Pity the wallfower when it comes to winter fashion this season. Even perennially chic neutrals look drab beside fashion’s
joyful explosion of colour blocking. This season’s top hues, from deep orange to fresh forest green, are ultra saturated, almost dripping with pigment—and possibility. The key to colour blocking with conviction is to think, well, outside the box when it comes to winter fashion. To kick-start the process, we have selected six pieces to add to your wardrobe to take you from colour newbie to colour connoisseur in no time. Welcome to the block party.


Level: Beginner

With its distressed leather and statement stripe of colour, this classic tote looks chic whether on the arm of a trench or one of the season’s essential slim-fitting parkas. It’s the perfect bag for the upscale grocery shopper—although in the spirit of things, you will have to skip the staples and fill up on peonies and watercolour-hued macaroons. La dolce vita has its demands.

Leather market tote, $150, bananarepublic.com.


Level: Beginner

Adorable, right? And so easy. If you’re already imagining this paired with a poppy pink (or purple!) mani, you’re ready for round two.

Colour Block Zipper wallet, $14.94, oldnavy.ca.


Level: Intermediate

To belt or not to belt? That may be the question, but the answer is up to you—this cheery palette offers the perfect canvas for experimentation. Our favourite role is the chic sophisticate. (But, you know, to thine own self be true.) Wear it over a black turtleneck with a cinch waist belt and sky-high patent pumps for maximum impact.

Colour Blocked Charmeuse dress, $26.94, oldnavy.ca.


Level: Intermediate

Sure, it’s purple fringe. With orange. But this limited-edition Jeffrey Campbell bag is guaranteed to attract compliments and breathy demands for purchasing details. Create the best possible showcase with a downtown cool look—a luxe leather jacket or a cropped bungee coat lined with faux fur and wedge ankle booties.

Jeffrey Campbell crossbody bag, $89.99, urbanoutfitters.com.

Make a winter fashion statement with our selects of rich, bold brights.

Advanced colour wearers take note of our winter fashion tips on the next page …

Level: Advanced

This is your vacation shoe—the one that keeps hope alive during winter’s darkest, snowiest days. In the tropics, treat it as a neutral, and pair with your striped bikini, floral romper or patterned mini-dress. Back home, it’s a statement shoe best worn with a classic palette of white, black or grey—or denim cut-offs. The countdown starts now.

Platform sandal, $79.95, hm.com.


Level: Advanced

This tri-colour print triples the difficulty level, but the length of this shirt—as much as the colour blocking challenge—determines how it should be worn. Try it over slim-fitting grey denim and lace-up booties for the office. For after-work drinks, opt for ribbed black leggings with over-the-knee boots—and silently toast your sartorial daring.

Bric a Bloc classic shirt, $188, canada.frenchconnection.com.

Read more:
The best winter brights
Great necklaces for any season
Knitted pieces for the cold weather

Winter fashion tips: How to be comfy and chic