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How to wear: head to toe colour

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

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

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

So on your all-colour days, instead of sandwiching your bright colour top or skirt in between black, you need to assemble a mix of ingredients. In other words, you are putting together a vibrant, wholesome salad box instead of turning up to work with a boring old sandwich. More effort, yes, but think how good 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 campaign, walking by the sea with her husband at his family estate in Cape Cod, wearing pink trousers – pants, I suppose – with an orange funnel neck sweater. I modelled today’s look on that, taking an old pair of pink Diane von Furstenberg trousers from my wardrobe and swapping out orange for a red Stella McCartney top that makes me feel a bit like Zendaya from The Greatest Showman. Oh, and yellow shoes, not black. Wear colour or wear black? Up to you. But don’t compromise.

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

Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Hair and makeup: Samantha Copper at Carol Hayes Management.

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