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How can I branch out from dark hues and bring colour into my wardrobe?

personal stylist

Block party

Colour blocking is a great way to introduce more striking tones into a wardrobe of neutral hues

Zero + Maria Cornejo’s outsized cotton coat adds a dash of colour without being overwhelming.

For those contemplating the leap into wearing brighter tones, colour blocking is a great option for incorporating more adventurous shades into your wardrobe because it relates to one item of clothing that you can pair with darker or more neutral ones. Take a cue from Zero + Maria Cornejo's lovely resort collection for inspiration; a juicy shade of orange in a colour-blocked coat is neutralized by the additional blocks of beige and black.

One way to ease flashes of colour into your look is through accessories. Find a classic piece in a sumptuous texture such as Diane von Furstenberg's berry-and-blue shoulder bag. Sure, the shades are eye catching, but the sleek silhouette and glint of gold chain elevate it beyond outlandishness.

Diane von Furstenberg Soirée suede and leather shoulder bag, $400 (U.S.) through net-a-porter.com.

Playing inside the lines is a great rule when it comes to getting comfortable with colour blocking – after all, the concept has geometric roots. Judith & Charles' sheath dress marries white, brown and blue with pleasing symmetry. Something this structured works well for an office environment, but the trio of colours is still inherently playful.

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Seren dress, $465 at Judith & Charles (judithandcharles.com).

Colour-blocked pieces needn't be hyper-bright to be effective, though. This season you can find an array of garments in dulcet tones, too. If the mixing of several colours is a step too far outside your comfort zone, start with something monochromatic, such as Topshop's cozy cape. Once you've started thinking outside the box, who knows how far you'll go?

Cape, $68 at Topshop at Hudson’s Bay (thebay.com).

Have a style query that needs solving? Send your questions to oparker@globeandmail.com.

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