Brown often suffers in the shadow of sexy black or confident red as being a sartorial misstep. But, as many style influencers know, brown can be subtle and sophisticated.
To wear brown is to be in discerning company. Think of the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, in her much-Pinned ensemble of camel midi skirt, black V-neck top and chocolate knee-high boots – the very height of 90s minimalist chic. Think of Robert Redford papped in a brown leather jacket in 1975 or Lauren Hutton attending the 1977 Oscars in a brown fur coat (side note: the 70s gave very good brown).
Today’s style leaders like Caroline Issa (in a double-breasted suit), Amal Clooney (in a brown jumper) and Olivia Palermo (in a woollen midi skirt) all understand that wearing brown exudes a stealthy elegance. They also know that it works best teamed with a neutral like navy, black or white. If you want to make a style statement, brown looks great with tomato red or fuchsia pink.
Brown is also associated with autumn, and with academia: think of cord trousers, sleeveless woollen jumpers and a herringbone jacket. This has made it appealing to a self-consciously nerdy style tribe, exemplified in this autumn’s trend for tailored cord pieces, in chestnut, burnt umber and sand.
To wear brown successfully, try introducing one piece such as a soft blouse. In terms of cut, channel a light-touch 70s silhouette: high-waisted, tailored trousers (kick-flare optional), A-line midi skirt and blazer. Team it with other neutrals like navy, khaki or cream for ultimate chic brownie (ahem) points.