Fashion & Beauty

Color Me Bright(er)

A FRIEND who wears black sweaters, jeans and jackets like a religion has recently had a change of heart. She has conceded to the unhappy tenor of the times by adding pops of color to her clothing.  “It feels more optimistic,” she says.

She refers to Katell le Bourhis, former associate curator at the Met Costume Institute and one-time director at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris as an inspiration. Reportedly, Le Bourhis, who wore mainly black and white, didn’t leave home without an accent of chartreuse.

Not everyone loves or can go within miles of wearing chartreuse, but you get the point. Black can be dreadfully dreary especially in the depths of winter. Moreover, it can drain the life out of older complexions. With that in mind, looking at the bright colors and even springy pastels that populated fall 2018 runways has prompted me to set the refresh button on my own mostly black- and-neutrals closet. If you want to add a happy hue or two to your own closet, see some ideas below.

Left: With an irresistible shape and color, Lady Leather Purse in Tomato will brighten up anything you’re wearing. Courtesy of L.A.-design company Building Block whose mantra is “editing out excess and magnifying essentials.” $550, Need Supply. Right: Who said winter coats have to be black, navy or brown? This Pippa Double-breasted Shearling Coat in a rich teal-green hue from designer Sies Marjan is cuddly but chic, too. Layer it over a mint-green satin skirt for an evening out. $2,359, Matches Fashion.



Left: An antidote to dark days. Nanushka’s Motta turtle neck ribbed angora merino blend in lilac, paired here with plaid yellow pants, leaves winter behind—at least in your mind. $460, Farfetch. Right: Get out of your all-black rut. Team Tibi’s Egg Blue Blazer with a white cashmere sweater. Wait for the compliments. $595, Tibi.





Left: This Open Work-Detail sweater in buttery yellow says cheery and cozy. $69.99, Mango. Right: Punch up your basic black outfit with this Isabelle Leather Handbag, which racks up points for its off-the-beaten track shape and glossy lime color. $265, Need Supply.




These Velveteen Pants will look great with a charcoal gray sweater or paired, as shown here, with the same color turtleneck for a slimming silhouette. $99, Zara.

Left: Note to self: Thumbs up to a mustard and pale-blue denim combo. Gaby Brushed Fleece Sweatshirt $50, Need Supply. Right: In winter denial? Pair Pointed Toe Leather flats in fuchsia with cream-colored pants. $79.99, Mango.

Left: Instead of a plain white T-shirt, slip Levi’s Perfect Graphic Tee with a splash of red letters under a blazer. $29.50, Nordstrom. Right: A prime example of how to lighten the look of a dark-green blazer. Pair it with a lavender button-down. $250, Massimo Dutti.

—Janet Kelly


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4 thoughts on “Color Me Bright(er)

  1. Nancy G says:

    Love the pops of bright against black. But I can’t give up my collection of great black trousers.

  2. Carol says:

    Love bright colors in the winter! we have a mutual friend who prefers black all year round too! 🙂
    I especially love the butter color with navy or jeans may try to find that sweater!

  3. Janet – love these options. I have never looked good in all black! Whose jacket is it with the satin skirt? And the purse? And I want to see a picture of you with no black in the outfit!

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Sies Marjan jacket. The green purse is from Need Supply. Is that the one you mean or the red one?
      No black at all? Dunno.

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