Tuesday, 19 March 2013

How to Wear Colour: How to Build Up Your Confidence

This is post number two in my new feature 'How to Wear Colour'. Today I'm going to focus on how to build up your colour confidence. You can view last week's post on where to begin here.

Wearing colour in public can seem like a terrifying ordeal if you're not used to it.

The key to feeling fabulous dressed in colour is confidence.

Much like introducing a new fish in to a fish tank, the necessary confidence can be gained through acclimatization; through easing yourself in gently. We need to learn to crawl before we can learn to walk with our heads held high. ASOS wasn't built in a day.

In my last post I shared some ways in which to begin your journey with colour, which included browsing clothing shops, trying different colours and styles on, and purchasing the garments you've fallen in love with... but you're still nervous about wearing them in public... now what?

Here are a few of the ways I personally used to build up my courage with colour. It took me a few years to find the confidence to wear certain things in public, but I promise you, these techniques eventually helped me gain the confidence I needed to wear colour like I do today. It just takes time.

When I first began getting adventurous with colour, I was nervous about wearing some bright colours in public. I didn't want to miss out on wearing certain garments altogether, so I'd 'wear them in' around the house instead. 

Home is a place where most of us feel comfortable, and where we can usually be ourselves. We can lounge around in our pyjamas with unwashed hair when we're not expecting guests, if we so desire, and we can dress up or down exactly how we like because nobody has to know what goes on behind closed doors. Home is where we can make our own rules and not worry about what others think of us. Home is a haven where we can just be.

So if you're scared of wearing colour in public, start where you feel comfortable first. Wear that tomato red dress or that pair of cobalt blue skinny jeans whilst you're lounging around watching TV, sitting down to dinner, or doing the housework. Not only will you look wonderfully stylish, but your confidence with colour should begin to rise the more you wear it. Dress in something colourful each time you're at home.

The next step I'd recommend is to wear colour when you're on holiday. This is another step I personally used to build up my confidence with colour.

Holiday's are a great time to start getting used to wearing colour in public. 

I don't know about you but I almost always feel care free on holiday, especially when the weather's scorching hot and I'm in a foreign country. The climate is hotter, the culture is a little different. Nobody knows me there. I can be exactly who I want to be. I often feel so content with the sunshine on my skin and the lack of responsibilities, that I stop caring what strangers think of me, and can just be myself.

It's a lot easier to lose your inhibitions away from all the stress and judgemental voices of every day life, away from the opinions of colleagues, old friends, and acquaintances. When all you have to worry about is preventing yourself from getting sun burnt, and choosing which cocktail to order from the bar.

In most cases, unless you happen to be walking around stark naked, nobody even blinks an eye at how you're dressed. Most people are too busy enjoying their own holidays to judge and criticise.

So, next time you're away, dig out those colourful numbers, and add some colour to those holiday snaps! You'll return home liberated from dressing exactly how you wanted to!

When you're ready to rock some colour in public, go in the company of those closest to you, the ones you can be yourself with. Not only will you feel more confident around your nearest and dearest, but you'll feel fabulous from all those genuine compliments and positive remarks they're likely to shower you with. They'll be like a living, breathing security blanket, and also be there to reassure you if you begin to feel self-conscious.

I recommend building up your colour confidence during informal occasions before you even consider wearing colour for a formal event or situation.

When we're self-conscious and uncomfortable in the outfits we wear, it shows, and it can be a real blow to the confidence. Nobody wants to spend all day hiding and tugging at their clothes, nor do we want to feel paranoid that everybody is whispering about us behind our backs. It may sound silly, but being distracted by your discomfort and self-consciousness could potentially jeopardise a positive outcome from that important presentation or job interview.  Save acclimatizing to colour for your spare time, and gradually start wearing it to the places where you regularly hang out and feel most comfortable. Perhaps that's your local pub, shopping with the girls, out for a meal, or just going for a leisurely walk with the dog. Once you've nailed colour in your every day life, you can think about wearing it to those formal places like work and weddings. Just don't rush yourself!

I hope these tips are of some help to some of you reading this.

Have you got any tips for getting used to wearing colour?

Thanks for reading,


  1. Great tips again Louise :) I love this series so far. You're definitely right about being on holiday, I tend to dress much more brightly on holiday than at home! xxx

    1. Aw thanks so much, Hannah! I think most of us are more daring on holiday. These days I don't think my style would be any different away from home, but back then it was a great way of getting used to being colourful xx

  2. The holiday tip is so right ! I just wear everything everywhere but if you don't feel comfortable doing that then on holiday can make you feel care free xx

    1. I'm the same now... with almost everything, but five or six years ago I wasn't as comfortable with wearing what I liked in public, and holidays really helped me to gain some of that confidence I needed. I wear pretty much anything anywhere these days, but still struggle with baring my legs and upper arms xx


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