''Find your new black'' - Trinny Woodall's expert guide to (gently) adding brighter colours to your wardrobe favourites

Say goodbye to black staples with colour coordination advice from Trinny Woodhall

Trinny Woodall opens pop up store in time for Chelsea in Bloom 2024 with the theme "Floral Feasts” on May 20, 2024 in London, England.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Trinny Woodall and her iconic television presence alongside co-star Susannah Constantine on ‘’What Not to Wear’’ guided us with all-things fashion back in the late 90s, and Trinny still continues to provide us with invaluable insights, particularly when it comes to navigating the world of colour.

The style guru is well-loved for wearing bold and bright colours, a styling choice that lots of us tend to stay away from, and this may be because we're still pondering what colour suits me? However, fear not, because Trinny has offered woman&home some pearls of wisdom about how to integrate colour into your wardrobes in an attempt to ditch the darker shades through ‘’finding your new black’’.

More than anyone, I can appreciate the undeniable urge to grab a pair of black trousers and a dark shirt, a styling option that is so enticing, especially if you're looking for a flattering and straightforward fix. Adding colour to your capsule wardrobe is a daunting task, and wearing darker shades can become a comfort zone that many women are stuck in. However, Trinny's first piece of advice will have you confronting your old habits. She explains ‘‘the first step is acknowledging that black, while versatile, may not always be the most flattering choice’’.

"I think it's a three-phase process if you're starting from a place where you only wear black, which many women do because it's easy. Trinny advises, ‘’Black goes with black; it works. Unless you have the perfect skin, hair, and eye combination, as you go down the path of life, it will start to drain you a bit. And it's because black is the harshest contrast to everything. And as we go down the path in life, things soften. So softening needs to be softer. And that doesn't mean pastel. It just means could your black be navy?’’

The proposal of a three-stage approach means that you can slowly change your black clothing items into softer tones, while still wearing dark-ish hues. Trinny suggests navy as a transitory colour, a very dark shade of blue, that still exudes sophistication and offers the same versatility as black. She expands, ‘If you wear black, you generally suit neutral to cool, which means you'll suit silver or gold.’ So pairing navy with accessories such as a silver belt or gold jewellery elevates your look and breaks up block colours.

Shop Navy and Silver

‘’So that's the first baby step.- find your new black’’ she advises, ‘’find a colour that is going to be a colour that you're going to buy into as most of your key items in your wardrobe.’’ Once you’ve found your new black, whether it’s olive green, burgundy, or navy, you should integrate some core staples into your wardrobe in this shade. Choosing a staple colour which isn’t black, should pave the way for exploring complementary shades and experimenting with various shades which will add dimension to your outfits.

‘‘And then whatever colour you've chosen, begin to look at the contrast of that. Navy with white, olive green with tan, for example.’’ Through experimenting with the principles of colour contrasting you can elevate your outfits effortlessly, whether you add a pop of turquoise to a khaki outfit or pair a vibrant red with neutral tones, styling with bold colours adds dimension to your outfits.

Shop Olive Green and Tan

Discovering your personal palette and how to coordinate colours is a continuous journey, however, with the basic principle of finding a staple colour which makes you feel and look great, you're already half way there. Vibrant, mood boosting colours are certainly in line with the summer fashion trends 2024, and these can be integrated with outfits through accessorising.

Trinny suggests wearing opposing shades as a way of making your look stand out. She says "So the new base is now not black, it's khaki, for example. What is a tone really close to that that would go with it, and what is the total opposite? So discover what the total opposite in the colour wheel is - it's just got to be nothing near it. So turquoise is the total opposite of khaki. So get something in turquoise, that's smaller than the main colour.''

Shop Khaki and Turquoise

Of course, finding what colour suits your skin tone is an essential part of the process, and according to experts almost any colour should suit you, but you must find the correct shade. It's also key to experiment and see what feels right for you. Don't exclusively pay attention to how colours look, but consider how they make you feel, and how they complement your features and skin tones. Adding colour to your wardrobe should enhance how you look and boost your confidence too, win-win!

Molly Smith
Fashion Writer

Molly is a fashion writer for woman&home, whose journalistic career began with her enthusiasm for fashion. Having always been an avid writer, she has contributed to publications covering a variety of topics.

After graduating from her master's in Fashion History and Cultures, she transitioned to teaching at London College of Fashion, where she taught in fashion studies. Now, passionate about writing on the significance of fashion, she is dedicated to inspiring others through the power of dress.

Molly loves staying in the know with the latest fashion trends, and following celebrities for inspiration. Outside of work, she enjoys browsing vintage markets, reading a good novel, or trying new restaurants around London.