How to wear colour (when you don’t really wear colour)

6th November, 2023

I’m one of those people who loves wearing colour. I love neutrals, but there’s something about a vibrant hue that just elevates an outfit and gives it impact. But if you’ve not really embraced colour in the past, it can be daunting to wear something bold and bright. How do you wear it without feeling like you’re channelling a packet of Skittles? It’s all about baby steps, firstly finding colours that work then slowly easing it into your wardrobe. Here’s how to start…

Find a colour that works for you

Depending on your skin’s undertones (there’s three: cool, warm and neutral) certain colours will be a more flattering fit. So, if you’re going to dabble in some colour, it’s helpful to know which hue will complement your skin tone. For example, cool tones play well with jewel tones such as emerald, sapphire and ruby. If you’re a warm tone, shades such as yellow, orange and earthy tones such as browns and deep reds are a good match. While those who fall into the neutral category, you’re in luck as most colours will work for you.

Use it as an accent colour

If you’ve not used colour much in your wardrobe, taking a leap into the bright side can be daunting. So, start by using it as an accent piece. As an example, I wore colour below with a grey suit, using a sunshine yellow bag as a pop of colour. For colour beginners, accessories are a great way to work colour into a look, whether it’s a bag, a hat, sunglasses or a shoe. You can then slowly work up to a single piece in your look. A vibrant tee or tank is one way to dip your to into vivid colours.

Pair it with a neutral

When colour isn’t a regular part of your repertoire then it can feel a little out there to wear it from head to toe. So, start with working it back with a neutral. Denim works well with colour, the same with neutrals such as white, cream, grey and black. You can use a neutral as a security blanket when you’re new to colour, as it helps to ground an outfit but allows the colour to do its thing and stand out.

Go tonal

When you’ve worked up to a serious hit of colour, go tonal. I love doing colour blocking or wearing a single hue, but if you want something a little more pared down, consider wearing tones of the same colour. It makes for an impactful look but isn’t as out there as wearing multiple colours.

Try a print

A great way to do colour is to wear it in a print. I’m a huge fan of a colourful print as I find it to be such a good mood lifter and it’s a playful way to do bright hues. I’ve found the best way to do a vibrant print is to wear it as a matching set — it just feels a little more cohesive and is a little more effortless. Alternatively, try working a print back with a simple neutral to achieve some balance.

So, have I convinced you to step to the bright side?

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