Thanks to Bottega Veneta, the colour Kelly green became something of a microtrend last year. Aside from making the luxury brand’s shoes and bags instantly recognisable, it didn’t take long for this vibrant shade of green to start cropping up in the collections of various designers and stores. Now, fast-forward to spring 2022, and the hue has transcended from fashion footnote to style headliner. Everywhere I look—be it in the new-in sections I scour daily to my Instagram feed—I see Kelly green.
Bottega Veneta might have put it on the style map, but Kelly green has long been noteworthy on the colour spectrum. An intense green that can be found in-between the blue and yellow on the colour wheel, the name Kelly comes from the traditional Irish family name as the colour is commonly associated with the famous holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. Make no mistake, however—this isn’t a colour whose lifespan begins and ends on March 17. I asked two stylists to share their expert opinion on Kelly green and whether or not it has a place in our wardrobes. Here’s what they said…
“Kelly green—or as I like to call it, Kermit green—has been on fashion people’s radar for a while now, particularly since Daniel Lee debuted it as one of his hero colours on the Bottega Veneta spring/summer 2021 catwalk,” says style expert and Who What Wear affiliates editor, Emily Dawes.
“Although it might seem scarily bold at first, it’s actually surprisingly easy to incorporate into your wardrobe—add it to any of your favourite neutral tailoring looks from autumn/winter, and you’ve instantly got a spring-ready outfit. Personally, I love it best when it is used to elevate wardrobe staples like a classic shirt or buttery leather bag against a backdrop of crisp whites and creamy tones. But if you’re looking to go bolder, it works equally well paired with similarly bright reds, yellows and oranges.”
“Kelly green has had an overhaul—it’s cool and it’s the hit of colour we’ve all been waiting for,” affirms fashion expert, television presenter and stylist Lucie Clifford. “I’ve seen this bold hue both on the spring/summer 2022 runways and on the streets with influencers, editors, and celebrities all embracing the shade, though it can be a bit Marmite. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s sticking like glue with brands channelling it in the form of dresses, blouses, sweaters, jackets, wide-leg trousers, and accessories galore.
“My advice for styling it? Pick a pop of Kelly green and experiment with this colour against black, white, and grey. It’s simple yet effective and won’t risk you looking like you’ve lost control of the colour wheel! For example, if it’s a green trench coat, team this with a classic white shirt and black peg-leg trousers for a tailored yet relaxed look. You can really control how much green you’re willing to wear, so you can easily remove the green trench back to revert to mono or build it up with Kelly green accessories. For the brave, I think it looks fab with earthy browns and ’70s purples and oranges.”
With the expert seal of approval out of the way, all that’s left to do is to see just how chic the Kelly green trend can be. Scroll below to unlock eight ways to wear it this spring.
1. THE SLIP DRESS
Style Notes: Slip dresses are an integral part of the spring/summer uniform, and I’m already seeing so many coming through in this specific shade of green.
2. THE SKIRT SUIT
Style Notes: The skirt suit is another piece that made a reappearance on the spring/summer 2022 runways after going quiet for a few years. While there are lots of coordinated options out there to shop now, you can create your own two-piece by seeking out separates in the same colour. In this case, Kelly green.
3. THE SPRING COAT
Style Notes: As Clifford suggests, one of the easiest ways to tap into the Kelly green trend is by way of a coat. Oh, and matching shoes never hurt anyone.
4. THE CARDIGAN
Style Notes: Us British girls know the importance of surrounding ourselves with good knitwear, and it doesn’t get much better than Abi Marvel’s Kelly green utilitarian cardi.
5. THE KNITTED CO-ORD
Style Notes: After the last couple of years, knitted co-ords will forever have a place in my heart. Now, though, I’m looking for elevated styles I’m comfortable wearing out of the house. This Mango co-ord fits the bill.
6. THE STATEMENT HANDBAG
Style Notes: If wearing Kelly-green clothing feels like too much commitment, why not tap into the trend with a bright-green handbag instead?
7. THE SHIRT
8. THE MINIDRESS
Style Notes: Spring/summer 2022 is a season of contradictories—although ultra-bright shades like Kelly green are trending, so are neutrals. The same goes for hemlines. Designers showcased both floor-trailing maxis and micro minis on the runway. In this instance, let’s consider a Kelly-green minidress.