A summertime splash of bright colour

cr: Jake Terrey , SL fashion, feb 7

cr: Jake Terrey , SL fashion, feb 7 Photo: Jake Terrey

Summer dressing immediately brings to mind gauzy whites and muted neutrals for day, and perhaps a slinky black number for a balmy evening. Not to mention pastels, dusty pink for a summer wedding or a pale blue linen shirt for work.

But colour, big primary jewel-like colours, red, greens and blues… maybe not so much. Colourful clothes have a bit of bad reputation, reminding us of the 90's and not in a good way, like the cast of Friends in their bold oversized Gap shirts or the ubiquitous yellow happy pants – no wonder it's taken a while for us to dip our toes in the colour pool again.

However according to colour specialists Pantone, Spring 2016 is a time for "vivid brights to give way to excitement and optimism" with colours such as 'Snorkel Blue', a bold cobalt, and 'Fiesta', a high energy yellow-based red, on the agenda and making their way into our lives and wardrobes.

Zimmermann "Harlequin Tiered" dress, $550. Chloé "Drew" bag, $2895,  from Parlour X. Marni sandals, $595. Click for more photos

Colour splash

A carnival of tangy, sweet colours and fluid silhouettes brings a fresh optimism to summer dressing ... and beating the heat. Photo: Jake Terrey

Take your cues from the recent shows. Colour was the hero at Gucci's Spring 2016 show, with Allessandro Michele evolving his geek chic aesthetic via peacock blues, vibrant emerald greens and varying shades of pink, purples and reds.


Never one to shy away from colour Versace favoured green and purple (often together in a psychedelic print) and a brash cobalt blue for their Couture collection.

The best way to bring colour into your wardrobe is through new season pieces and shapes. Pair with neutral staples that you already own and invest in a one bold statement bag or shoe in your favourite hue.

Here's how to embrace colour this summer:

  • Look for colourful pieces in this season's shapes – a jumpsuit, pleated skirt, flared pants or top with billowing sleeves. Clashing colours and prints are to be embraced not avoided - which makes putting pieces together a breeze.
  • Don't be afraid to pair bold prints or bright colours with equally over-the-top accessories, add different pops of colour with shoes, bags and statement jewellery. Or if you're not quite ready to take the plunge into wearing brightly coloured clothes, bags and shoes are a great way to indulge in a bit of colour therapy.
  • Go for colours that suit your skin tone and hair colour. Yellow loves blondes but it can wash out pale skin, whereas bold blues and greens compliment pale skin well. Vibrant pinks like fuchsia will emit a rosy glow against olive and darker skin tones; and bright red, purple and teal are generally flattering to all skin tones.