5 quick and easy ways to add a pop of bold and vibrant colour to your wardrobe.
When I chose “Colour” as my word for 2017, I was pretty excited. I’ve never been afraid of bright, vibrant colour like some seem to be but I will absolutely confess that there are times where I’ve shied away from using it in the way I really wanted to.
There’s so many reasons we do this – some are practical and a lot are emotional.
Let’s face it… we’d all love to buy the bright red converse sneakers but, if we just buy the black, navy or grey ones, they’ll go with so many more things. (or maybe there’s a voice in our head whispering to us “you’re too old to wear bright red sneakers”).
We know a bright yellow umbrella would be so cheerful on a gloomy, rainy day but it won’t match our rain jacket and our winter coat and our spring jacket and our assortment of navy, grey and black hoodies. (or maybe, it will make us stand out in a crowd and people will notice us – maybe they’ll even talk to us).
I can’t wear that orange pair of pants to that meeting – I won’t look professional. Am I too old to have a wild streak of purple running through my hair? And so it goes.
In 2017 I decided I’m in my 40’s and I just don’t care anymore what people think anymore. I don’t. Life it too short and if I want red chucks, I will get red chucks. I will wear orange pants to a meeting if I ever find a pair of orange pants that I like. I will cram in bright, beautiful, bold, vibrant, saturated colour into my life wherever I want without thinking twice about it anymore because I like it. It makes me very very happy. I’m starting to understand the old ladies who join purple hat societies!
So I did it. And you know what? It did make me happy. Very happy. And it was so easy to do. In fact it was so easy and made me so happy that it’s going well past my word of the year for 2017 and becoming my personal mantra. I almost want to rename this blog The Colour Diaries! (but I’m not).
And so I thought that over the course of the next few months, I’d share with you all the ways I found to fill my world with bold, beautiful colour starting with 5 ways you can easily add vibrant colours into your wardrobe. With my promise that it will cheer you up tremendously!
One overall tip here – vintage, consignment and second hand shops can be the best place to find bright or bold colour for your wardrobe. Especially if you’re looking for colours that aren’t currently trendy. And don’t be afraid to go against trends if it’s something you love.
1. Buy, Make or Rescue One Boldly Coloured Accessory
Start with one accessory. Don’t worry about whether it will match anything else you own. Just do it for you because it makes you happy. You don’t have to spend a lot of money – you can buy something new, find something at a thrift store, rescue an item from a friend’s wardrobe that was going to be turfed or, you can make your own! Here’s some ideas.
- an umbrella
- a purse or bag (or if that’s too big a step, a wallet)
- a case for your phone, tablet, kindle or laptop
- a scarf, a cute pair of earrings, or a jaunty cap or toque
- a pair of socks
- a belt or piece of statement jewelry
Fabric stores usually have more colour and pattern choices than most clothing shops and if you’re handy with a pair of knitting needles you can pick up yarn in every colour imaginable and knit up a quick scarf in a day (since I discovered knitting last winter I have created myself an impressive array of scarves in many colours!)
2. Kick Up Your Workout Gear
Workout gear is one of the easiest ways to add colour because activewear companies are all over bright, bold colour. They know that it can really motivate you to get out there. It’s easy to find fun leggings, tank tops, shoes, yoga mats and even weight sets and kettle bells in all the colours of the rainbow!
You won’t stand out so much in bright colours at the gym because everyone is wearing them. And standing out on the trail can actually be a good thing – you’re easier to spot if something goes wrong!
3. In Your Day to Day Clothing
Neutrals are safe. They go with everything and they ensure you never stand out in a crowd. But here’s the thing, colour can go with neutral! That’s what makes neutrals so great – they can be paired up with any colour.
So have a good neutral base to work from if you’re trying to stick to a capsule wardrobe or if you’re not quite ready to have all your clothes be vibrant colours. And then add a few pieces that are bright and bold. A bright red shirt can be paired with jeans or black, brown, white or navy blue pants. And a white, grey or black top can be paired with bright green pants.
Layer your clothes. I live in tank tops. I probably have about 10 different ones – every one a different colour and all in a lightweight, stretchy fabric so they’re not bulky when worn under other clothes. They layer great under a neutral hoodie or cardigan in winter and they stand alone in spring or summer and add a bright pop of colour all year round! And it’s a great way to add extra warmth in winter.
4. Shoes & Outerwear
Shoes are actually the hardest place for me to add colour. Not because it’s not possible but because I don’t have a lot of shoes and don’t want a lot of shoes. Shoes are one item where I will spend extra money to have something that lasts a long time so I go for classic shapes and stick with blacks and browns and I prefer boots in fall, winter and spring.
But in summer, I like bright flip-flops and I have four pairs of converse sneakers that I rotate through – two in bright colours and two in navy and black. (red is next on my list).
An easy way to add a pop of colour to your shoe wardrobe are with canvas sneakers or espadrilles like Converse, Vans, Toms, Keds, etc. Dressier flats and pumps can come in a wide array of colours too.
Outerwear is easier – a coat in a statement colour is a great investment. I have a bright red winter coat that’s often recognized before I am, and a peacock blue spring trench that cheers me up immensely. They’re a great way to add colour to a neutral wardrobe, brighten up a day and make you stand out in a crowd!
5. Your Underwear
If you are still unsure about adding colour to your wardrobe, start with your undies! Nobody has to see it but you’ll still know you’re wearing it and it will make you feel awesome and underwear is probably the one item that’s so easy to find in an absolute rainbow of bold colours and fun patterns!
And if you’re feeling a little more daring, may we suggest a pair of bright green socks for those moments where you might show a bit of ankle?