For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Wearing bright colours with confidence | Blue coat and Pink tights.

How to wear bright colours with confidence.

Are you keen to experiment with colour and wear something a little brighter, but are not sure where to start?
Wearing bright colours can be can be intimidating, especially if you are used to a darker or more muted palette.
Bright colours can also be difficult to find in Autumn and Winter.
Most of the bright clothes are in the children's section or in the form of evening wear.
Even then, the tones seem to be muted.

When you do find those bright colours in the shops, sometimes the quality is disappointing or the styles are not quite right.
People are buying them though, and I wonder what happens to these items.
They don't seem to make their way into real life and onto the streets.
Where do all of these bright clothes go?
Are they lurking in wardrobes, unloved and unworn?
Have they been bought during a carefree shopping trip only to be regretted and shamefully stuffed into the back of a drawer destined for donation to charity?

When I head out to work, I am lost in a sea of dark coats and black handbags.
Black, Dark brown and Charcoal grey are all great colours to wear, BUT, is winter not dark and gloomy enough?

Wearing bright colours | Cobalt and pink | Fake fabulous

So, you WANT to wear some colour but where do you begin?

There is (of course) rule after rule telling us what we should and shouldn't be doing when it comes to wearing colour.
You may have realised by now, that rules are not something I like very much.
Especially when someone is telling me how I should or shouldn't be dressing.
So forget the rule book...

But, hang on! I don't know where to start!

Start by sitting comfortably...

Buy a high fashion magazine and look at the editorial photographs.
Forget about the clothes themselves (most are in fantasy-budget-land and are totally impractical for a real life) but you can focus on the beautiful colours, the mixing of different tones and the glorious textures in the images.
These photographs are art, and are selling a mood or a feeling.
It sounds a bit daft but, some of the high fashion images can strike a chord and be very inspiring!

Next, get out and about...

Go into one of the larger "trendy" stores and wander around.
If you can't physically get there, go online and browse (although this is more tricky).
Forget about specific styles and shapes, just look at colours and textures. 
If you are in the shop, note what colours are put together on the rails, mannequins or wall display.
How are they grouped? Are the colour mixes unexpected?
If you like a colour (or a mix of colours) make a note of it. 
Even better, take a photo on your phone.

Don't be influenced by the style or the demographic of the customers in the shop, just focus on colours and don't over think. 
Go with your gut feeling!

Try doing the same at a makeup counter.
Forget the shabby shelves in the chemist, go to the big ones in the department stores.
The ones with all of the coloured eyeshadows and rows of juicy nail colours. 
Bobbi Brown and Mac are great for this.
Look through the colours.
Do any catch your eye? Are you swooning over the bright pink or emerald green?
Don't think of them as eyeshadows that you have to wear, just enjoy the colours themselves.

Get your thinking cap on...

Go and grab a coffee (or tea), sit down, and have a look at your choices.
Is there a theme?
Do any of your instinctive 'picks' go beautifully together? I bet they do!
Trust yourself.

Okay, so I like bright green and neon pink, what do I do now?

Now comes the hard part...

Take the plunge and go and buy something in one of your "new" colours. 
Many people suggest buying an accessory to start with.
But, what if you are not a scarf person? Or a statement necklace wearer?
I suggest you buy something in a shape, and style, you are familiar and comfortable with.
What is your go-to item? 
Try buying a version of that in your new hue.

I am going against the rule book here, again...

Don't buy something 'cheap and cheerful' just to try it.
Something cheap is never a pleasure to wear and, if you are going to be trying something totally new, comfort and confidence is crucial!
Also, a cheap fabric looks even cheaper when it is in a bright colour.
You are going to feel rubbish before you even start.

Try some of the stores that make classic items in a rainbow of colours.
Here are some links to colourful knitwear...

Treat yourself to a new nail colour. It will add a 'pop" to your new look, and is guaranteed to attract compliments.

But, I'm not sure this colour I have picked suits me!

Of course there are experts who will tell you not to wear a certain colours because they are not in your "season".
I have to agree that some colours can make some people look amazing (healthy and fresh) or ghastly (ill and tired) but....

If you really like a colour, wear it!

Okay, so it might not officially be "your colour" but chances are if you are drawn to it, it will be!
We have an inbuilt ability to do the right thing.
Trust yourself.

If that bright purple eyeshadow made you gasp and smile, then it is the colour for you!
Have confidence in your choices.

Should I wear bright colours away from my face?

I have seen it suggested that if a colour does not suit you, you should wear it in the form of trousers or a skirt.
I have to disagree.
If you are new to bright colours then a pair of hot pink trousers or a lime green skirt could be a step too far!

Make sure you are wearing your usual makeup before trying the colour near your face.
Sometimes we make the mistake of trying things on with undone hair and nothing on our faces (usually online purchases that arrive in the post)...slipping off the PJ's to try on a brand new colour is not a good idea.

You could always wear a chunky necklace or a scarf {if that is your style} in a neutral tone to "protect" your face from a direct hit of colour (See how I wore a statement necklace to do that HERE).

But, remember that black is one of the hardest colours to wear near the face.
Very few people actually suit it. 
So chances are your new colour will look better anyway!

NEVER apologise for your style choices:

If someone comments and compliments you on your new colourful look, just say, 
"Thank you very much!"
 Avoid the temptation to explain yourself,
"Oh, Do you think? I was just trying something new....silly really, I'm not sure it is me."  
If you are unlucky enough to receive a back-handed compliment or an all-out bitchy comment, don't be deflated!

A common one is;
"What is this we are getting today, then?"
And, my personal favourite;
"Auditioning for a Pantomime, are we?"
I just laugh....

Always take these types of comments as a compliment.
That person obviously wishes they had the confidence to do what you are doing.

Confident and Happy people don't need to put others down.

Wearing bright colours | Cobalt and pink | Fake fabulous

My colourful outfit today started with my new blue coat.
I am delighted to tell you that it was a whopping £1.20 from Ebay.

I was worried it would be old, tatty and a bit foosty.
{Ebay purchases can be a bit of a hit or a miss}
BUT, it looks brand new and appears to be unworn.
Not to mention the perfect fit!
The colour is a slap in the face on a gloomy day
{although the sun was shining for these photographs].

I could not resist pairing it with this colourful silk dress and bright pink tights (last seen HERE in summer with a navy mini).
I am wearing a teal cashmere jumper under this dress (you can see it HERE in a really early post).
I needed an extra layer for warmth.
I was going to take off my coat to show you but...Brrrrrr, it was too cold!!
My oxblood boots were the perfect partner, for me anyway.
They are so comfortable and added some shine to the look.
Purple leather gloves and this chunky necklace finished things off nicely.

The necklace is just a cheap one, but I think it will work really well with a lot of items in my wardrobe....Maybe becoming my go-to necklace this Winter?
See another 'Hero" necklace working for me, Here, Here and Here.

Wearing bright colours | Statement Necklace | Fake fabulous

How do you feel about colour?
Do you love it ? Or, does it scare you a little?
Let me know what you think.And, please share any tips you have, for wearing colour, in the comments.
I love to read them!

You can tweet me @samantha4blair if you prefer.

Wearing bright colours | Cobalt and pink | Fake fabulous

Coat : Windsmoor (from Ebay), This one is similar....This one is beautiful!
Dress: Warehouse (from a Charity shop)...this one is very nice....this one is stunning, and a longer length
Tights: Gipsy 100 (these are beautiful)
Boots: Redoute (Money off them too!)
Gloves: Old (similar)
Necklace: H&M (I can't find it online, maybe it is just in-store?) This one is cool though!

Shop the look:

Like this post? You might also like this one about being braver with colour and stepping away from those boring black trousers.


  1. What a fantastic find your coat is Samantha. I haven't got anything in my wardrobe in black, I love and live with bright colours.
    There's a picture of me in the latest Vintage Life magazine wearing blue and green.
    I'll have to do a blog page about it but first off to eBay for a look round. I haven't visited it for a while
    Lynn x

    1. I would love to see that Lynn...and I am glad to hear that you are flying the flag for colour (and breaking those boring colour "rules" too) XXX

  2. Amazing coat! And great suggestions for how to wear color!

    I have an orange-colored coat, which was a hand-me-down. It's not something I would pick on my own, partially because I don't need a true winter coat very often here in California and therefore had only one... But I like it and am glad I got it. I also noticed that almost all of my warm sweaters (again, I don't have many since I don't wear them that often, layering long tees and shirts works just fine usually) are very bright colors - bright green, cobalt blue, yellow... It's nice to add some color to a dark day!

    1. I am glad to hear that Andrea! I am in need of a winter-weight yellow jumper...there is a gap in my wardrobe for yellows and greens. I must go and have a look...thank you for the inspiration. X

  3. I love your ideas on colour and I have found your blog posts an inspiration. I am guilty of sticking to muted colours for coats, with a couple of exceptions for lighter weight transitional coats. But I do love to brighten things up with other items and accessories - and like you I am a sucker for coloured tights! Thanks for some great advice. Karen x

    1. Thank you so much Karen. What a great compliment. I am always looking out for bright and colourful scarves and hats. Unfortunately, they can also be tricky to find. But, you are right, they are a great way to brighten up a neutral coat (for the colour shy or those on a budget). Thank you. XXX

  4. There are some great lessons you've expounded on here! Can I just say AMEN!!! I'm a huge believer in wearing colors especially when it's dark & gloomy outside (although it is sunny a majority of the time here in Denver). Your coat was such a fabulous deal! And beautifully bright! You look marvelous, chicola...just marvelous!! jodie

    1. I think that we must have your rain, here, then Jodie! We have our fair share of the wet stuff.
      Some days are Dreich all day and it never really gets bright at all. I am wearing my own sunshine sometimes! Hahaha. XXX

  5. What a fantastic Ebay find! Note to self= more colour!
    Laurie x

  6. What a fantastic Ebay find! Note to self= more colour!
    Laurie x

    1. Thank you Laurie. I need more colour too...more yellow and green I think! XXX

  7. What a brilliant bargain that coat was Samantha. I love that blue on you - it's almost becoming a signature colour for you and rightly so as it sings on you. The long coat and mini dress is visually interesting and paired up with the pink tights - well it's totally fab. (I found some pink psychedelic tights on my most recent shopping trip and have yet to air them, so you've inspired me to get a move on.) Add some sharp jewellery and those lovely boots and hey it's another winner. You look amazing Sam xx

    1. See below Anna--I think we need to figure out a trading system! ;D A x

    2. Thank you Anna! I think that a long coat gives me the confidence to wear a shorter hemline, almost like a security blanket. As for pink tight....well, I couldn't help it! They just "went", in my mind anyway. I am looking forward to seeing yours...psychedelic you say? Wowzers....:oD. I always look forward to getting inspired. XXX

  8. Can I tell you what I saw first as I started to read this post? Your awesome pink lips!! I was like "YES!" Looks so good against the red of your hair. I'm not the kind of person to say I told you so, so I won't say but...well your lips look fabulous!

    Now, on to some other can you please write a post about how you are able to score a coat like this for 1.20? I kind of don't get it!! I'd like a post (maybe you've already done it) on some of these tricks you have for finding such AMAZING second hand clothing. I'm just ASTONISHED! (Unfortunately, I will probably be limited by the Hong Kong Island thing, but I want to be hopeful...)

    All right, no to bold, I love it! I love trying to be as bold as I can--while remaining confident. Your section up above about the reply we give--so important! Never ever second guess one's self (which I have done and will probably do again:S). This is such an important reminder. Thank you is the best reply--even if it's snarky!

    Ok, is it time you, me, and Anna start figuring out how to trade clothes? Should we just quit our jobs and figure out an online trade system. Oh wait--no money in that! Hahhaaha!

    Thank you for linking up Samantha. I'm leaving inspired!!

    Love, Ann

    1. Op! I meant NOW to bold. Never no to bold! Sorry for the typo! ;S

    2. Hahaha...thank you Ann! I was wondering why you (of all people) were saying NO to bold!!
      Second hand shopping is a bit of a hit or a miss but I love it. This was a very specific search on Ebay. I always ignore "business sellers" and go for real people selling their own things. often, the vintage items are from house clearances which is really interesting. You can find anything you could ever want online, I love that.
      As for our personal stylist, personal shopper, clothes selling and swapping business empire...yeah!!1 That sounds fun.
      Unfortunately pesky things like real life and nasty bills are getting in the way....booooo.

  9. Ooooooh, finally got to see the £1.20 coat! What a score! I love a coloured coat and I'm so with you, I get bored of seeing black and brown coloured coats. I think some people think that brightly coloured coats won't go with what they're wearing but it's a coat - it doesn't matter! And when you get one for under £2.00 you can have a whole wardrobe of coats - one in each colour!

  10. LOVE! Beautiful coat!
    Thank you for linking up to "Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me"
    Rachel xo
    Garay Treasures

  11. I remember that one of my first WOW! moments in following your blog was when you were wearing a coat very similar to this one. Maybe my memory is wrong but I know that it was a wonderful cobalt blue at the very least. I agree with Anna; this is becoming a signature color for you! You look beautiful Samantha! Colorfully confident and very inspiring.
    The boots just crackle with rich burgundy, patent leather, lusciousness and the fuscia tights pick up that same hue in your dress. Oooooh! SO good!!! You could be a poster girl for enlightening the color constipated among us.(sorry that was snotty) :-\


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