Written by Naomi May
Red and yellow and pink and brown, colours are known for their ability to spark joy. The easiest way to wear them, though, is to pile them all on at once.
Now that the festive hangover is finally beginning to wane (is anybody actually having the Dry January they promised themselves?), it may well be that everything is just starting to look a little, well, grey. After all, from the skies to our style, January is hardly a month synonymous with its wealth of fun, frivolity and optimism.
But while the four weeks that comprise January – the month that might not be the most awe-inspiring we hope to have this year – are decidedly grey, there is hope to be found in the silver linings of our wardrobes in the form of one of this summer’s zestiest and juiciest trends: colourblocking.
For the uninitiated, colourblocking is the sartorial art of, quite literally, blocking colours together in a way that is less calamitous and more very, very cool. From Barbie-approved shades of Pepto-Bismol pink paired with juicy bursts of tangerine at Versace to inky pools of black clashed with injections of hearty greens at Bottega Veneta, the spring/summer 2022 collections were awash with colourblocking.
Net-a-Porter has noted a considerable spike across its independent colour categories. Sales of green pieces have spiked by 96%, orange by 93% and pink by 65%, proof that dopamine dressing – which is the main byproduct of colourblocking – is taking root among a stylistically restless customer base.
“If you’re nervous about wearing colour, opting for head-to-toe in the same colour actually makes it easier,” says Kay Barron, Net-a-Porter’s fashion director.
But before you start promoting your most pigmented pieces to the front of your wardrobes, take a moment to remember that, as with everything, colourblocking is a fine art.
One of the most notable colour connoisseurs is fashion editor and stylist Nana Acheampong, whose recent collaboration with Never Fully Dressed was full-to-the-brim with colourblocked dresses. Acheampong is clear that the key to nailing the trend is to “always pick colours that are not too contrasting.”
In other words, make sure that the hues that you’re blocking reside in the same camp: neons with neons, pastels with pastels. When looking for colours to pair with one another, Acheampong is clear that there are a few other winning combinations that work faultlessly each and every time.
“Pink and red, green and orange, purple and green, and orange and blue are failsafe combinations,” she says. “But for those that need an easy introduction to it, consider monochrome colourblocking.”
The key is to choose colours you love; the ones that spark real and unadulterated joy, and wear them head to toe. Happy dopamine dressing, one and all.
Images: courtesy of brands.
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