Essentials For The Colour-Phobe's Wardrobe

If you find yourself reaching for clothes in neutral colours every day, you're not alone. Countless fashion bloggers I've read listed "I will wear more colour" as one of their 2009 style resolutions. However, going from a day-to-day look of neutrals to one with more colour requires some strategizing, particularly if you're on a budget.

The solution? I suggest buying a few things in bright colours and wearing one colourful item at a time with the denim, black, gray, white, and beige pieces in your closet. Just make sure that your new colourful items can be incorporated into multiple outfits. The "one bright colour, keep everything else neutral" look is one I've really been loving lately, and these items have proven to be the workhorses behind it.

I love how the hot pink scarf pops against the black, white, and gray of this outfit.

1. Colourful coats and jackets such as the Framboise jacket ($42.50) brighten up any outfit. Wear one over a black or white sweater, skinny jeans, and tall black riding boots--an instant picker-upper for a neutral ensemble.

2. Tank tops in various colours, like these stretchy tanks from Old Navy ($8.50), are one of the most inexpensive ways to add bold colour to a colour-phobic wardrobe. Stock up and layer them over black, white, or gray long-sleeved or short-sleeved tees. Wear them under neutral cardigans. I personally love wearing a colourful tank under a low-cut black top so that a bit of colour is peeking through, and depending on the colour of the tank I get a different look every time I do so.

3. If I find myself donning an all-black ensemble, I'll incorporate colour into my look with bold eyeshadows. I have shades of green, purple, gold/bronze, and so on. The one I've been wearing often lately is the azure blue 'Birdy' eyeshadow by B (£8.30).

4. Does your neutral ensemble involve jeans on a near-daily basis? If so, consider adding a boldly coloured flat to your look like AK Anne Klein's 'Poodle' flat ($75). Just imagine how much mileage you'll get out of one pair of boldly coloured flats.

5. Black coat, black shoes, black bag...yawn. Add some visual interest and draw attention to your lovely face with a bright scarf. Forever 21's faux pashminas only cost $5.50 each, which means you can stock up on a couple of colours and alternate.

What are the colourful items that have proven to be the workhorses in your everyday look? If you're one of those people who has resolved to wear more colour, how is your resolution working out so far?


  1. Excellent ideas - I love bright scarvesa nd shoes and swear by them!


  2. Wow! I like your post. I have actually been thinking about this for the past year or so and trying to be colorful in my outfits. One of my friends made me realize last year that I was only wearing pastels and grays that looked so plain and almost dead.

    One other colorful thing that comes to my mind in addition to what you suggest is nail polish. Oh! And to top it up - colorful accessories!!

  3. Love it, Lisa. Great advice for the generally color-phobic. ;)

  4. Great ideas Lisa! I too use those items in my everyday clothes to spice things up a bit. A bright colored lip gloss is also a good makeup tip or some colorful jewellery or hair accessories too!

  5. Good idea - I'm pretty nuts about wearing too much colour, so I'm trying to incorporate this rule into my style a little more often because I tend to look like a walking rainbow.

  6. Great post, all lovely ideas. And those eyeshadows are great, I've never gotten around to ordering them but I've seen so many amazing pictures.

  7. this was one of my resolutions!
    -that blue eyeshadow is so pretty! i've been experimenting with colorful eye make-up a lot lately

  8. Thanks everyone!

    Margherita and LPF, B eyeshadows are amazing and very intense in colour, plus they come in those cute sparkly cake tins. :)

  9. I am a total color-phobe! I'm usually in the greys, blacks, whites, browns...i know its bad. I do once and a while pick up a bright color. (not often thou)
    Thanks for the tips Lisa :)

  10. "My" coat looks good with that scarf!

  11. These are great! Your how tos are always inspiring! I linked ya but I still haven't done the tag yet...lolol I hope that makes up for it for now. lol will do it soon I promise! MUAH!

  12. When I branched out into colorful pants, I knew I wasn't a color phobe anymore. Tanks & shoes are definitely a great start, tho.

  13. Great post! I really appreciate your advice and I love your sense of style.


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