Colour confidence: how to start wearing more colourful clothes

The best colour in the whole wide world is the one that looks good on you.”

Coco Chanel

Adding colour to our wardrobes is uplifting and inspiring, it immediately lifts our mood and makes us feel different. Similar to when you put on some red lipstick. 

Not only does wearing colour affect our mood and energy levels profoundly, but it has a great impact on our overall well being and brightens the world around us. You will be amazed at what a conversation starter colour is.

Years ago I would never have worn colours, let alone bright bold colours. My go-to was black. I used to constantly wear black to hide myself and my body. It was a true reflection of how I was feeling on the inside and my style conditioning. I believed colour didn’t suit me because of my pale skin and that black and white were the only options I had. 

It is incredible how our minds make up stories and how we believe them and choose to stay safe in the story instead of stretching out of our comfort zone.

“But isn’t colour complicated? What if I get it wrong?”

Lots of people feel intimidated by the subject, thinking there is some science to understand to get it right. Yes, personal colour analysis is helpful. However, it is just a guide and a way of helping you to introduce more colour into your life and wardrobe.

I am not a believer of typologies and restrictions and I feel the same way about colour and body types. I don’t tell my clients exactly what to wear or what items to put in their wardrobe. I share formulas, tools and techniques for them to tap into their creativity, get inspired and make empowered decisions for what feels right to each individual. 

Thinking that you need a ‘colour palette’ can stifle creativity and prevent you from playing with your own individual esthetics.

There are so many more factors that come into play when looking at colour. And so many tones within colours, you’ll find one that works for you in all parts of the spectrum.

I always suggest trying things out, implementing parts and discarding others. We don’t need to also follow the rules and keep ourselves confined. The colours we wear and how we mix and match them really defines our unique style, and ultimately our self expression.

The most important thing is to figure out what you like, what works for you and how it feels in the context of your lifestyle instead of following trends and rules. 

We often get in a style rut and constantly buy the same styles in the same colours, because well, it’s easier to not have to think. However, not only is it very boring to wear the same colour all the time, it ultimately does affect how we feel about ourselves.

Taking your first steps with colours

There’s no need to feel intimidated because you can develop colour confidence little by little. Here are 4 ways you can start.

1 – Explore more colours as neutrals

When I ask my clients who tend to just wear black/beige/neutrals most of the time why they do it, these are some of the responses:

“It goes with everything.”

“I don’t know what other colours to wear.”

“I don’t want to stand out.”

I get it, I was exactly the same. And don’t get me wrong I love black and neutrals, but if this is the only variety of colour you are wearing I suggest you look at why you don’t want to stand out or why you want to blend in. 

I’m not saying never wear black, or cream, or grey ever again. It’s about becoming more aware and looking for alternatives. 

Look at colour alternatives that could easily replace one of your neutrals. These would be colours that have a similar level of brightness. For example aubergine, dark red or blue instead of black, or pale blue or pink instead of grey.

2 – Add an accessory here and there

If you’re not feeling confident wearing a bold colour in a piece of clothing yet, use accessories to add pops of colour.

One of my favourite ways to explore and add colour is through bags or shoes, which are so easy to add to a more monochromatic outfit and gives it more personality.

Think about trying other accessories such as neck scarves, hats, statement jewellery with colour, just so you can get more confident and used to seeing yourself in colour. It’s amazing what a small pop of colour can do to your outfit and mood.

3 – Sprinkle in a bit of colour with patterns

Another way to introduce colour without going ‘all in’  is to explore patterns that have elements of the colours you love in them. A few flecks of colour within a pattern can really lift a drab monochromatic look.

4 – Lean in with a t-shirt

Trying coloured t-shirts is a simple way of experimenting with colour without breaking the bank. As it’s a wardrobe staple that goes with pretty much any item of clothing, it’s the perfect way to try colours out and lean in to being more colourful.  

Stretch out of your comfort zone

Explore more and have fun. Pair new colours (that may feel scary) with more basics at first so you get used to seeing yourself in them. Often we can feel self conscious and uncomfortable wearing new colours and being bolder, as we fear what others will say. Like I mentioned before, colours are conversation starters so it’s normal to feel slightly uncomfortable if someone mentions your outfit, especially if you are not used to it. 

Lean into the discomfort and know that if we fear others opinions it will stifle our confidence and creativity and will prevent us from showing up in the world as our authentic self.

As you grow more confident and add more colour to your wardrobe, getting dressed will become more fun and your creative side will emerge. Wearing bright colours will automatically give your more energy, you will begin to see yourself in a different light. 

There is no rule out there saying you need to wear just one colour. Play, get creative, go wild and experiment and above all have fun! Adding colour to your wardrobe is life changing!

Share your thoughts and ideas and get more support by joining my Facebook group, She’s Magnetic. Or if you’re interested in more personal guidance and style coaching, book a free coffee chat with me here.

Lou Stokes

Lou Stokes

Lou Stokes is a personal stylist from London based in Madrid. With online 1-1 coaching, she helps women cultivate confidence by developing their own, empowering style. Email lou@loustokes.com or visit loustokes.com to find out more or book a power call with Lou right now.

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