How to dress like a grown up with Shane Watson: Go on, bin black for bright, bold colours 

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  • Shane Watson shares advice for embracing this season’s bright and bold colors
  • This British fashion expert hardly has any black clothes left
  • She says every complexion benefits from a complexion and will make you look younger

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Like some of us, I’m hesitant when it comes to color—somewhere between lazy and anxious not to buy anything that simply doesn’t work with the rest of my wardrobe.

And there’s more, if I’m being completely honest. After decades of hanging on the fringes of high fashion, I’m still a little obsessed with the black-and-gray cult; Sophisticated non-colors that remained fashionable because they were irreverent, cool and (if worn from head to toe) slimming.


Well, no more. With country women’s clothing buyers, over the years I’ve gradually darkened my back and around pink (for blouses), colorful prints (for dresses), blue and ginger (for blazers). has come. and smoky blue and khaki (for the jumpsuit).

There’s hardly any black in my wardrobe these days (not a moment too soon – black and gray are lacking on almost everyone over the age of 50) and though I’m still not quite comfortable with color, I I’m off the early slopes, moving up the intermediate range and working on it. Because it’s worth it.

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With the country’s womenswear buyers, I’ve slowly turned my back to black over the years. Pictured: Leila Grace Moss wears red on the Hack catwalk

Every complexion benefits from some color: eyes brighten, smile lifts up. This little detail — you’ll look better and younger in a flattering hue — is crazy to ignore, and this autumn, fashion has made it harder for us not to embrace the color.

Across the board, designers have bypassed black and now almost everything looks more contemporary and desirable in color.

Last week I bought an Emerald Velvet Blazer at Zara. Would I have considered buying it in black? Never, and what’s more, there was none on offer (for the first time, I’d say).

The color is the same as it is now. The future is bright and not bright, worn out all the time without a second thought.

So, here’s what I’ve learned so far…

Head to toe color in different colors

In fashion this is called tonal dressing, and it really works because it looks pulled together without looking too uniform, and it’s super easy.

Just pick a color in two different tones – say a bright blue sweater over a silky sea blue dress from Autograph at Marks & Spencer (£59 and £99,

Add some inked blue shoes and you are good to go.

Swap Black for Stylish Camel

The first step is to swap out your neutrals to make the color work smoothly; Black to camel or cream, khaki or navy. Camel, for example, goes wonderfully with sea blue, red, emerald green and pink.

Pink sings along to khakis (and automatically looks more adult); Rust looks fresh with cream and navy blue; And don’t forget indigo denim, which flatters everyone and goes with everything.

Black is no longer the main event

Wear a black satin camisole under a bright green trouser suit, not vice versa.

(You might remember that Phoebe Waller-Bridge was there early in 2019 for press night of her solo show Fleabag.)

Wear a black satin camisole under a bright green trouser suit, not vice versa.  Phoebe Waller-Bridge gets there early for press night of her solo show Fleabag in 2019

Wear a black satin camisole under a bright green trouser suit, not vice versa. Phoebe Waller-Bridge gets there early for press night of her solo show Fleabag in 2019

Try a Lively Sleeveless Sweater

It’s a great way to add some strong color – like cobalt blue or strong coral (£59, – and brighten or lighten an outfit.

If you want to start with something simple, pair your navy trousers with a white shirt with an ivory V-neck sleeveless jumper (£29.50, and you’ll be off without trying. Suddenly in bright field.

Then you can add a pop of color: some red flats or lipstick; A coral bag strap or earrings.

Don’t know what’s going on?

Combinations that look especially good now are cherry red and aubergine (try an aubergine tank with a red blouse or polo neck), pink and red, orchid purple and red, mauve and emerald green or coral and khaki.

Of course, there’s always print as well. Winter prints are most versatile if they include something black, like Reiss’s Silky Scarf Print Shirt Dress (£248, – they’ll work with your black boots and boots.

Get down to some colorful suiting

Surely it’s better to get a neutral trouser suit, otherwise don’t we risk looking like a clown? No. No.

If there’s one thing you should rush out and buy it a colorful blazer or, better still, suit. It’s the year of the colorful trouser suit – for work or play.

It can be dusty pink or dark red or butterscotch (£59.99 and £27.99; £69.99 and £29.99; £59.99 and £29.99, or emerald green velvet (£89.99 and £59.99, .

I am now wearing an emerald blazer with a pink shirt and jeans separately. A patterned suit with a black background can also look great – with a plain dark top at the bottom.

Remember, don’t go back.


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