Monday, 17 September 2012

How to Colour Block for All Seasons

Having focused on pastel and neon blocking, today I wanted to train the microscope on rich jewel brights (amethyst, ruby, pink topaz, aquamarine...) which stun in any season, and how they can work with the group of shades I think of as more specifically "autumnal" (mustard, burnt orange, plum, wine...).

How I Wear
Tips and Tricks

Whilst the weather is warm enough, blocking true brights such as fuchsia and amethyst looks great, whether going for a dip-dye effect or mixing separates. Depending on the shapes, number of tones and colour families you choose, you can create a fun, quirky look, or a more romantic feel, as I have with this chiffon maxi dress.

Dress: Primark (Past Season)
Shoes: Primark (Past Season)
Hair Band: Primark (Past Season)

Blocking knitwear, blouses, skirts and tights (or indeed trousers) in jewel brights blended with burnt oranges, mustards and plums takes the look into autumn. Tone-on-tone colour blocking keeps the look elegant and subtle, whilst adding a pop from a different colour family (like these mustard tights) adds impact and a hint of cheekiness.

Look 1 - Jumper: Primark (Past Season); Skirt: River Island (Past Season); Tights: Primark; Boots: Primark (Past Season)
Look 2 - Blouse: Primark (Past Season); Skirt: As Above; Tights: Primark; Shoes: Marks & Spencer (Past Season)
Look 3 - Dress: Primark (Past Season); Tights: Primark
Look 4 - Blouse: Primark (Past Season); Skirt: Jane Norman (Past Season); Tights: Primark; Shoes: New Look (Past Season)

A collection of coloured shoes, boots, coats, hats and scarves is also a definitive must!

Blouse: Primark (Past Season)
Skirt: ASOS (Past Season)
Boots: Primark (Past Season)
Coat: Freemans (Past Season)
Hat: Primark (Past Season)
Scarf: Primark (Past Season)

For a subtler AW look, block hints of deeper, more muted colour variants, like this burgundy red shade, with larger expanses of neutral tones (blacks, creams, beiges etc) - block lighter and darker neutrals together for added impact.

Dress: Primark (Past Season)
Tights: Accessorize
Coat: Primark (Past Season)
Shoes: Dorothy Perkins (Past Season)

Tips and Tricks

What and where to buy:

Purple and red shades are set to be big this season (burgundy has been all over the high street for months already, but I think I'm still more of a plum girl at heart), whilst orange, mustard and teal shades have attained the status of AW "classics".

Primark is the place to go for coloured tights - comfortable, snug (available in 100 denier +), durable and richly pigmented, you couldn't do better even if you were willing to spend more than £2! Accessorize also offers a good selection. Primark is also the coloured-boot destination of choice, whilst M&S has a drool-worthy collection of plum shoes in heel-heights high enough to give you a spring in your step but low enough to stop the spring turning into a limp after half an hour.

A few pointers worth bearing in mind:

Lighter, brighter shades draw the eye and can give the illusion of increased width - use this to your advantage by using these tones to highlight or boost assets, and darker, more muted shades on any areas you want to minimise or draw attention away from. Throwing on a skinny black waist belt is an easy way to make sure your waist isn't lost.

The deeper, darker and more similar your chosen tones are, the more sophisticated the look, and the longer and leaner you are likely to appear (but don't be afraid to mix in a contrasting accessory or two to add interest). Mixing lots of very different, bright tones can make you look shorter in some cases, but gives a more fun, eclectic look.

There's no point taking yourself too seriously when you're colour blocking though - experiment, have fun and find what works for your body and your style. For example, wearing a bright mini dress or skirt can give the illusion of a shorter upper body, but hence make your legs look even longer in comparison, especially if they're encased in a darker shade!

Tomorrow: How to Wear Florals

See more posts featuring colour blocking here

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  1. Fabulous colour blocking tips! Great outfits.
    Would love you to check out my latest outfit post :)
    Have a fab Tuesday Hun xoxo

    1. Thanks honey :) Going to pop over to your blog now! xx