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Four colours to dip into this season

Four colours to dip into this season

Let us guess: your wardrobe has become just as underwhelming as 2020 as a whole, and now you’re looking for something, anything, to bring it back to life? We hear you. The long, style-starved year has seen us swap colour and pattern for mostly grey and neutral loungewear and sweats. Comfortable and timeless as they are, they lack everything we need right now: something new and uplifting.

Enter fresh spring shades that pass the test with flying colours. In fact, when you look at the inspiring line-up of colours our stylist Polly Banks has pulled together, it’s likely your mood will feel lifted too (science even says so). They’re full of optimism: sunny yellows, (life will soon be) rosy pinks, and full-of-zest reds. Looks like we’ll all be wearing optimism on our sleeves this season.

Pink 

“From attention-grabbing neons to the softest bubblegum shades, there’s a shade of pink to suit all skin tones,” Polly says.

How to wear it

Pink with pink 

Pink is often seen as a soft, feminine colour, but it takes on a whole new meaning when paired together. Suddenly the rosy shade feels refreshingly vibrant – the perfect antidote to the grey sweats we’ve all been living in all year.

“Matching shades of the same colour family is key to the all-pink look,” Polly says. “Think soft blush tones or muted coral shades teamed together. And don’t worry, you don’t have to match the colours of each piece exactly – mixing lighter and darker tones can actually give the look more depth, rather than appearing one-note.

“Another thing to consider is fabric texture. Again, different textures work hard to give this monotone look more depth and interest. For day-to-day outfits, you can achieve this with a lightweight, easy-fit knit and loosely tailored trousers in a fluid fabric. Throw in a pair of trainers and some gold jewellery, and you’ve got yourself a high-low street-style outfit, aka an easy way to make this style-forward look feel more wearable.

And for something more dressy, think a silky slip dress with a lightweight overcoat or a cardigan to tap into that high-low style. When it comes to accessories, avoid the pink overload by going for something in a contrast colour – a soft brown bag, for instance.”

Lilac 

“Lilac represents the early summer we’re all rooting for. It’s one of the pastel shades we usually see at this time of the year; how we’re wearing it, though, feels slightly different to previous seasons.”

How to wear it 

Lilac with tailoring 

As we inch closer to some sort of normality, our minds shift to all those items that have taken a back seat recently – like tailoring. A world away from the baggy, elasticated-waist clothing that’s taken precedence over the last year, it’s structured form and slick detailing feel ever-so appealing right now. And while it may not quite work for your first outing to the beer garden, there is a way to make it feel more wearable. Cue lilac shades. 

“Lilac works hard to soften the masculine, utilitarian feel of tailoring,” Polly says. “It brings a playfully feminine feel to two-pieces, especially those in corporate grey. The colour is such a refreshing and fail-safe way to breathe new life into your current tailoring.”

And if you’re after that extra zing, perhaps for your first bar night, adding saturated tones into the mix really lets this colour sing. “A pop of green via your accessories or something sequinned will instantly level up this look.”

Yellow 

Yellow has long been associated with sunshine and feelings of joy and optimism – and we all need more of those right now. But besides its positive aura, the shade is notoriously avoided for fear of being too bright or childish. There is a simple way to mitigate this, as Polly tells us below.

How to wear it 

Yellow with tan shades 

“Reach for tan shades when wearing yellow – they help to tone this bright shade down, without taking away its sunny, energising element,” Polly says. 

“I love how yellow can bring a buttery softness to more masculine cuts, like the silky slip dress and oversized blazer combo seen here [pictured above]. If oversized isn’t your thing, a light tan trench coat has a similar effect.

For more casual looks, swap out your jeans for light mocha trousers. It makes the shade feel more grown-up, especially if you’re going for your usual kicks and tee.”

Flame red 

“As we move towards slow fashion and shun items that only serve a season or trends, colours that breathe new life into our time-honoured neutrals become more appealing. Fiery red is one such shade – even if it’s just in small amounts.”

Photographed: Boden Malvern Ankle Boots (£90)

How to wear it 

Flame red with tan 

Hot red isn’t for everyone – it’s quite a bold hue that never goes unnoticed. But pairing the colour with a neutral like tan suddenly makes the shade feel less daunting. 

As red is often associated with luxury – think the iconic Ferrari or Louboutin heels – use this palette for more sophisticated looks. A full beige suit takes on a fashion-forward edge with a flash or two of flame red, yet still feels appropriate for meetings or weddings.


Words: Ashlie Brombley