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As the Starks have been saying all along: winter is coming. And with it, a return to darker colours in your wardrobe. Grey days leading to darker clothes? Well, it’s unsurprising. Research has shown that we tend to echo our environment in the clothes that we wear. Hence why most of us have a stash of bright clothes that we’ve mentally labelled ‘Holiday Gear’ that only appears when we dust off our passports.

But just because the world outside is getting grey, that doesn’t mean you need to dress like the clouds. In fact, there’s a host of other autumn colours that translate perfectly from the trees to your wardrobe. “We generally suggest darker, richer colours when it starts getting colder,” says Thread stylist Freddie Kemp. “They tend to be married with chunkier fabrics and lots of texture. This includes forest green, camel, dark orange, and burgundy. Consider them your seasonal equivalent to the brighter, lighter colours of summer.”

Colour-pairing rules

According to Freddie, these autumnal shades work best when styled with the core colours that feature in your wardrobe all year (navy, grey, white). Because these hues are more accessible than neons, there’s room for you to experiment and push your style boat out a little further. For instance, you could try teaming a dark pink shirt with a bold knit.

"Adding colour is always going to help give your look a more stand-out appearance, and they are a great way to differentiate from the mass of neutrals we see every day,” says Freddie. “On top of this, the fabrics tend to have more texture and depth which attracts the eye and elevates your style.

“I think it's important to know which colours suit your skin tone and which colours complement each other. But with winter, the colours are less risky than summer. They feel more cosy and wholesome, whereas summer colours feel bold and boisterous. As with anything style-related, don't worry too much about the rules. Give things a go and if the fit is right and colours work then you're on to a winner.”

One more top tip from Freddie: opt for darker colours (think mossy green or burgundy) with lots of texture and interesting fabrics. “This gives you a safe introduction, rather than going straight for the mustard cords.”

The items that work best

Not every item is going to lend itself well to being brightly coloured. Trousers, for example, are notoriously hard to pull off in certain shades of red or orange. But two categories that work particularly well are knitwear and overshirts.

“In terms of accessories, I'd say a scarf is probably your best bet,” says Freddie. “A hat is a smaller amount of fabric, but it’s much more noticeable and can look a little odd if not matched well with the rest of the look. It's like wearing bright trainers with a neutral look. You need to balance the colours when they are at the extremes of your silhouette. One bold colour sits best in the middle of the body as it stands out a little less, especially when matched with other layers.”


Words: Theresa Harold
Photography: Chris Howlett
Styling: Brooke Philips