I’ve never been much for colour. It was always black and white which I was utterly magnetised by. To reveal the excessiveness of this, my love for the monochromatic was so severe that I generally thought black and white movies displayed a genuinely colourless world. Furthermore, I consistently dreamed of moving to a place that could offer me a monochromatic lifestyle. Just so we are clear, I was only five years young here.
Despite the above, it has only been recently- just after hitting two decades of existence- that I started wearing colour. For someone who has always stayed ‘safe’ with her wardrobe it can feel quite daring to throw in some green tulle or a bright red dress. However, it can bring a list of positive effects with scientists claiming that wearing more colour can greatly impact your mood. Here’s my style secrets to wearing bold colours.
Pick the flattering shades
Suddenly throwing on some colour, when you usually gravitate towards monochromes or navy blue, can cause your confidence to become a little fragile. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to gravitate towards colours that flatter your skin tones. This can actually be quite an extensive and complicated processes to not only determine if you are fair, dark or medium but also to understand your ‘undertones’ and ‘seasons’. However, I want to keep things simple and straightforward for this post…
If you have skin that burns easily before tanning, with ivory, blue or pink undertones, then you are the fair flower. Look at cool colours to compliment your skin tone; blues, greens, pinks, purples and reds. Whilst pastels can look great, this can be more touch and go as well as black which can simply wash you out. Strong colours like dark blue or red can work well also.
If you have a yellow, peach or olive undertone and your skin tans more easily with minimal burning then this is your skin tone type. Look under warm colours for your complimentary shades. These are known as earth tones; browns, khaki, yellow, green, tan, orange, grey, blue and some red shades. Pastels and bright whites are best avoided as they can wash you out.
If your skin tans without burning and your undertones are yellow, red or blue accompanied with brown skin, then you are a dark beauty. Your most complimentary colour is aubergine; dark purple/plum. Red, grey, light blue, orange, pink and gold are also colours that work well for you. Avoid light green as this is not very flattering and does not work very well with your skin tone.
If you have a favourite colour, run it through the above list and see if it compliments your skin tone. If you come up disappointed, see if you can find a variation to work with instead. When you wear a colour that is flattering for your skin tone, you will instantly feel better about wearing colour and your confidence will shine through.
This is the most popular and advised way of wearing colour, especially when you are starting out. Find garments that are simple and all one colour. This will help ease you into wearing bold outfits with it’s lack of detail or crazy patterns that will most likely having you running in the opposite direction, naked. It’s also a more enjoyable way of wearing colour, particularly if it’s a dress like mine, as the designer has done all the work for you saving you the stress of figuring out how to put a whole look together. However, it is just as easy if you are putting a top and bottom together. Look at the list of flattering colours for your skin tone and choose two that compliment each other. If you are unsure, take a peak at a colour chart. From there, you can search for a blouse and skirt or trousers that are simple in design and one block of colour each.
If the thought of wearing a full colour blocked outfit is overwhelming, pair it with a neutral clothing of item for a look that is more balanced. For instance, throw on a bright pink blouse and tuck it onto a muted grey skirt. The important thing to remember is to not over-use colour in fit of panicked frenzy. Co-ordinate a bold garment with a nude shoe or simple, muted accessory.
If you need smaller baby steps, keep to your usually muted shades and choose a colourful accessory instead. It can even been something as small as a green bangle. As long as you are adding a little bit of colour, you’re walking on the right path that is heading to the yellow brick road.
Know your body
Accentuate the favourite parts of your figure to make the best out of wearing a colourful outfit. Wear the bold part of your look in that region. This will instantly draw the eyes to your favourite area and really accentuate your assets. Moreover, it will increase both your confidence and love for wearing colour. I chose to wear a fitted dress to accentuate my curves focusing on my small waist as this is the area I love just a little more than anywhere else.
It’s important to step out of your comfort zone and experiment as much as you can. You’ll never know what works best if you never wear a certain colour. Even if you are certain that sunflower yellow skirt will look horrendous on you, go and try it anyway. What’s the worst that can happen? If you don’t like it then at least now you know for sure that it’s never going to work, however, you might just surprise yourself and find that the image you had in your head was utter bollocks. (oops, please excuse my northern slang.)
Whilst there is nothing wrong with always wearing muted tones and living in monochromatic shades, it can be great to step out of your comfort zone and do something a little different. You may be shocked to see how much it can develop your character and perhaps change the way you look at fashion.
How do you wear bold colours?
Dress: Closet London Pencil Dress
Heels: Sam Edelman Zoe High Heel Ankle Boots (✕)
Necklace: Silver heart necklace