Create a column of colour by wearing the same colour on the top and bottom under a third layer like a jacket, coat or cardigan. The colours needn’t be identical. Similar colours can create the same low contrast effect. The third layer can emphasize the column of colour by creating a high contrast with the column, or it can be low contrast for a more subtle overall effect.

Columns of colour needn’t be neutral, but those are the easiest to create because most people have neutrally toned tops and bottoms in their wardrobe. A black column of colour is probably the most common of all. But a column of colour can be any colour. It can be any fabric, including denim. And it can include a pattern, as long as it’s the same pattern on the top and bottom. Jumpsuits, rompers and some dresses are ready-to-go columns of colour. 

The column of colour is effective for four reasons:

  1. It creates outfit cohesion by connecting the top and bottom of the outfit.
  2. It elongates the body by emphasizing the vertical and eliminating horizontal lines across the middle of the body. This is one way for petites to look visually taller.
  3. It is slimming.
  4. It is simple, and simple is a beautiful thing when you bat for Team Less Is More. 

You can further accentuate the lengthening effect of a column of colour by wearing footwear in the same colour. 

Stylish dressing isn’t always about lengthening, elongating or slimming. That would be boring. But creating a “long lean line” is the conventionally flattering way to dress, which makes the column of colour an easy formula to incorporate into a three piece top + bottom + topper outfit. 

A column of colour is particularly useful for making hard-to-style toppers instantly wearable. So think column of colour the next time a jacket, cardigan, coat, sweater coat, or any topper is hard to style. Or if you want to elongate your outfit proportions without wearing heels.

Zara Studio Jacket with PocketsZara Checked CoatZara Zip Jacket

MAIYET Silk Georgette JacketBY WALID Embroidered Silk Bomber JacketSTELLA MCCARTNEY Bryce-Wool and Cashmere Blend Coat