Fashion notes: Please, pull yourself out of your colourless rut
Some of you may look to the products on the right of this column and think that you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing such a bright colour. You might find it too attention-grabbing and somewhat repulsive – basically, not your cup of tea, even if it’s a shade currently dominating store window displays.
Many people are more comfortable in black-and-white – and the occasional spot of grey – everyday ensembles. The most colour those people bring into their look is a touch of Mac Ruby Woo red on their lips. But let me tell you something. There’s a serious danger in getting too lax about a lack of colour. Trust me, my heart also resonates with the appeal of an all-monochrome look. There’s something oh-so-fabulous about a simple white button-down blouse over black leather trousers, a baggy black turtleneck worn over tight black skinny jeans, or an all-white tailored pantsuit.
Our tendency to stick to our monochrome comfort zones is probably a result of recent style trends, such as minimalism and androgyny. Key pieces of these trends are basic black or white blouses, trousers and jersey dresses – stylish, but colourless. These pieces are incorporated into ensembles that walk the runways and take over store displays, so we start buying them with the intent that they’ll become wardrobe staples. But then we get so comfortable with these pieces that we buy more of them – the same exact styles, with slight differences in cuts, lengths and buttons. Pretty soon, monochrome basics are all we see when we open our wardrobe doors.
Sure, blacks and whites exude attitude and a certain sophistication. Still, there’s a level of pizzazz and personality that only colour can bring to an outfit. If you’re willing to add some colour to your wardrobe this autumn, but aren’t quite sure which shades to invest in, let me help you. After all, if you’re going to take the big leap into colour, you’d better make sure your purchases are on-trend.
To start off, beige doesn’t count – we’re talking pretty pigments. They need not be overwhelmingly bright and perky, but they should fall somewhere on the rainbow spectrum. I’ll skip over pastels, too. I’m crazy about them, but they’re easily incorporated into summer wardrobes. For autumn, let’s be bold with our colour choices, looking particularly at oranges, greens and blues.
Burgundy, or oxblood, is an obvious choice for autumn, but is becoming somewhat overdone. By all means, if this is the shade to knock you out of the black-and-white world, embrace it. But if you’re looking for something that’s a little more unexpected, try an earthy orange, so dark that it could pass as a tan-brown. The autumn/winter Fendi show included a sophisticated suede dress in this shade, and it looked divine. For more drama, go brighter, with a tangerine or coral colour. Military green is another subtle hue currently on trend. Though it may carry masculine connotations, see how Jason Wu used the shade to portray elegance, confidence and femininity in his autumn/winter collection. If you’re feeling festive, opt for an emerald green – jewel tones are great, though some tend to add years to your look.
I’ll also touch on cobalt blue. It’s a commanding colour, and suits most skin tones. There’s no need to go head-to-toe cobalt, but a nice knit sweater or tapered trousers will definitely give a pop of excitement to your look. So next time you’re window shopping, keep a keen eye out for the shades listed above, because a wardrobe without colour is a sad thing indeed.