Fashion

7 ways to brighten your winter wardrobe

Author: Canadian Living

Fashion

7 ways to brighten your winter wardrobe

Long winter nights and short, chilly days can mean a dearth of fashion excitement. If you're feeling bored with your current choices it might be time to freshen up your wardrobe -- and it can be easier than you think! By re-evaluating your neutrals and picking up a few new pieces, you can add liveliness and colour to any ensemble.

To learn more, we asked stylist Mariko Lauren for tips on how to punch up your day-to-day outfit choices with colour. She assures us that adding brightness to your wardrobe can be as easy as putting on an eye-catching scarf.

1. Start small
You can begin brightening your wardrobe with just a few small pieces. "When people try to transition into wearing colour, it can scare them," says Lauren. "So start small with a bright or pastel clutch." She also suggests using accessories, such as bangles or sunglasses, to punch up an otherwise neutral outfit. That way you can add liveliness without overwhelming your look or going too far outside of your comfort zone.

2. Don't forget about neutrals
Lauren maintains that wearing light neutrals is another way of brightening your wardrobe. "In the winter you wear darker colours, so by adding a pop of grey to your day-to-day look, you'll brighten things up. Also try beige, white or pastel blue," she suggests. Just don't be thrown by the word "neutral."

Even pastels can qualify as neutrals -- especially when worn as a button-up blouse paired with a printed blazer or pair of dark pants. A beige sweater with a dark pencil skirt can also be "bright" as it creates contrast and breaks up your darker pieces, Lauren explains.

3. Complement your skin tone
It's important to keep in mind that you don't have to be swayed by the "it colours" of the season, says Lauren. Instead, just wear what works with your skin tone. "Bright pink may be in, but if it doesn't work with your skin colour, it won't work for you," she says.

"This season, there are a lot of light colours to choose from, including blues, light pinks, mint greens, floral oranges and pinks." If you have pale skin, beige, white and pastel colours can help make your skin pop. Those with darker skin tones, however, should try orange, yellow and bright blue.

Page 1 of 2 -- Find tips on using bright colours with accessories and makeup on page 2


4. Tie colour in
Remember that one lone pop of colour won't necessarily brighten your full ensemble. "Don't wear all black and then bright pink shoes," Lauren warns. "If you do the eye will be drawn toward your shoes as opposed to your full outfit."

Instead, make your outfit flow by adding another piece that complements the focal point of what you're wearing. Lauren suggests donning earrings that tie in the brightest colour of your outfit or a printed belt in a matching hue.

5. When in doubt, wear a scarf
The easiest way to brighten a look is to add a scarf, says Lauren. "If your outfit is monochromatic, wear a scarf underneath your blazer to add a pop of colour. You can also wear scarves around your head or tied to your bag to add a touch of colour there," she says. Just ensure that your scarf complements any other pieces you might be wearing. "Your outfit should flow. If your eye stops at a certain point, you need to add in another piece of the same colour," the stylist says.

6. Brighten your makeup
Brightening your makeup is a simple but effective way of adding colour to your look -- especially if you're on a budget. "Start small," Lauren explains. "Wear bright red lipstick or paint your nails with a bright polish. Of course, it really depends on your comfort level," she says. If you're feeling daring, a tangerine or bright pink lipstick can help keep your overall look cheerful and bright. Neon eyeliner can also create a loud pop -- especially if worn with light neutrals like white or grey.

7. Don't be afraid to experiment
With so many colours to choose from this season, Lauren assures us that there is nothing to fear. "Have fun and don't be afraid of your wardrobe," she advises. "The key is to make sure that your eyes flow smoothly over your outfit." And remember, if you're more comfortable wearing neutrals, experiment with lighter hues when incorporating colour. It may be intimidating to draw attention to yourself, but wearing a crisp white shirt over a robin-egg blue tank top can create a fun, lively look without being over the top.

Brightening your wardrobe doesn't require an overhaul. By picking up a few choice pieces -- or even a bright new lipstick -- you can easily lighten up your look in time for spring.

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7 ways to brighten your winter wardrobe

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