How To Wear Bright Colours (As A Grown-Up)

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How To Wear Bright Colours (As A Grown-Up)

Words by Mr Adam Welch

26 September 2016

Don't be shy – leave the blacks, navies and greys in the wardrobe and express yourself… subtly.

Do you have something spectacularly lurid lurking at the back of your wardrobe? Or are you thinking of making a similar addition to the front of it? Fine, OK, no need to panic. Bright colours are one of the many joys of getting dressed in the morning, but they do need to be tamed somewhat if you are not to be mistaken for an outsized kindergartener. Read on to discover three ways to carry off a vibrant shade with confidence, subtlety and a certain amount of sartorial aplomb.

A very bright garment such as this scarlet turtleneck has a certain graphic (and Mr Piet Mondrian-esque) charm when worn with a pair of slim black jeans. It will look even more sophisticated next to a relatively low-contrast colour, such as the camel shade of this overcoat. The more subdued colour softens the brighter shade, leaving you, overall, that little bit more balanced.

The safest way to wear a bright colour is to offer a mere glimpse of it, especially when it comes to tailoring. The more self-consciously dandyish of you out there may like to accessorise your suit trousers with a pair of bright socks or a sickly coloured tie. But, in our opinion, it’s far more elegant to express yourself with your pocket square, only the slightest suggestion of which should be visible at the top of your jacket’s breast pocket.

Sometimes when it comes to colour, you’ve just got to commit. Especially if you’re a fan of, say, Saint Laurent, a brand that doesn’t tend to do things by half. This dinner jacket, in a bright red velvet, is a case in point. It also demonstrates another thing about bright colours – they’re easier to wear when rendered in a textured fabric, as this breaks up the surface of the garment and sidesteps the diploma effect. You could wear this with a pair of the brand’s trademark black skinny jeans if you’re heading to a party of the more casual variety, or really stand out at a more ritzy event by pulling it on over a white dress shirt and some side-striped tuxedo trousers.