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- Diane

Bring some brightness to your wardrobe

Bring some brightness to your wardrobe

Farewell Great British Bake Off for another year. My Tuesdays are definitely going to be a bit more drab from now on. Not only will there be no more bonkers but brilliant makes to salivate over (how did they come up with some of those show-stoppers?) but I’ll have to manage without my weekly helping of the riotously colourful outfits and accessories worn by the woman who has secured her position as my new fashion icon - Prue Leith.

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Never mind her undoubted culinary qualifications, Prue has become the living embodiment of my own growing conviction that wearing colour brightens more than just your out-fits, it magically has the same effect on your out-look (see what I did there?)

Here’s what she said about dressing colourfully in a recent interview in Good Housekeeping:

“People say to me all the time, ‘I love your colours, I wish I had the courage [to wear them].’ It doesn’t take courage! You simply feel better dressed in colour. If you step into that old navy blue coat you’ve had for years and set off to work, of course you’ll feel miserable. If you put on an orange one, the chances are you’ll cheer up.”

And on her own, predictably colourful, website she reinforces the message: “Just as sunny, summer days lift everyone’s spirits, and it feels good to be alive, so bright colours just lift your mood. I have never understood why the whole world goes into grey, black and brown in cold and miserable winter, just when we need that lift. Even on the dreariest day bright yellow can’t be beaten for an immediate cheery feeling.”

Whilst I might not go as far as Prue in getting rid of grey and brown altogether, I have been weeding black out of my wardrobe for some time now. It took me ages to work out why I looked so tired every time I wore it, and when I realised, I wasn’t prepared to pile on make up in order to redress the balance. Instead I rely on kinder-to-my-colouring navy and grey as my staple neutrals.

And as I’ve increasingly banished black, I’ve started to plug the clothing gaps with more and more colour. I began fairly conservatively with pink - mostly pastel but occasionally a little more of a bold hue - the perfect partner for my navy and grey wardrobe building blocks. Then I progressed to green, which I always thought I didn’t much care for, but turns out suits me so well it’s become a key favourite.

From there, there was no stopping me and as you can see from my two most recent purchases, my colour choices are getting brighter and bolder all the time!

It would be difficult for me to agree more with Prue about the powerfully positive effect that wearing colour has. It’s so much harder to be miserable when you’re wearing a colour that makes you look cheerful. And try it yourself to see the magically brightening effect it has on your complexion.

Of course, you don’t need to plunge headlong into full-on neon lime or pink. You can dip your toe into the colour pool with a bright accessory, say a scarf, a pair of shoes, or necklace. Or, even more gently, how about a stronger colour lipstick than you would normally choose. It may take you time to find which colours suit you best, but I promise when you do, it’ll be life-changing.

Oh, and this doesn’t just apply to you ladies. Gents, the same goes for you too. As Prue’s Bake Off co-presenter, the steely Mr Hollywood proves

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I rest my case.

What colours do you enjoy wearing? And what’s the most colourful item of clothing you own?

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