Feeling brown, improbably

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I don’t know what I’ve got against brown most of the time, but I almost never show it here, and have zero brown items in my closet. I think mostly this has to do with a lifetime natural aversion to earth tones. But lately, the color is popping up on items I like a lot, like this nifty Anine Bing jacket, which is the just-right amount of tomboyish, but nicely cropped and tailored.

This knot-neck blouse is so feminine and sophisticated that I would make an exception to my no-high-necklines rule to welcome it into my wardrobe.

The geometric pattern on this sweater is a fun, updated take on a classic apres-ski look.

Sunglasses in a nice, light brown: so much more forgiving than black.

This cotton v-neck sweater from Everlane is perfect for the transitional dressing we’ll all be doing soon if it ever gets warm again.

I love a webbed O-ring belt, and own a few, all in bright patterns. But I like the idea of this somewhat more subtle option.

Just a big, huggy, rich-looking faux fur jacket.

I love the way the black and brown ribbing looks on the hem and sleeves of this substantial  sweater.

This suede and shearling jacket is nicely marked down; I think it’s really smart-looking, with a slightly utilitarian vibe.

I don’t usually go in for anything like the puffy shoulders on this blouse, but the rest of the lines here are so streamlined that I think it works. I also appreciate that it’s a really good zebra print, as most zebra prints aren’t that great.

 

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19 Thoughts on Feeling brown, improbably
    Mimi
    11 Mar 2019
    10:05am

    Lavendar and brown? It wouldn’t be my first choice, but it might be interesting. I love to wear brown and always have. One of the fun things about it is all the colors it goes with – brown and orange, for example, so Hermes! Medium to dark brown leather jackets can be gorgeous. And anyone who likes to play with menswear looks can incorporate brown. Think of how men wear it, camel pants with a navy blazer or tobacco brown suede skinny pants with a light gray cabled sweater. One of my items in heaviest rotation this time of year is a pair of small herringbone tweed brown slouchy trousers that go with almost everything. If you can browse through Ralph Lauren’s Fall 2015 or Fall 2016 runway shows on Vogue Runway and you don’t become a convert then I surrender. You really don’t like brown.

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    Trixie
    11 Mar 2019
    10:14am

    Thanks for this. I love chocolate brown and have been bemoaning the lack of it out in the world (kind of sick of the stuff in my closet). Hopefully you’ll spark a trend

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    Jen
    11 Mar 2019
    10:47am

    Ha! Those of us who have always loved brown are finding it amusing that the fashion world is suddenly eating its words on this subject. While I hate 90s fashion, I actually think lavender and brown is a great combination. And guess what, Kelly– square toes are back for fall! No lie. Heh heh heh… I like those too.

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    c.w.
    11 Mar 2019
    9:35am

    My mother dressed me in brown all through my childhood because I had brown hair (my mother’s reasoning on a myriad of topics was sometimes questionable) so after I left home I vowed to never ever ever wear brown again. However, now that black looks so harsh on me with my pale skin and mostly white hair I’ve gravitated toward grey and even brown isn’t looking so awful to me anymore although I’ve yet to purchase a brown clothing item (old patterns are hard to break––at least, apparently, for me). I would definitely maybe at least try on many of these items––that shearling jacket is calling to me––and I love the apres ski sweater and the Everlane sweater is such a lovely caramel color…

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      kimbersam
      11 Mar 2019
      10:35am

      My mother had quasi-insane-and-def-questionable-yet-rigid ideas of how I should dress as a child–so I feel you.

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      Mindy
      11 Mar 2019
      1:18pm

      My mother dressed me in plaid dresses so much as a child that I couldn’t wear any sort of plaid again until I was in my 40s. We still joke about it.

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        c.w.
        11 Mar 2019
        4:40pm

        Mindy, I was just able to purchase a plaid flannel shirt last year for this very reason. I literally shouted out “YES” when I read your comment!

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          Mindy
          11 Mar 2019
          5:25pm

          Were yours also courtesy of a Butterick pattern and a Singer machine?

          She also made my prom and homecoming dresses – not plaid, though. Phew. But still delightfully and cringingly 80s.

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            Viajera
            12 Mar 2019
            11:17am

            I wish we could see photos, I bet you looked great!

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    Kimberly
    11 Mar 2019
    9:09am

    I LOVE brown and black together

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    Kelly S.
    11 Mar 2019
    9:14am

    What a great topic, and timely. I have been sick so I’ve been stuck in bed watching Law and Order SVU reruns, and there is SO MUCH BROWN in the wardrobes! I’ve been hate-watching all those 90s trousers and ugly cable-knit sweaters. Is there a worse combination than a lavender top and brown pants? And square-toed boots? I think not.

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    Joannawnyc
    11 Mar 2019
    1:34pm

    I used to love chocolate brown and white together in the 90s! Then there wasn’t any brown, except for khaki, cognac, and a little camel. Today I’m wearing a caramel faux suede moto jacket, a black top and white jeans, so feel very au courant lol. I find the key for me is to find a brown that has yellow or gray undertones. A brown with a lot of red is no bueno. Works with makeup colors too

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    Debra
    11 Mar 2019
    1:47pm

    Thank God. I’ve been waiting for brown for years it seems. I’m not saying I want tons of it but it would be nice to find it in retail when you’re looking for it. It’s been non-existent for at least 8 years I think.

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    Jax
    11 Mar 2019
    9:33pm

    Except for the lovely brown colors of leather and wood, I hate brown in interior design more than in fashion design. In fashion, I do prefer it in leather jackets, fall clothing and coats, boots and that most stylish of all — equestrian wear.
    But ugh, brown wallpaint, wallpaper, rugs — yuck.

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      Jax
      11 Mar 2019
      9:36pm

      Brown (plain or tortoise patterned) sunglasses are classic, often glamorous and almost always in style.

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    Leslie
    12 Mar 2019
    12:24am

    Interesting post. I also don’t wear brown often but, thanks to you, had recently checked out these belts again. I’m tired of belt buckles rubbing and pilling sweaters and looked at this as a possible option. It’s a beautiful color, no?
    https://www.billykirk.com/collections/signature/products/no-117-mechanics-belt-brown

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      Kim France
      12 Mar 2019
      10:34am

      I have a friend who owns that belt and it is very cool. I’d say go for it.

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    Emily TL
    12 Mar 2019
    6:58pm

    That Vince blouse has been calling to me for weeks since I first saw it in person at Nordstrom. It is so chic and I too usually stay away from high collars. I also found the brown version of that blouse unexpectedly appealing.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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