There are some colors that only work as accent shades, not head-to-toe in outfits. A color that immediately comes to mind is yellow. Rarely do I hear a client tell me that yellow is their favorite color, yet it also happens to be one of the most common shades I use with clients as an accent.
Five Colors That Work Better as Accent Shades
Wondering about this, I polled members of my Facebook Page to see what they had to say about colors they only like as accent shades. No surprise, yellow was at the top of the list, as was orange.
I decided to put together five outfits using colors that only work well as accent shades along with tips on how to wear them.
Accent Shade #1: Yellow
Not being everyone’s best face color, I styled yellow in a pair of shoes. If you don’t own a pair of yellow shoes it can be hard to really get how versatile they can be. In the outfit above, this pair of yellow pumps from Marc Fisher adds a subtle punch to this BOSS Hugo Boss work dress. I finished the outfit with a Chloé handbag and Majorca pearls.
Accent Shade #2: Orange
In this next look, orange as an accent to a basic pair of jeans and a t-shirt. This is a prime example of how powerful these accents shades can be. Imagine this outfit without one. Sort of blah, right?
Besides shoes, another way to work with accent shades is in a print, like I did with this scarf from Treasure & Bond layered over a Madewell T-shirt and styled with boyfriend jeans from Kut from the Kloth and orange Rothy’s flats. I also managed to get another accent shade into the outfit, a soft blue handbag from Kate Spade.
Accent Shade #3: Neon
A few years ago I owned a pair of wedge flip flop sandals with neon orangey-pink straps that I loved…LOVED! With the majority of my clothes being neutral, the little splash of neon made so many outfits look fun. Unfortunately, one of the straps of the sandals on Labor Day weekend, basically on the last day of that summer, and they were gone forever. I still wish for those sandals. They were awesome.
Neon shades are definitely colors that should be worn in small doses. Imagine it as the chili pepper from the spice rack, less is more. In the outfit above, I styled this casual summer shift from Tory Burch with a pair of neon yellow flip flop sandals from Sam Edelman. I finished the outfit with a navy bag from Marc Jacobs and novelty hoops from Madewell.
Accent #4: Metallic
I don’t know many people who wear metallic leather clothing. Maybe a metallic leather jacket, maybe. But I think we can all agree, metallic is a better accent shade than it is worn all over.
A metallic handbag or pair of shoes is a great way to add the color without going overboard. Plus, if you own metallic accessories, you know they go with everything. I once wore a pair of gold metallic ballerina flats into the ground because it didn’t matter what color I was wearing, they worked.
Imagine it’s a hot summer day, the last thing you want to do is overheat with lots of layers. So you wear a cool, lightweight outfit and add a pair of metallic sandals or bag, as I did in the outfit above with this gold metallic Eric Javitz bag. I styled with a sleeveless linen button-down shirt from Tommy Bahama and slouchy ankle pants from Eileen Fisher. I finished the look with Splendid espadrilles and wood disc earrings from Ettika.
Accent #5: Pink
Pink is like cilantro, either people love it or hate it. Of course, we can’t paint all shades of pink with one broad brushstroke. Some pinks are lovely while others look like regurgitated Pepto Bismol. Interesting fun fact about pink: at immediate glance, pink can be soothing. However, when looked at too long, the color can become irritating.
Accent shades don’t have to be added, they can be part of a print or pattern. In this dress from Tadashi Shoji, the small accent of pink is grounded by the neutral of navy which makes the pink more sophisticated and less passive. I finished the dress with navy pumps from Sam Edelman, sage green clutch from Kate Spade and pink stud earrings.
When it comes to accent shades, remember, a little goes a long way. I hope these tips help. What colors do you like to wear as accents but not head-to-toe?