The Rise of Brown
Historically, brown was often outmatched by rival darker hues such as black, navy, grey or outshone by its paler nude counterparts such as taupe or beiges. Previously considered dull and dated, the colour has rehabilitated its public image and emerged as the main character, spotted in homes and trend-setting celebrities across the globe.
However, this brown obsession didn't happen overnight, and the shift towards minimalist fashion and natural beauty saw muted colourways disrupt the catwalks and street style alike, from Kayne's iconic first Yeezy collection back in 2015 & The Kardashians nude obsession, to high end designers such as Celine, Fendi, Burberry and Prada showcasing shades of browns in collections pre 2019. Dutch trend forecasting expert Lidewij Edelkoort predicted back in June 2019 that brown was going to make ripples in the fashion industry, predicting that brown would knock black off the top spot - even referring to the next thirty years as 'The Brown Age'! And whilst beige and taupes have been a continuous trend over the last 5 years (particularly for the A/W catwalks, and paler hues for S/S collections), these shades have been given upgraded to its darker sister shade - rich deep chocolate and other brown counterparts such as truffle brown and warmer brunette hues.
It's safe to say that 2020’s pandemic had a monumental effect on how we think, what we did, how we lived, which of course had a knock on effect on how we dressed. Last year's pandemic saw many embrace a far more minimalist lifestyle due being in and out of lockdowns - gravitating towards more stripped back makeup, block coloured loungewear and pared back aesthetics, so moving towards richer, earthier colour bases makes sense. After a year of widespread disease, financial difficulties, death and what some might call a collapse of society, consumer behaviour changed and leaning into muted shades felt fitting, providing a sense of comfort and accessibility. What's more, the shift in thinking over the last few years in regards to sustainability leading to a focus on more natural, raw and pared back fashion also helped browns rise to the top.
How to Wear Brown
The beauty of brown lies in its versatility. Similar to its paler beige counterparts, brown is easy to layer amongst other colours, and unlike black it doesn't overpower the other colours worn with it. Instead, brown works in harmony with other colours and due its the neutral tone, even results in them becoming more vibrant and allows the other colour worn with it to ‘pop’. We particularly love brown paired with muted duck egg, teals and mint green shades or even pastel tones like baby pink creates a beautiful contrast! For a bolder move for those that prefer deep shades, brown paired with deep burgundy, copper and burnt orange shades results in an impactful look, perfect for autumn style!
Once a HUGE fashion faux-pas, brown paired with black is now a hot combination, and the once frowned upon pairing was seen splashed from streetwear brands such as Stussy, to coveted luxury brands such as The Row. This look can easily be tapped into through layering up a brown jacket over your favourite YDWTL Black Redline Tee, or pairing your go-to black jeans with an oversized brown sweat.
For the ultimate brown look, pair brown on brown for a tonal vibe. We absolutely love brown streetwear pieces mixed with brown outerwear and neighbouring chocolate shades. Layer up shades of chocolate, mocha, and minks for an understated luxe look. Or, for those who cant bare to part with nudes, pair brown with taupes, beiges or even white for a fresh, brighter take on the trend and an updated nude look. Pair a leather or cord chocolate brown trouser with a nude or sleek white t-shirt like the White Painter T-shirt for an effortlessly cool look that checks all the style boxes.
Brown is certainly back with a vengeance, and we predict it will continue to weave itself into our wardrobes, our social feeds and be a consistent part of our lives, whether that be through subtle accents or head to toe brown fits - and we are here for it!