4 Ways To Introduce Bright Colour To Your Wardrobe

How To Introduce Colour Into Your Wardrobe
I get quite a lot of comments about the bright colours that I wear, and from what you say I know that many of you would like to know how to introduce colour to your wardrobe. I tend to forget that the days of wearing head-to-toe black (with a touch of navy or grey) are not behind us, and some women find it hard to break out of the black rut. The choice of styles and colours available to us these days is huge, but finding where to start and change the habit of a lifetime can be hard.

How I broke out of my black rut

About 10-12 years ago I made a decision to stop wearing and buying so much black. I always wanted to be the sort of person who was known for wearing a lot of bright colour (okay, okay – I wanted to be noticed), so I simply started to introduce the odd bold, bright item to my wardrobe. It wasn’t so much of a shock for me nor my family and friends to introduce colour gradually, and it was easy to get used to it. Now I wouldn’t dream of wearing all black (except maybe for formal evening wear, I do love LBDs), and I feel so much better – and somehow happier – for it.

So I thought I’d share a few tips of how to wean yourself off the black and get some colour into your life using examples of some of my more neutral outfits that feature a pop of colour (or two)!

1. Introduce colour with bright scarves.

How To Introduce Colour Into Your Wardrobe: Bright Scarves
Scarves are the quickest and cheapest way to get a bright pop of colour into your outfit. Both these outfits are smart/casual and are made up of black, grey, olive and denim (all neutrals), but having a coloured scarf at your neck will brighten your face. The one on the left was a magazine freebie(!) which I twisted and knotted, and the one on the right is actually two snoods wound round together. There’s no need to stop at just one – make them even brighter by styling two together or adding a sparkly brooch… or do both, as below:

Tie two scarves together, knot and add brooches

Try one of these scarves to get you started with some bright colour:

2. Replace your everyday black bag with some bold, bright arm candy.

How To Introduce Colour Into Your Wardrobe: Statement Bags

Most of us girls love ourselves a great handbag, so there’s no need to use a black one as your everyday, go-to bag. Buy one in a super bright colour – if you’re wearing mostly black and neutrals then really it should go with everything. I rarely “match” my bag to my outfit – I usually use it as an excuse to add yet another colour as I did pairing a magenta bag with my (fairly safe) sweater and jeans outfit, as right.

But I might use a particular bag to pick out the colour of a pattern, as with the patterned dress on the left. Having several colours in a print means you have more chance that your bright bag will match at least one of them.

And just to prove that a super-bright, mustard yellow bag will go with (almost) everything, here’s a selection of outfits where I threw in the yellow bag for an extra oomph of colour. I’ve either picked out yellow from the prints I’m wearing, added another accessory in yellow to tie it in, or thrown caution to the wind and added the extra colour – matching nothing!

One Yellow Bag, Four Outfits

Try these bag brights to complement your neutrals:

3. Wear a pair of brightly coloured shoes.

How To Introduce Colour Into Your Wardrobe: Bold Footwear
This is a great trick for a bad hair day or when you’re feeling off colour: wear bright shoes and all the attention will be on them, not your face (and they’ll cheer you up, too). Never before has there been so much choice of shoe colours; I can remember in my twenties having a hard time trying to find shoes that weren’t black. Both the outfits above were head-to-toe neutral, but they deserved a bold shoe.

All the coloured shoes and boots you could want are right here, including wellies! Why buy black?

4. Invest in coloured denim.

How To Introduce Colour Into Your Wardrobe: Coloured Denim

Jeans are a staple in most of our wardrobes, so if you want to introduce colour to your everyday outfits there’s no better way than to wear coloured denim. I’ve been building up my collection over the past few years, and now have them in red, blue, olive, purple, white, neon yellow, lemon yellow, teal…! Start with a more muted colour like deep red or teal in a great fit and you should eventually come to think of them as a neutral because they’re just jeans, aren’t they?

Want to see some fabulous coloured jeans?

Getting colour into your wardrobe is all about slowly bringing in one or two coloured pieces that complement your neutrals. Try one or more of these ideas and you should be able to gradually get yourself on the road to brightly coloured sartorial happiness 😉

Let me know if you find it hard to get yourself off black and navy – and if you’re willing to try these tips, I’d love to know if they help!




  1. 17 September 2013 / 8:23 pm

    OK, now I really want to try the 2-scarves trick!

  2. 14 September 2013 / 11:39 am

    This is an awesome post Cat..it's really practical and really true..I just bought a pink cross-over bag! I love my black and white!

  3. 11 September 2013 / 1:45 pm

    Fabulous pin-worthy tips! I am sooo bad about sticking to a neutral wardrobe so this is great advice for me as I continue to branch out. I love adding bold, colorful jewelry to an otherwise basic outfit to punch it up.

  4. 10 September 2013 / 10:05 pm

    Brilliant post again! Buying a coloured bag for everyday is the best move I ever made. Who knew that coral went with almost everything too 🙂

    Thanks for sharing with Wardrobe Wednesday xo


  5. 10 September 2013 / 9:44 pm

    I love these ideas! My boyfriend always makes fun of me for being "monochromatic". I could use a little more color in my wardrobe. Thanks!

  6. 10 September 2013 / 8:32 pm

    I love to invest in bright Accessoires. They can make such a huge difference taking a normal look to another Level. Great tips Catherina.

    PS: You are the winner of your wedding guest attire. You can see the Illustration, that Elena created for you on our blog. Congrats. See you on our next link up Party.


  7. 10 September 2013 / 5:06 pm

    Great advise! I'm down this path for a while now and today I planned what colored bags and shoes I need to buy to insert color and interest to my basic outfits.
    I mostly invested in colored clothes but accessories go a longer way.
    Your post was easy to read and very practical.

  8. 10 September 2013 / 3:00 pm

    Great post, great suggestions!! Hey, where did you get that yellow bag? I can attest that a mustard bag DOES go with virtually everything, I had one and carried it constantly. It was inexpensive and got worn out looking, but I'd love to find a replacement. Cheers!

  9. 10 September 2013 / 2:41 pm

    I hadn't visited your blog in a while and I forgot out cute you are! And I love your sense of humor, chicness, and enviable figure. Rock on.

    Sound of Chic
    Classic style set to an indie soundtrack

  10. 10 September 2013 / 2:12 pm

    Great post!

  11. 10 September 2013 / 4:37 am

    Lovely post,I specially like the idea of combining two scarves, never thought of that and will try it immediately. I am not much of a trousers person myself but I do have a few bright colored bags which inject color to many of my post. Thank you for sharing. Sara

  12. 9 September 2013 / 6:46 pm

    I am getting there, but I am not there yet. Not by a long ….(shot?)
    The fact that I adore black and white does not help. Neither do the Dutch, conservative shops: "black is so safe, you will sell that better than colour as the Dutch women are afraid of dirt on their clothes and standing out. So let us stock more black…".
    When I see your combinations I still think : "shxx, she's good".
    Do know that when I am filthy rich (by raffle, no other way possible), I will try and persuade you to come over once a week and style me.

  13. 9 September 2013 / 5:17 pm

    Great ideas as usual. thank you have inspired me again x

  14. 9 September 2013 / 5:15 pm

    Great post, I've been flirting with subtle and slow introductions of colour accents but think you have just helped me to the next step. I admire your use of colour !

  15. 9 September 2013 / 4:55 pm

    Hi there! A very inspirational and stylish post-I will definitely try combining two scarves together, it looks really good and will be so unique too! I need to get me some red or berry colour jeans, I just bought some khaki ones but need some denim pops of colour! Have a good week x

DISCLOSURE: Items marked* are PR products (I never accept anything I wouldn’t choose for myself) and my opinions are 100% honest. I also use affiliate links where I may earn commission if you click through and buy, at no cost to you.