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Wednesday 1 November 2023

Bright in Winter

 And #WowOnWednesday

Is This Mutton on the trials of trying to wear bright colours in winter, like this Barbour coral puffer coat

Dear friends. The clocks have gone back and people in London are a sea of black, navy and grey. It's very hard to find bright colours at this time of year: the retailers follow suit with the drab colours. 

I find it baffling because bright colours are proven to make the wearer, and those around them, feel more cheerful. 

On the rare occasions when retailers stock something in a spring colour it sells out right away. M&S's flamingo pink coatigan is a good example. I notice that whenever companies stock purple or a bright green as options to navy or black, they sell out first. 

It's certainly easier, and cheaper, to stick to black or navy for coats, shoes and trousers/pants.  They go with most colours. And maybe our mood matches the grey weather and influences our outfit choices. 

But those dull colours are not for me. This year I'm determined to stay true to my spring colours. 

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton plans to wear brights in winter like this coral puffer coat by Barbour

What do you mean by "Spring Colours"?

If you've had seasonal colour analysis and you're a spring like me, you look best in light, clear (bright) and warm colours.  My best colours are light yellows, flamingo pink, bright blues, apple mint, Kelly green and bright apricot. 

Neutrals are a challenge for me because I don't like three of the spring neutrals, navy,  dove grey and camel. I carry on wearing cream and winter white, and I'm always looking for trousers, skirts and accessories in red, purple, brown and lime or kelly green.

Other seasons's colours are easier to find 

If I was an autumn or winter, I'd have no problem finding clothes at this time of year. Joe Brown's entire range seems to be in autumn shades. I notice plenty of orange, olive and sage green, browns and cinnamon/gingers at most retailers. 

Winters can also find fuchsia, burgundy, navy and blue spruce everywhere.  And summers also have it fairly easy because brands like Sea Salt and Pure Collection have plenty of summer colours in their AW collections. 

Some brands lean to spring colourways more than others. I sometimes find items at Asos, Oliver Bonas, Pure Collection and occasionally Boden. Woolovers are good for spring colours in knitwear. 

Kettlewell Colours stocks seasonally coded clothes all year round.  Founder Melissa started the store because she was a spring who wanted to find her colours at any time. 

My mission to find coats of many colours 

Last week I actually went into a few stores in search of a red coat.  The spring red is a warm  one, poppy or geranium, rather than the blue toned summer or winter red.  Did I find one? Nope. 90% of the coats I saw were camel, navy, cream or black. 

Undeterred, I sent for two coats from Asos, one red, the other yellow.  It was difficult to tell from the digital screen if the red was the right one. Both coats were referred to as "outsize" which is a red flag for me usually, but I thought I'd size down to an 8 (US 12) and maybe belt them.

Reader, they were hideous.  I could have sized down to a 6, and it would have been too big. 

I predict the retailers will have a LOT of surplus stock on their hands very soon.  The oversized look only suits women who are tall and thin. The majority of us are not! 

Is it too much to ask to find a fitted, belted, coat in more interesting colours?  Last year I was given a purple wool coat by dear friend Penny, and it was a game changer.  Suddenly, with purple shoes or boots, gloves and the coat, my outfits looked polished and co-ordinated.

Desperately seeking fitted coats with belts in bright colours. Gail Hanlon in purple coat by Preen

Gold in the yellow shade, rather than "champagne," is also in short supply, although silver and silver sequins are everywhere.  I sent for this gold sequin Zara jacket in a Small, and as you can see, it's far too roomy.  Oversized again.  (I'm pleased though with the brown velvet trousers from Robell and the gold ankle boots from Oliver Bonas). 

Why the oversized trend is no good for average height women. Gail Hanlon in gold jacket from Zara

Mr Mutton got me thinking by saying he didn't think the style suited me.  He's right - my style personality is more pared down.  I will have my Christmas sequin fix with this M&S lime top I bought a few weeks ago. 

How to find bright colours in A/W

  • Set up a search on eBay or Etsy. You'll receive notifications when new items are available. I have a search by size, colour and product type - coat with belt.  (I don't do Vinted). 
  • If you've set your heart on  a particular item, such as an orange bag, do a broad Google image search. You'll see lots of retailers' items you may not have thought about. That's how I found my yellow jeans - in France. 
  • Charity shops are another good source.
  • I also look at least once a week for new drops at my favourite retailers.
  • Finally I share my spring finds on Pinterest, for anyone coded spring in the UK. 

And keep looking all year round. When spring the season rolls around, snap up jumpers/sweaters and jackets. You'll still wear them in autumn and winter. My coral Barbour puffer, shown in this post,  appeared online at John Lewis in May, and I bought it right away even though I knew I wouldn't wear it for months. 

I still have a black coat or two

Before you think I'm too obsessive about "my colours," I do still have a black velvet coat, and a black  waterproof hiking jacket.  If I wear them with something in my "good" colours close to my face,  it's fine.  But just not my first choice. 

Do you slip into dark and muted colours in winter? Or do you still like to wear bright colours?  Love to know in the comments. 

These are the lovely sites where I share my posts. 

Nothing was gifted for this post.

Addendum: I've since found a perfect red fitted coat, hardly worn and a good brand, for £5 in a charity shop. 

It's time for Wow On Wednesday, the weekly link-up that brings you posts from around the world on fashion, beauty, lifestyle and travel. 

Readers can find new blogs to follow, and bloggers can find new readers! 

If you want to add a post (or three), scroll down to find the simple joining instructions. 

Readers, you make a blogger's day when you leave a comment, so please try to visit a few. Blogs are one of the few places where you will see women of your own age without having had tweakments or surgery!

No favourites this week as I'm on holiday, but I will choose a few posts that caught my eye and showcase them on Instagram. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

1 comment

  1. Yeah what is it with all the oversized items, don't like it at all. And you know I love black, but I searched days for green trousers! They're is really no colour out there. Luckily we have you!


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