7 ways to inject colour into your wardrobe (with a little help from Ikea)
Savile Row tailor William Hunt creates a range of suits with Ikea’s punchy prints and bold colours
A feast of colour in a range of suits from Ikea and William Hunt.
If your wardrobe has become a washed-out mix of neutrals, grey and black, it might be time to move beyond the sepia-toned shades, and embrace this season’s sunshine hues. For the summer collections there was an indubitable array of colour – great exclamatory sweeps of fuchsia, cobalt and emerald, in particular. On the catwalk, these colours weren’t even diluted with neutral layers, but served straight up or in clashing cocktail form.
Also, plating up a course in statement shades this season is Savile Row tailor William Hunt. As one of the most dedicated lovers of colour, Hunt is on a mission to reduce our habit of reaching for the neutral shades. Dubbed the Maverick with Fabric, Hunt created a range of suits using Ikea textiles that exhibit his love of punchy prints and shocking hues, encouraging more people to inject a splash of colour into their wardrobes and their homes.
There is no doubting the perception that bold colours are hard to pull off, but they are invigorating and fun, a great game-changer and a cheerful palate-cleanser after an overly long, grey winter. Here, then, are our tips to turning your wardrobe truly technicolour.
1. Start safe and build up to bright and bold. Small incursions into rainbow hues will aid you to build confidence in attempting bigger statement shades. Focus on one piece at a time by trying a flourish of brightness like a colour-pop blazer, paired with something neutral, or vice versa. Colour blocking comes later. Hunt’s advice for the truly colour-wary: “When we shot the suits for the campaign we pared them with basics – turning the dials down with a black or white T-shirt. You can’t have pieces fighting each other; they must support each other. It’s very important to get the balance, but you only get the balance by trying.”
2. Embrace the rainbow year round with choice accessories. Bright colours are always a fresh and fantastic idea when the sun is shining but can be an imperious choice come a dull and drizzly day. Colour-pop accessories, like a zesty pair of pumps or a statement-hued bag, on the other hand, will have an all-year appeal.
3. Paintbox brights don’t have to look childish, think more Crayola-chic, and play with a combination of a strict cut and a fun colour or print. “Cut is so important, a lot of people go for colour and then forget about the cut, and the quality.” Punchy shades feel particularly modern on pieces in tailored shapes with crisp clean lines that revert the youthfulness of the bright hues – think mid-length dresses, wide-leg trousers and silk blouses.
4. Don’t be restricted to wearing colour in a conventionally obvious way. Bright colours still have currency worn with denim, white or grey if feeling less adventurous. But the sharpest way of embracing colour is taking on unusual colour matches. “With the Ikea fabrics we mixed colours – orange shouldn’t go with black with silver but I love that combination,” says Hunt. Other fresh fusions include mulberry and mint, emerald and fuchsia, and lilac and scarlet.
5. Clashing colours can be tricky even for the most colour-confident. For the beginners’ guide to colour play and an apt approach for those who are less tonally skilled is to buy one piece that does the clashing/non-matchy-matchy for you. Opt for a singular piece that comes pre-loaded and pre-planned with colours all jumbled together.
6. It’s worth noting which colours suit your complexion the most and shop for those shades on rotation. If your skin is warm with yellow undertones, opt for earthy tones like olive greens, corals and amber. For those with pink or blue undertones, rich jewelled hues like fuchsia, emerald and ruby will suit. You have to look at your own colouring and pick tones that complement that. Unless, that is, you have the personality to carry it off. “If you are timid, keep it a bit safer with colour but if you are gregarious and confident, you can do whatever you like,” says Hunt.
7. A lot of men have a tricky relationship with colour; it’s all too often the reserve of children’s TV presenters and entertainers. But adding a bold touch to your look can really set you apart as a considered dresser. A pocket square, a flash of colour on a collar, a tie, or the sole of a trainer is all it takes to give your outfit a bit of personality. “Every man should have a range of white collared shirts in their wardrobe which they can then swap out with different colour ties,” says Hunt.
8. Naturally, Hunt, the rainbow tailor, isn’t having any of it when it comes to rules. “The rules are there are no rules,” he says. “One man’s purple is another man’s green. It’s not critical to anyone’s life, there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes and trying it again. Style should have wit, so have fun with everything you do and add colour.”
Ikea has partnered with Savile Row tailor William Hunt to create a number of unique suits using Ikea textiles. The suits, created using Sofia, Rosenrips, Nedja and Kungslilja textiles, mirror existing products including Poang chairs, Stocksundt sofas and bedding. You can win one by visiting ikea.com/ie/en/ikea/threepiecesuit. Closing date May 30th.