Black, and shades of white, tan, navy, grey and brown are undisputed neutral colours. They work well with each other and with colours. They often save the day when you’re having trouble finding the right colour pairing for a wardrobe item. Neutrals are versatile and powerful.

But sometimes you might find that certain non-neutral colours are just as versatile. So much so that they function as a neutral. For example, for my style tomato red is a neutral because it works with just about everything in my wardrobe. Granted, I like combining red with pink, orange and deeper shades of red, and these pairings are an acquired taste. For some of my clients, olive and eggplant are neutral colours. 

I’ll take it a step further and throw in two patterns that I’ve found to be so versatile that they too can function as a solid block of neutral colour if they are neutrally toned. The first is an animal print, and the second is a black and white polka dot (black background with white or cream dots). Perhaps this isn’t too surprising since these patterns are also versatile if you like to mix patterns. For some of my clients, neutrally toned stripes, glen plaids and houndstooth function like a solid neutral.  

Over to you. Do some non neutral colours function like versatile neutrals in your wardrobe? And how about patterns? Do some of those function as neutral solids?