Go Nude (We Mean the Color)

We call them “nudes” – plural – for a reason, right? This season’s hottest neutral is, in fact, a collection of similar hues, all of which would’ve been called “beige” back when they weren’t under fashion’s hyper-analytical eye.

I, for one, plan on wearing serious amounts of fashion’s most debated hue this season (not enough to actually appear naked, of course), so it seems only responsible to get my nudes straight – shade by shade.

1) Nude. The Huffington Post cites fashion’s general description of nude as “a little darker than champagne, lighter than sand and perhaps with a hint of blush or peach,” but also notes that some argue there’s no singular shade of nude at all.

2) Beige. Commonly used as a catch-all term for any neutral shade, be it taupe, nude, tan, and so on, beige’s origin is in France, where it was used to describe undyed cotton cloth.

3) Desert sand. Haven’t been to a desert lately? Picture one of those beige-ish telephones from the 1960s; their color is a perfect example of desert sand.

4) Ecru. In the 19th century (and through at least 1930) “ecru” was a synonym for beige. In French, it means “raw” or “unbleached.” The color of silk, pre-bleaching, would be an example.

5) Taupe. This one’s easier to tell apart from the other nudes. Taupe is grey tinged with dark brown. If you know what its Latin namesake – the European mole – looks like, then, you’re in luck: that’s taupe. (If not, it looks like this.)

6) Khaki. Typically described as a yellowish-brown hue, khaki was translated from Persian to English via the British Indian Army (khaki was a thing of British India) and quickly became a go-to for military uniforms worldwide.

7) Camel. I always get this one confused with khaki. Camel, however, strictly refers to any hue resembling the hair of a camel. (Seems so simple. Alas…)

8) Cosmic latte. This color does exist. In fact, it has since 2002, when a team of astronomers from John Hopkins University coined it to describe the average hue of the universe. How this has not yet caught on as a coffee drink, I do not understand.

Can’t get enough of nudes? You’re in luck: our Put It In Neutral: Shoes & Bags by Lanvin & More Boutique opens Tuesday, October 9 at 11AM ET.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.


October 9, 2012