I think we can all agree that colour makes us happy...but, when you open your wardrobe, what is it that makes you reach for a white blouse over a red one? There could be more to it than you initially thought!
The way we dress is, without a doubt, another way for us to express ourselves. Colour and pattern are a brilliant way to show your personality, but they can also influence mood.
When it comes to colour, there’s no right or wrong answer. What’s most important is that you dress to make yourself happy - if that means yellow brings you down and black builds you up, that’s fine! But, if you’re wondering how to dress to show a little bit more of your personality or how you’re feeling that day, we’re here to help you make colour work for you.
Colour’s all around us, even when we don’t notice it - in fact, the human eye can see around a million different colours, and that’s before we start counting the ones we can’t see. Although colour connotations are cultural and subjective, colours like red, orange, pink and yellow are thought to be warm, and purples, blues and greens are thought to be cold.
Colour harmony refers to colours that look good together. Artists and designers will use colour theory when they’re deciding on a particular mood for their project. You might know instinctively which colours work together but, failing that, you can refer to the colour wheel.
Colours that work well together usually sit on opposite sides of the wheel, and when they’re side-by-side, they look even brighter and better. Dressing in complementary colours is often seen as quite bold but it’s also easy to do it in a more understated way with colourful bags, scarves or jewellery.
As well as reading the wheel from side to side, you can use it to discover shades, tones and tints of a base colour. If you love dressing in neutrals, you might already be used to dressing in monochrome. Play with texture to add interest to your outfits, like pairing a silk scarf with a fluffy faux fur coat!
Three colours side by side on the wheel are referred to as analogous colours, they’re endlessly versatile, but could be a bit much all in one outfit. Keep things simple by choosing one to be the base colour, and adding the others as accents. We love a navy suit worn with a light blue blouse and turquoise jewellery!
What to wear
Bursting with warmth and bright energy, yellow is a sunny pick-me-up if ever there was one! Although a lot of people might think it’s difficult to wear, there’s a shade of yellow for everyone. Choose a shade like saffron or mustard for something a little bit different, or if you’re looking for a more versatile neutral, camel and sand are stylish alternatives. For something brimming with summer sunshine, try a bold basic with a bright print in yellow and blue!
Pink is often thought of as a colour ‘for girls’ but before the mid-19th century, it was actually worn predominantly by boys! If you love pink, you’ll be happy to know that it has connotations of kindness, generosity and gentleness. Want to make a statement? Go for something bright and bold, or try it from head to toe - worn on a woman, it subverts the idea that it’s a colour for girls, and adds confidence and fun to your outfits.
A colour of calm and tranquility, blue is seen as soothing. Of its many (many!) shades, the umbrella covers navy, teal, turquoise and baby blue, so the possibilities are endless! Easy to wear, you’ll see it a lot in more formal, professional settings, but for dressed-down days, you can’t go wrong with blue jeans.
Because of its presence in nature, green is a calming and grounding colour, often associated with healing and freshness. Recently, especially during the cooler months, we’ve seen even more dark shades of green make their way into people’s wardrobes. To wear it in spring or summer, choose a khaki jacket like this one - we love it worn with a dress or sunny midi skirt, or just our favourite pair of jeans!
If ever there was a colour to stop you in your tracks, it’s red. Passionate, empowering and bold, it’s not for everyone, but worn the right way, it’s powerful! From crimson to pillar box, burgundy to scarlet, reds range in colour and intensity so there’s something for everyone. We love it worn with white, black or blue — whether that’s on a summer dress that rivals the blooms in your garden or dressed down with jeans at the weekend.
White — a colour with infinite symbolism. Known historically to represent purity and innocence (typically worn by children and by a woman on her wedding day), today, it often symbolises peace and serenity, most commonly worn in summer for a cool, fresh look. It’s easy to wear with...well, anything from denim to smart workwear. Introduce some texture or a pop of colour or print to add instant interest!