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Dressing to Make YOU Happy with Zeena Shah

by Zeena Shah

I am often asked what inspires my daily outfit choices and how I choose the colourful pieces that are in my wardrobe. For me it really is about the joy of getting dressed! Over the past few months of lockdown whilst friends and family reached for their sweats and stayed in their pyjamas, I bounced out of bed each day continuing my usual routine of getting up and getting dressed. 

Having graduated with a degree in Textile design from Chelsea School of Art I was often found dying fabrics and mixing ink colours in the print room and this really honed my sense of colour. I have such a passion for fabrics and print design it really has shaped the way I think about and style my clothing.

There’s such joy in sharing your identity through the clothing you choose to wear and putting your stamp on this part of your everyday. Wearing a colourful outfit can also do wonders for your mood and overall sense of positivity as well as others around you. Back at the start of lockdown I started an Instagram colour challenge with friend and fellow creative Natalie Wall. We wanted to inspire our communities to reach for something colourful and find some everyday positivity in a time of uncertainty and sadness. It was so much fun and we saw over 7000 people get involved diving into the back of their wardrobes to don a rainbow coloured outfit for our 7 day colour challenge, ending up with a rainbow block of colour on their Instagram grids. It was a wonderful way to show our virtual support to all of our key workers and our very own rainbows of hope.

If you’re not sure how to break out of the black in your wardrobe but want to embrace a bit more colour here are my 4 top tips for adding more colour to your wardrobe.

Zeena’s 4 tips on how to wear more colour:

1. Start Small
A colourful accessory is a great way to begin your colour journey. I’d recommend a vintage scarf tied around your neck, hair or even around the handle of your bag. If you’re feeling more adventurous why not try a statement handbag. 

2. Shop Second Hand
One of my favourite hobbies is scouring our local charity and vintage shops for treasures. It’s a great way to top up your wardrobe with some colour is a sustainable way. I recently found a beautiful pink silk shirt from the 70’s for a fiver. Every time I wear it I’m asked where it’s from. 

3. Embrace The Rainbow
Let the colours of the rainbow inspire your outfits. Colour blocking is a great way to build an outfit, try tonal shades of one colour for example or choose a statement suit. I love two pieces as they’re so versatile you can wear each item a multitude of ways.

4. Get to know the colours that suit you
Often the fear of colour comes from not knowing what shade suits you. I am a big pink lover and know there are lots of haters out there to whom I always say if you don't like a colour you just haven't found the right shade yet! Getting to know the colours that suit you best and that work together is a good way to build a colour toolkit. I love colour blocking pinks with greens, reds and lilacs for example. I'll also pair yellow with lilac, then mix and mix my colour combinations.