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

Shop the Adrienne Vittadini – 3–4 Puff Sleeve Polyester Smocked Neck Blouse, $46.95

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.

Styles you might like:

Shop the Adrienne Vittadini – Mandarin Collar 3/4 Sleeve Utility Shirt – Plus, $49.75
Shop the Printed V-Neck w/ Ruffle Sleeve Top, $36.95
Shop the Zac & Rachel Pull-On Crop Pants With Novelty Fringe Hem In Princess Blue, $34.95
Shop the Striped Rope Handle Beach Tote, $68.00


2. Use multiple shades of the same hue

Shop the Floral Printed Blouse With Lurex, $36.95

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.

Styles you might like:

Shop the Cooper & Ella Ruffle Neck Tara Blouse, $92.07
Shop the Adrienne Vittadini – Henley 3/4 Sleeve Blouse – Plus in Bright Green, $49.75
Shop the Green Jacquard Slim Leg Trouser With Satin Side Stripe, $100.95
Shop the Olive Maxi Skirt With Foldover Waistband, $39.95


3. Play with proportions

Shop the Dora Landa Laced Up Detail Back Breanna Jacket, $89.95

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.

Styles you might like:

Shop the Closet Gold Boxy Open-Front Jacket, $63.95
Shop the Wide Leg Breezy Pants in Black, $49.95 
Shop the Farrah Pearl Pant, $114.95
Shop the Harmony Ankle Boots in Black Smooth, $62.95


4. Break the monotony with accessories

Shop the Lulu Belt in Brown, $20.95

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. 

Styles you might like:

Shop the Louis Vuitton Sutter Shoulder Bag, $895
Shop the Luminous Leather Tote in Tan, $208.95
Shop the Champs Leather Double Zip Cross Body Bag in Tan, $39.95
Shop the Metallic Border Straw Floppy Hat, $48.00


5. Have fun with layering

Shop the Stone Border With Galaxy Kimono, $40.95

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.

Styles you might like:

Shop the Oversized Kimono in Snakeskin Printed in Tan/Gold, $50.95
Shop the Stripe Waffle Tie Front Cardigan, $60.95
Shop the Long Scarf Soft Shawl Wrap Scarfs Blanket Fashion Head Stole Lady Women Scarves, $47.95
Shop the Jean Claude Triple Set of Handmade Knitted Tibetan Buddha Spiritual Multi-Color Bracelets & Bangles Adjustable 20–21.10 cm, $48.95


6. Opt for tailored cuts

Shop the Lena Gabrielle Ponte Taupe Snake Printed Blazer, $160.95

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.

Styles you might like:

Shop the White Tailored Pants, $229.95
Shop the Lena Gabrielle Lightweight Straight Leg Ponte Pant, $93.95
Shop the Teresa Tunic Dress in Khaki, $90.95

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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