What to Wear with Beige

Mar 24, 2010
Jean Campbell Spacer 10x10 pixels

I have to admit, I’m no fashion maven. Oh, I like to gussy up every once in a while, but I’m usually relegated to the T-shirt and jeans regimen like many of the other women my age. I do like to follow the trends, though, especially when I see the latest colors that come down the runway every spring and fall in Paris, Milan, and New York.

I noticed that this spring’s models were clad in lots of Café Au Lait. Desert Sand. Mother-of-the-Groom Khaki. Dirty Ecru. Lunch Bag Tan. Or maybe we just call the color for what it is: Beige. I wasn’t too excited about the prospect of wearing this color again, which was all the rage with the sophisticate set in the 1980s, because it makes my skin tone look like an unfortunate pair of white gym socks that have been thrown in with a UPS guy’s brand-new uniform. 

But I’m not giving up, because beige is actually a pretty great color. It’s so neutral that it’s a cinch to accessorize. Here are some ideas about how to incorporate beige into your fashion vocabulary with beads:

Bombay Bracelet   Red Tones
If the beige you’re accessorizing has red undertones, you can’t go wrong with adding crimson, deep orange, coral, and pink beads to your designs. Try garnet, topaz, carnelian, and rhodochrosite semiprecious stones and Siam, Padparascha, Rose, and Fuchsia Austrian crystals.

S. Raven Willey’s Bombay Bracelet incorporates Siam crystals.

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Blue Blazes Spacer 10x10 pixels Blue Tones
If your beige has blue undertones, go with cool-colored stone types such as peridot, lapis, sodalite, turquoise, and jade. Use crystal colors such as Olivine, Khaki, Sapphire, Pacific Opal, Amethyst, and Provence Lavender. 

Linda Gettings’ Blue Blazes Necklace is awash with beady complements to bluish beige.

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Brass Snowflake
Spacer 10x10 pixels Reddish Beige Tones
Reddish beige looks fantastic with new brass, antiqued brass, copper, and gold metals; bluish beige looks good with silver anything.

Jess Italia-Lincoln’s Brass Snowflake incorporates natural brass.

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Spacer 10x10 pixels Beige Tones
Like me and not a regular beige wearer? You can add beige beads to your design such as semiprecious jasper, agate, amber, and fossil stones—they all have beautiful neutral tones. Bone and shell beads are another great neutral addition. And natural clay beads can lend a trendy nod to beige as well.

Ancient Amber by Ania Kyte uses amber and lush strands of natural-colored seed beads in this striking necklace.

How will you incorporate beige into your beading vocabulary this spring? Please share your ideas with your fellow beaders on Beading Daily.

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JanG@25 wrote
on Mar 24, 2010 9:51 AM

Jean, you provide such great examples!  I love the image of white socks and new UPS uniform.  After taking a class in macrame jewelry from Cathi Milligan yesterday, I'm reminded of using neutral cord to string beads in the 70s (not that my fingers remembered much from 40 years ago!).  The bracelets everyone made using Cathi's beautiful lampworked beads looked gorgeous (though I have to admit we used colorful waxed linen.  Still, the thought did occur to me!)

Thanks for your great columns!


Sally322 wrote
on Mar 24, 2010 5:47 PM

Also try  Black Onyx or Jet Austrian Crystals...always makes a statement with the beige family!  Jean you are such a hoot, my fav posts are yours .  Thanks for brightening up the mid-week Wednesday.


on Mar 24, 2010 6:07 PM

Jean, only you could make beige sound so exciting!   (I love "Lunch Bag Tan"!)

candyT2 wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 11:18 AM

I have to be honest, I don't base my jewelry creatiions on current clothing styles or colors. People who buy my work tend to be the 'OMG that is so weird and cool, I have to get it!'  crowd.  Two or three years from now, what's "in style" today will likely be at  the Salvation Army, and I don't see any point in catering to fads. But if it works for you, go for it.

LynetteJ2 wrote
on Apr 12, 2010 1:52 PM

For me, there is only one color to wear with beige (whether its creme to lunch bag brown), RED!!! And I'm like CandyT2, I could really care less about trends... I make what I want to make, wear clothes I want to wear, what I feel good in!!!  OMG!! there is stuff in my closet about to turn authentically Vintage!!!