This Week I Love …

Already Pretty outfit featuring olive green cashmere sweater, olive green pleated skirt, floral scarf, Foley + Corinna Mid-city Tote, burgundy boots

… olive green.

I have no idea how I got on an olive kick, but it has proven itself to be my current favorite neutral. It adds a sophisticated note to neutral mixes, but also pairs beautifully with virtually all colors from pale pastels to saturated brights.

Since I’ve searched for a few olive pieces on eBay, I’ve discovered that “olive” is a range. I prefer the greener versions of the color to the muddier, darker tones. I’ve also searched for this shade successfully using “army green,” “fatigue,” and even “dusty green.” It’s a color of many names, it seems. Here are a few olive pieces that have tickled my fancy in recent weeks:

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Gabriella Rocha Zana Top – $12.50

Since olive works well with all neutrals, navy, magenta, burgundy, and loads of other colors, having a few simple olive pieces to work into layered outfits can be beneficial. This simple long-sleeved tee will layer beautifully with blazers and jackets as well as cardigans and scarves.

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Lucky Brand Cotton Military Jacket – $138

This style of garment is, quite possibly, the root of my olive obsession. I’ve worn mine to bits and recommended a version of the military jacket in olive to every single style consult client I’ve worked with for the past year and a half. Long, short, fitted, loose, there’s an army jacket for just about every woman out there somewhere. Often in the thrift shops!

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BDG Twig Mid-Rise Jean in Moss – $39

Such a great alternative to blue skinnies, these mid-rise jeans will work for the remainder of winter and well into spring. Pair them with jewel tones, neutrals, animal prints, red, or just about any color or pattern you’ve got in your closet.

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Tsubo Dufay – $66.99

My favorite pump in my current favorite color! These shoes also get loads of recommendations to clients looking for a basic, comfortable, classic pump, and this color may seem like an odd choice but is incredibly versatile if you’re looking for a dusty, non-black neutral.

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Theory Diona Top – $85

Olive is often used in hard-edged, military-influenced pieces, but this lovely, draped top proves that it can be elegant and soft, too. A great choice for simple spring and summer ensembles.

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Cambridge Satchel Company Leather Batchel – $189.90

My olive green Mid-City Tote gets loads of use, so I can say with confidence that olive bags are versatile and chic. This traditional satchel is wonderfully on-trend, too, and almost as roomy as a briefcase.

Are you a fan of olive? How do you wear this classic neutral?

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20 Responses to “This Week I Love …”

  1. Anna

    Sally, thanks for this very timely post. My olive skirt is languishing in my closet. I can’t bring myself to follow the stereotypical advice to toss out everything not worn in the past year, because I think there are many valid exceptions to that “rule.” I’ve thought of pairing it with a reddish-purple top (both colors far enough away from green and red to avoid a Christmasy look). Or with a navy top (too dark and glum for my taste, though maybe I could lighten things up with a well-chosen scarf). Surely if I search more vigorously through my choices I’ll come up with some good combinations. I feel some variety coming on….

  2. Val

    I love that you did a post about olive green. Last fall I was visiting my kids and one of my daughters went clothes shopping with me. I took a teal green sweater into the dressing room to try on and saw it had a flaw that couldn’t be fixed. She didn’t find another teal sweater in my size on the rack, so brought me an olive green one…which I said I wasn’t a fan of. I tried it on and did decide to buy it because even though I didn’t love the color I did love the fit. I wear the sweater at least once a week for work, and it is the one piece of clothing I own that I consistently get compliments on. I guess olive green is a good color for me and I would never have worn it without prompting…I guess mommie doesn’t always know best!

  3. Sam

    Love it! I’ve been obsessed with burgundy this season as my new neutral… but so has everyone. Your post made me crave Olive green in general. Specifically, pants.

  4. Becky

    I have been looking for some olive skinnies or leggings, so I hopped over to Urban Outfitters via your link – the jeans you are highlighting look great. I was disappointed to see that the price they gave you is not the price they are going to give me, and $58 is out of my range for this item.

  5. Cathy

    I’ve had some olive green skinnies (nothing fancy – Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda) for several years that I used most in summer at first (because the fabric on this particular pair is soft and lightweight). They go with a range of peach, orange, pink, magenta, and gold. I also use them in winter with purples and browns (tan to coffee). Black, of course works but is mostly boring compared to those other colors (except for my Woolrich vest that has black, olive, browns, and a bit of red in the pattern).

    This is one of those colors that I’ve decided to snap up when it is in fashion because it works so well with other colors I love.

  6. Cathy

    And I forgot to mention that I love to pair red footwear with my olive pants. (Bad Influence Sal, remember those fringed, flat red sandals you posted last summer? And now red ankle boots, too!)

  7. Annie

    Olive green isn’t super flattering with my skin tone, but I like to weave this shade in with ensembles where it’s more of an accent than one of the principle colors. In fact, today I am wearing an olive jacket with a gray T, black pants, a patterned scarf in black, blue, olive, gray and white, and bronze flats. The color adds warmth to an otherwise cool palette.

  8. Not quite anonymous

    I’m kind of into olive too lately. I like it for accents (scarves, tights), especially with burgundy. I also wear it with neutrals (gray, black, or navy), or some shades of pink. Thanks for the reminder to get some more mileage out of my olive winter-wear before I put it away for spring.

    I also have a necklace of round agate beads that’s in brown/gray/olive tones. I’ve found it to be incredibly versatile. It comes across as earthen tones but is actually cool toned enough to look good on my cool skin. I’d definitely recommend this sort of agate to someone into olive, or just in general.

  9. Sarah

    Ironically, I just picked up a very cute Forever 21 military jacket for $5.00 at the local thrift store along with an olive T-shirt with mesh shoulder trim (also F-21) from the SAME thrift store for $2.00. What are the chances?!! I’m in heaven….

  10. annr

    Olive is a favorite of mine. If you are a thriftier it’s an easy neutral that will go with tons of cool finds. It’s great for summer travel as it shows less dirt than tan.

  11. liv

    So psyched that you posted about olive! I am crazy about the color (doesn’t hurt that it matches my eyes perfectly and really makes them pop). Lately I’ve been favoring it in neutrals mash-ups; e.g., today I wore an olive knit blazer with a mint tee, camel skirt, black tights and black and gold accessories. I also love it with a deep purple, neons (especially yellow), bright orangey reds, and mustard yellow.

  12. Mia

    I’ve liked olive for a long time, especially the richer, greenier olives. (I have one olive skirt that has been worn practically to the point of exhaustion, and I think the color needs a little dye boost sometime soon…)

    I actually just bought an olive-colored silk fern-leaf headband and I’m planning on wearing it all over the place now that the weather’s nicer:

    http://readinginskirts.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/outfit-post-22713/

  13. margot907

    Thanks for highlighting olive green. I had to learn to love this color, too. I usually wear brighter colors, but received a TON of compliments when I bought and olive green sweater on clearance a few years ago. It turns out it is one of my all-time best colors. I am always on the lookout for good olive pieces. I find it to be a little less versatile than other neutral though so I usually base outfits around it.

  14. Andi

    I too love olive green. I’m on the hunt for a pair of olive skinnies in plus size. At the moment, I’m loving olive as a backdrop for glam looks. Sequins, heels, zippers, leopard, leather jackets etc.

  15. Anne

    Oddly enough, that army/olive green is a pretty good color for me. (My mom used to call it Loden Green) It seems to bring out the red tones in my hair with out aggravating the red tones in my skin. Go figure. I really love it with white, but it seems to go with pretty much everything. It is not a color I obsess over. I save that for turquoise. During the summer I tend to hunt down every shade in the green to blue spectrum. I would love to find another color but that one is fail safe.

  16. jamie

    i do like olive for my bottom half, but close to my face it doesn’t work so well. i like pairing it with brown tops, even pink sometimes.

  17. Alexa

    Lovely and very helpful, thanks!

    Just floating this past you – I think because you’ve changed your hair colour (it seems much more reddish to me, a chestnut colour) your overall colouring is more autumnal and you’re finding olive more attractive and ‘natural’ to wear.