Though we don’t think of wearing them unless the sun is shining, bright color outfits are a must for all seasons. Colors affect your mood: whatever emotion you want to boost within yourself, there is a corresponding color to help you do so. For example, on a midwinter cloudy day, wearing bright yellow can make you happier.
But sometimes, incorporating bright colors into your wardrobe can be intimidating. That’s why we’re here to lay out some techniques and styling options so that you can wear bright colors confidently.
How to Wear Bright Colors
These are some starting tips to get you inspired to rock bright colors. But remember, there are no actual rules to fashion!
1. Decide your purpose for the outfit. To turn heads? To coordinate for an event, like a family photo? Or just bring some color to your day because it makes you feel alive? This will give you a gauge and a goal for how “out there” you want to get with the brightness and combinations of your color choices. There is no wrong answer!
2. So you’ve already decided you want to dress brightly. But which color? Purple evokes royalty. Red can stimulate attraction. Yellow boosts happiness. Opposite colors, like orange and blue, provide a bold and refreshing contrast. Analogous colors, like blue, teal, and green, are fun and easy to combine in an outfit.
3. If bright colors seem overpowering or overwhelming, just pick one item of clothing or accessory to be the bright focal point of the outfit. This could be a bright red belt, a teal polka dot scarf, or a bold yellow necklace. The rest of your outfit can be neutral (gray, beige, black, white, or brown) to let the focal point shine.
4. How much to match? It’s entirely up to you. You can go for different violets, such as a bright purple blazer with a soft lilac blouse and pants. You can get a matching set of tops and bottoms or choose to mix and match bright patterns. (Though generally, most people steer away from clashing patterns like stripes and polka dots.)
5. Experiment. Finding your style when it comes to wearing bright colors calls for thinking outside the box. In your closet, hold up clothing with different colors and patterns that you normally wouldn’t pair together: you might find that you like the combination.
6. Still not sure? A bold red lip makes every outfit look purposeful. Even if it’s a fashion risk, red lipstick lets everyone know that you did it on purpose. It signals that you put thought into your look.
5 Bright Color Outfit Ideas that Dazzle
Now, let’s get down to specifics. Here are five bright color outfit ideas to help show off your playful side:
1. Spotlight the Shoes!
Most of us tend to go neutral on our shoes. It’s practical, sure, but is it necessary? Bright outfits can start with the shoe! Try structuring your outfit around pink kicks. A black dress and minimal accessories will draw more attention to a neon shoe. Or you can pair a pink shoe with a shirt that has some of that shade of pink in it. Wearing brightly colored shoes with colored sunglasses or a hat makes you stand out from head to toe.
Concentrating the bulk of your outfit’s color in the shoe is a great way to dip your toe into the world of color if you are more accustomed to neutrals. Even if it’s just toenail polish, incorporating color in a small way can help you figure out which colors you feel best in before committing to larger pieces, like coats.
2. Play with Patterns
Pick one color in a patterned piece to be the basis of another solid piece in your ensemble. For example, match red flowers or stripes on a shirt to red pants. When wearing bright colored clothes, matching the same hue evokes a more polished look, whereas not matching is more funky and experimental.
3. Feature Shortalls or Overalls
Shortalls and overalls for women are typically a solid color. To incorporate bright colors, clothing underneath them can be as fluorescent and loud as you’d like. Or splatter white ones with bright fabric paint! A bright hoodie or oversized sweater over a pair of overalls is a great way to style overalls and will keep you comfy and warm in cooler weather.
4. Pair with Bright White
Bright color clothing sometimes needs a neutral. Muted colors go well with khakis and shades of brown and gray. Dark colors go well with black. But bright colors go best with bright white. For example, pairing a rainbow crop top with white cropped pants keeps the look fresh and vibrant, whereas any other neutral pants might weigh down the top’s colors.
5. Remember, Denim is Versatile
When in doubt, women's jeans go with everything. Denim shorts, jackets, and pants keep your bright tops and sweaters fun and casual. But it’s also easy to dress up any denim look with a pair of heels.
Stand Out with UNIONBAY
For both bright colored fashion and everyday neutrals, UNIONBAY has had the best selection since 1981. Log in or sign up to earn rewards toward rounding out your wardrobe today. Find what fun, laidback looks our collections have in store for you.