How to Wear Color

Outfit details: J. Crew trousers (similar (but pricey) here), Rag & Bone "Newbury" booties, vintage cashmere sweater (similar), Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Wearing color is a new triumph for me. I spent most of my fashionable life wearing neutrals (err, all black). Previously, I would try to "tone down" loud pieces with a plain white tee or something casual. My new line of thought is more along the lines of embracing color.

I was told I look like an art teacher while I was wearing this outfit. I thought, "hell yeah. My art teacher was a rad, eccentric lady with an impeccable red bob." Maybe we should all take a lesson from our Iris Apfel-channeling art teachers and start having more fun with fashion.

Here are three rules for wearing color

1. Anchor your look with multiple pieces of the same color

Rather than a lone, colorful eyesore, use "anchors" and repeat your accent color to give the look a complete air. For example, red socks tie into the red sweater I'm wearing. You can do the same thing with a bag, hat, scarf, sunglasses, etc. Blair Edie from Atlantic-Pacific is a master of this rule.

If you have a color your particularly love wearing (for me it's red!), keep your eyes open and start collecting clothing and accessories in that color. Then you'll always have options, and your favorite color will be as easy to style as a neutral!


2. Stick within the same color family

Blue, purple, and red are all complementary colors, so wearing them together is more pleasing to the eye than, say, a lime green top with these pants. Another idea would be to wear varying shades of the same color for a dramatic look. I think forest green, moss green, and army drab would look cool together. In this look below, I love the shades of green tempered by the cream wool skirt and gold details. This would be a great holiday outfit!

3. When in doubt, go neutral

If you're scared to go with a bold look, opt to add neutral accessories around your colorful center piece. Neutral is more interesting than the typical "black heels and black purse" outfit (to which I am no stranger) and will create a more stylish look.