The Cold-Weather Guide To Colour
According to the French painter, sculptor and filmmaker Fernand Léger, “A man needs colour to live; it’s just as necessary an element as fire and water.”
Many of us are likely of the same opinion – what better way to both lift your mood and give yourself an edge in the sartorial stakes than adding a splash of colour to your outfit?
Here are some tips from FashionBeans as a comprehensive guide to cold-weather colour, beginning with four rules that are worth noting down:
- Coordinate With Care: Black and some particularly dark greys and navies may contrast too severely with brighter colours, so swap these for lighter greys, camel and other soft neutrals if your hue of choice is nothing short of bold.
- Stay Skin Tone-Appropriate: If you’re particularly pale make sure to go for slightly deeper, richer shades. Bright hues are best left to those with a naturally more pigmented complexion.
- Make It Personal: Disregard current trends and opt for hues that suit you best. If you feel autumn/winter 2014’s key colours aren’t for you, experiment and find your own perfect tones.
- Materials Matter: Did you know that dyes of different strengths are used for different fabrics? Natural materials (such as wools, cottons and leather) usually take softer, less harsh dyes better. The final result is refined, subtler and less likely to jar with the weather than the saturated, ultra-bright hues of synthetic fabrics.
1. Coloured Corduroy
This pleasing contrast works well because rugged, traditional corduroy serves as a grounding base for a colour statement, whilst the irreverence of the hue brings this heritage fabric bang up to date.
Go for corduroy with guts: the thicker the ridges (or, to get technical, the lower the wale count), the better. There really are no excuses not to give it a go, despite your – admittedly understandable – qualms.
Team with other complementary worker wear-inspired pieces such as denim jackets, flannel shirts and heavy duty boots, or go the other way and dress them up with a heritage tweed blazer and thick Oxford button-down.
2. Punchy Puffer Jackets
We know your office attire probably can’t be given the full colour treatment, but that doesn’t mean your commute has to be dull. Why not try a punchy coloured puffer jacket as a bold alternative to the traditional overcoat?
On the high street, ASOS and Uniqlo offer affordable alternatives that will inject any outfit, smart or casual, with a welcome dose of character.
3. Work With Traditional Patterns & Textures
Turning up the saturation of your winter staples is a particularly easy way of introducing colour to your wardrobe. From tweed and wool tailoring to argyle jumpers, stick to your classic go-to looks but take a few calculated risks when it comes to colour.
Here are some core pieces to consider in a slightly bolder hue or pattern this season: tweed/wool blazers, checked tailoring, heavyweight trousers, jeans, Oxford shirts, cable/waffle jumpers and Fair Isle/festive knitwear.
4. The ‘Peekaboo’ Knit
Think of this as the inverse of the puffer jacket scenario; instead of cranking the colour up a notch in your outer layer, try a bright piece of knitwear underneath. This way, you can wear your traditional sombre overcoat or leather jacket but have something much more gutsy peeking through.
5. Go Tonal
Got the guts to go the extra mile? Try a head-to-toe look in one colour, but break it up with tonal variations. For example, mix a midnight blue overcoat with a marine navy jumper, cobalt blue shirt and navy textured trousers.
Bear in mind that this styling technique often produces extremely bold outfits, especially when you branch away from the safety of blue tones. It’s also important that any new pieces you plan on buying work independently within your existing wardrobe, too.
6. Amp Up Your Accessories
A touch petrified by the prospect of the above? No sweat – if you want to start slow, coloured footwear or accessories offer sure-fire ways to brighten up your winter looks.
You could also try introducing colour to your outfit via traditional cold-weather accessories such as scarves, gloves or hats, or if you’re after something more contemporary, an on-trend backpack or fluoro bright watch.
On first thought, adding colour to your winter looks might seem odd, but when executed well it can lend a little excitement to an otherwise uninteresting cold-weather outfit.
Check out the full post and suggested shops to pick up these great looks from on FashionBeans