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Easy Ways To Add Color To Your Wardrobe

There’s no doubt that color affects our mood and because last year was the pits, most of us began reaching for more of it to lift our spirits. It may not always feel like an easy process so let’s look at easy ways to add color to your wardrobe. Today I’m back with my friend Cindy for our Monthly Fashion Edit. This month we’re joined by Sandra to share our thoughts on color.

woman walking down stairs wearing beige sweater, taupe pants and cream color boots

I adore neutrals! If you look in my closet you’ll find a sea of black, lots of white, grays, beiges and a smidgen of color. I find neutrals soothing. They make it easy to put a cohesive look together and they’re just so effortless. But are they boring? Have I gotten lazy by always reaching for a neutral?

Sometimes it feels that way so I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and experimenting with both color and pattern. I may never wear a bright floral but that burgeoning spot of color in the corner of my closet feels delightful. I can’t think of a better adjective to describe how clothes make you feel than fun, which we could all use more of these days.

How to add color to a neutral wardrobe

If you’re a neutral lover, the thought of adding color can be scary. Start small and dial down the intensity. If your wardrobe is predominantly black…add navy, charcoal, or deep brown for a low-contrast addition. Wear mostly beige? Add brown, taupe, pale yellow, peach, or other delicate shades. It’s easier to introduce colors with similar intensity if you’re not used to wearing them.

 

woman wearing pattern scarf with neutral colored hat and coat

This Sabina Savage scarf has soft, subtle shades that coordinate with almost everything I own so it’s on frequent rotation in my wardrobe this winter.

Introduce metallics

Metallics add color in a neutral fashion so they’re perfect for the color phobic among us. A copper shoe looks fabulous with brown, khaki, beige, or black. Silver perks up cool tones and gold is the perfect complement to warm colors. A metallic belt may be out of your comfort zone, but how about a statement necklace in hammered gold?

SHOP METALLIC SHOES

 

Layer on a scarf

These are a natural way to add color to your outfit. Patterned scarves will add several colors at one time and the bonus is they add a level of polish to your outfit that jewelry just can’t give.

 

small floral scarf tied onto a hangbag

If you’re not comfortable wearing the scarf near your face, try tying it onto the handle of your handbag. This handbag added a bright pop to my outfit but this scarf allowed me to introduce touches of other colors I would never wear near my face.

SHOP SCARVES

 

Add a pop of color

Most people think that adding a pop of color means it has to be bright. But if you’re wearing a neutral or pale outfit, the exclamation point you’re looking for can be as simple as a warm tone worn against a cool one, or a slightly more intense version of a color you’re wearing. It also needn’t be seen from down the block and they’re often better when they’re underplayed.

 

This pale mint sweater was one of my first dips into color a few seasons ago and while it’s a large item, the soft tone dials down the impact of the ‘pop’.

Choose a signature color

A signature color is one that you’re known for and/or wear a lot. For some women, their signature color is obvious because they’re almost obsessed with it. How do you find your signature color? You could get a professional color analysis or simply pay attention to what attracts you and what you feel the happiest wearing. The bonus here is if you love it, it’s usually flattering too.

 

woman wearing blue denim jacket and blue shirt with blue jeans

 

I may have a ton of neutral’s in my wardrobe, but I think of blue as my signature color. I love it in every shade, intensity, and nuance so I’m happy whenever I wear it.

Related –My Final Thoughts On Virtual Color Analysis

 

What’s your favorite way to add color to your wardrobe?

Now let’s go see how Cindy at Cindy Hattersley Design and Sandra at Apart From My Art wear color.

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33 Comments

  1. Eve
    March 14, 2021 / 8:01 am

    I love metallic shoes for that punch. I’ve just discovered brooches too for a spot of color. I realized that I like the shortie vest. I think the reason I never wore them was because I bought them too long. The short ones look perky and the longer shirt under seems to lengthen my waistline which I need. Scarfs in silk are my favorite because they drape so well and are easier to tie. I love small cotton bandanas but these days they call attention to my neck so I tie them on my purse or in my hair.

  2. KATHLEEN
    March 14, 2021 / 4:17 am

    For me a signature look is black basics– black pants, jeans, leggings, skirt. And then color on top with a bright top or vest or scarf over black top. And scarves, scarves, scarves at neck, head, belt, or bag… probably not all that at once 😉 I have a hundred of them.

  3. Yvonne
    March 10, 2021 / 4:13 am

    Blue is definitely your colour Jennifer.
    Other than black and white, the colour I’m drawn to the most recently is royal blue. It’s more difficult to find clothes in colours other than neutrals in the winter here in my part of Canada, so I’ve collected scarves and leather gloves in bright colours to wear with all my black winter coats.
    My summer wardrobe has a bit more colour and as you’ve suggested, I have purses, scarves and earrings in different colours.
    I’m looking forward to seeing your new haircut. Spring always seems to be when I’m ready to change my hairstyle and since my haircut appointment isn’t till April (thanks to the most recent Covid lockdown) I have lots of time to consider a new style.

  4. Elaine @ Following Augustine
    March 9, 2021 / 6:17 pm

    This is a very timely post for me. I looked into my closet yesterday and was depressed by how blah it looked, how colourless. I definitely want to add some colour for spring. I think most of us need that right now to lift our spirits.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 10, 2021 / 6:05 am

      Mine still looks blah so I’m working on it. Color is such a great tonic for the mood

  5. MRSBEN2
    March 9, 2021 / 6:06 pm

    Excellent suggestions for adding color to one’s wardrobe, Jennifer. For this Spring and Summer, I am gravitating to colored handbags and footwear however during this past year since face masks became mandatory and we (here in Canada) will be probably wearing them for a few more months; as a hobby sewer I have accumulated quite a collection of them in a rainbow of colors and different prints. (Even have my hubby stepping out of his casual comfort zone of denim and chino ….. ha.) -Brenda-

    P.S.: Like yourself Sandra has me sold on the resin jewelry! Tip: Check out Etsy.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 10, 2021 / 6:06 am

      Etsy is pretty amazing!!!! There are so many there

  6. Janet Williams
    March 9, 2021 / 3:25 pm

    I adore the pink bag and coloured scarf in your photo! As I’ve said before, I need these vibrant colours to feel good so there is rarely a day that goes by without bright colours. I haven’t bought a neutral coloured purse for 30 years.
    Jewel colours are my favourite. Pinks, watery blues and turquoise shades with a white neutral in spring and summer.💜

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 9, 2021 / 5:16 pm

      I haul this pink bag out every spring and love it to bits. Maybe I need a bright blue one too:)

  7. Lin
    March 9, 2021 / 1:47 pm

    I just color coded my closet and realized I have very little color except beige, black, white and gray. Even the prints are neutral.
    I love your ideas of how to liven up an outfit with color.
    I don’t wear scarves very often except with coats.
    Love the idea of a bag in a bright cheery color or a scarf attached to a bag.
    Thank you for helping me step into the world of color in an easy way.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 9, 2021 / 5:15 pm

      I’m so happy you found it helpful. My wardrobe needs more color so I’ll be using these ideas more and more going forward. It may not look as elegant but it is certainly more fun and creative

  8. Joan
    March 9, 2021 / 12:16 pm

    It’s wonderful to have such a variation of style and preferences among us women! Personally it’s rare when I’m dressed only in neutrals. I typically gravitate towards colors, prints, jewel tones etc. Your topic today is enlightening to realize that some of us find it difficult to wear colors.

    • debby
      March 9, 2021 / 4:20 pm

      I agree with you. I’m full of color all the time. Gravitate to the same jewel tones, pinks, blues. I could never wear beige. Interesting that we are all so different.

  9. Sharon g.
    March 9, 2021 / 10:25 am

    Love, love that pink bag pictured with the scarves! What make is that bag?

  10. Charlene G
    March 9, 2021 / 9:48 am

    That last comment about hot pink as a pop was supposed to read I like it as a pop, in a SHOE not show! Don’t do shows! 😂😂

  11. Charlene G
    March 9, 2021 / 9:45 am

    Thank you for such a fun and informative post! Like you, I’m a fair skinned blonde with blue eyes who can go either cool or warm depending on the color and shade. I’m supposed to be a “Summer” according to the analysis I had done years ago with Color Me Beautiful, but frankly some of that palette I just find boring (dusty everything is just not me!) Like you, I take these as guides not mandates. So far as a signature color, mine should be blue because it does flatter my coloring probably the most, but not all blues. It’s often hard to find things in color in the shades I need, so sadly, I don’t have much of it. I will always have a shirt or two in rotation. In recent years I have started dabbling more in color, and I am also color shy. Black is not supposed to look good on me but wow do I feel great when I am wearing it! So I’ll never give up black entirely. But I have started gravitating toward hot pink a good bit. I even bought a wool Kate Spade hot pink coat which I adore. I do get compliments when I wear it but I think of it as more of a fun color rather than a basic. I have some dresses and sweaters in it but I really prefer hot pink as a pop, in a show or earrings or a bag. Also, I’ve begun experimenting with prints. That is a tricky one and they will never dominate my wardrobe but Lilly Pulitzer colors seem to be a safe bet, and it’s fun looking for prints that work. I love to read your blog, you are always so on point, and it feels as though we are on a fun journey together! Keep it coming!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 9, 2021 / 5:09 pm

      Your comments really resonate with me. Prints are appealing more and more these days so it will be fun to see what happens.

  12. Sandra Sallin
    March 9, 2021 / 8:21 am

    Ha! We’re all alike. We add color with out accessories. Yes, you look great in blue. Bring on the scarves, bangles, purses the whole world of color. I love it. There’s always some accessories out there that says, love me, love me. so I have the basics and then enjoy tossing in the fun of accessories. Of course you have a more educated approach as a stylist. I just go for it with my eyes. But love learning from you. It’s always fun working with you Jennifer. Thanks for the invitation.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 9, 2021 / 5:06 pm

      Your style is quite simply amazing, Sandra! I feel boring compared to you. Your bracelet collection is enviable so I may need to branch out and add some resin pieces to my wardrobe. Thanks for joining us this month.

  13. Bea
    March 9, 2021 / 8:09 am

    Color is so important to me! Your comment about blue making you feel happy is the key, I think. Since color impacts my mood too, I almost always wear something colorful, even when I am dressed in neutral shades. Besides scarves and bags, jewelry is something I select to add color to my look. At the moment, I am on vacation on Sanibel island and I just bought two colorful rings from my favorite Canadian jeweler – one with red & white bands across the top, and the other with a blue lapis stone set in silver. Another thing I do is I buy colorful coats. After I bought a beautiful wool winter coat in a raspberry shade (half off because of the color, I am sure!), I got tons of compliments wherever I wore it. That told me something about the power of color!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 9, 2021 / 5:03 pm

      Those sound so fun. Who is this designer? I need to check them out

  14. Jennifer A
    March 9, 2021 / 8:05 am

    Did I miss your post yesterday on your hair? Was looking forward to it.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 9, 2021 / 10:19 am

      I haven’t photographed my new ‘do yet because it’s been crazy windy. Hopefully we can get some today.

  15. Jan
    March 9, 2021 / 7:35 am

    If there was ever a time to pop on a fun color, this has to be the year to do it! I started carrying a small clutch last year and found that I loved the casual vibe. So, I just purchased one a bit larger in a beautiful, green grass color for spring and summer. I also love adding a coral or aqua tank under my denim shirts. There are so many inexpensive wrap brackets that are fun to wear too.
    I feel like this small change can make a huge difference in my overall mood.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 9, 2021 / 5:01 pm

      Tanks are perfect for that. You get a peek of color without a huge investment

  16. Laurel
    March 9, 2021 / 7:01 am

    I have always loved turquoise, so the whole family of aqua, seaglass and spa blue have been a big hit with me in the last few years. So much so that I’m starting to ask myself if I need to branch out. I also love orange red, so I have some of that, and I find the turquoise and red can look great together depending on the tones. Spring is here, and I’m always tempted by pink but have learned to stop buying it, because I wear it so infrequently.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 9, 2021 / 4:59 pm

      Orange looks fabulous with blue too:)

  17. Elaine
    March 9, 2021 / 6:50 am

    I have a large selection of scarves and use them whenever I need to add color. It really can stansform a hohum outfit to spectaculars with very little effort.

  18. beth byrd
    March 9, 2021 / 6:40 am

    I, too, have a wardrobe mainly of neutrals — black, grey and khaki.

    A few years back I purchased a periwinkle handbag — totally out of my comfort zone. However, it has become my favorite bag and I love pulling it out in the spring. I’ve received tons of compliments on it and it never fails to cheer me up.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 9, 2021 / 4:57 pm

      Now you’re speaking my language. Periwinkle is one of my very favorite shades of blue

  19. Sue H
    March 9, 2021 / 6:30 am

    I agree that deciding on a general palette for your wardrobe is an efficient and cost-effective way to define your style. However, adding pops of colour to an otherwise harmonious wardrobe keeps it interesting. Column dressing is an easy way to add colour with the addition of a contrasting jacket. My favourite way to add colour, though, is with shoes! While I own some black shoes, a peek in my closet will show a rainbow of colours.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      March 9, 2021 / 4:55 pm

      Colored shoes are sooo fun!

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