Take a color break before spring and enjoy neutral

Emmy Rossum attends the Cosmopolitan and Marquee New Year’s Eve Grand Opening in Las Vegas.

Story by Jenn Harris
(Los Angeles Times/MCT)
Fri, Jan 21, 2011
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Actress Emmy Rossum is well on her way to making a name for herself, already at age 24 a Golden Globe nominee (for "The Phantom of the Opera" in 2004) and budding fashion idol. Her most recent career endeavor is her role as Fiona in the new Showtime series "Shameless" (Sundays at 10 p.m.), where she plays the oldest sibling in the inappropriately shameless Gallagher clan.

Luckily for fashion fans, she's been busy on the media circuit this year, offering up plenty of envy-inducing outfits to fawn over. Most recently, Rossum grabbed style headlines when she rang in the new year with a bang by going buff. No, not in the buff, but in the kind of low-key neutral color that turns heads without an excessive exposure of flesh. Rossum attended the New Year's Eve grand opening of the lavish Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas clad in a neutral-colored, curve-hugging dress by Julien Macdonald, gold Jimmy Choo heels and a cream Misela clutch.

Rossum elevated her neutral color with bands that snaked loosely around the dress. The color may seem delicate but the dress' body-conscious fit and thick straps are tough-chic and anything but subdued. The clutch and gold heels balanced out the party outfit nicely.

You too can come off your holiday high of sparkling metallics and sequins and settle into 2011 with a more relaxed, neutral-colored dress for special occasions. The bright colors and neon tones of spring are fast approaching, so now is the time to take a color breather. Just keep things interesting with an eye-catching design. We found some delightfully neutral dresses that should do the trick, without busting your post-holiday budget.

Check out the MM Couture by Miss Me Drape Mini Dress with sassy black waist detail for $92 on revolveclothing.com and the sexy knit cutout Bodycon Dress from Topshop for $50.

For a simple clutch that is versatile enough to accompany you to all your 2011 parties, consider the BCBGeneration Maya clutch available at Macy's for $48 or the Sparkle Nighttime clutch from Forever 21 for just $7.50 -- that has to be less than the sandwich you bought for lunch yesterday.

For your heels, it might be fun to go vertiginously high, but any pair of strappy neutral heels you already own will complete the look. Mix and match the bags and dresses to fit your budget and you can re-create Rossum's ringing-in-the-new-year look for $100 or less. Remember your calm color respite will be short-lived: You'll be ready to leap into a rainbow palette for spring.

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