How to wear colour: part 3/3

how to wear colour

A true diva shares the spotlight with nobody…

And a diva colour does not want to share the attention, either. There can be only one star, maybe a few supporting actors, or even just extras to blend into the background.

You think I’m talking about red, right? Well, not necessarily. Many colours can be divas, just as they can be very happy team players on another occasion.

But even though a diva colour is not a team player, it doesn’t mean that that there is no team to back it up. Quite the contrary: it takes a dedicated and competent team to make any diva shine. Somebody has to set the stage, after all…

Now, look at these two outfits. Yes, the hot pink is definitely a diva colour, but so is the light blue-green / aqua on the left. It is the attention grabbing element in the outfit, even though the colour is only used in accessories.

strong colour contrast

What really makes a colour the focus of attention are the other colours in these outfits: on the left the dark blue provides a neutral background that makes the aqua seem more vibrant (original post). On the right the beige bag does not compete with the colour of the dress but sort of fades into the background (original post). And in both, the contrast between the diva colour and the supporting colour is high.

So, we’re back to contrast, then…  

To some extent, high contrast is important. However, it is not the only thing that elevates a colour to diva status.

I’m wearing the same hot pink top in both of these photos. In both pictures the contrast between colours is high. Yet, hot pink makes a bigger impact when it’s paired with white. (original posts: left / right)

color combinations

The coat on the right is dark grey, not black. Yet, like black, it makes hot pink seem just a little bit muted. At least if we compare it to the picture on the right…

Of course, a lot of people accessorise neutral outfits with colourful accessories: it’s an easy way to inject colour into a wardrobe in predominantly neutral tones. It also creates a strong visual impact.

hot pink

I do wear neutrals, too, and would certainly accessorise with bold colours. But that’s mainly because most neutrals do not exactly flatter my natural colouring…

So, instead of a completely neutral outfit, I add a bit of colour somewhere near my face. I want my diva colour where it makes the biggest impact: (original post)

Yes, I know: the coat is pale blue, hardly a neutral colour…
That’s my point: you can wear diva colours with other colours besides neutrals, as long as they are happy to play second fiddle…

Here’s an other example. Well, navy and white are neutrals, of course, but stripes make a strong visual impact. Yet, here the navy and white stripes became supporting actors to the red poncho (original post). And the beige trousers, beige and brown two-tone shoes and the brown bag completely fade into the background, without calling any attention to themselves. And this, of course, is one of those tricks I learned from my very elegant mother, and I’ve talked about this in a blog post before (HERE).

how to wear red

So, this concludes this 3-part series on colour (part 1: YOUR BEST COLOURS, part 2: COMBINING COLOURS). 

I hope it doesn’t ruin the magic, now that I’ve revealed my bag of tricks when it comes to combining colours with maximum impact while flattering my natural colouring… Anyway, these are by no means ‘rules’ or even guidelines, just my way of making the most of my rather small wardrobe and put together outfits that make me feel good and get positive attention.

Do you wear diva colours?


PS: Sylvia of 40+Style interviewed me for her Style Interview series (HERE)

Linking up with: Fashion Should Be FunRachel the HatStyle Elixir, Not Dead Yet StyleA Touch of TartanElegantly Dressed and Stylish


  1. Glenda
    14 May 2015 / 9:41 am

    Because of my coloring, I'm fortunate to be able to wear both neutrals and colors well. The past two years I have added very vibrant colors to my wardrobe. In the past I wore a more neutral palette. It's not that I didn't know how to wear color, I just kept my closet more low key.

    • Tiina L
      17 May 2015 / 9:23 pm

      Oh yes, you always look amazing, in any colour… I used to wear a lot of black (like most women, I guess, at some point), but it really isn't my colour. Now I'm replacing black, and neutrals, with blue…

  2. jodie filogomo
    14 May 2015 / 1:42 pm

    I love color!!! Probably too much and sometimes have to remind myself to tone it down! But hey, a girl can have fun, right?

    • Tiina L
      17 May 2015 / 9:25 pm

      Loving colour is like loving life, and some people can wear head to toe colour and look amazing. Colour also requires a little bit of attitude; you can't hide…

  3. josep-maria badia
    14 May 2015 / 3:50 pm

    Fuchsia is a color that can be combined with many items, but forces you to think very well the color combination. Fuchsia fuchsia dress and accessories are beautiful, but in this post, I choose the dark dress with turquoise accessories, it is a wonderful, elegant and luminous proposal. In addition, the dark dress is beautifully designed, with the wonderful design of the neckline, waist and the large volume of the skirt. I love the dress. I also like the fuchsia dress, but a little less.

    • Tiina L
      17 May 2015 / 9:28 pm

      I agree, fuchsia is not an easy colour to combine with others, it's quite demanding. The ink blue Vivienne Westwood Anglomania dress is a bit of a showstopper piece, and demanding in other ways, demands more from accessories.

  4. dan
    15 May 2015 / 7:22 am

    In the past there weren't too many bright colours in my closet, now I like both neutral and diva colours…fuchsia is very nice on you, but pale blue is lovely too…

    • Tiina L
      17 May 2015 / 9:30 pm

      I love how you combine colours! And you can also wear neutrals so well. Pale blue is a bit scary, actually: I'm so pale that I need to combine it with a brighter colour to make it look good on me.

  5. Dawn Lucy
    15 May 2015 / 8:46 pm

    You look so pretty in hot pink! Thanks for sharing with Fun Fashion Friday & have a fab weekend! OXOXDawn Lucy

    • Tiina L
      17 May 2015 / 9:31 pm

      Thanks! yes, if I had to choose my 'wow colour', it would be hot pink, it never fails to impress…

  6. Tine Jensen
    20 May 2015 / 11:58 am

    Sorry for being so late – but colour is so important to me too – and I love these great combinations you're showing here! Pale blue is such a difficult colour for me, but seeing it on you makes me curious. Could I wear it too, and how would I do it? And the aqua on navy is very tempting to try out as well :-)Also: I only have black umbrellas since they're the cheapest. But in your photo I see how it's framing your face. How horrible to think about my face, surrounded by all black, on a rainy day!!!

    • Tiina L
      20 May 2015 / 8:15 pm

      Pale blue is really tricky; it can look fantastic, on someone with an olive skin. But on me… I need to match it with another, stronger colour to make it work.You know, I started buying pretty, colourful umbrellas so that I wouldn't lose them. Really, I used to have black umbrellas and I kept losing them, just forgot them somewhere…

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