According to color theory, orange is supposed to be exuberant, energizing, invigorating—so why, when it comes to how to wear it, does it tend to stop most of us in our tracks?
I have one hypothesis: With other bright hues—fire-engine red, hot pink, vibrant blue—we can at least fall back on black to anchor an outfit in safe territory. But try that with orange, and our deep-seated fears of looking like a Halloween decoration come out to play. I’m guilty of this, too: I have a crossbody bag that is perfect in almost every way, and I’d probably carry it every weekend except for the fact that it is bright, tangerine orange. I love it against certain other colors—pale pink, grass green—but on nights when I fall back on a black leather jacket and black tights (which, let’s be honest, is most of them) it’s out of the running.
Despite the widespread wariness around orange, though, it’s one of fashion’s favorite colors. It was a pervasive trend for fall, and this spring, you’ll find it filling the racks of many of your favorite retailers. And, we have to admit, it’s more versatile than you’d expect.
Persimmon pops against teal, Creamsicle hues look fantastic with olive green or powder pink, and bright orange takes on an unexpectedly blue-blooded air paired with a camel coat or khaki trench (something you can blame Hermès for).
Still don’t believe me? Click through the slideshow for 33 outfit ideas that will convince you to give orange a try this season.