How to inject some colour into your winter wardrobe: 13 essential items

Make sure you stand out from the crowd this winter

How to inject some colour into your winter wardrobe

If you’re tired of grey jumpers and wearing the same jeans on repeat is making you blue, consider adding some colour to your wardrobe. 

Whether you opt for a bright sweatshirt or scarf, vibrant items are easy to pair with tried-and-tested neutrals, or you could be really brave and try ‘tonal colour blocking’ – putting two tones of the same colour together, like a light blue shirt and dark blue jacket. 

While it’s a good idea to wear hues you love, keeping in mind what suits the season and your skin tone is always a good idea. 

We’ve picked some of our favourite wearable colourful clothes. The future is bright!

1. Holiday Boileau sweatshirt

A pink sweater to pair with denim

Reasons to buy
+Perfect shade for all seasons+Quality materials but machine washable

A grey or navy sweatshirt is a common staple in most wardrobes, but a more colourful equivalent is just as easy to wear and freshens up even a worn-in pair of jeans. Holiday Boileau’s pink sweatshirt is perfect for pairing with denim or chinos in winter underneath a chunky jacket, or a pair of shorts in the cooler part of summer, making its price tag easy to justify. 

Made from 100% pink cotton jersey with a cosy fleece backing, it has a relaxed shape and logo to catch the eye and its pink hue is surprisingly flattering on most people.

2. Tom Ford blouson jacket

The ultimate luxury leather jacket

Reasons to buy
+Hand made in Italy with incredible details+A lust-worthy jacket

A leather jacket is an autumn staple – not too warm and not too chilly – but always rugged and a little bit rebellious. Tom Ford’s slim-fit suede blouson jacket is the ultimate jacket of its kind. Yes the designer makes killer tuxedos, but if you’re going to spend £5,590 on a jacket, you’ll want to wear it more often than the occasional dinner or wedding. 

This jacket is crafted in Italy from suede and has zipped pockets for your everyday essentials but it’s the colour that makes it so delicious. The deep burgundy colour would look amazing with denim and black and add star quality to anyone’s autumn wardrobe.

3. Norse Projects Kyle jacket

A cool lightweight jacket that’s deceptively cosy

Reasons to buy
+Can be worn as a shirt or over shirt+A signature style from Norse Projects

Norse Projects’ Kyle wool felt jacket is modeled on military CPO shirts but comes in a sunny yellow/mustard. It would look brilliant paired with a Breton tee and wide leg trousers for a vaguely nautical look or a neat sweater, wool trousers and trainers for something that adeptly treads the tricky line of smart casual. 

Made from 80% merino wool and 20% wool, the jacket is lightweight but warm, for those changeable days. It costs £200 making it a good price point for a luxurious but casual item of clothing. It’s a regular fit and unlined so it can be worn as either an over shirt or light jacket, giving you considerable bang for your buck.

4. Barker suede brogues

Smart shoes with a pop of colour

Reasons to buy
+Quality suede shoes in a classic style+Pop of bright blue stitching

A good pair of brogues can smarten up a favourite pair of casual trousers and look sharp with a suit. You can even wear them with rolled-up jeans or trousers in the summer. This ‘Grant’ pair, by Barker are crafted in navy suede with a clever pop of brighter blue stitching, making them more fun and modern. 

They’re not the cheapest, but the shoes are amazingly versatile and would look amazing with a blue shirt the same colour of the stitching, for a seriously stylish and put-together look.

5. Tommy Jeans Puffer Jacket

A colourful coat to brighten grey days

Reasons to buy
+Coat ticks the 90s, logos and sportswear boxes+Colour combo is very wearable
Reasons to avoid
-It’s not filled with down or remotely technical

If you’re a fan of minimalist living and your wardrobe comprises pairs of jeans, favourite white tees and navy and grey jumpers, consider a colourful coat to brighten up your look. Tommy Jeans’ colour block puffer jacket features four joyful colours that would look great with denim and are easy to wear. 

The jacket is quilted as you’d expect from a puffer jacket, with a full zip and stand-up collar, ticking the necessary sports and 90s trend boxes. There’s a subtle Tommy Jeans logo on the left chest and sleeve, but this coat is for the style conscious rather than outdoors nut, as it’s not filled with down and doesn’t feature technical fabric, making it more suitable for shopping than a visit to the slopes.

6. Oliver Spencer ribbed beanie

A hat to stand out in the crowd

Reasons to buy
+Easy way to brighten up your outfit+100% wool
Reasons to avoid
-Often imitated

A bright hat is a great way to stand out from the crowd – literally – your friends and family will thank you for it at a bustling Christmas market. It’s also a simple way to add a pop of colour to an otherwise dark outfit and would suit all hair colours. 

Oliver Spencer's yellow 'Dock' hat is knitted from thick wool and ribbed for flexibility. The fashion experts at Net-a-Porter recommend rolling it up above the ears for a classic nautical look. There are more affordable mustard imitations are available, but this 100% wool version will keep you cosy and will look great for years.

7. Paul Smith Donegal scarf

A cheerful stripy knit to brighten up any coat

Reasons to buy
+Long rainbow scarf is 100% wool+Made in Scotland
Reasons to avoid
-It’s dry clean only

Sir Paul Smith doesn’t have the monopoly on stripes, but they are his signature. Spun in Scotland, this rainbow-hued scarf is made from 100% soft wool with a subtle Donegal fleck. 

As well as being warm and cosy, its 160cm length is long enough to wrap round your neck a couple of times or drape over a basic blue/grey/black coat to make it look less boring. The scarf is a classic from a British designer that will stay relevant in your wardrobe for years to come with the correct care – occasional dry cleaning.

8. Kin merino jumper

Clematic blue knit is a bargain

Reasons to buy
+Easy-to-care-for jumper is a vibrant hue+Small price and easy to care for
Reasons to avoid
-Might not be the warmest

A ‘clematic’ blue jumper might look a bit frightening on the shelf, but the vibrant colour is a simple way of pepping up your usual neutral outfits. Woven from a fine merino blend, this Kin by John Lewis jumper is a 50/50 blend of merino wool and acrylic and constructed in a fitted design with raglan sleeves and a crew neckline. 

It’s finished with ribbed cuffs. If you’re looking to try the tonal colour blocking trend, this jumper would look brilliant with navy trousers or a dark blue jacket – anything in the blue family in fact. And for the cheap price, you can afford to experiment.

9. Paul Smith striped leather belt

Colourful belt is an easy way to jazz up jeans

Reasons to buy
+Accessory from a iconic British Brand+Bright belt is easy to wear
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

If sporting a bright jumper or coat is a step too far, why not consider a vibrant belt? Paul Smith’s 3.5cm-wide striped leather belt has a pop of coral, mustard and blue grounded in black, with a shiny silver buckle, making it surprisingly wearable. 

Made in Spain, the quality leather accessory would look great with denim and could also prove a talking point on some black trousers for work, if you’re feeling brave. Made by an iconic British brand, the colourful belt may be fun, but will probably become a wardrobe staple that you’ll love for years.

10. Herschel Supply Co duffle bag

Perfectly pink holdall for a weekend away

Reasons to buy
+Practical but pink+Water-resistant and durable

If the thought of donning a colourful jumper fills you with fear, why not have fun with accessories instead? Herschel Supply Co’s Coast Tarpaulin Duffle Bag is a pink but practical bag that’s perfect for a weekend away. 

Designed with thick webbing handles, the holdall is made from incredibly durable, water-resistant tarpaulin and is spacious enough to hold a few days’ worth of kit. Despite its playful colour, the bag has a military-inspired roll top secures with clips on either end and makes it easier to fit in an overhead bin.

11. Original Penguin plaid shirt

Classic design that’s perfect for winter

Reasons to buy
+Classic design to keep for years+100% cotton

Not all bright clothing has to be brave and cutting edge. Original Penguin’s flannel check plaid shirt is a classic colour, shape and pattern that’s perfect for throwing on top of a pair of jeans and paired with hiking boots for an effortlessly trendy but practical look. 

If you’re planning on going for a festive walk in the woods or even cutting down a Christmas tree this holiday season, the shirt would be picture-perfect. Crafted from a pure cotton, it comes in a regular fit, with a button-down collar and curved hem for a casual finish. We bet it will prove great value if you consider cost per wear. 

12. Urban Outfitters oversized rust scarf

A subtle shot of autumnal colour

Reasons to buy
+Cosy classic on a budget+A subtle hue for the colour-shy
Reasons to avoid
-100% acrylic

Injecting colour into your wardrobe needn’t be scary. In fact, there’s a wide array of subtle colours ideal for the autumn, from rich rusts and ochres to brighter berry shades. This tan scarf from Urban Outfitters doesn’t shout and would look great with denim, khaki, black, navy, grey and any other neutral hues you can think of. 

It has an oversized silhouette like Acne’s iconic design, but is in fact just £30 from Urban Outfitters. The drawback is that it’s 100% acrylic and probably not the warmest, but it isn’t itchy and you can bung it in the wash no problem.

13. Paul Smith ‘Soho’ embroidered shirt

A classic style for understated luxury

Reasons to buy
+An ‘ultimate’ shirt from a top British Designer+Clever pop of colour in embroidery

Paul Smith is known for his men’s tailoring and stripes and this shirt combines both. The Soho embroidered chambray shirt is made from smooth cotton and Tencel-blend chambray, making it incredibly soft and machine washable. The shirt is easy to wear regularly so it can become a firm favourite. 

As well as being a cheerful sky blue, the shirt has Paul Smith’s signature colours embroidered on the placket and if you look closely, you'll notice the mother-of-pearl buttons are sewn on with bright yarn to match the embroidery, while the topmost button is gold-gilded for a touch of decadence. 

Sarah Griffiths
Sarah Griffiths

A journalist with 10 years experience, Sarah specialises in Science and Technology, writing for the BBC, national papers and consumer magazines, including T3, of course.