Fall fashion: 2011 colour trends

By: Lia Parsley

Author: Canadian Living


Fall fashion: 2011 colour trends

By: Lia Parsley
The fall fashion palette tends to be muted with lots of charcoal grey, black, navy and brown. But with a spectrum of bright shades from yellow to fuchsia cropping up in stores everywhere this season, we thought a Q-and-A session with colour crusader Marissa Webb, head of women's design and accessories at J.Crew, was in order. Webb shares easy ways to infuse bursts of colour into an otherwise neutral wardrobe.

Colour trends for fall
"Just because it's grey outside doesn't mean your wardrobe should reflect that,” says Webb. "Rich, saturated colours such as reds, indigos, purples and greens are on target for fall – basically any bright colour will do.” This doesn't mean you should forgo neutrals and dark pieces. Webb advises keeping these "non-colour” staples in your wardrobe, as they are important for balance.

Fall fashion: How to wear the season's colour trends

1. Coloured denim
One of the biggest ways women are wearing colour for fall 2011 is with denim. "Colour should be important in all categories of your wardrobe, from your apparel to your accessories,” says Webb. "I personally would pick up a pair of coloured jeans as they're such an easy way to infuse some cheery, casual colour into your look.”

Red, green or bright blue jeans are favourites and look best paired with T-shirts, cardigans and ballet flats. For the most part, the coloured denim trend can be found in skinnier cuts of jeans – the colour can be a bit imposing otherwise – so trade in your flared or boot-cut standbys for a pair of bright skinny jeans.

2. Colour blocking
Colour blocking was a big trend this summer and we will continue to see it in fall fashion.

The art of colour blocking is pretty basic: Simply pair one bright colour (typically a solid) with another. During the summer, colour trends emerged and pairing bright orange with pink was a very popular choice. However, the best colours to "block” with will change slightly with the turn of the season.

Page 1 of 2 -- Learn how to mix and match coloured prints, and how to accessorize for fall, on page 2

"For autumn, I personally love bright blues combined with rich rust colours, and shades of red matched with camels or deep chocolate brown,” says Webb. If you already own a great pair of fitted camel-coloured slacks, consider picking up a red blouse to wear with them. If you have a few bright T-shirts on hand, try colour blocking them with kelly green denim.

3. Mixing and matching
The colour trend isn't reserved only for solid shades – coloured prints and stripes are showing up all over the place. "I absolutely love mixing stripes and prints together, but combining stripes with stripes or prints with prints can also be very chic,” says Webb. "The play of patterns makes an outfit interesting even if the silhouettes are very simple.” An important part of wearing colour this season is to take risks. You might be used to a fall-winter wardrobe of navy, black and brown, but if there was ever a time to move out of your fashion comfort zone, it's now. Like Webb, we love seeing unexpected choices like two colourful prints paired together.

4. Accessories

Nothing's easier than adding a shot of cheery colour to your winter accessories. Go for a cobalt scarf and rust-coloured mittens with your new black wool jacket. Scarves, hats, mittens and other colourful add-ons let you get in on the colour trend, with little commitment.

However you wear colour this fall, do so with vibrant hues – it's not the time for washed-out pastels or wimpy shades. And keep your beiges, blacks and browns on hand for overall balance. What about wearing white after Labour Day? "This is one fashion rule that I think is meant to be broken! I never think twice about it,” says Webb. "If I feel like wearing white, I do.” And so should you.

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Fall fashion: 2011 colour trends