gravitating to earthy and warm hues that still feel wearable and neutral, especially on darker skin. This realisation coincided with the dominance of brown at the tail end of last year, so my interest was piqued. 

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(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Between espresso, warm tobacco shades and rich cocoa (akin to melted chocolate), brown has been one of the leading colours on the runway along with ochre. After spending the past year drawn to every coffee-hued item in sight, I've come to realise that brown has pipped it to the post as my new favourite colour. I've since come up with many brown outfit colour combinations, and ways to incorporate brown into my wardrobe. While it may demand more thought than say black or white, the options are aplenty and so inspired. If you're also enamoured by the many brown pieces on offer, keep on reading for a guide to wearing 2023's most celebrated colour. I've studied it carefully so you don't have to!

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(Image credit: @ABIMARVEL)

1. Ecru Tones

There's something complimentary about pale colours against brown tones. Instead of a stark white, try ecru, oaty hues and stone colours that mimic the natural colour of linen. It's my favourite combination this season.

2. Yellow

Next to brown, canary hues are also having a moment and it just so happens to be a good pairing for brown. Ochres, pale yellow and mustard are all distinctive colourways that work in harmony. The subtlety of brown with the brightness of yellow is a combination that never fails.

3. Blue Denim

Blue denim can act as a neutral, so if you're ever in doubt, opt for pared-back outfit combinations such as a white shirt and blue jeans with brown accessories. To be specific, deep indigo denim and cocoa brown is an unmatched pairing.

4. Grey Melange

Grey tones are dominating this winter and lucky for us grey and brown is a match made in heaven. I much prefer charcoal tones as they feel refined and sophisticated as compared to marl grey, which often boasts a casual lilt.

5. Green

Many green pigments meld beautifully with the rich undertones of brown. From bottle greens to chartreuse and khaki, you're bound to find a well-matched pairing. Match brown tops with green skirts (and vice versa) for styling options that mimic nature and feel seasonally appropriate. This type of tonal styling can provide an introduction to saturated hues for those of us who are more familiar with monochrome palettes.

Next Up: The Expensive-Looking Colour Fashion People Are Wearing on Repeat This Winter

Freelance Fashion Editor

Avalon Afriyie is a freelance writer and storyteller based in London. She specialises in sustainable fashion, health and the narratives of marginalised communities.

She has a background in fashion show production and styling, having previously worked on The Clothes Show and with the Lyst Group. Since graduating in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in English and contemporary media, she’s worked as a feature writer for an independent publication and a contributor for Quill’s creator network. She now marries her passion for words and style, writing for some of the most esteemed fashion and lifestyle publications, Who What Wear UK and Stylist.

Avalon also provides copywriting services, creative consultancy, and visual media for independent businesses, including travel guides, interviews, press releases and blog posts. Her work has been featured on Lush, Contiki, Youswim and Ohne.

She spends her days writing to her heart’s content for business and pleasure, shooting on film and dreaming of residing a stone’s throw away from the ocean with her love and a pup (clad in a sweeping frock, of course). She’s currently penning ideas for a book of personal essays and free verse poetry on love, life and the stages in between.