Styling Summer Brights with Tradlands
All my life, I’ve gravitated towards wearing black. I remember once in high school, a friend of mine told me, “You shouldn’t wear black all the time. It doesn’t look good; it makes you look sad.” And that was the start of my next decade trying to love bright colours.
It was the time that anything neon-bright was in style (who can forget those jelly bracelets…), so I picked up every different colour in the same fitted v-neck shirt and called it a day. I watched my sister buy ribbed tank tops that were bright green, pink and red and thought, “I should too!” So those were the next addition. That’ll give you a picture of my high school wardrobe: vibrant neon v-necks, bright ribbed tank tops, and low-rise jeans. I brought comfort into it by pairing this all with an oversized dark sweater.
It took me until college to start wearing things I actually liked again, and with that came an increase in confidence—because I wasn’t forcing myself to fit into a mould that didn’t feel natural to me. I often hear people who are delving into the ethical fashion movement say, “why is it all beige all the time?” and it sure can seem that way. Before I delve in any deeper, let’s take a step back with this reminder: In the hierarchy of sustainable fashion, start with using what you have—then borrowing—then thrifting—then buying consciously. And you’ll find plenty of colour in secondhand shops, for sure, if that’s what you’re looking for!
That said, let’s move on to my journey of adding colour to my wardrobe again—sparingly and carefully.
Steps to getting comfortable with colour in your wardrobe
Start with what you know
Q: which colours do you always gravitate towards?
A: I knew that I would always wear denim, navy blue, black, grey, beige and white.
Q: which colours do you automatically feel unhappy in?
A: I despise wearing red. Even if it looks good and people tell me so, I can’t put my finger on why when I put it on, all I want to do is get rid of it as fast as possible and wear something grey and calming again.
Think about what you surround yourself in
Q: are there colours that you use in interior design, or that you find yourself pulled towards?
A: yes! Gradually and unexpectedly, I found myself increasingly drawn to warm colours like ochre and rust. I loved the way they felt when in nature, when around my plants, and together with the furniture in my home. It felt peaceful to me. I realized all the photos I had been bookmarking online (not just for home design) all featured a similar colour scheme: blues and grey-greens with warm canyon and ochre.
Make a bold choice
Q: Does a friend own a top in the colour scheme you think you may love? Could you find one in a store to try on and see how you feel?
A: the only way to truly see if those colours are ones you’ll love, is to wear them. I took my first chance with the Tradlands Goodall Poplin last winter—a beautiful ochre button-up that perfectly matched my accent cushion and some film canisters in the house. I had never thought any yellows would look good on my olive-tinted skin. When I was young I felt they always made me look green. But a warmer, deeper ochre instead brought out the life in me. It was bold, it was a statement, but I loved it.
Make unexpected combinations
Q: do you have the courage to clash? This is the key to really getting comfortable with colour.
A: In the spring, I got an Aliya Wanek sweatshirt. It was gifted as part of a pop-up I was supporting, and therefore not my first colour choice. It’s a pale sage, something I thought would enhance the greenish tinge in my skin and make me look sickly. But to heck with it, I thought. It kind of fell within the colour scheme I knew I loved, so one day I clashed my Tradlands Poplin with the sweater and unexpectedly found a new favourite outfit. Since I did that. I’m so much less afraid to clash away. Clashing = confidence. This is where the real fun comes in. Not from forcing ourselves to like colours we know we’ll hate—but embracing the lively, joyful feeling we get when surrounded in the hues we love.
Being ethical, sustainable or minimalist doesn’t mean you need to stick to neutrals. When mixed and matched right, you can still have a beautifully lively wardrobe. And some brands have heard that loud and clear.
Living in colour with Tradlands
- Made with mid-weight cotton
- Great for tucking in, but with a curved hem that’s flattering when worn out
- A simple staple to reach for again and again
I love the colour. It’s still a bit bold for me and will take some getting used to, but it’s a fun pop for those days when I need a good pick-me-up. I preferred the old fit of their Girlfriend Tees, and wonder if I should have sized down in this one. I have their old version in the black and adore its fit. Something to keep in mind if you have their older styles!
- Made of Tencel, which is a natural fibre made from wood pulp
- Comes with optional waist tie
- There’s a linen option as well!
- Same great quality we know Tradlands for—big buttons, beautifully finished seams
- Plenty of room in the bum
- Great for long torsos—lots of room and no crotch-awkwardness
- Good length in the leg, but they roll nicely for us shorter folks 😉
This is so comfy it feels like pyjamas. And it’s so stylish I hardly need to make an effort to feel cool when wearing it. So: dream jumpsuit! Finding a jumpsuit I loved that isn’t just black is groundbreaking: I can wear it all summer without feeling like Wednesday Addams, and I can pop on a sweater overtop on days when I need a little warmth as well! I’m sure it’d pair well with a skirt, too! But let’s be honest—this jumpsuit doesn’t need much to make it look cool. The tencel breathes and is soft as heck, and with a quick switch of the accessories and shoes, it’s a dream. The optional waist tie gives it enough flexibility to be casual, or a little more polished.
One quick tip: if you’re short, you’ll want to hem or roll the legs. It looked sloppy on me the first time I wore it with them full-length, and I felt frumpy. Once cuffed / hemmed properly, it changed the whole look!
Any questions about these pieces, or about getting comfortable with wearing colours you love?
Pop ‘em in the comments section below!
P.S. as always, you can grab 15% off any Tradlands purchase if you’re new to the brand, with code PETRA15. (the links in this post are affiliate-based, which means I get a small commission for each sale to help my work here on the blog. Thanks so much for your support!)