Charge of the bright brigade

Work your favourite shade via your wardrobe. Lisa Haynes reveals how to wear block colour

Sunday, 14th July 2013, 10:00 am
Red dress, £35; Dorothy Perkins (
Red dress, £35; Dorothy Perkins (

If monochrome’s for minimalists and busy prints for maximalists, then bright colours are the happy medium.

Stick to simple silhouettes and clean lines and your chosen shade can create a big impact with very little styling effort.

No matter what the weather forecast, bright colours instantly inject a burst of sunshine into your wardrobe.

ASOS blue leather weave clutch bag, £35 (

And with the trend for colour blocking set to continue, stick to bold, primary shades for a look that won’t date.

Wean yourself off black and get creative with colour.


Turn up the colour volume by working separates in the same hue for matchy-matchy chic. Sticking to one key colour has styling benefits if you’re lacking in height or want to shave off a few pounds.

“Wearing the same colour top-to-toe will elongate the body and make it look slimmer,” explains Veronique Henderson, Colour Me Beautiful creative director. Bright suiting is the easiest way to work the cohesive colour look, whether it’s trousers, skirt or shorts.

Try a power red or dazzling cobalt blue. If you’re wearing a bright dress, create double the impact by matching your accessories in a similar shade.


If one bright colour just isn’t enough, then experiment with the clashing effects of multiple bold blocks.

“If you are tall and have a column body shape, you’re better off ‘breaking’ up the body with two or three colours,” Henderson advises.

“Two colours work well to balance out rectangular or apple body shapes but just make sure the ‘break’ doesn’t happen at the widest point of your body.”

Orange and pink make for a stunning summer combo, while red and blue are a good autumnal tag team.

If you’re lacking in clashing creativity, cheat! Let the high street do the hard work for you with clothes and accessories that are pre-colour blocked.


Head-turning colour isn’t for everyone, but there are still ways to venture into rainbow territory without requiring sunglasses to shield your eyes. Team a bold separate with neutral colours like beige, black or white to instantly tone down the brightness and make it feel more wearable.

If colour still feels like a scary prospect, add accent accessories to the mix - a bright bag, shoes or scarf will work uplifting wonders on a bland, colour-free outfit. Once you start wearing colour, you can build up until you reach your comfort zone with bold clothing.

If you’re attempting to cover up your crayon brights with a huge overcoat, you’ve probably gone too far.