The Chic List: Colour? It’s a game of tones

I’m probably going to be considered uncool for admitting this. But I find that sometimes when the world screams ‘March on forward, woman’, I want to dig my heels in (not in any mud, though!) and yell back: ‘I’m staying here – go away!’

Going tonal in a blue dress from La Ligne and a preloved jacket from Loop Generation

For example, have you watched a reel on Instagram recently? Social media can be an amazing place for fashion, creativity, small businesses or making new connections. And lots of brilliant women are doing hugely entertaining things on reels, including whole comedy acts from their living rooms.

However, it turns out that I mostly like the older, quieter Instagram better – the one with the sound turned down. I also still love getting handwritten notes in the post, buying magazines from my local newsagent and writing dates in a diary rather than setting them on my phone. I get weak at the knees for an attractive diary planner.

I rather feel the same about fashion. I believe it’s something that should be savoured, mulled over, softly stroked, oohed and aahed at. I prefer quality over quantity. And I prefer my logos mostly on the inside.

As we march into May, and the brighter days ahead, it’s time to start thinking about what colourful additions you want to embrace summer with. And just like your screens, you can adjust colour to say as much or as little as you prefer.

When it comes to adding summer shades to my own wardrobe, I am without doubt a fair-weather person. I love wearing colour when the sun shines. Otherwise you’ll find me sitting happily in a spectrum of nudes and one of my all-time favourite colours, black. Although, as Yves Saint Laurent once pointed out, there are many different shades of black. The most chic approach to colour is tonal dressing – wearing pieces together from the same colour family but all in different tints, tones and shades. It is the easiest way to look polished, expensive and pulled together.

Tonal dressing looks especially chic in some of this season’s popular colours – vibrant, life-enhancing greens or blues. One of the tricks is to keep the look visually interesting by mixing different textures, patterns, fabrics and finishes within your outfit.

The other, almost effortless, approach to colour is to simply wear the same block colour from head to toe – in a dress, for example, in this season’s summer shades such as pink, yellow or orange. Or in a chic two-piece, like a trouser suit or skirt and top. Then accessorise with tans and golds.

Bag, £270, Staud, net-a-porter.com

Use accessories to mix tones.

Blazer, £59.99, zara.com

Different textures keep the look fresh.

Trousers, £49.99, zara.com

Blue is one of this season’s hottest colours.

Top, £345, joseph-fashion.com

A forever top to see you through from the office to dinner.

Bracelet, £125, Laura Lombardi, net-a-porter.com

Gold pieces work well with brights.

Tank top, £29, arket.com

Mix limes and leafy greens for a fresh look.

Trousers, £275, Victoria, Victoria Beckham, harveynichols.com

Vibrant green is uplifting.

Follow me on Instagram @thestylistandthewardrobe