Adding Colour To Your Wardrobe: A Beginner’s Guide

…from a complete novice on the subject


So I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it anywhere *eyebrow raise*, but for the first time in years I’ve embraced some colour in my wardrobe. I’m can’t pinpoint exactly why I’ve had this shift, but I think it came from the realisation that I was a bit bored of dressing the exact same everyday, and the fact that you can look all chic and Parisian and a little bit Skandi and all those other style-terms that I desperately try (and more often than not fail) to emulate, and still wear colour. Although I’ll forever stand by the fact that an all black outfit is the most damn chic looking thing ever, who’s to say that a simple red bag paired with it doesn’t add a bit more to the party?

The more I’ve delved into the world of fashion blogging and style-based Instagrammers the more my eyes have been opened up to items, silhouettes and shades that I would have previously would have grimaced at the thought of wearing, much like in the ’90’s when my Mum made my sister and I wear matching lime green outfits with cycle shorts that had big pink flowers on them. So if you too have been scarred by a childhood neon experience and feel like your wardrobe is a little lacking in the colour department. Here’s how I’d recommend dipping your toe back into the wardrobe world that doesn’t just exist of white and black (and grey and denim)…



I once watched this Instagram story of a fitness girl who I follow who visited this cute little lady in New York who finds your perfect colour palette for you. She basically holds up all these pieces of fabric to your face to see if the colour compliments your natural skintone or doesn’t quite look right. She worked through what seemed like over a hundred different colours of fabric and you leave with swatches of the colours that worked for you – plus, she even categorises them into seasons – this woman seemed like a girl after my own heart. GENIUS. Of course there’s nothing to stop you doing it yourself. Just take yourself to a store that has a good lighting, clothing in colours that span the full rainbow and bring along an honest friend. I did my own mini version in the ZARA changing room and realised that a tomato-based red, that has a hint of orange to it works well with my rosy complexion (if it ain’t looking too rosy), although yellow came a close second. Maybe I’ll save that for next summer…



I’ve had my monochrome-blinkers on for so long, that even just starting to entertain the idea colour in my wardrobe meant a whole new world of shopping opened up to me. I had previously ignored any areas in a shop that were occupied with colour and headed straight to the racks filled with white, denim, black and navy. The same went for online shopping. I used to have the colour filters on so that anything that was colourful was filtered out. I took my dedication to look like Wednesday Addams very seriously indeed.

Instead of buying the first five red things I saw – and let me tell you, that would have been easy peasy, red is HOT right now – I put in some serious online shopping hours. Mark happily watched F1 in the evenings and other various sporting events that I don’t give two hoots about, as I sat and bookmarked items, saved images on Instagram of pieces and looks that I wanted to recreate and looked at the bits that I wished to purchase and how they would fit into my current wardrobe.



Being a complete newbie with colour, I thought I’d keep my purchases to items that were easy to pair with others or like things that I have already so I knew that I’d feel comfortable with them. For example I got this & Other Stories Red Shirt that’s the practically the same cut of long-sleeve shirt that I usually wear. Unsurprisingly this was the first thing that I started to wear on repeat once I purchased it. The other thing that was kind of similar to things that I’ve worn in previous summers was the Alice & Olivia Cami. A pricey purchase, but it’s a beautiful piece that when the weather was roasting earlier in the week, got a lot of airtime. It’s basically the summer-friendly take on my jeans and shirt uniform that I wear for the rest of the year.

In terms of pieces that pair well with other items, I’m talking about accessories here. So things like the Whistles Double Zip Red Bag and the & Other Stories Red Suede Mules that can easily be incorporated into outfits that are a little on the monochrome side. The one item where I really threw a bit of caution to the wind though was this & Other Stories Midi Skirt. I never usually wear skirts, I’ve never even w0rn a midi one and this one has a bloomin’ slit up the front! I actually really love it and I’ve found myself wearing it already, way more than I thought I would.




Although you might feel like you stick out like a big sore thumb – specially if you go down the red route too – let me tell you that I’m sure you look flippin’ fabulous and from those who notice you will no doubt get a load of compliments and ‘Where did you get that? Can I buy it too?‘ comments heading your way. My Mum and sister have already expressed their want for my red skirt and when I wore this & Other Stories Floral Blouse to dinner with my mates the other day, each one of them said how nice it was. Compliments are game-changers sometimes when you’re having one of those days and I think we should all spread ’em a little further. Pay it forward and all that, and when someone tells you where they got that awesome bag from, write it down so it makes it easier to find when your other half is busy watching F1 later and you’re in prime online shopping mode.

Photos by Lauren Shipley