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Beige Makes a Case for Itself

Chanel, Burberry, Marni Spring 2019. Photo-Illustration: by Stevie Remsberg; Photos Getty

Hey, beige here.

If you don’t know me, I’m beige! My friends sometimes call me “cream,” or “khaki.” After one glass of wine I start telling people I’m “buff,” which I think is pretty funny but doesn’t always land.

Anyway, my name comes from the Old French word bege, which means “the natural color of wool and cotton.” So what you see is what you get with me. I’m au naturel, baby. Hashtag no filter! That wasn’t a joke. I am totally raw.

Some people see my plainness as a lack of personality. They think I’m boring. Bland. Ordinary. But I think that’s unfair. Just because something isn’t neon or tie-dyed doesn’t mean it’s not interesting. Look at cheese pizza and vanilla ice cream. They’re both plain, yet widely loved. Plus, did you know that the color of the universe is called “Cosmic latte?” All of space and time — everything — begins and ends with something slightly beige. Maybe the problem isn’t me, then. Maybe people who don’t appreciate plain things are just unimaginative.

Sorry, I got carried away there. I’m not usually like this. It’s just that we’re approaching summer — my time to really shine — and I’m sick of people not giving me the recognition and praise I deserve. I used to be the pinnacle of style. Sexy, even! When you thought of me, you saw Richard Gere unbuttoning his linen pants in American Gigolo. Ralph Lauren supermodels running down a beach. Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Something’s Gotta Give. Heck, I made minimalism possible! Calvin Klein and Jil Sander would have been nothing without me in the ’90s.

But since then, people have become skeptical of me. I blame Tom Ford. And now Alessandro Michele. Everything’s been Gucci-fied, or logo-fied, or crossed the line into camp. There’s no cool restraint these days. More is more and luxury is extra. But I sense a shift on the horizon. I think people are over-stimulated and exhausted, and that I’m the antidote — the A&D ointment to this flaming hot rash of a trend cycle. Okay, that was perhaps a bad metaphor. But you know what I mean. I’m soothing on the eyes, and work nicely with all skin tones.

It’s been an uphill battle, but my revival has been in the works for a while. I guess I have Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West to thank for not only making me an integral part of contouring, but also Calabasas “desert” style. Plus, Riccardo Tisci, who celebrated me with countless looks at his debut Burberry show. After that, Refinery29 admitted that it was “hard to deny” my appeal. Vogue said I was one of the “most important” trends of the spring 2019 season. Even street-style stars love me now. What can I say? I’m effortless; the fashion equivalent of no-makeup makeup.

Soon, you’ll all come crawling back. It’s fine. Whatever! I would make a big deal about it, but that’s just not my nature.

Scroll down for 11 beige things to buy right now.

A Super Versatile Skirt

We love that you never have to steam this.
Available in sizes XS–L

A Classic Trench

Made of linen, it’s perfect for cool nights and windy days.
Available in sizes XXS–L.

A Cool Everyday Bag

The contrasting beige tones and the marble-esque closure make this neutral without being at all boring.

A Fancy Top

The exaggerated sleeves are fun yet polished, and because it’s beige, you can wear it with any color shoe.
Available in sizes 0–6.

A Trendy Skirt

Fashion editors can’t get enough of Jacquemus, and you can definitely pass for one in this skirt.
Available in French sizes 34–40.

If You Love Sculptural Things

This bag is a work of art in its own right. It also comes with a mirror built into its front flap.

A Sophisticated Satin Dress

Here’s something to throw on when you don’t want to think too hard about what to wear. We suggest pairing it with a pair of red strappy sandals.
Available in sizes 0–12.

A Flattering Work Blazer

The oversized fit lends it a relaxed, expensive feel.
Available in sizes 4 and 12.

If You’re Tired of Basic Button-Downs

Beige shirts can look too boring if you’re not careful. To avoid looking drab, go for tops with bold shapes and details.
Available in French sizes 34–44.

A Splurge-y Pair of Tailored Pants

It’s no secret Ricardo Tisci loves shades of beige. Here, instead of the typical tailored high-waisted pant, Tisci makes things more interesting with a faux double-waist detail.
Available in sizes 4–14.

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Beige Makes a Case for Itself