How to wear the brightest of brights

Fashion goes bold and bright

Get your shades out, because the forecast is looking exceptionally bright. The last time I wore anything this bold was to an aerobics class in the 80’s, and it was a lime green leotard teamed with florescent pink tights and leg warmers.

I am very sure I won’t  be wearing that again or bouncing around like an overly-energetic bunny decked out in stretchy unbreathable polyester, but I am loving the latest reincarnation of colour.

Colour blocking with bold bright colours
All out colour (for the brave)

Bright pinks, greens, orange and yellows have been reinvented in luxurious fabrics, beautiful silhouettes and floaty pleated skirts that can be mixed and matched with more muted tones, to be made more wearable and versatile.

Today’s ‘brights’ are more classical in shape and form which allow everyone to wear them. I love a pop of colour with an accessory to elevate a black outfit.

I’m not afraid to indulge in this latest trend, because somehow it’s been made far more beautiful, wearable, classy and attainable. My favourite combination is a bright jacket or coat for winter, or a bright pleated skirt with a black knit and boots (or the reverse). Country Road have come out with some great bright knits which look fantastic teamed with skirts. The chunky knit works well with a black pleat skirt, knit slightly tucked in and teamed with booties. There are plenty of options. Have some fun creating them.

Blazers are a great way to add colour

Here are some tips on wearing these new shades of bright:

  • First of all in fashion, there are no rules. Wear what makes you happy, own it and if you feel great, you will look great. Be you and be unique.
  • Be careful with washing these bright fabrics. Always check the labels because more than likely they will be dry-clean only. You don’t want any colour fading.
  • Colour block. It’s a great way to go all out and can look sensational.
  • If you are a bit shy of going too bold, try adding a bright accessory, like a small bag/clutch, a great pair of shoes or boots.
  • You don’t need to over accessorise with colour. Keep accessories to a minimum.
  • Even a hint of colour can elevate a plan outfit, think all black with a bright bold coat. Bam!

It doesn’t matter if you are 9 or 90, wear brights and enjoy them. In fact, a hint of colour as we age is a positive. It can brighten our skin tone and instantly make us look ‘fresher’. Just pick a tone that suits you – and you will find one. I was surprised that bright red, orange and pink looked good on me.

Most of the high street stores have stocked brights for this coming 2019 winter. Country Road (big on bright knits this winter), Witchery, Seed, Zara, H & M etc. You don’t need to spend a fortune on fashion, especially fast fashion. However, if you are looking for an investment piece just make sure it’s in a shade that will see you through trends.

Just do it. Life is short, enjoy fashion, don’t take it too seriously and wear it your way.



The co-founder of 50SoWhat has been in publishing for most of her working life. She was general manager of successful boutique media publishing house in New Zealand for several years and boasts an impeccable sales, marketing and management background. When she’s not road-testing the latest cosmetic procedures, or investigating the hottest lifestyle, travel, fashion and beauty trends for over 45’s, Jo is often back home catching up with family and friends, or working on her golf swing!


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