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How to Pull Off Bright Colours This Summer

It may be easy to look to the catwalk for a little colour inspiration, but often translating these bold style choices to your wardrobe can be a daunting task. So, here’s how to wear this season’s summer brights without looking like a patchwork quilt of Fanta flavours. The SS17 menswear collections were a vibrant display of colour-play. Designers mixed hues of tangerine orange and cobalt blue, with Olivier Rousteing tactfully pairing the colours together at Balmain, while at Hermes zingy citrus yellows stole the show. Both Hermès and Kenzo showcased variations of the ever so tricky teal shade paired with charcoal black and bright orange. But it was the shades of dusty pink, citrus yellow, and various colour takes on floral prints that really caught our attention. Here’s the rundown on our favourites and how to style these with your current wardrobe.

Dusty Pink  

An unmissable shade for menswear SS17, dusty pink was seen across the board from Gucci to Topman and Ivanman to Ackerman. Ackerman and Topman showcased top-to-toe looks of the soft shade of pink in elegant three-piece suits and basic trouser and blazer pairings. While at Paul & Joe they had a more casual take on the all pink everything look with baseball hats and sneakers paired with casual knit sweaters and cigarette trousers. To pull off all-out pink is quite the challenge but it can be achieved by careful colour matching of varying hues. Chose a light, almost nude shade on the top, be it a hat or pale pink tee, then work down to a darker dusty-rose shade for the trousers and feet. Alternatively, put a more commercial twist on this pink statement with a lighter variation of the hue with a shirt and salmon coloured chinos.


Citrus yellow 

This shade of yellow has come back into vogue after a few seasons of hibernation. The colour dominated the runway at Hermès and under the artistic direction of Véronique Nichanian the colour was paired down with soft hues of beige and charcoal black. It was also dominant at Salvatore Ferragamo, Topman, JW Anderson, and at Rick Owens’ ‘Walrus’ collection with each designer showing varying attempts at colour blocking. To pull off this summer bright is a daring move, but a move worth making nonetheless. Yellow colour blocking is actually much simpler to achieve than it may seem. A simple citrus-yellow tee paired with dark denim, or khaki cigarette pants is the optimal way to achieve this look with ease. For those who really love this yellow colourway, try a bright mackintosh paired with light trousers to go for the Hermès take, or go for something a little more retro - try the pop-art style citrus-yellow sweaters and velvet zipper jackets at Topman.


Floral prints 

Although not technically a colour, this pattern trend was hard to miss in the SS17 menswear collections for its incorporation with bright colour trends. Its role ranged from centre stage to subtle hints of spring-like patterns. Hilfiger’s men rocked down the runway in floral print trousers and shirts in shades of bright blue and red that complemented the extravagance of the floral pattern. We suggest looking to Margiela’s take on floral, which was a little more understated. The Margiela troop wore the occasional accent of a yellow floral print against the silky white canvas of loose shirtsleeves and long grass patterns that grazed the bottoms of trousers with burgundy trims. This is a difficult print to pull off and we suggest steering clear of the floral-shirt-syndrome that has plagued the high street for the past four years. Elevate your look with subtle hints of the print; try a floral silk pocket square with a linen jacket or fold a floral printed cravat beneath a crisp white shirt for a more striking combination. For a more dandyish take on the trend, roll up trousers to reveal a pair of floral-socked feet.


Orla Lavery

Orla is a London-based fashion, arts and culture journalist, with a personal and professional habit in menswear. Having worked in the industry for over 10 years, she now specialises in the fashion business space, consulting to a number of brands on their business strategy and optimising for sustainable, long-term growth.

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