The All-Gray "Groutfit" Is the Official Fashion Girl Uniform This Fall


It’s softer than black, less high maintenance than white, cooler than brown… gray is having a moment. Sorry, Barbie! It’s time to hit pause on pink and go gray instead.

Okay, maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “Wait a second. Gray—one of the most basic, easy, goes-with-everything colors in the fashion palette—is trending? Isn’t gray always trending?” And to that I would say, “Yes and yes.” Gray is always trending because it’s a classic neutral hue that goes with everything, always looks modern but feels timeless and works well with a variety of styles, from Upper East Side elegance to California casual to coastal cowgirl and back again.

An all-black look will never go out of style, and all-white had a moment during the monochromatic matching set boom of the late 2010s, so now it’s gray’s turn to shine. Sure, gray doesn’t seem as exciting as vibrant red or hot pink, but trust us—you’ll be dreaming up a gray-on-gray-on-gray outfit this season. The groutfit is going glam.


The Trend

Gray is always a mainstay on the runways, but it was particularly prevalent for the Fall/Winter 2023-2024 collections. It popped up at heavy hitters like Bottega Veneta, Michael Kors, Loewe and Prada, among many others. Some designers used gray to convey coziness and comfort, what with layers of sweaters and coats, while others, like Miu Miu, leaned into gray’s tendency to feel a little bit musty-fusty librarian… but in a chic way. (On the flip side, Prada’s lil sis also showed gray hoodies.) Gray can be austere and minimal, as it was at Bottega, or glamorous yet simple, a la Fendi or Michael Kors.


Celebs love gray too, including Jennifer Lawrence, who made countless moodboards in her one-shouldered light gray The Row tunic top and trousers, and there’s always that iconic Carrie Bradshaw LGD from Sex and the City to inspire you—you know, the racerback mini that has spawned countless imitations? Just throw a coat over it to fall- and winter-ize it.

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How to Wear It

When I was in high school, Wednesday was our unofficial “groutfit” day. We’d all roll up to class in gray Abercrombie sweatpants rolled down three or four times, paired with an oversized sweatshirt. The 2023 groutfit is a lot cuter than what I wore nearly 20 years ago, and it’s customizable for every style.

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For a “quiet luxury” vibe (sorry, had to), try a silky gray slip dress paired with a gray cashmere or wool sweater and a long gray car coat layered over the top. For a day off, go with gray sweatpants, sneakers and a gorgeous knit, plus a big comfy scarf. Gray can be glamorous, too; a gray or muted silver sequin skirt is a total workhorse in your wardrobe, trust us. For work, lean on classic gray trousers with a hint of slouch and a sweater, a pinstripe vest and trousers set or perhaps a gray pencil skirt with a slim-fitting sweater layered over a blouse.


If monochromatic isn’t your thing, gray plays particularly nicely with a few trending colors, especially bright scarlet red; the pop of red was one of fall’s most notable runway styling tricks, whether it was with a bag, a shoe, a belt or even a full red coat. It also looks great with pale pink, bright yellow and burgundy.

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The best part about building a groutfit is that it’s incredibly easy to find gray pieces anywhere you like to shop, whether that’s the thrift store, The Frankie Shop or Saks Fifth Avenue. When you’re shopping, focus on rich textures: fuzzy mohair, luxe cashmere, slinky silk or satin, elegant wool. Tone-wise, opt for a lighter gray shade versus a deep charcoal if possible. And don’t forget your shoes! Gray sneakers are an obvious choice, but the smoky hue looks great with a reddish-burgundy boot. Seriously, the gray-on-gray fashion formula has so much room to experiment, you really can’t go wrong. Ditch your basic black uniform and lighten up with a touch of gray instead.

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