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  • Writer's pictureSara Marsden-Shreeve

How To Wear More Colour & Up Your Outfit-Game.


A lady wearing bold and bright colours
Bright and Bold

Ooh I love colour! Every season we have a gorgeous offering of fresh new hues and colour pairings which guarantee to bring inspiration and a wardrobe update.


It's a time to welcome the current high street colour trends and fill up your garment gaps ,courtesy of Pantone (the colour forecasters that be).


However, wearing colour can be a tad frightening, especially if it's a shade that you might be unsure of or have no idea whether it will work for you. Well fear not. everybody can wear most colours, it just depends on their characteristics for example, pink can come in many varieties.


Different types of pink | Colour Analysis Directions
Which Is Your Pink Do You Think?

Now, if you've had a colour analysis session before you'll know what your palette looks like and will have no problem choosing and wearing colour that suits you both inside and out.


However, on a very basic level odds are that if you're very pale, fair haired and soft in the eyes your best heading for lighter softer shades whereas if you're darker and richer in looks then deeper and bolder may work well. Though this is very rough and you can't beat investing in a professional evaluation to get your very own personalised colour swatches.


Colour Analysis Works
Wearing Your Colour Palette Works

If you want to check out my blog you could find your colour love and get some inklings there.


Anyhoo, whatever your personal colour status, it's always great to have a few stylista tips in your pocket to get the most out of wearing colour and pairing it in outfits to get that polished and balanced look.


Also,. maybe you have some colours missing in your wardrobe? Or maybe you have a plethora of a few hues. and want some diversity in your outfits?


Ok, so enough with the waffling, lets, get straight into my colour mixing 101 and up your outfit game.


* Neutral Start

So, neutrals are the backbone of every wardrobe. From ivories to camel, greys to blacks, navy to browns and patterns such as leopard, snake, tortoiseshell. and anything metallic. Neutrals are necessary. They are useful in hard working separates and accessories because they allow you to mix and match and score highly on your cost per wear meter.


If you look to nature, green is the neutral here as it literally goes with everything. How much green do you have in your closet? Probably, not much eh?


There will always be neutrals in a new seasonal offering and the power of boring old 'beige' can even rule supreme,



Neutrals are great news for both the colour shy and the mixologists because as you may well know by now, neutrals are the grafters and the back bone of one's wardrobe and no... it doesn't have to be black.


We all know that black is the go to for feeling more confident, especially when it comes to streamlining and feeling safe but did you know that all dark, matte colours work in exactly the same way?


Think about finding garments with great fabrics and mixing them up a bit. For example, leather and cashmere, lace and velvet. Even if you wear one colour, the varying texture adds uber chic.


* Colour Power


Once, you have identified your plethora of basic block colours in your wardrobe, you can easily pair them with other colours whether they be bold or subtle. If you want to show more gumption and stand out look for higher contrasts in colour, so black and white is the most obvious.


Higher contrasts create more of a statement.


Or if you want to dress with more softness or approachability, look for families of colour similar in depth and of lower contrast.

Wearing lower contrast in colours makes for a more approachable and softer look in your outfits.


Colour can really help with creating balance to your frame and proportions too.


Earlier, I mentioned that black was the preferred choice by most when uncertainty is rife or you want to streamline your silhouette. So remember to pop it (or another deep matte hue) on areas in which you feel a little more conscious about.


On the flipside, if you want to draw focus to areas you love than go for lighter or brighter colours to draw the eye.


If your petite in height, it's always a good trick to balance the colour of your shoes to something of a similar colour toward the top of your outfit, even it's a pair of earrings.



* Easy Colour Pops


Accessories are the easy way to add something a little bolder or out of your comfort zone to an outfit. Scared of leopard print, then think shoes , clutch or jewellery and scarves.


Think neon is ridiculous, well think again. I'm not suggesting head to toe Las Vegas signage here, rather a subtle pop or mix with an accessory to keep it practical and less well gawdy and it doesn't have to be much. It certainly has that summer party vibe.


I just want you to see that bright colours can be totally doable and you don't have to wear just blocks of colour.


Righto, let's get into the main styling tips for wearing different colours in your outfits.



* Use Your Print


Take a print, pick out the background colour or one you like and use the same colour as a separate and then select another or the same colour as an accent and use in an accessory. Here you could also go for the orange and accessorise too that way.


A  trendy lady wearing blue, orange and white
Colour Mixing 101

This chic lady has used the rule of oddity too which we'll cover shortly.


Pattern can also help camouflage if you feel you need it as the eye cannot focus on one spot. The busier the print, the more effective it is and the more the area can be shrunk


Equally, using a print to finish an outfit looks beaut and wearing a print nearer your face works as a focal point .

This scarf just ties all the block colours together beautifully.


* Colour Mixing Principles


Ok, so what colours can you add then and how can I feel inspired without being scared? Well check out the following principles to give you some guiding light on the matter


A lady confused by colour
So much colour, so little time

A RULE OF ODDITY


This is probably the easiest to remember when putting a colourful outfit together. The rule of thumb is to wear 1, 3 or 5 colours together and usually a print can help you with more options.


I don't know why it works but in my experience over the years it has full proofed it for me.



How about taking a trio of your favourite colours , a little red, white and blue, as a capsule wardrobe. You get the gist. and see how this could create gorgeous little corners of colour love in your closest. Do it with other colour combos too.


Ok, lastly, let's move onto a few of the easier ways to mix colour that artists, designers and interior experts all use.


ANALOGOUS COLOUR MIXING


You can try the 'analogous' effect of colour mixing which basically means, pairing it with it's neighbour on the old colour wheel


Analogous Colour Mixing; The Image Tree
Look to Your Neighbour

So here is the above example, in an outfit.... Courtesy of the lovely Anna Wintour.


So browns and beiges look great if you add to the mix golds, yellows and greens or you can go the other way and knock on the door of the reds and oranges. It doesn't just have to be about colour blocking either, as many prints include colours that work in this way and all you need to do is pair them with a plain garment taken from the print. Simples...



MONOCHROMATIC COLOUR MIXING


Monochromatic Colour Mixing; The Image Tree
Same Colour Family

When we think of monochrome, we think black and white but this doesn't have to be the mainstay look.


See it here in this outfit...

So this basically means mixing and matching prints that contain the same colour family and in this case I'm using the browns and beiges to show you that it can work beautifully and not at all boring. Animal print can work beautifully here as snakeskin and leopard contain a great base of these neutrals from which to build.


There is also optical magic at work here too, because if you wear blocks of similar tones it creates height and can elongate the body should you want to.


Wearing a brighter version or a print in one area can create focus and flatter an area whereas a darker or matte block of colour, worn on say the hips, can camouflage and shrink an area.


COMPLEMENTARY COLOUR MIXING


Complementary Colour Mixing; The Image Tree
Opposites Attract

This is probably the one from your art lessons at school that may have stuck and generally means pairing with the opposite on the colour wheel.


See the example here....

If this is a bit wishy washy for you then you can try other varieties such as navy and tan or inky denim and camel.


Don't be scared to add a further pop to your two choices because they really do embrace additional hues giving an interesting lift to your look. You could add red in an accessory for example


Just be aware of keeping the same tonal families together, to start with for now, so for example, cools with cools, warms with warms, softs with softs and brights with brights. Once you get more confident you can break the rules.




There are so many gorgeous hues out there to try so fill your gaps and experiment a little to lift your mood and enjoy wearing your happy. You never know, a bit of yellow just might make an appearance in your closet or even a bright green on a painted nail or quirky clutch. Don't be scared.


Bye for now

Sara

Feel free to comment or ask me more about this season's colour trends.


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