Fashion helpdesk: Colour blocking

Over the last few weeks we’ve tackled the tricky trends of mullet dresses, man fashion, jumpsuits and skinny jeans, since then we asked you to email in your fashion dilemmas and you, the people have responded. First up we take a look at colour-blocking.

Dear Nicky,

Can you please help me with the colour blocking trend I keep hearing about? I’d quite like to add some bright colours into my wardrobe, but as I am nudging 40, I’m wondering if I am I too old for this?



Dear Black-clad,

Well, I’m glad you asked, you may have noticed from some of the open posts here and here that we have become a little bit obsessed with colour blocking and coloured denim in the Mamamia office of late. Let me begin by saying yes, absolutely you can wear this trend.


Colour blocking first hit the runway a couple

of seasons ago and you may have noticed bright colours begin trickle into retail stores here last year, but it was really only this spring (in the US) that celebrities embraced the trend.

Basically, colour blocking is wearing two or three bright bold colours together in one outfit. It requires a little experimentation to avoiding looking like Carmen Miranda. Here are my tips:

Match back with neutrals

This is a super sophisticated look that can be office appropriate and is a great way to wear any caramel, khaki or cream-coloured pieces you may have bought over Autumn/Winter. I particularly love Elle MacPherson’s khaki/orange/white look and black, white and red also looks really fresh.

Stick with 2 -3 colours

Wearing blocks of bright colour will definitely draw attention and the more colours you add the more you effectively add to your frame, make you appear wider and shorter. Instead use a limited colour palette to your advantage – if you are short, a cropped blazer and high-waisted pants will elongate your frame and if you want to disguise your bottom half, then wear a brightly coloured top with a pair of pants in a darker shade.

Bright is key

This is not the time to be pulling out that dusty pale blue jumper you’ve had for seven years and matching it with a lemon cardigan.  Bright colours are what make this trend look modern, so go for ultramarines, purples, fuchsias and oranges.

Don’t be afraid to wear colour

Find a couple of shades that really complement your skin tone, it can make you look years younger. If bright colour is still a scary prospect or you don’t want to spend much money, then go for colour in your accessories. Adding a bright scarf, bangle, bag or pair of shoes will lift your outfit without being over the top. Still not convinced? There is always nail polish.

If you have any other fashion dilemma you would like Mamamia Style to solve, send it to [email protected]