Bare Essentials: How to Wear Nudes
Going nude has gone mainstream. Nude tones are so popular on the red carpet these days that they have become formidable competition for classic black, the fashion heavyweight. When worn well, these subtle skin shades can rival any ”little black dress” in sophistication and allure. So, do you know your nude?
We’ve gathered some tips from local fashion experts that are sure to help you look good “naked.”
Know Your Nude
Amy McLaughlin is a lifestyle designer and owner of Amy McLaughlin Lifestyles in Newburyport, where, in addition to interior design and event styling, she has dressed countless celebrities, socialites and high-profile executives. She says the first tip is to know your nude, and to determine how it can work for your individual coloring.
“Unlike the color black, which is extremely difficult to go wrong with, ‘nude’ as a color choice for clothing or accessories can be tricky to say the least,” McLaughlin says. “First, if you don’t have an extremely dark skin tone, it really doesn’t flatter most when worn as the base color for any outfit.”
Fortunately, the nude-tone family has a broad rainbow of colors — from sweet peaches-and-creams and delicate pink porcelains to warm rosy-beiges and beyond. Wearing your perfect skin tone is all about matching the right hue for you. Or, McLaughlin says, you can always go the reliable route — and accessorize with nudes.
“What does work well in nude, and are actually fashion ‘must haves,’ are nude shoes and nude handbags,” McLaughlin says. “There is nothing more feminine than a great DVF [Diane von Furstenberg] wrap dress with a pair of nude Jimmy Choo pumps. Not to mention the Chanel Cerf bag … in nude … forget about it.”
The nude pump adds instant length and glamour and will quickly become a go-to shoe, McLaughlin says.
Be on Trend
Once you’ve found the skin you should be in, get ready to bare it. At Humanity boutique on Merrimack Street in Lowell, contemporary apparel for women and men is handpicked from Los Angeles showroom floors, and manager and stylist Ani Vong says she is “seeing nude in all kinds of pieces right now, and it’s being incorporated with other colors and trends.” One of those trends is the use of layering and varying textures.
“If you are wearing all nude, try to wear different textures so it will be easy on the eyes. Don’t be afraid to wear it with just about anything … because it’s so versatile and almost anything looks good with it,” Vong says. An all-over matte finish will wash you out.
Some popular textures now include ultra-feminine ruffles, sleek leather and, of course, denim. Imagine a chiffon blouse peeking from beneath a denim jacket, or dancing atop skinny black pants, and then coupled with nude ankle boots.
Complement the Color
When it comes to pairing nude with color, you might call black and nude “frenemies.” Though they compete for classic solo looks, they also look great together. From a nude dress with a black ribbon at the waist to a skin-colored lace shell beneath a cropped black blazer, the two are fashion’s power couple.
The next best choice? More nude. Vong suggests mixing shades of nude, which gives the impression of depth and interest while staying within the monochromatic palette.
“If you’re planning to wear a nude-colored dress, try a blush nail polish and slightly darker, nude-color shoes,” she says.
McLaughlin agrees. Nude tones, she says, can be incorporated in so many ways — the camisole is a classic choice. “And,” she adds, “a fabulous cashmere ‘nude’ scarf to throw on with just about anything is never a bad idea.”
So, go ahead. Dare to bare your nudes. Whether in big or small ways, the illusion of showing skin will always draw attention.
Amy McLaughlin Lifestyles: Newburyport, Mass. / (978) 255-2623 / AmyMcLaughlin.com
Humanity: Lowell, Mass. / (978) 458-7467 / LiveForHumanity.com