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How to Master Tonal Dressing for Spring

How to Master Tonal Dressing for Spring


For so long, we’ve been taught that it was against the rules to wear different pieces of the same color. But in recent years, we’ve seen a wave of style stars, models, and celebrities don head-to-toe monochrome, ushering a new era in fashion that’s going to last for seasons to come.

Enter tonal dressing, a concept wherein you’re dedicated to wearing one color either in different shades or textures from top to bottom. There’s something cool and unique about it that radiates confidence, especially when it’s done right. This style strategy can make any outfit look chic, elegant, and luxurious with zero effort.

According to industry experts, tonal dressing is a “natural part of our language” because it allows for ease when getting dressed or buying new items that can naturally sit in any wardrobe. It’s not about matching shades but rather selecting pieces from the same color family.

Tonal dressing may sound easy, but there are still a few tricks you can try to make it fashion-forward. Below, we’ve gathered tips to master this trend and how to incorporate it into your future outfits for various occasions.


1. Experiment with textures

One way to elevate your tonal look and make it more visually appealing is by trying different textures, patterns, and fabrics within your ensemble. This creates a stunning contrast in your overall look. For example, pair a silk top with animal print pants, or try faux leather with linen. Switching up textures now and then keeps things interesting.

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2. Use multiple shades of the same hue

The key to building a multi-dimensional look is to experiment with varying tints, undertones, shades of the same color. Blue, for example, can be broken down into different shades like navy, cerulean, powder blue, denim, and cobalt.

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3. Play with proportions

Dare to step out of your comfort zone by playing up your features. An oversized, boxy blazer paired with tapered pants and large hoops emanate sartorial elegance. What we love about today’s trends is that there are fewer rules for everything so that people can be creative with their looks. Keep on experimenting with length, shape, and volume to add intrigue and dimension to your style.

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4. Break the monotony with accessories

Using contrasting accessories to break up a tonal look is a genius way of creating depth. Solid accessories like a black belt, gold cuff, or retro sunglasses will only add to the impact of your outfit. 

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5. Have fun with layering

Seasonal dressing calls for light layers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. For example, you can combine long, loose pants with short, drapey tops. When the temperature drops, layer a sweater over another of the same hue and add a scarf to complete your look.

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6. Opt for tailored cuts

Perhaps the easiest style hack on this list, tailored sets are a great option for tonal dressing. You get the size and fit you want, plus you can mix and match with other pieces. When working with eye-catching silhouettes or prints, a tonal hue helps tone down the over-the-top factor. Think a sleek pantsuit worn with matching heels and accessories in a similar tone.

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Work with what you’ve got

The secret to nailing tonal dressing lies in experimentation. It’s the perfect way to refresh your look! Just like color blocking, it takes trial and error to find the look you’re most comfortable with. Afterward, you can slowly step out of your comfort zone and start playing with various items to create a new look.


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