. Gussy it up however you like – camel, biscuit, coffee – but blending in is the new way to stand out. Just look at the windbuffeted editors, buyers and influencers at London Fashion Week: normally prone to peacocking, this season they were sporting shades of brown paper bag from head to toe.
“I love beige,” says Tank’s Fashion Director Caroline Issa, who wore a padded coffee-and-cream coat over a beige sweater, trousers and boots for the men’s shows in January. “I would never do an all-beige wardrobe – I love colour and print too much – but there are times when you want a bit of classic calm,” she says.
The fact that beige sits on the soothing end of the colour wheel is perhaps why editors gravitate towards the shade during show season – it’s got in-built ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’ credentials. Instagram’s Head of Partnerships, Eva Chen, is a paid-up member of the club. For London, she wore a latte leather trouser suit with two – yes, two – beige knits, while fashion editor Jan-Michael Quammie made a case for the classic trench with colour-pop accessories.
As well as being therapeutic, beige is the breath of fresh air your wardrobe needs. “Several seasons ago, for SS19, we saw a number of collections that were palate-cleansers following the maximalism trend that had dominated for so long,” says Net-a-Porter’s Senior Market Editor Libby Page, whose wardrobe is 50 per cent beige and 50 per cent black. “Designers such as The Row, Gabriela Hearst and newcomer Deveaux spearheaded the colour, making head-to-toe beige wearable, but never boring,” she adds.
Yes, there are ways to hit the anti- snooze button on beige. Too much of one brown is a bit Rich Tea on the excitement scale, so Libby suggests playing with a variety of shades. Layering cream over biscuit over chocolate will up the ante, as will mixing contrasting textures, such as shearling and silk.
Of course, the biggest tick is that it’s truly timeless – a serious plus when we’re all trying to shop more sustainably. “It’s a seasonless colour that will always feel relevant,” concludes Libby, “That’s exactly why I’m drawn to it.” In other words, for the fashion pack at least, beige is the new black.