Style Me – Color Blocking

Dear Julie,

I adore all the bright colors paired together this season, but need some help in finding an everyday look for color-blocking. Although the dramatic Gucci brights are fabulous…

…I’m searching for a slightly less bold look (but could keep the handsome men falling at my feet, as pictured above).


Great dress, Ann!

When I was in San Francisco last month, I spent one morning checking out all the fabulous stores in Union Square. Passing by Gucci, I stopped and was struck by the rainbow of color in its windows. I stood before the storefront, wearing a beige-on-beige textured walking coat, white shirt, jeans and taupe boots. The mannequins looking at me were wearing green pants, purple tops and orange belts. Of course, some had bright yellow on some part of them with two other primary colors cutting across their forms. I thought – wearing mostly beige – “really?” As a tribute to color after a wintery season, are we supposed to go all Mondrian and Rothko with geometric swatches of color all over our bodies? I think the answer is an enthusiastic YES if you can swing the hot Gucci dress and wear it to a really swanky party in some place really swanky, as well.

For the rest of us – and especially those of us living in a neutral world, color blocking can be more of a throw-down-the-gauntlet challenge. Having lived with the trend for a few months, I can offer some commentary on how it has played out in the avenues of Washington, DC. Although I haven’t seen anyone try the Gucci mannequin look that Camilla Belle looked stunning in,

I did have several women come into my boutique and fall in love with simple color block sheaths in both primary and neutral shades.

This Milly dress took the vibrant orange back to a tried and true navy and crisp white. It is chic and easy to wear. Of course, the look doesn’t suit all body types, all palettes and all fashion inclinations. Another way to embrace the look has been to bring a pair of colored jeans into your wardrobe.

The Blueberry Chelsea by Joe’s jeans at Julia Farr.

For some, you could add a top in jade green and stop there. Color lovers might add a bright patent leather belt to fully embrace the trend. However out there you go, neutral shoes will be your anchor. To play it safe and feel on-trend, try two shades of the same color: a periwinkle blue paired with a navy, a turquoise with a cobalt, a stronger coral with a paler peach.

And if you are truly color adverse, dabble in the trend by adding color infused accessories to your neutral ensemble: bright handbags or a great pair of color block shoes against white, stone or black could be just the right touch this season.

Will the trend endure, you ask? Gucci just came out with Resort 2011 with this look.

A great citrine tempered by my favorite shade of beige – what could be better?

Images: Gucci,,,,, Gucci.



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2 responses to “Style Me – Color Blocking

  1. MaryJoyce Colwell

    Dear Ann & Julia,
    My daughter is graduating from High School next week. The ceremony is at 2:00 pm. We will have a celebration that will flow from afternoon to evening. I also expect it to be very hot. What shall I wear?
    My next question will be what to wear to drop my child off at college?
    Thank you –

  2. juliafarr

    Mary Joyce,

    A chic colorful sheath should take you from ceremony to evening reception. I have the perfect one in a pale aqua shade of blue from Rachel Roy that would be ideal for the occasion. I’ll send a photo.

    We will prepare our dropping off at college recommendations and report back a little later in the summer. Ann and I are on it!

    Thanks for writing —


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