Fashion: Enter the twilight zones

Betty Barclay stripe dress, �36, John Lewis
Betty Barclay stripe dress, �36, John Lewis
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Embrace this summer’s sunset-inspired brights to inject some hot hues into your wardrobe

When the weather’s grim, add some sunshine to your life with your choice of 
colour. This season’s hottest shades are inspired by a glowing sunset – think reds, oranges, yellows and pinks.

Meadow burnt orange dress, �49, NW3 at Hobbs

Meadow burnt orange dress, �49, NW3 at Hobbs

Wear them solo or clash them to maximise your sunny disposition.

A trend made for extroverts, this 
uplifting palette is ideal for high summer and holiday season.

“Forget black, grey and navy and start wearing your own sunshine on your back,” says Veronique Henderson, creative director of Colour Me Beautiful.

Ignore the forecast and fashion your own bright outlook.

Anoushka silk dress, �67,

Anoushka silk dress, �67,


Primary, pastel or neon, solid blocks of colours have been dominating the catwalks for seasons but the trend doesn’t translate for all colourings.

“Generally, bright colours are best worn by women who can take contrasting colours, like dark hair or bright blue eyes,” advises Henderson.

But in the summer months – and with the help of a self-tan bottle – 
everyone can be less colour cautious.

Peter Hahn red dress, �75,

Peter Hahn red dress, �75,

“Your skin tone changes if you are tanned, naturally or self-applied, and that’s when brighter colours can be worn more successfully,” Henderson adds.


On red alert or got a crush on orange? Classic sunset shades can vary from coral and pumpkin to tomato red and tangerine.

Henderson says: “These hot hues are best worn by women with red or auburn hair and also strawberry blonde to brown with warm red highlights. Eyes are likely to be green, brown or blue.

Izabel London orange fuschia tunic, �7, Dorothy Perkins

Izabel London orange fuschia tunic, �7, Dorothy Perkins

“Darker skins will have an overall golden look with warm tones to the eyebrows.”

Consider the clarity of the colour, too, which can differ depending on the material – a matte linen will always be less intense than a shiny silk.


If you love the pinky afterglow of a sunset more than the disappearing ball of fire, work some hot pink into your wardrobe.

Fuchsia shades are best suited to women with a “blue” undertone, like Kate Middleton, according to Henderson: “These will generally be women with black hair, blue eyes and pinky tones to their skintone.

“Women with ashy blonde hair 
or greying hair also fit into that category.”

Cherry maxi dress, �49, Monsoon

Cherry maxi dress, �49, Monsoon

A bright pink can work effectively as an accent shade against black, navy or grey so you can re-work your 
summery pieces for the autumn/
winter season.


A colour associated with summer, freshness and light, sunny yellows can vary from subtle lemon through to bolder daffodil and canary.

“Yellow cabs in NYC stand out. If that’s what you want, wear it head to toe to create cheerfulness,” Henderson says.

“For dark hair and dark or bright eyes, brighter shades of yellow are best worn as a contrast with a dark shade or within a print.

“Any yellow-based colours will be great on auburn/red heads.”

If in doubt, try different shades of yellow close to your face and opt for the one that really brings out your eyes.


Bold colours not punchy enough for you? Go bolder. Clash two or even three colours together for the full sunset spectrum.

Orange and hot pink is the hottest combination right now – one is warm, the other cool in tone.

Henderson advises: “These two clashing shades of orange and hot pink will work best on pale blondes and soft, highlighted hair colourings in slightly lighter shades as well as dark hair/dark eyes and dark hair/bright eyes colourings in darker shades of orange and hot pink.”

If in doubt, let a print, ombre or 
colour blocked piece do the clashing for you.


If bold block colours and clashing prints have you reaching for your sunglasses and taking cover, take the 
subtle route to sunset chic.

You can still wear neutrals and inject brights into your outfit with eye-catching accessories.

“Try a colourful handbag, pair of shoes or jewellery instead,” Henderson suggests. “If one shade isn’t enough, there are plenty of two-tone bags and shoes to choose from.”

Wearing neutral colours will give you just the right backdrop to let your statement accessory piece dazzle.

: Velucci silk pink top, �51,

: Velucci silk pink top, �51,