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Bored Of Black? How To Wear Colour In Winter

Stylist Nicole Bonython-Hines demonstrates how to wear top-to-toe colour – including unexpected combinations – this season

By Nicole Bonython-Hines

Having worked in fashion for over 40 years, I’ve picked up a few tips when it comes to wearing colour. Firstly, it’s about picking the right base colour – and that’s generally not black, which can look too heavy. So, camels, tobaccos and brown work brilliantly as neutrals. Add a pop of colour – any colour, pretty much – and you’ll look pulled-together and interesting.

Burgundy is also one of my favourite new neutrals. I like it with camel, any colour with a red tone, but also with sky blue or cornflower, like the sweater below.

One of the easiest ways to combine colour is to find a print or pattern you like and pull out the colours from that. If they work in a print, they’ll work together on you. Not to get too elaborate, but sometimes I’ll see a vase with a flower on a shelf and think, ‘Those colours go well together!’ And I’ll try them out.


LEFT: Top: Camilla and Marc, $450; Skirt: Camilla and Marc, $450; Heels: PRADA, $1770; Ear cuffs: H&M, $5.99. RIGHT: Top: MAX MARA, $1450; Skirt: TRENERY, $699; Knit: H&M, $99; Heels: ZARA, $209; Bag: COS, $175; Sunglasses: Versace, $425.

Look 1

I love pastels with a pop of bright colour and this is an easy way to do it. Both the skirt and jumper are from Camilla and Marc, and the advantage of a colourful look from the same label is that you know the pieces work together. One brand’s navy, for example, can be very different to another’s.

Apricot and red may not be a combination you’d naturally think of, but the shoes really make the apricot pop. They’re Prada and remind me of starlets in 1950s movies – so fairytale elegant. I also love this Alias Mae pump, which comes in a couple of different colours, along with this black heel, which has a similarly deep v-shape on the upper to this Camilla   and Marc version.  

Look 2

If you haven’t already noticed, burgundy is my new favourite colour. It goes with so much. I paired this Trenery leather skirt with Zara slingbacks in a soft blush, and added a pop of colour with the acid yellow bag, which I actually ended up buying because it’s both dressy and big enough to hold my phone and glasses! The Versace shades are spectacular and really bring it all home.


Top: UNIQLO, $39.99; Trousers: Commonry, $149; Coat: Elka Collective, $599; Bag: COS, $250; Gloves: Scanlan Theodore, $600; Shoes: Adidas, $159; Cap: Cotton On, $19.99.

Look 3

This look started with the shoes – SL 72 Adidas trainers, to be precise, which have a higher sole than other Adidas shoes and a burgundy/yellow colourway that I loved. (They’re sold out now but are available in this colourway, too.) I kept the rest of the look neutral, with fawn, wide-leg pants and a more structured coat that adds polish.

The yellow Uniqlo top picks up the laces in the trainers, which also makes the whole look feel very elevated for the weekend. I can imagine wearing this outfit to brunch or a Saturday market.


LEFT Jacket: Lee Mathews, $1,199; Top: Lee Mathews, $649; Skirt: Lee Mathews, $599; Gloves: Scanlan Theodore, $250; Bag: Incu, $525 RIGHT Coat: H&M, $349; Shirt: LMND, $159; Trousers: Anna Quan, $580; Scarf: H&M, $29.99; Heels, Camilla and March, $750;  Bag: MaxMara, $2720

Look 4

This is a great example of using a print to inspire your other pieces. This Lee Mathews wrap skirt ties in beautifully with these burnt-orange, Scanlan Theodore gloves and Lee Mathews cashmere jacket, and you could easily add a dusky pink or off-white sweater. But the aqua blue here adds an unexpected contrast.

Look 5

Camel and red is one of the classic colour combinations, which always looks sophisticated. The extended shoulder on this H&M coat is very elegant; personally, I find some of the extended shoulders by labels like Balenciaga and The Frankie Shop unwearable, unless you’re very ‘fashion’. This single-button H&M coat is also a great buy.

I choose a dark brown bag to pick up the dark brown buttons on the coat – I often match buttons with another piece in a look. When you concentrate on the small details like this, your look feels more considered.

You can find more of Nicole’s shopping inspo at her LTK account here.


BY Nicole Bonython-Hines

Nicole is a fashion stylist and former Fashion Director of Australian Elle

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