Life would be infinitely better if we all took more sartorial cues from Solange Knowles. Or at the very least, brighter.
Yes. That Knowles. Beyoncé may be the reigning Queen of pop, yet it's her sister Solange who's on constant rotation on every best dressed list going. Vogue even asked her for a monthly photo diary because that's the thing about Solange. She nails it every damn time.
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The Houston-born singer, songwriter, mother and style icon mixes a little bit of Diana Ross, channels shades of Erykah Badu and takes a real playful and colourful approach to her fashion. That's what is so wonderful about Solange: so many things on paper shouldn't work but she's got an eye for print and colour and never shies away from bold, graphic designs.
Solange's style can be characterised by a mix of bold colours and mixed prints - working with classic silhouettes. Not one to shy away from a two piece, she frequently is seen sporting matching trousers and blazers in corals, mints and shocking pinks. Polka dots, stripes, florals - she's tried them all, often mixing two prints together. Her look never feels contrived and she has a way of making something that should be utterly chaotic look sharp and elegant.
When channelling your inner Solange, you'll want to go big on your brights. Yellows, cyans, oranges. The important thing is to have fun. Keep with simple and classic silhouettes but in bold bright colours. Bright pink paired with tomato red? Work it. Canary yellow gown finished with a blue toned red lipstick? Perfect. By keeping your shapes classic (wide-legged trousers, blazers, A-line dresses) you can afford to have more fun with prints and colour.
River Island has some beautiful graphic prints in the moment, varying from bright tropical to more urban inspired designs. A luxe jogger, jumpsuit or co-ordinating suit are all great options here. Wear either matching prints or play around and what works for you. For colour, Topshop has some gorgeous colour combo prints with cute lime greens and ceruleans matched together in large floral prints. It's bold, tropical and not quite what you'd expect, which made it one of my favourite prints for this season. For bags, Boohoo has some gorgeous affordable clutch bags with an Aztec print in a couple of different finishes. The orange and black is beautiful but for Solange I can't tear my eyes away from the lemons, pinks and blues.
Solange's real secret weapon is shoes. With an enviable collection including the likes of Sophia Webster, Preen and Aldo as well as her own collaboration with Opening Ceremony and Puma (not to mention the 25 pairs of shoes Beyoncé got her for her birthday) the shoe really has to finish off the outfit. Be it a classic runner or a sandal, Solange always turns it out. She loves a chunky heel and these lime green courts from Faith at Debenhams would look great with pretty much any pattern combo. Finish off with a simple gold chain (I love this one from Gogo Phillip at ASOS) and some red lipstick and you're good to go.
Solange's look is excess to the extreme. More colour, more pattern - yet thanks to classic silhouettes (and, you know, being Solange) it never feels over done or fussy. She's drawn her influences from some real heavy weights and still managed to create a style that is still without a doubt her own. It's the kind of look that gets you excited about fashion again, inspiring more prints and brights to be injected in to our wardrobes immediately.
This, this is the kind of style I can immediately get behind.
Get the look: 1 Gogo Phillip chunky chain necklace, £26, ASOS; 2 Printed side split tee, £36, Topshop; 3 Border print trousers, RRP £25 (now £12), River Island, 4 Anya Aztec clutch in green, £15, Boohoo; 5 Lime court shoes, RRP £50 (currently £40), Faith at Debenhams