How to Wear Color Five Ways

Julie Marshall
by Julie Marshall
15 Minutes

Are you someone who knows how to wear color? Or does that very question make you feel uncomfortable? I am someone who LOVES color. Wearing color makes me feel happy and invigorated. I am drawn to jewel tones like hot pink, royal blue, and red, and yet I also enjoy wearing neutral colors. (One color that is universally flattering is blue, especially royal blue.) Neutral colors include black, white, navy, olive green, and khaki. In fact, one of the easiest ways to add color to your wardrobe is by mixing one colorful piece with neutral items.

Mixing a little colored piece is like dipping your toe in the world of bright colors. In this article, I will show you five outfit ideas that will demonstrate the whole spectrum of colorful fashion. You should only wear what makes you feel wonderful. If you hate color, just read this and shake your head at that crazy gray-haired gal wearing all these colors together in one blog! Or maybe, just share it with your friend who loves it!

In this post...

Outfit #1 How to Wear Color Five Ways

Here is an example of wearing just a little bit of color. My white linen blazer tops a great white tank and my jeans are white straight-leg pants. My bag is a nude doctor’s style and my shoes are nude block heeled sandals, which are also neutral. My necklace is just silver and my earrings are classic, go-with-everything diamond studs. My watch is stainless, and my bangle is silver.

My only nod to color is in my pale pink and white gingham scarf. I think this fashion of wearing a scarf casually draped over my neck is a very subtle way of adding color, especially for the color reluctant reader. Pro-tip: Also wearing a softer shade of a color is a very safe and attractive way to add a bit of the color you may love.

Many of my readers have suggested that because they are fuller-figured, they don’t want to draw too much attention to their bodies. My response is again, only wear what makes you feel great! But if you want to add some color to your closet, do it in baby steps. Like a scarf, or a pin, or a pompom on a bag. Start small and get comfortable with that.

For my entire career as a dermatologist, I wore black pants almost every day. I changed things up with scarves, statement necklaces, and fun-colored earrings. Don’t stress if you prefer all neutrals as they look beautiful and classy. Just dabble in a bit of color if it seems like a fun idea for you.

Outfit #2 How to Wear Color Five Ways
In this second outfit, I pumped the color up a bit by adding a neutral colored denim jacket with the same tank, jeans, sandals, and jewelry as outfit #1, but this time I added a bright pink cross-body bag to wear together with the softer pink and white scarf. Pro-tip: It’s a small accessory, so it won’t overwhelm the color adverse people.
Outfit #3 How to Wear Color Five Ways

In this third look, I continued with the white linen blazer (so versatile as seen in this post) and added white shorts. My bag (old, similar, here or here), sandals, and belt are all neutral. My watch and earrings are the same as the above two outfits, but I’m wearing this bright and colorful floral button-down shirt from Talbots.

Pro-Tip: By wearing the really colorful shirt with all of the other neutral pieces, I effectively toned down the colors of it. It’s still fun and vibrant, but much of it is covered up by the linen blazer.

Outfit #4 How to Wear Color Five Ways

In this fourth outfit, I added a bit more color to the white “suit” by adding this bag that has a collection of colorful pompoms. This is a fun way to add the littlest bit of pop to your look, don’t you think?

Above I have the white jacket, the white shorts, nude sandals (similar, here), and a great neutral linen and leather belt. The wicker bag coordinates with the belt. The beaded silver bracelets add a casual bent to the jewelry.

Outfit #5 How to Wear Color Five Ways

This last look in this How to Wear Color series takes color to a whole other level! I paired the colorful floral shir t with neutral distressed jeans. My wicker bag and tan belt and sandals are also neutral pieces.

BUT, then I went crazy and added this GORGEOUS pink sweatshirt! I LOVE THIS PIECE! And then I added the pink cross-body bag for good measure. The silver beaded bracelets are fun and very affordable. Many women are reluctant to wear color, especially in the form of pants.

I hope this article has shown you that color can be worn in varying degrees, on any part of your outfit. Consider giving it a try. Let me know in the comments below. Or DM me on Instagram @drjuliemarshall. I would LOVE to connect with you. Maybe send me a photo…

Thanks for reading this post on How to Wear Color Five Ways.


Dr. Julie

PS Here are a few more posts for you to enjoy:

Styling Paper Bag Waist Pants Five Ways

Crop Pant Outfits

A Pink Gingham Shirt Five Different Ways!

Five Cute Outfits for Spring

This Dermatologist’s Make-up Routine and Favorite Products

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Julie Marshall
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