Jess Cartner-Mor­ley

Ditch the black and go for brights

The Guardian - Weekend - - Contents - Jess wears top and trousers, both Jess’ own. San­dals, £42, asos.com

Is it more mod­ern to wear head-to-toe colour than all black these days? Ha! Trick ques­tion. Ei­ther is fine. Some­times I see a woman in an un­usual colour com­bi­na­tion and think to my­self, she’s clearly a ge­nius – from now on, I’m only ever wear­ing laven­der with navy, or lime with aubergine, or what­ever. But then, the next day, some­one in a black trouser suit over an inky roll­neck slinks past and I take it all back.

It has to be one or the other, though. It’s not about giv­ing up black; it’s about giv­ing up fill­ing in the gaps with black. Fill­ing in the gaps with black is a thing we all do, with­out even think­ing about it. Wake up in the mood to wear a bright pink sweater, au­to­mat­i­cally reach for black jeans to wear with i it. Or, hav­ing been se­duced into buy­ing a new win­ter midi skirt in emer­ald green or pea­cock blue and fig­ur­ing out how to wear it, try it on with ev­ery black top in sight, with­out con­sid­er­ing any other colour op­tion.

If you wear colour, wear all colour; if you wear black, wear all mono­chrome. It’s that sim­ple. And it’s way more so­phis­ti­cated that way, I prom­ise. Now, I’m not go­ing to lie to you, the all-colour days are go­ing to be more of a chal­lenge than the black and mono­chrome days. Open­ing your wardrobe to get dressed in the morn­ing is a lot like open­ing your fridge to cob­ble to­gether a packed lunch. Your de­pend­able black trousers or skirt are like sliced bread: they work with any other in­gre­di­ent, pull the whole thing to­gether, turn one bold flavour into a com­plete pack­age.

So on your all-colour days, in­stead of sand­wich­ing your bright colour top or skirt in be­tween black, you need to as­sem­ble a mix of in­gre­di­ents. In other words, you are putting to­gether a vi­brant, whole­some salad box in­stead of turn­ing up to work with a bor­ing old sand­wich. More ef­fort, yes, but think how good about your­self you will feel. Oh, and how im­pressed ev­ery­one else will be.

I saw a photo the other day of Jackie Kennedy dur­ing the 1960 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, walk­ing by the sea with her hus­band at his fam­ily es­tate in Cape Cod, wear­ing pink trousers – pants, I sup­pose – with an orange fun­nel neck sweater. I mod­elled to­day’s look on that, tak­ing an old p pair of pink Diane von Fursten­berg trousers from my wardrobe and swap­ping out orange for a red Stella Mc­Cart­ney top that makes me feel a bit like Zen­daya from The Great­est Show­man. Oh, and yel­low shoes, not black. Wear colour or wear black? Up to you. But don’t com­pro­mise

Ev­ery week, Jess mixes new buys with old favourites and vin­tage finds 5

Lilac drape blouse, £120, john­lewis.com m2 Red knit, £69, ar­ket.com3 Green trousers, £42, next.co.uk4 Yel­low skirt, £45, sto­ries.com5 Pink blazer, £29.99, zara.com 2 3 3

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