This season, it’s time to go all-out bold. In our exclusive extract from How Not to Wear Black by Anna Murphy, Fashion Director at The Times, we decipher how to clash colours and prints the modern way, featuring statement-making styles from the new-season collection at Monsoon.
Let’s take colour first. There are two ways to approach it, and they both involve you getting your head around the colour wheel. Contrast hues that sing rather than clash tend to be opposites on the wheel: green and red; orange and blue; purple and yellow. That’s option one.
Option two is tone-on-tone combinations. That’s what red and pink is. It used to be the ultimate no-no. Now it’s practically de rigueur outside the shows. Violet and lilac is another one. A bright green with a pale green. It’s fun once you start!
Wearing Pattern and Print
Start by pairing two or more classic patterns: two contrast stripes, for example, or two checks. Much easier than attempting it with two florals. If you mix types of pattern – a stripe with a floral, say – pull things together by using the same colour palette. Or, buy a single piece that does the work for you. Buy a dress that splices two florals, rather than attempting to clash-match a blouse and skirt. Buy a shirt made of two different stripes. You can bend the rules more quietly by mixing black and navy, a double-act that was once deemed unacceptable, yet is now verging on dress code on the front row.