Yes you can wear 3 colours at once
...and if you stick to fashion’s new ‘colour wheel’ rule, you won’t look like a pack of crayons!
The month- long carousel of fashion shows — the most recent of which had its finale in Paris this week — likes nothing better than to introduce a new ‘It’ colour.
Last autumn, Valentino dictated Barbie pink. This season, however, it’s not so clear- cut. Ferragamo, Alexander McQueen and Givenchy all showcased shades of saffron, Victoria Beckham and Proenza Schouler opted for lime, while Richard Quinn, eudon Choi and David Koma championed cobalt.
The solution, according to the fashion influencers: wear
several of these vibrant shades all at the same time.
Traditional colour-blocking has dictated only one colour should be worn head to toe, incorporating various shades of that single hue to create depth in an outfit.
But analogous — or ‘colour wheel’ — dressing sees three similar, toning colours worn together. The only rule is that your shades should sit next to one another on the colour wheel, a circle showing all the colours of the spectrum (see, left).
For example, neighbouring colours such as red, orange and yellow go well together, as do pink, purple and blue.
First seen on the Versace catwalk last year, both Dsquared and Molly Goddard featured colour wheel dressing in their Spring/Summer 23 shows — the latter sending a model down the catwalk in a pink shirt paired with a lilac ruffled skirt and red cowboy boots.
There are many ways to mix your colours though. Ideally, ensure all three are in the same tone — for example, pastel shades or jewel tones. That allows the colours to seamlessly blend together. Or, from your three colours you can assign one dominant colour (comprising the largest amount of colour in your outfit), a supporting colour in the same tone, and an optional accent colour in a contrasting tone that acts as a colour pop when worn against the other two.
For instance, the subtle check in this Mango orange, tweed jacket (fourth from right) is emphasised when paired with Reiss’s tomato, tailored trousers, and the look is finished with a yellow Poppy Lissiman bag and coordinating Russell & Bromley heels.
If bright colours aren’t for you, choose lighter shades such as this pale green top from Anthropologie and cornflower blue trousers currently in the Jigsaw sale (third from left). Or let your accessories do the talking — try wearing shoes in a second colour and opting for a bag in a third.
But whether you start with accessories, or run riot with your rainbow straightaway, nothing will banish grey, sleet-riven skies quicker than a glorious injection of colour.