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Image / Fashion

20s versus 40s: packing a punch with a burst of yellow


by Niamh ODonoghue
12th Jul 2018
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For the longest time, I only wore clothes in black, grey and white. This was in part due to an identity crisis, and in part due to my master-plan to mirror some of the coolest women on my Instagram feed. There is architect Aoife Mulvenna with her impeccable monotone outfits, Lauren Bejaoui’s premium feed of designers like Céline, Tom Ford and Dior, and photographer Anouska’s clean feed, dotted with punchy pockets of colour. Designer Aoife Ní Thuama Keogh’s street-wear focused photos show how to expertly team the latest trainers with functional, wearable fashion.

These women get it right when it comes to owning monochrome. Me? I do not. For me, wearing loads of blacks and neutral-coloured garb doesn’t feel authentic, and isn’t that what developing a personal style is about? It can’t be forced. In saying that, it’s still important to experiment and try out new styles and silhouettes you would otherwise avoid (case in point: me in black).

With that, this week’s style challenge happens to be my favourite so far because it involves colour, and one that many Irish people stray away from; it’s yellow.

How I style yellow

Tropical flower button down, €59 at stories.com

Tropical flower button down, €59 at stories.com

Super comfortable yet elegant, this yellow print bowling-style shirt is the perfect compliment to these kick flare, lilac trousers. Though lavender, yellow and red isn’t a traditional combination, they nicely complement one another. The soft, sweetness of the lavender is summery and light, while the daring, bright red provides the sophisticated punch this outfit needs to take it from afternoon tea to cocktails at sun-down. The shirt features slim lapels and a front chest pocket in a bird of paradise print. And I truly do feel like some kind of tropical feathered bird in these beautiful brights! I complimented the red accents by rounding the outfit off with red cat-eye sunglasses. It ties the whole vintage feel together nicely, but I still feel cool, yet sophisticated.

How Marie styles yellow

Tropical flower button down, €59, tropical flower print culottes, €69, both at stories.com

Tropical flower button down, €59, tropical flower print culottes, €69, both at stories.com

I decided to meet this challenge head on, and instead of diluting the yellow, I embraced it wholeheartedly, choosing this canary co-ord set from & Other Stories. In for a penny, etc. I was skeptical about this outfit as it makes quite the statement (and looks a little like pyjamas as one of my male colleagues didn’t fail to mention). It felt beautiful to wear though; the fabric was so soft and fluid.

To make yellow work after a certain age, the trick is to firstly choose something tailored, as smart separates feel less girlish and more grown-up. Then anchor the outfit with a darker neutral. In this case, I chose navy blue; black would have cheapened the look. The Christian Louboutin bag (I opted for a clutch as it adds a glamour that dumbs down any childish associations this shade of yellow might evoke) and Zara heels add depth to the look but don’t overwhelm it. Statement gold earrings increase the glam quotient, making the look a little sexy even.

I felt quite lovely in this outfit, even though I would never have taken it off the rail if Niamh hadn’t. I think, for me, though, this would be a holiday ensemble, rather than a Dublin dinner date option.