Dress Happy: 7 Ways to Wear Bright Colors
Tis the season to get merry and bright. Start with these irresistibly cheerful looks.
OK, let’s just say it, 2020 has been a year. A shot of positivity is in order right now, so while winter traditionally has neutrals and pared-down palettes baked into its very style DNA, this season calls for something brighter and merrier. Step forward a new entry in the fashion playbook: “dopamine dressing”—a style based on the theory that wearing bright colors can actually help lift your spirit and boost your mood.
Whether this is true or not, there’s no downside to a little sartorial optimism at this time. And thanks to runways awash with primary colors, megawatt neons and all manner of punchy prints, there are plenty of ways to get in on this color-me-happy moment, whether you go for a pop here and there, or commit to a top-to-toe drenching. From cool workout clothes to comfy loungewear, there’s every reason to dress for your feelings right now, and no excuse not to try something outside of your comfort zone.
Start with these seven ways to give your winter wardrobe a fierce new attitude.
Color theory in fashion is all about setting an intention—then choosing strong pieces to back it up. How you put those pieces together matters, too. Once seen as a stylistic no-no, today clashing hues have a big seat at the table. Opt for contrasting blocks of color, such as the bright blue of this track jacket and these tangy citrus-hued leggings. Or if you’re more into layering, try adding a vibrant tank over a colorful bra top. And don’t hold back with your sneakers: The Classic Leather Legacy shoes come in a whole rainbow of cool color-block combinations.
Bright hues pop when paired with quieter backdrops. Look for pieces that play up color as a graphic element. Set the tone with these pink-edged pocket joggers and match with a complementing color tank or something more muted depending on your mood. For a bolder take, go for a top that’s more zingy and fresh, like this Classics anorak in gray, trimmed with flashes of orange. For a strong riff on the interplay of different graphic elements, these Nano X training shoes come in an array of fun color effects, ideal for adding a boost of energy to your workouts.
For those who typically err on the side of understatement, color can be a tricky maneuver to make. The secret is not to overthink it. It can be as simple as starting with your typically muted leggings, then pairing with something outside your wheelhouse—say, a bright orange hoodie. In this way, pops of color offer the ideal way to dip a toe (or leg) into the trend, while playing it safe with the other half of your look. Whether you’ve got color on the top, bottom or both, mixing and matching bold hues with muted ones will help you find your happy place. For kicks, work these statement Zig Kinetica Edge sneakers with a darker-palette outfit to really let their cool color vibes steal the spotlight.
As loud as you like, prints are a smart way to bring the more-is-merrier approach to dressing this season. To amp up your workouts and put a little more pep in your step, these leggings are just the thing. If you’re feeling bold, clash your leggings with a low-impact bra featuring a print of its own or keep it simple with a more subdued printed tee. For the ultimate notice-me color cacophony, these Zig Kinetica shoes with their mesmerizing rainbow swirl are a game-changer.
A deliciously satisfying effect, ombre offers a fun way to dip into bright hues—and if you’re lucky, nail several colors in one piece. Whether you prefer the out-there color combos or more intuitive chromatics, there’s an ombre to suit all. These sunset-toned leggings go well with the Zig Kinetica shoes in multiple shades. Whatever the combination, ombre pieces pack your winter lineup with an instant burst of style sunshine.
Not for the faint-hearted, at the boldest end of the spectrum are the megawatt-shade pieces that positively demand attention. Making a case for high-vis cool, this Edgeworks graphic tee and luxe leggings are perfectly suited to the Chromat Instapump Fury. Or skip the shirt and head for the sports bras that come in the most eye-catching hues. No rules, just pure color fun any which way you like.
In this newly imagined color-centric winter, neon brings a welcome glow to the chilly months with upbeat, optimistic iterations. Bright tights are the obvious choice to add energy to workouts, be that in potent pink or shocking orange. Shoes also make a perfect playground for neon accents, from the Legacy 83 all the way to the Instapump Fury OG shoes.