A fashion and style blog for the over 40s covering body shapes, colour palettes, how to wear neutrals, style personality and capsule wardrobes. Come on in!

4.17.2016

An Easy Way To Add Interest To An Outfit - Use Colour!

Over the last week or so I've been diligently taking photos of my daily outfits and posting on Instagram. A feat in itself given I have no interest in photography at all. It's up there with teeth extractions and jeans shopping.


It doesn't take a genius to work out that I tend to wear neutrals most of the time; navy, grey, white, black and shades of brown (not sludge). In fact 90% of my wardrobe is made up of neutral colours. Boring yes, but they're easy to mix together and easy to wear. 

What I hadn't realised is how much I use a pop of colour in my accessories. I wrote about the value of taking selfies last year (original post here) and asked, 'does your wardrobe tell a story'. My story has mostly remained unchanged. Although I made reference to the fact that I would never go down the route of the dungaree trend (goes to the corner of the room and makes a whoops face). Let's pretend I never said that. I still stand by the fact that I won't wear Birks. Nothing against them, they're just not me.

Yes, I still wear basic colours but it gets a bit samey after a while so consciously / sub consciously / consciously unconsciously / oh I don't know, it kind of crept up on me - I've introduced pops of colour in my shoes and bags. 





And in real life

A pink bag (similar)


Red trainers (currently in the sale)


Red shoes (final day to bag a 20% discount)


Orange shoes (sold out but these are cute)





A mustard yellow bag (similar)


An orange bag and shoes (twas a good day for coloured accessories that was) love this bag 




As a trained colour consultant, I know what I should wear but that sodding little devil in my head tells me what I will wear. And regular readers will probably notice (often) that I wear colours that I shouldn't. At least with accessories, I can play around guilt free. 

If you're interested in going down this route, here are a few pointers

1. Build up your basics: jeans, t-shirts, shirts, dresses, skirts, jackets and knitwear. Stick to neutral colours. Here's a list of what I consider to be neutrals

Black
White
Grey (any shade)
Navy
Brown - not sludge, well you can if you want, but I won't be following :-)
Cocoa
Pewter
Taupe
Olive
Khaki

Pick out 3 or 4 of your BEST colours from the list above. You know, the ones that you look and feel amazing in. This won't happen overnight if you're starting from scratch although you may have good solid neutrals in your wardrobe already. Make each future purchase count towards your new wardrobe. 

2. Pattern is restrictive so buy sparingly. It's much more difficult to style and, a pattern is a pattern at the end of the day. Hard to make it look different to the last time you wore it. Whereas a plain white shirt can be worn with jeans and a cardi, culottes and heels, pencil skirt and blazer.... see where I'm going. It's so much more versatile than a patterned blouse.

I think it's almost law in the fashion world now that animal print and stripes are neutrals (and can even be worn together). So treat these as neutrals.


3. Your pops of colour could come from bags, shoes, scarves or jewellery. I don't tend to wear lots of scarves anymore (although they are excellent for making an outfit interesting) and my jewellery tends to be smaller so not as impactful. But each element is an ideal way of bringing colour to your outfits.

4. You don't have to do matchy-matchy shoes and bag either. I very rarely match mine although if you're a Classic style personality (find your style personality here), you may balk at the idea of not having the same coloured shoes and bag!! Nothing wrong with that, it's just who you are. 

5. Bright coloured accessories (not so much shoes) are often left over at the end of every season so make it your mission to stock up in the sale. Lots of the goodies below have been heavily reduced. 

6. Remember less is more. A bright emerald bag teamed with a black dress and black shoes is all that's needed. You don't need a crazy necklace and massive earrings as well.

Here are a few accessories that won't break the budget.










(oooh beady eye alert, yellow trainers!!!) 












The price of a cheap bottle of plonk for experimental purposes and of course it helps that the little pump is making it's come back. 




















So, does this make sense or am I talking twaddle again? 

Lovely dog walk in Alderley Edge woods today. There's a special place called the Edge that has the most magnificent views of Manchester and beyond. Amazing to see snow on top of the hills over on Saddleworth Moor (I think that's where it was). 


Followed by a hearty brunch in the village (soz too hungry to do a filtered insta photo). Back home for a lazy afternoon and holiday planning. We're this far < > from finalising this year's summer itinerary and booking. Can't wait.

Wore this lovely shirt that I bought in the States last year. Oh look, I'm practicing what I preach with a pop of yellow.

Shirt - Loft (similar)
Jeans - Marks & Spencer
Boots - Ilse Jacobsen
Jacket - old - (updated version)
Belt - Diesel (similar)
Bag - Boden (similar)
Right off to watch a film as there's sod all on the television as per usual. Have a good evening. 



6 comments on "An Easy Way To Add Interest To An Outfit - Use Colour!"
  1. This is really useful guidance Donna. My clothes are mostly in neutral colours, I don't wear scarves much except in winter and don't like big jewelley and I have always tended to buy black or neutral shoes and bags thinking they'll go with everything, which they do but sometimes look a bit dull. I really like your red shoes. I recently ventured into new ground bought a small red leather crossbody bag and have been wearing it with jeans and an ivory ponte blazer, so getting more adventurous! Thanks for another post full of good styling tips. Elaine x

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    1. Hi Elaine thanks for your lovely comments. And how versatile is a red bag - it goes with everything doesn't it and I bet you've been surprised how much you've used it. I was a little unsure about the small yellow one in the last photo but it owes me nothing xx

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  3. What have you done?? I actually clicked through to the yellow trainers just to see how much they are *gasps* I really like them ... I'll never live it down if I buy them!!!!

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  4. Morning, really liked your post, given me some inspo for today and future shopping..x

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