Blonde woman crossing street wearing bright pink coat and green trousers.

These colour-blocking street style looks prove, in fashion at least, that opposites attract

We’re getting back in the mood to wear bright colours after a sombre year. Here we make the case for five daring pairings that’ll make donning bold shades a breeze.

Colour is more than an aesthetic choice, it can have a huge bearing on our state of mind. It’s no coincidence that loungewear and home goods in cool-toned neutrals like cream and taupe have taken centre stage during the pandemic; aside from being timeless, this muted colour family also elicits a much-needed feeling of calm.

But as our lives inch further away from lockdown and into a new semblance of normal, brights are just begging to be let back into our lives as indicated by the spring/summer 2022 collections. At Jacquemus, bright fuchsias and blinding oranges made for a show stopping combination and at the most recent Copenhagen Fashion Week, clashing colours spent the three-day sartorial affair vying for attention.

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If you’ve given punchy colours the boot during your mid-year declutter fear not, colour theory is the easiest way to add bold shades to your wardrobe without spending time in front of the mirror agonising over what goes and what doesn’t.

Using a colour wheel, pick two primary colours on opposing ends of the spectrum and place them next to each other. They’re bound to clash, right? Wrong. Although they’re contrasting, they perfectly complement each other and prove, at least in fashion, that opposites attract. 

Ready to see the magic in practice? Read on for five street style looks that are a crash course in colour theory.

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Pink and green

Woman wearing pink trousers and green snakeskin coat with the sun blazing behind her.
Get more life out of your contrasting separates by playing with different fabrics and patterns.

Pink and green seem like opposing contenders, but when paired together they make quite a powerful combo so don’t hesitate to try this pairing. If you’re ready to dive into wearing bold colours, make a commitment and invest in a statement outerwear piece that’ll brighten every outfit you wear under it. 

Purple and yellow

Two women crossing a New York street.
Not into separates? No problem.

More of a one-and-done dresser? No worries. You can still play with colour theory even if you prefer the ease of wearing block pieces, like dresses and jumpsuits over mixing and matching separates. To avoid losing the exciting contrast, opt for a block piece in yellow and pair with purple shoes. 

Whether you slip on a pair of converse or statement mules, your look is set to turn heads.

Blue and pink

Woman wearing blue blazer and pink trousers.
Opt for classic cuts when wearing this daring pairing.

In theory pink and blue sound like a brash colour combo, but this mix of electric blue and fuchsia pink would work just as well on the front row at fashion week or in the back of a boardroom. Opt for classic cuts like a blazer and tailored trousers to give this pairing an air of understated chic. 

This outfit is easily dressed up or down depending on how you choose to accessorise. 

Green and orange

Woman looking to the side while crossing street.
Pair with understated accessories to let these zesty colours take centre stage.

Green and orange may belong to the same family of zesty colours, but they’re nowhere near each other on the spectrum. Bringing them together in an ensemble is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a style risk that pays off big time, so be sure to try this combination with the flouro, pastel and primary versions of these colours. 

You’ll be the talk of the town in a look this bright. Add an understated bag and don your comfiest white trainers just in case would-be street style photogs decide to follow you around like a beacon.

Blue and red

Woman wearing baby blue suit with bright red earrings and handbag.
Add contrasting accessories.

If you’re wondering how to fit a new love for colour into your wardrobe and budget, don’t fret. Making use of what you already have and then selectively adding a few accoutrements isn’t just frugal, it’s also the way to shortcut to making every outfit look perfectly curated. 

Whether you’re wearing electric or baby blue, the simple addition of bright red accessories will take this look to stratospheric heights of style.

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Images: Getty Images.