How To Style Gray, The Not-So-Lackluster Color Trend Taking Over Fashion

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It’s often said that life is all about embracing the gray areas. And when it comes to 2024 fashion, that mindset is proving to be a formula for great outfits. 

While on the surface, gray may seem like a complicated color to wear — it’s not quite neutral, it’s too dull to provide a pop — designers are fully embracing it this year. Take, for example, the Tibi spring/summer 2024 lineup, which included skirt suits, shirt dresses, socks, and ballet flats in various shades of the gray skies. Meanwhile, Acne Studios opted for charcoal hues on long-sleeved dresses with voluminous skirts and athleisure-like sets. Altuzarra’s spring/summer 2024 collection also featured a long gray coat, styled with pastel tones and bright green shoes. 

In a year marked by trends like cherry red and leopard print, it may seem strange that the color of the sidewalk is suddenly gathering so much traction. But the reality is that it’s just a continuation of some of the biggest trends of the past few years. Silver — gray’s more attention-seeking cousin — had a bombastic popularity over the past year, thanks largely to Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour, which invited people to embrace the futuristic disco aesthetic. Given how wearability — and its TikTok alter ego “quiet luxury” — has taken over runways in the past few seasons, it’s only natural for the icy hue to morph into gray in our wardrobes.

While gray may bring to mind visuals of lackluster school uniforms and athletic sweatpants, in 2024 thanks to runway designers, the color trend is getting a chic transformation via monochrome styling and pops of color. As someone who finds joy in neutral tones, gray has always allowed me to play with color without having to update my crayon box for brighter hues. So, here’s how I’m embracing the 50 shades of gray in my closet for 2024. 

How To Style Gray: Go Monochrome

I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to style a tricky color like gray is to just fully embrace it with a head-to-toe monochrome outfit. That doesn’t mean you can’t play with color. In this look, for example, I juxtaposed the dark shade of the pants with brighter hues on top, using each layer as a backdrop for the next. 

How To Style Gray: Add A Pop Of Red

I remember marveling at a look from Tibi’s spring/summer 2024 show last season that paired a gray jacket and skirt with bold red socks and shoes. The contrast is a fun one to play with. For this look, I opted to bring in two pops of red with Mary Jane shoes and a shoulder bag. I also layered two shades of gray, a lighter one on top and a dark one on the bottom. 

How To Style Gray: Pair It With Silver

The natural evolution from silver to gray, and vice versa, should be embraced especially for day-to-night looks. The color of the sweater serves as a good empty canvas for the skirt. For an extra detail, a silver metallic bag plays right into the color story. 

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