How to add more colour to your wardrobe

How to add more colour to your wardrobe


If your go-to style is more minimalist in design, with monochromatic palettes, then building a colourful wardrobe with more colour may seem like a daunting task. We can often neglect bright colours in our wardrobe in favour of more subtle tones that match our existing collection. As our clothing collection expands with similar items of clothing, we will start to see colours as statement pieces that are hard to wear as an everyday item, rather than a powerful stylistic choice that can transform a basic outfit into something more extraordinary.

Adding colour doesn’t necessarily mean replacing all of your dark colours with vivid and bold items of clothing. There are plenty of ways to incorporate colour without compromising your personal style or replacing your entire wardrobe. Keep reading as we discuss the different ways in which you can bring colour into your closet, including using patterns, neutral hues, and pastels. 

Embrace colourful floral patterns

Bringing floral or botanical patterns into your clothing collection is an ideal way to freshen up your wardrobe and easily add colour. The trick to incorporating floral patterns is to let them be the focal point of your outfit, especially if they’re vivid and busy designs. There are plenty of ways to do this, which gives you more choice and flexibility when it comes to picking outfits that suit your personal style. For example, the most simple option would be to pick a floral dress such as the Acanthus Maxi Dress which doesn’t need to be paired with anything apart from some suitable footwear. 

The botanical print of the dress blooms across the entirety of the fabric, utilising a variety of complementary colours in pink, green, yellow, and purple that stand out against the black background. If you’d like to build on this one-piece outfit, you could add a dark jacket on top or a long-sleeved shirt underneath which will allow the dress to remain as the focus of your ensemble but with an extra layer. Because the dress already boasts a vibrant and intricate design, we recommend a plain-dye layering piece.

If you’d rather avoid committing to a fully floral piece, you could opt for something that is more subtle such as the Barbour Anglesey Skirt. Even from a distance, the colours of the Anglesey have a notable visual appeal and when looking more closely, the individual delicate flowers of the pattern are revealed. To take it a step further, you can pair this pattern with bright, solid colours. We recommend white, as it will be easier to create a cohesive look, matching your shoes and shirt. Try a white t-shirt and a pair of trainers for a chic and casual style, or opt for boots and a long-sleeved body for when the occasion calls for something a little smarter.

When applied to outerwear pieces, botanical prints are an effective way to effortlessly add more colour to your wardrobe, creating a visually striking look that brightens up any outfit. We love floral designs that feature a large motif, as the solid colours in between the flowers make the pattern pop. To cover a range of seasons and weather conditions, you may consider adding some varied types of outerwear and layering pieces to your clothing collection. The Delphinium Knitted Jumper is ideal for spring days with its cheerful colours reflective of the season and light knit. Where the ribbed collar and sleeves add a dainty and elegant finish, the branding patch on the back of the jumper gives a signature Barbour finish.

For something that is unmistakably Barbour, you might wish to opt for the Delphinium Quilted Jacket, which is suitable for use year-round but particularly effective in bringing colour to your autumn/winter wardrobe. The dark background blends well with the tones of the season, but the botanical pattern creates a head-turning aesthetic, especially as most people tend to opt for plain solid colours during colder months. The jacket not only features iconic quilting, but also the classic Barbour corduroy collar which contrasts against the botanical design. This jacket can be paired with almost anything and worn to any occasion, making it completely versatile and an ideal way to add colour to your existing wardrobe without worrying about colour matching.

Change out plain-dyes for colourful striped tees

Going back to the basics is a simple way to revitalise your wardrobe. T-shirts are a staple piece in most wardrobes, and the subtle accents of a striped tee can go a long way to bring a new dimension to an underlayer. Visually, stripes are often more appealing than a standard single-coloured tee, yet they provide the same timeless look. Whilst striped tees are a more discreet way of incorporating colour, there is ample opportunity to add extra elements to your outfit choices. For example, choosing accentuating accessories that match the stripes of your t-shirt can be effective in drawing more attention to the colour. A top like the Braeside would be perfectly complemented by white trainers, or a red backpack to bring out the stripes. You may also wish to add a matching watch or hat, but it’s important not to overdo the accessories, one or two should be enough to complete the look.

Alternatively, opting for bright and bold stripes works just as well without the need to accentuate, especially if the stripes are horizontal such as in the Evergreen t-shirt. Horizontal stripes are generally the easiest type to use in an outfit because they go with almost anything, and because of this more colours can be incorporated to create a quirky and eye-catching look. To keep the focus on the pattern, the Evergreen has a small white embroidered logo and a patch of subtle Barbour branding on the back. We recommend pairing the shirt with white trousers or jeans to release the full potential of the stripes and create a balanced look.

Incorporate pastel colours

Versatile and on-trend, pastels are excellent for creating statements with colour. Using pastels doesn’t mean you need to stop wearing dark colours, as utilising both together can amplify the effect of the low saturated tones. Pastels can alternatively be paired with neutral colours and a variety of materials such as denim and linen, ideal for transitioning through the seasons.

If you prefer an ensemble with more edge, bright colours work extremely well when paired with the right things. The Royston Jacket is a firm favourite, as the highly desirable chalk blue colour is complemented by white, cream, or beige which can be used as an underlayer. To bring attention to this colour scheme, you could consider wearing black trousers or jeans and rounding off the look with a pair of Chelsea boots or white trainers.

If you’re wondering how to bring more colour to your wardrobe using pastels without colour clashing or using dark contrasts, the key is to adhere to minimalism and use tonal colours. For example, if we take the Glasson t-shirt in faded orange and pair it with black, the look may be too garish for some. However, if it is instead paired with more earthy tones the look embodies a tasteful minimalistic palette which utilises additional colour to brighten up a dark wardrobe.

How do I bring more colour to my neutral wardrobe?

If you want to stick to a neutral wardrobe but often find yourself with too many items of white or black clothing, you can begin to add some muted neutrals. These colours include beige, khaki, and light grey. Basic essentials such as t-shirts are ideal for this, as well as staple outerwear pieces such as the Shoreline Gilet in putty which will work well with a wide variety of colours in your existing collection. The gilet can be worn atop dark colours for a bold and striking look, or on top of more neutral and earthy tones for something that is light and refined. The quilted textures of the jacket help to add more visual intrigue, whilst the modern stand collar brings a contemporary style. Muted neutrals allow you to build a more colourful capsule wardrobe without straying too far away from your preferred style.

Alternatively, neutral colours can add more flair to a look without being overpowering. The Kenby Showerproof Jacket is the perfect example of this, as it uses a contrasting colour block design in a muted neutral palette to create something unique. Taking its inspiration from the landscape, the jacket is emblematic of Barbour’s heritage which has roots in exploring countryside vistas. The Kenby is ideal for adding a touch of colour to a neutral wardrobe as it can be paired with both dark and monochromatic clothing, as well as with similar earth-inspired neutrals making it a highly versatile design piece.

Build a colourful wardrobe with Barbour

Wearing colourful clothing can be equally as refined and sophisticated as wearing neutral or black and white palettes. With a plethora of patterned designs and attractive colour schemes, adding colour is accessible to every wardrobe. Discover the possibilities with our extensive range of women’s and men’s clothing. Whether you’re looking for simple accent pieces or statement staples, curate your ideal colourful wardrobe with Barbour.