Bright colors in fashion

Embrace the power of bright colors in fashion! Explore the beauty of bright colors and how to incorporate them into your wardrobe.

When my daughter colored her whole hair a bright shade of cobalt blue, she got all the attention she needed and more from all kinds of random people. I guess the whole point of bright colors is self-explanatory. There is a vast range of bright colors used by fashion designers to bring us all the attention we need. Let us explore it further.  

bright colors in fashion

What are bright colors?

Bright colors will be vivid, intense and pure. There is no mixing of black or white to dilute their purity. They are very eye catching. You will use terms like bold, vibrant, youthfull, energizing to describe these colors.

When a material’s color appears to be radiating or reflecting a lot of light, it is said to be a bright-colored object. The same color can be bright or dull depending on the degree of light absorption, and reflection. 

In technical terms the brightness will be described as “saturation” or “chroma”. Bright colors have a high saturation.

Bright colors in fashion

Viola Davis at arrivals for Variety”s Power of Women: New York Presented by Lifetime, Cipriani Wall Street, New York, NY April 13, 2018. Photo By: RCF/Everett Collection


Fashion usually embodies confirmity. But there are some for whom this does not apply. For them, bright colors have always been their forte. And those who favor bright shades in their clothes are seen as different but the tribe is growing. 

In the history of fashion, a turning point for bright colors happened when synthetic dyes were discovered.  According to the history website “mauveine,” the compound that produced vivid purple hues were used as a dye for silk, cotton, and other fabric. Queen Victoria wore a bright purple gown to the International Exhibition of 1862 in London”.

In more recent times, the decade of the 1960s is important as a period when bright and vivid colors became very popular. Striking and eye-popping colors like Hot pink, Lime green, Magenta, lemon, mimosa, and tangerine became fashionable.

The bright colors used in the Psychedelic fashion style are based on the psychedelic rock subculture of this decade.  Rockabilly is another genre where bright colors are appreciated. Then the preference for these colors faded.

In the 1980s hot pink, bright cyan, yellow and purple were popular.  Glitter and bright colors were everywhere. In the 1990s bright shades of jewel colors were in fashion. Then the penchant for bright colors disappeared and came back only in the 2010s.

Today you do not need the name of a fashion subculture or the trend of a season to go all out on bright colors. Fashion designers find ingenious ways to incorporate bright colors into their designs. All celebrities appear on Instagram posts in eye-popping colors that may or may not look incongruous on the streets. 

If you checkout the creations of subsequent fashion designers like Jeremy Scott, Giambattista Valli, Valentino Garavani (bright accessories), and Prabal Gurung, you will find eye catching and innovative use of bright colors.

Why should you try wearing bright clothes?

In a crowded hall, you will stand out if you are wearing bright colors if everyone else is in muted greys and other neutrals, that is for sure. Bright shades of colors are eye-catching and can make a statement in an outfit.

There are many who vouch that bright colored clothing elevates your mood and makes you feel a lot lighter and much happier.

Bright shades are considered playful and fun. And by virtue of association you are also labeled as playful and fun. 

The bright colors are also used to bring a pop of color to an otherwise muted colored outfit. They add personality and excitement to an outfit. These colors can draw attention to specific areas of a garment. 

And the best thing is that, bright colors can complement a wide range of skin tones. 

Bright shades of Red

bright red

Firstly, red is a bold and attention-grabbing color that can add drama and excitement to an outfit. It’s often associated with passion, energy, and confidence. Many bright shades of red are popular choices for statement dresses and accessories.

bright shades of red

The popularity of these shades of red in fashion is due to their vibrant and energizing presence, as well as their versatility and ability to work well with a variety of other colors and styles.

Bright shades of Pink

bright colors of pink

The dress worn by Marlyn Monroe is what is on my mind when I think of pink – the hot-pink bustier dress with a giant bow on the back, evening gloves, all in the same pink. That bold and eye-catching hue of hot pink got a lot of attention for her. And it is still considered the color when you want attention grabbing garments.

bright shades of pink

There are a lot of shades of pink that can be pinpointed as being bright – Blush pink, Rose, Cotton candy, Flamingo, Cerise, Watermelon pink, Raspberry pink, Flurousant pink, Rosy pink, Razzle dazzle rose, Knockout pink, Purplish pink, Neon pink, Amaranth pink. Pink is a bright color, period. It is a very feminine color and can be bold and dramatic depending on its shade.

Bright shades of Blue

bright blue

The bright shades of blue are cobalt blue, loony blue, blue ribbon, deep sky blue, blustering blue, Neon blue, opulent blue, Overdue blue, sparky blue, vivid blue.

Bright shades of Green

bright shades of green

The bright colors of green are Kelly green, lime, pea green, seafoam, pistachio, chartreuse.

green color - bright shades

Bright colors of Yellow & Orange

bright shades of yellow

Orange and yellow are by themselves bright and vibrant colors. They are energizing and bold in their base form.

A lot of yellow shades are bright  – these include Pale yellow, buttercup yellow, honey yellow, daffodil, maize, sunflower yellow, Tuscany yellow, neon yellow, canary yellow, lemon yellow. Bright shades of orange are Pumpkin, melon, apricot, peachy orange, papaya, tangerine orange, carrot orange, coral orange, salmon, and terracotta.

bright shades of yellow

How to wear bright colored clothes

wear bright colors

What are some good color combinations for bright clothes?

Bright colored clothes are nowadays worn on their own as co-ord sets (matching outfits that consist of a top and bottom). The double breasted jacket and pants combination in the brightest of colors is a favourite of many celebrities.

  • White and bright colors are always preferred together. White somehow balances the brightness of the bright shade. 
  • Another good combination is wearing two bright colors together.
  • Black and bright is always a safe option.
  • Or wear monochromatic shades of the same bright color. Try a bright color with pastel shade of the same – softer pastel hues will make the bright colors look good and make the whole effect muted. 
  • Or if you are bold enough go for contrasting colors.

If you want to wear a printed top or bottom in a bright color, it is better to use only one printed piece. 

Can you wear bright colors? Which one?

If you want to wear bright colors, and is confused as to which color to wear from the whole spectrum of colors, check the undertone of your skin.

People can have warm or cool undertones to their skin. Depending on this, you can select colors that suit you. If you have a cool undertone, choose clothes of colors like cobalt blue, sparkly blue, malachite, bitter lime etc. If you have a warm undertone you can choose clothes of colors like sunshine yellow, hot magenta, and even scarlet red.

Reference for color : 

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
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