All-black dressing will never (ever) go out of style. But right now, the chicest ensembles are a little more cheerful.
If it’s been a while since you embraced head-to-toe colour, step into the bright. The good news is that so long as you pick your shades carefully, you really can’t go wrong. And this is not about needing to buy a host of colourful clothes – we bet you’ve already got enough colour in your wardrobe to pull off a tonal or clashing outfit. It’s just a matter of throwing your clothes together in new ways. Here are some of our favourite shade duos and top tricks for clashing them. Join us this week in the #ICONScolourchallenge and tag your outfits for us to share alongside our own.
PAIR BRIGHTS WITH
Biscuit shades are anything but boring, especially when you pair muddy tones with brights. It’s the fastest way to fall back in love with your neutrals and transform them from an afterthought to a hard-working part of a stylish outfit. Make it office-appropriate by combining earthy tailored pieces, which are now firmly in the modern work uniform, with bold flowing skirts or silk shirts.
CLASH A LITTLE
Show your commitment to feel-good colour with a contrasting shade. The trick is to combine hues that are neighbours on the colour wheel. Some of our favourite duos: pink and red; yellow and orange; blue and green; fuchsia and scarlet. And don’t limit the clashing to your outfit. One of the easiest ways to dabble in clashing is to pair a block-colour dress or jumpsuit with stand-out, clashing accessories.
GET ALONG WITH
If you reach for colour to break up neutrals, you’re missing out on a host of eye-catching looks waiting to be thrown together. As an experiment, pull out all your favourite pastel and jewel-toned pieces. Then start throwing together the most flattering cuts. These gently clashing shades – the softness (pastels) with the rich intensity (jewels) – make natural bedfellows. One of our favourite palettes for day-to-night dressing, finish the outfit with an equally cheerful (and tonal) bag and chunky gold jewellery.
Indulge us while we get a little technical (it will be worth it): some of the most elegant colour combos happen when cool colours come together. But that we mean blues, greens and purples – typically the kinds of colours that remind us of sky, water and nature. A great choice if you’re looking to embrace colour at work. Added bonus: these are the most calming shades in the colour wheel. And let’s be honest, every little bit helps.
PICK A FAVOURITE
Tonal dressing is one of the most confident ways to wear colour in your wardrobe. Even better, it’s easy to pull off. Most of us gravitate towards a favourite shade that we buy over and over again in various iterations (at ICONS HQ, Petro loves green while Laura has all the shades of red), so start there. For the most flattering and stylish look, try to introduce different shades of the same colour, ranging from very pale to bright.
When you switch to block colours and forgo prints, the cut and fit of your clothing really come into their own. Meaning, you need to think about how the shapes of your clothes work together. As a general rule when you’re putting clothes together, if one part of the outfit is oversized or billowing then pair it with something tailored or fitted to achieve balance.
The easiest way to ensure your enthusiasm for colour comes over as effortless (rather than – oh, the horror – matchy-matchy) is to wear the same shades in different textures. Mix wool and cotton with velvet, silk and suede. The point is that if it’s all in a similar colour then the fabrics will play very nicely together. And then don’t be afraid to add clashing accessories.
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