Say Goodbye to Monochrome Monotony and Hello to Bold Brights

Image: Alo Ceballos/GC Images

Bella Hadid gets it; Image: Alo Ceballos/GC Images

When was the last time you sported head-to-toe red? Woke up, slid into cherry-hued skinnies, shrugged on your matching Stray Rats hoodie, strapped on some crimson stilettos and shielded your eyes from the sun’s glare with coordinating (Adam Selman x Le Specs-reminiscent) shades? For Bella Hadid, the answer to that question would be “last Thursday” (or “May 4, 2017” or “Star Wars Day,” depending on how technical or festive she was feeling).

Images: Imaxtree

Max Mara Spring 2017, Sies Marjan Spring 2017, Monse Spring 2017; Images: Imaxtree

It’s official. When it comes to tonal dressing, that easy-peasy styling trick that, unlike most fashion trends, is more eternal than cyclical, vibrant colors are in and dull neutrals are out. Nowadays, we’d rather look like Power Rangers than Kim Kardashian. Why are we of the cult of minimalism suddenly so willing to sport head-to-toe bubble gum? Street style star Pandora Sykes points to the rise of “post-truth fashion.” In the face of harsh political circumstances, “we are led by our emotional gut and seek uplifting fashion that rejuvenates us and distracts us, momentarily,” wrote Sykes in a February Man Repeller post.

The recent resurgence of bright monochrome looks dates back to the Fall 2016 runways, when head-to-toe violet, lilac and teal showed up at Gucci and Loewe, but the trend really gained traction in September, when striking tonal ensembles walked the Spring 2017 runways of Max Mara, Sies Marjan, Monse, Victoria Beckham and more. The same goes for Fall 2017, when Mara Hoffman, Celine, Balenciaga, Christopher Kane, Tibi and again Monse favored eye-grabbing monochromatic palettes.

Images: Imaxtree

Celine Fall 2017, Balenciaga Fall 2017, Christopher Kane Fall 2017; Images: Imaxtree

It’s time to use color excessively, unflinchingly. We know, finding the right mix of textures, layers and styles can be hard. The key is to choose one over-the-top item (thanks to its crazy silhouette or elaborate fabric) and keep the rest of your getup sleek and tailored. Oh, and don’t be afraid to top off your look with gold or silver hardware or a simple belt — accessorizing is the spice of life.

Don’t know where to begin? Click through the slideshow below for a selection of colorful, unbasic basics that we’ve carefully arranged into starter outfits.