We sacrifice a lot this time of year—from sunlight to open-toed heels—but wearing colour doesn’t have to be one of them. When worn right, colour is playful, stylish way to carry us through the colder, darker seasons. It also allows us to extend the bright fuchsia and navy tones from spring into our fall fashion.
“Think about colour as a way to accent your wardrobe for that season and then also transition your basics from spring into fall,” says Erin Nadler, stylist and image consultant for Better Styled in Toronto. “I don’t see colour as summery at all—it’s really just a way to make your basic items very on trend.”
We rounded up Nadler’s best fall fashion advice on the best ways to wear colour this time of year.
How to wear colour: Try deeper tones
If Bottega Veneta’s poppy-hued coat isn’t your idea of subtle, the darker jewel tones of fall may be an easier way to attempt colour this fall. “You can always ground them in black, grey, charcoal or chocolate brown, so it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming,” says Nadler.
Accent your dark neutral pieces with a blouse or scarf in a rich emerald or even deep mustard hue, or “as a hint of colour with jeans, layered under a cowneck cardigan or under your tone-on-tone leather jacket.”
Shopping tips: How to buy a LEATHER JACKET
How to wear colour: Anything navy goes
While black and grey rein supreme in our fall wardrobe, the range of navy (in delectable cobalt and royal hues) presents a colourful alternative this season. “I think it’s a really fresh look, it’s not as stark as grey and black can be, and also the great benefit to navy is that it transitions into spring more easily than grey and black,” says Nadler.
“You can pair it to the spring tones and it just looks a little bit lighter.” Try a colour block dress with cobalt in it or a suit jacket in navy with jeans and pair of flats. “You’re even seeing cobalt pants with a fabulous sweater on top, which can be great for the season.”
Fall fashion: HOW TO WEAR PINK
More ways to add colour to your fall fashion on the next page…
How to wear colour: Think pink
Whether it’s Carven’s plush oversized coat in bubblegum or Anna Sui’s bold fuchsia take, the pink parade on the Fall 2013 runways is one bold yet girly fashion choice this season. “Pink is a daring color so get ready to stand out,” says Nadler. But it’s one that provides a lasting happiness-inducing effect all season. “A cashmere pink coat is gorgeous for the long winter when it’s so drab and dark.”
For a more subtle way to try the pink trend, opt for a blush-toned sweater or satin blouse. “Or you could always try a python print with a little bit of pink in it,” she adds. And of course, it works as a perfect accent colour in a cozy infinity scarf or chunky necklace.
How to wear colour: Add a great plaid
The best thing about our love affair with plaid is that it never gets old—seriously. “They don’t go out of style, so every season you’re going to see some sort of plaid or great print,” Nadler says. “And this season, it’s really all about the details in the patterns and prints.” Think the mix of beautifully clashing tartans at Céline or the pairing of leather with plaid accents at Dries Van Noten.
Fall fashion: 10 ways to WEAR PLAID
Try a pointed hem blazer in plaid paired with a legging or a skinny jean, or even a coloured cord. Or look for playful detailing in the lining of a jacket. “I don’t think that pattern has to be overwhelming,” Nadler insists.
How to wear colour: Play with texture
“If colour isn’t your thing, try a multi-textured jacket or coat,” Nadler suggests. Think a cobalt jacket for the office in a glorious mix of leather and suede. “I am loving the various shades of plum,” says Nadler. “All the purples on the marketplace I think are really fabulous, from true plum to more aubergine and Bordeaux.”
Purple is an easy way to add colour to your fall fashion wardrobe while airing on the darker side—same goes for the rich tones of green this season. “If you are into the darker tones, then add a pop of colour in your handbag or your shoes,” says Nadler. “Those are easy colours to transition back to your core dark staples.”
Fashion trend lesson: 5 ways to wear pink
How to wear camel in the office
Fall fashion trend lesson: Get the biker chic look
Fashion essentials: The best fall coats
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.