Ask Allie: Styling Orange Pants

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I just bought these bright orange cords from Target; they're a true orange, not pumpkin or rust. I wore them with a tan sweater, but I'm looking for other ways to dress them up. I don't want to do black and look like a pumpkin and white seems to be too big of a contrast to the super bright orange, so I'm at a loss other than my sweater. Thanks!

I find the best way to wear bright, bold colors is to forget that they are so bold. When you pretend they are neutrals, your mind opens up to so many different combinations. Below are some outfits I styled with the Target orange cords:

orange cords with breton tee

French Chic
A safe bet with a pair of bright pants is a classic Breton-striped top. Be it a black or navy stripe, the white background keeps it crisp and clean and flatters a bright colored pant. I added a cheery yellow scarf for the throat to ward off a fall chill, a classic gold bracelet for shine, and chose very simple flats in a light color so they don’t compete with the color and fabric of the pants.


orange cords with equestrian jacket

Equestrian Inspiration
Orange is gorgeous with neutrals like olive, brown, and khaki. It balances the color to keep it from looking like Halloween or a traffic cone. Since the pants have a classic straight leg and are made of corduroy, I decided to go with an equestrian feel with a tweed riding jacket and classic riding boots (available in wide and narrow calf from DUO!) in brown. Brushed gold accessories keep the look classic, not costumey.

Orange Cords with Purple Jacket

Embracing the Bold
I’m a gal who loves color – the bolder the better! While this ensemble may not appeal to all, I think a fun way to wear a bright like orange is with another bold in a contrasting color. I added a black and white striped tee to show that the pairing is purposeful and a bit tongue in cheek, but chose simple black booties and no accessories to keep it from being too extreme. This is an outfit where your makeup could be an accessory – a strong lip and subtle eyes would make the ensemble feel modern.

orange cords with neutrals

Neutral Balance
I agree, white may be too much of a contrast, but a white shirt with a soft gray sweater over it would balance out the two colors. Keep the look casual yet refined by rolling up the sleeves to show the white cuffs, and letting the shirttails hang out. A fun flat in an unexpected print and texture keeps the outfit from looking boring, hammered silver bracelets add interest and shine.

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