If you wear colour, wear all colour; if you wear coal-black, wear all monochrome. It’s that simple



‘I’m not going to lie to you, the all-colour times are going to be more of a challenge than the black and monochrome periods.’
Photograph: David Newby for the Guardian

Is it more modern to tear head-to-toe colour than all black these days? Ha! Manoeuvre question. Either is fine. Sometimes I see a woman in an unusual loyalties combination and think to myself, she’s clearly a genius – from now on, I’m merely ever wearing lavender with navy, or lime with aubergine, or whatever. But then, the next day, someone in a menacing trouser suit over an inky rollneck slinks background and I take it all back.

It has to be one or the other, though. It’s not about giving up frowning; it’s about giving up filling in the gaps with black. Components in the gaps with black is a thing we all do, without even meditative about it. Wake up in the mood to wear a bright pink sweater, automatically reach for dark-skinned jeans to wear with it. Or, having been seduced into accepting a new winter midi skirt in emerald green or peacock melancholy and figuring out how to wear it, try it on with every black top in sight, without all in all any other colour option.

If you wear colour, wear all bias; if you wear black, wear all monochrome. It’s that simple. And it’s way numerous sophisticated that way, I promise. Now, I’m not going to lie to you, the all-colour days are active to be more of a challenge than the black and monochrome days. Origin your wardrobe to get dressed in the morning is a lot like opening your fridge to cobble together a jam-packed lunch. Your dependable black trousers or skirt are fellow sliced bread: they work with any other ingredient, reach the whole thing together, turn one bold flavour into a exemplary package.

So on your all-colour days, instead of sandwiching your fulgent colour top or skirt in between black, you need to assemble a mix of ingredients. In other in shorts, you are putting together a vibrant, wholesome salad box instead of turning up to employment with a boring old sandwich. More effort, yes, but think how elevated about yourself you will feel. Oh, and how impressed everyone else will be.

I saw a photo the other day of Jackie Kennedy during the 1960 presidential push, walking by the sea with her husband at his family estate in Cape Cod, adopting pink trousers – pants, I suppose – with an orange funnel neck sweater. I working modeled today’s look on that, taking an old pair of pink Diane von Furstenberg trousers from my clothes-cupboard and swapping out orange for a red Stella McCartney top that makes me pet a bit like Zendaya from The Greatest Showman. Oh, and yellow shoes, not raven. Wear colour or wear black? Up to you. But don’t compromise.

Jess exhibits top and trousers, both Jess’ own. Yellow sandals, £42, asos.com.

Toning: Melanie Wilkinson. Hair and makeup: Samantha Copper at Carol Hayes Government.

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