50 Shades of Grey (and how to wear them)

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50 shades of grey, how to wear grey, grey colour schemes

There are well over 50 shades of grey, probably thousands of them which is why grey can be one of the hardest colours to match as there are so many versions of it.

There are two ways of making grey – by combining black and white (this is the easy way, and it’s easy to mix these greys together). Or by combining lots of colours til you get a grey, or adding a tiny bit of colour to a grey, to take it away from being that cool grey made by black and white.

Shades of Grey


If you are warm look for greys that are: greenish or brownish.

If you are cool look for greys that are violetish, blueish, silver or charcoal

Next page – when is the right time to wear grey marle?

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  • At last, my favourite “colour” gets the kudos it deserves. I consider grey to be the silent hero in many a fashion look. It can look light and ethereal or staid and conservative as a rock. I love it! I have always been fascinated how a dress’s design may seem a little on the tarty side in black but the same dress is elevated when changed to grey and seen as chic and elegant. Grey is such a good diplomat!

  • Do you have any tips for how to tell what is the undertone (warm, cool, and the specific colors you mention) of a specific gray garment? I can see them by comparison in the “shades of gray” graphic but I think it would be harder to judge an individual garment.

  • The green based neutrals are so tricky to get it right but I find browns and beige to be one of the hardest neutral to style,like the Yellow-green ones like khaki and stone and Red based ones like Cognac and rosebrown.
    Yellow/orange-browns (tan, camel) and Grey based browns (taupe-ish) are easier. But the thing I am struggling with, how do you pair different type of neutrals together.

    I tryied to combine a khaki pencil skirt with a reddish brown cardigan, it just didnt work well, but teaming khaki with taupe looks a bit odd. :S Are cognac and peachy-browns suppose to warm or cool? They looks warm but I dont find them appealing when worn with yellow-based colors.

    Reddish browns seems to be one of my my best neutrals, which make sense because colors that has a warm-pink undertone are a lot flattering on me than yellow and cool pink based ones. (yellow-beige make look “muddy” while rose-beige are not horrible, they just make a little bit pale but works great when worn with darker and very light warm colors. Peach, burgundy, lemon etc. ).

    • It could be to do with your contrast levels that they just don’t look right on you. Yes reddish browns are warm and khaki is warm, and peachy browns are warm as is congnac. They do go together so I have no idea why you personally don’t like them.

  • I am also a bit puzzled over this, because warm colors are suppose to go together even if they have different color “base” (neutrals with a hint of green, purple, blue, red etc).
    My cardigan and skirt is both light so I tends to team them up darker earthy colors like burgundy, dark blue or plum (has medium contrast). Perhaps its the tone/saturation, because the khaki skirt is more softer while the reddish/peachy brown cardigan, I dont know. Im still not good at color terminology (even if its somthing Ive been intrested since childhood). I do wear both bright and muted colors together but only if they has different values, like a dark olive with a bright coral, not same lightness,

    This is how they look in indoor lights: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/p417x417/10425031_303533106521977_1743940049333011304_n.jpg?oh=d6f1eb92622418b1ffe69b0d6f100b66&oe=554A624E&__gda__=1431708688_19765bce296dd2b85edc0baa99ebc92c the skirt has a slight green cast in real life.

    Ive cardigan is yellow-beige and a pullover sweater in a darker rosebeige which I rather wear with the khaki but I know why I prefer those better.

    • There is not a lot of value contrast between the two pieces. Also, if the khaki is greenish and the cardigan reddish – it’s a complementary contrast which may look too extreme for you. From your photo they don’t look bad together. But yes, the same intensity and value makes it easier to mix colours.

      • That make sense because Ive some personal “issues” with neutrals that are like psuede neutrals. Navy, Tan, Rose-brown, Khaki etc do look like colored pieces in my eyes rather than treating them as neutrals. Cognac and Tan are two neutrals I dont like teaming up with colors of similare value and I do prefer wearing one-color-only and two triad color schemes mostly, like a navy cardigan with the skirt instead.

        Thanks for replying. I was asking relatives about those pieces as well and they also have problem with teaming up colors like tan, navy, cognac etc together or with other colors. :3

  • Thanks for post on greys. My skin is warm based – light honey color. I have been buying a lot of light marle greys for convenience so they don’t have a warm base to them. In the deep recesses of my mind I have been toying with the idea of dying a marle grey t-shirt or singlet with black tea – so I can get the honey color in the garment. But I just haven’t got the guts to give it ago – even with an old singlet top. And I don’t know what would be used as a ‘fixer’. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Very educating and insightful. Now I can match all those tops in my wardrobe and head straight out without feeling “fashion scared”.

  • Nice article, I do love gray and taupe. My big struggle is with lt. grey beige—like traditional raincoat color. As a kid I was med. brunette, reddish only in the summer. Then about 40, I started, to dye blonde. I recently grew out my greys, which are nearly white in front, sprinkled with dk. Brown. My colors season category has never been distinct, but everyone tells me I am lt. warm complected. (Muted Autumn, Spring almost summer, with lt blue eyes.) So Iam am “supposed” to base my wardrobe around Beige, UHG!!!!!! Help!
    I find my other colors just fine, but Beige???

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