Brighten up your wardrobe for summer (on a budget!)

For many women, colour in an outfit can be a scary prospect. But with summer around the corner, it’s time to brighten up your wardrobe. With these handy tips it won’t be long before you feel confident finding the colours that you love wearing, all without costing a fortune…

ACCENT ACCESSORIES 

Starting small is a good way to introduce new changes to your style, working your way up to those big, bold changes and the confidence to carry them off. When it comes to colour, the best way to begin to infuse it into your wardrobe is by accenting your outfit with colourful accessories. From jewellery to bags, belts and shoes, little compliments of colour carefully injected into your outfit will tie the whole ensemble together and you’ll look like you know what you’re doing even if you don’t feel it inside. Take this turquoise belt for instance, just £4.99 from New Look. Cutting boldly between the classic duo of a white T-shirt and a pair of jeans, it makes your outfit that little bit more interesting and put together. Paired with some sandals or flats in a contrasting hue, you’re already showing you’ve made a bit more effort made with your outfit, without pushing the boundaries of your colour confidence. Whether you go full costume jewellery, or simply add some of your favourite sentimental pieces, you’re breaking up the block neutral colours and adding a bit of interest to catch the eye.

BUILDING BLOCK COLOURS

Starting with tops, it’s time to bring colours into the actual clothes you wear. Start simple with block colours. There’s no need to push yourself, simply buy T-shirts in cuts you like, such as a V-neck or crew tee. Available in every colour you could imagine, a basic tee is generally pretty inexpensive and is available from most women’s fashion retailers like Boohoo and Tesco’s F&F. A colourful tee is perfect for tucking into anything, from a pair of jeans to a skirt or shorts for summer.If you usually stick to more muted, neutral hues like black, white (and maybe a navy if you’re feeling adventurous!) buying tees in greens and blues shouldn’t be too far a stretch from what you’re normally reaching for, still keeping the cuts and shapes you’re familiar with having on your body. As you get more accustomed to brighter coloured T-shirts like pink, red or yellow tees, you can begin to try out other styles, like a floaty blouse or a frilly cami.

Once you’ve got the block top down, it’s time to get a bit more adventurous. Say hello to coloured trousers, skirts, shorts and any other bottoms you might fancy. Swap the safe neutrals of black, denim and grey jeans and incorporate the colourful shades of orange cigarette leg trousers, or mustard yellow slim fit trousers. A cute A-line skirt in a pink corduroy is also ideal for the summer months or go all out in a pair of yellow culottes that cut off at your calf. Really, it’s no different from wearing colour on your top half! In order to avoid clashing in your early stages of colour confidence, simply ensure one half of your outfit sticks to a neutral black, navy, white or grey and you’ll already look a whole lot brighter.

INTRODUCE PATTERNS

Now, hear me out – this one may seem a little daunting, but there are so many great retailers offering stunning (and subtle) patterned clothing. Steer clear of the neutral nautical stripes (although I love them) and find patterns with a bit more of those rainbow hues running through it. With wardrobe pieces like this that are bound to make a statement against your sacred neutrals, it’s always good to invest and pay a little more for items that’ll last. Cath Kidston is renowned for its flare with florals and polka dots and its time to add both prints to your wardrobe. If you want to steer clear of a pattern crazy outfit, why not opt for one of their lovely shirts? This ice lolly shirt below brings together an array of pretty colours on a cream backdrop, perfect for wearing buttoned up over a pair of cut-off jeans. Alternatively, slouch it over a plain T-shirt as another layer on those cooler summer days. If you’re after reduced lines, websites like My Favourite Voucher Codes display the latest deals and there are always patterned skirts, tops and knitwear in the Cath Kidston sale with up to 25% off, giving you that guaranteed influx of colour that you need. 

SWAP FOR NEUTRAL ACCESSORIES

In time you’ll get more confident with colour and be putting together all kinds of fun and bright combinations. As long as you’ve got accessories to match, just about any colour can work together if you wear them with conviction. You might even find your wardrobe is in need of some neutral coloured accessories to quieten down your colourful ensemble! Keep things interesting and swap out your blacks and greys for browns, particularly in your footwear and handbags. Whilst brown isn’t always a go-to in people’s clothing, it’s great for accessories. Let your outfit do the talking and keep it simple with a faux leather handbag, a pair of brown ankle boots for winter and gladiator sandals for the warmer months. Ultimately, there’s no need to fear colour. It’ll bring a new depth to your wardrobe and have you feeling bright and ready for the hotter seasons. Even when autumn and winter come around, mustard yellows and maroons are perfect colours to keep your style interesting and stop you returning to your old ways of the neutral shade comfort blanket. Let me know if you give colour a go!

PIN IT FOR LATER..!

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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