Forget Tomato Girl Summer, I’m in My Shrek Era Now

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Paula Boudes

It suddenly seems that everything I want to buy this fall is either brown or green, which makes sense given that they are two of this year’s biggest trends. I’d been having lots of fun mixing them to create new outfits, right up until a coworker forwarded me the below TikTok.

“Target in its Shrek era fr” reads the caption as the video, set to Fiona’s theme from the movie Shrek, pans Target’s womenswear section where 99 percent of the clothing is either brown or swamp green. This immediately led to me wonder how I never noticed that these color trends are the exact shades of everyone’s favorite cartoon ogre. Furthermore, why do I kind of love it? Turns out, the idea of Shrek being an unexpected fashion icon is exactly the kind of weird sartorial inspiration I never knew I needed this fall.

Of course, as much as I love a good plaid pant for fall (and vests are indeed making a comeback), I’m not actually looking to copy Shrek’s signature ‘fit. Instead, I’m experimenting with all the best ways to combine these two color trends without looking like I’d feel most at home in a swamp. Here, six outfits I plan to copy ASAP that incorporate green and brown in the chicest ways possible, with just a subtle nod to everyone’s favorite ogre.

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Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

1. Opt for Tailored Separates

Instead of reaching for a Bridgerton-inspired puff-sleeve dress or your favorite boho blouse, why not try something a bit more polished? Sharp lines and crisp tailoring elevate just about any color trend, including Shrek green and brown. Don’t forget: This also applies to your accessories, so be sure to swap that slouchy tote for a clutch or shoulder bag with more structure.

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Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

2. Go Big on One and Small with the Other

Perhaps the easiest way to rock two color trends at once is by wearing your favorite from head to toe, and adding one smaller piece featuring the other hue. Case in point, this cute all-brown ensemble accompanied by a deep green handbag. You can even include multiple shades of brown to add more depth.

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Gotham/Getty Images

3. Add a Small Additional Pop of Color

Toss a cornflower blue sweater over your shoulders or opt for a T-shirt with a yellow graphic to break up the Shrek vibes of a bold green-and-brown combo. The key here is to choose something that will add a medium-size splash of color (like a handbag, sweater or pair of boots) rather than a small hint (like earrings or a headband). You’ll also want to be sure to choose a bright, non-neutral hue to ensure it really pops.

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Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

4. Choose Patterned Pieces Over Solids

Mixing multiple patterns into one look is a great way to make even the simplest combination feel funky and fresh. So rather than layer a plain brown blazer over a pair of green trousers, why not try a plaid jacket and striped pants? Or vice versa?

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Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

5. Or Mix and Match Various Textures

A subtle twist on the above tip, adding multiple textures to your ensemble is another easy way to elevate the overall look. Fuzzy wool, Swiss dot mesh, delicate lace, patent leather, shiny silk—all of these materials look far more interesting when layered over a contrasting texture, as opposed to simple cotton.

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Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

6. Turn Up the Fun with Bold Accessories

Brown and green both have an inherently down to earth vibe, pulled directly from nature, that feels very grounded. And while that may be perfect for a fairytale swamp, for a city gal you’ll likely want to up the capital F fashion factor with some party-ready accessories. A Barbie pink minibag and matching strappy heels make even the most basic wardrobe staples feel fun and festive. Of course, you can also opt for something more neutral, like silver or bronze, if super-bright hues aren’t really your vibe—so long as your accessories add that pop of glam, you’ll be good to go.

If You Buy 1 New Coat This Fall, Make It *This* Trending Style You Can Wear with Almost Anything

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Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...

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