At Who What Wear, we know just how much you, our readers, love to hear about the latest and greatest trends, easy styling solutions and the best of the best on the high street. That’s why we’ve partnered with Gap, one of our forever go-to destinations for effortless style, to bring you The Fashion Forecast—a new series dedicated to solving your everyday sartorial needs and wants, as well as getting a grip on emerging trends with the help of some of the coolest influencers around. This week, we hear from Zeena Shah on how best to bring colour into your summer wardrobe.
I have always been drawn to colour in all areas of my life, and I get so excited when I can share my love for it. I’m a textile designer by training so, for me, colour has always played a huge part in my work and seeped into my everyday life. I would often start with a colour palette and work a design around it, and that’s similar to how I style clothing now. Wearing colour is so fun and can really boost your mood, so most days I’ll focus on a particular colour combination I’m feeling good about and build my outfit around it. Gap’s summer collection is always full of colour, which is why they’re one of my absolute high street go-tos.
I love to be playful with patterns and colour blocking, but don’t get me wrong, I know that wearing brights isn’t as easy for everyone. So if monochrome and neutrals are your best friend and colour makes you nervous, these are some of my top tips and favourite colourful styling tricks.
Firstly, I always suggest starting small with weaving a bright accessory or top into a neutral look. Try some bright sandals, a scrunchie or headband with classic jeans and a white T-shirt, for example, or a bold, colourful top with some white jeans. The key is to know what colours suit your skin tone, so it’s always best to experiment to begin with and then explore different shades of your favourites—some will work better than others. Once you’ve cracked that, you can create a uniform of colour combos and favourite outfits like my go-to Gap looks below, so they're easy to throw on and it doesn’t seem so scary.
Fashion has become so much more colourful in the past few years, so now there’s no excuse. I'd often have to go vintage hunting to find a colourful piece, but now they're all over the high street. And don’t be afraid of clashing when you start to mix and match—I’m a big fan of clashing, and the more experimental the better!
Pairing white jeans with a bright top is one of my favourite easy ways to wear colour, as you can see with this orange-knit-top outfit from Gap’s summer collection. Comfort is key, and this is an easy look to throw on that still looks chic. You could dress it up with a wedge for summer or a boot come winter. The top can be layered over a long-sleeved blouse, too. I like to choose pieces that can be worn in multiple ways, so they stay in my wardrobe for the long haul.
I was immediately drawn to the yellow shade of this linen dress. I absolutely love it. I'd say it's the most flattering shade of acid yellow I've seen—such a great colour for summer, and it feels fresh and unusual. The shape is so flattering for all body shapes, and I think it’s one of my favourite pieces from Gap’s entire collection. Here, I've paired it with a white denim jacket, which is another wardrobe staple that also tones down the look if you’re colour shy. I haven't seen much of this colour around, so I am excited to style it all season.
You can never have too many jumpsuits! Anyone that’s read my recent Best Wardrobes in Britain feature here on Who What Wear UK will know that they’re an absolute staple for me. This one is great for all-year-round, and I love the versatility and comfort. I've paired the blue denim with a bright orange jumper, a favourite colour combo of mine.
The beauty of this look is in the layering—one of my ultimate styling tricks. It’s the best way to get the most out of your wardrobe as it can really reinvent pieces. Plus, it’s a great way to add pops of colour into your look: a jumper or T-shirt under a jumpsuit or jeans under a summer dress or with a long-sleeved T-shirt to bring it into autumn. Versatility is key for me in order to shop as responsibly as possible.
Other ways I try to be mindful with my wardrobe include always asking myself if I really need things and sleeping on purchases rather than rushing in. I like to make sure everything I own is going to be worn again and again, so I love timeless pieces that are really well-made, which is one of the main reasons I love to shop at Gap. As a textile designer, I’m a fabric fanatic, so I always look at the label and know which will last the test of time and which to avoid.