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Dear Allie, I recently thrifted an amazing vintage deep berry/burgundy fully lined wool pencil skirt. I want to wear it with colors or something unexpected. I've paired it with white, black and navy thus far. I'm not afraid of color but I find this pseudo neutral difficult. Any ideas?
Since the piece is thrifted I couldn’t find it online, but found this skirt from Majestic Filatures to use as an example. Such a color is what you call a pseudo neutral, which means it can be surprisingly versatile and worn with other colors without looking like Rainbow Brite. Below I have put together some ensembles that would work with such a color and style of skirt.
Purple and green are on opposite sides of the color wheel which makes them a great pairing. Olive is also an unexpected neutral so the two don’t compete for the limelight. I love the contrast of a tougher fabric like wool with a silk or charmeuse; leather boots and a bold gold bracelet balance the look out.
Taking a color that is similar in shade to the skirt can be quite a beautiful and luxe look. Magenta, rose, plum, violet – a color that is a bit brighter, darker, warmer, or cooler will complement the skirt nicely. With this ensemble, I let the colors take center stage and kept the accessories relatively neutral. A leopard print calfhair skinny belt worn outside the untucked sweater will flatter the figure and add some interest.
If the burgundy is more of a berry, it would look quite lovely with blue-green shades like teal, jade, and peacock. This ensemble takes a few hot trends for this season – peplum, booties, and feathers, but makes it subtle enough to work in some office settings. A peplum is a great piece with a pencil skirt, and the black camisole and booties keep this from looking too much like a costume from an ‘80s movie.
I believe if all else fails, try leopard. Leopard is an unexpected neutral that looks great with so many different colors. Leopard can look a bit cheesy with primary colors, but looks quite rich with deeper tones like burgundy and berry. Black shoes and belt pull the look together, a bold gold necklace at the throat makes the pairing look purposeful and modern.
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