Allow Me to Make a Case for the Color Yellow

Photo-Illustration: by Stevie Remsberg; Photo: Courtesy of the Retailer

For the past 15 years, I was convinced I couldn’t wear yellow. I’m Chinese, so my skin already has golden undertones, and I assumed that anything that emphasized them would make me look washed-out and sickly. But one day during New York Fashion Week I bumped into Vanessa Hong, a street-style favorite, wearing a bright yolk-hued jacket layered over slick black patent trousers. The combination looked fresh and surprisingly flattering against her white blonde hair and medium skin tone. As a fellow Asian blonde with a similar complexion, it got me thinking.

My wardrobe is 90 percent black with a tiny dash of red. Introducing a second bright color was wildly out of my comfort zone. But after an interview with the designers behind Kwaidan Editions, I impulsively bought their yellow-and-red tie-dyed shirt. Wearing it over my favorite black patent pants, I felt cool but still true to myself. A month later I decided to throw a dark floral Magda Butrym dress over the same pants as a quirky Fashion-Week look. Two months later, I somehow found myself owning neon yellow Kenzo dad sneakers. Yellow had slowly wormed its way into my heart.

But my obsession really hit its stride with the latest batch of runway shows. Designers from Rachel Comey to Fendi to Jil Sander to JW Anderson featuring the shade in their designs. The options were endless: a parade of desirable yellow dresses, coats, and skirts, worn by models whose skin tones spanned all 40 shades of Fenty Beauty’s foundation.

Convincing other people to share my new love of yellow has been a challenge. Like brown, it’s a much-maligned color. Yellow certainly isn’t as easy to incorporate into your wardrobe as blue or red. And it definitely calls attention to itself, which might not be what you’re going for. But it truly looks incredible on all skin tones, if you choose the right shade.

Yellow gives a glow to your complexion, and since it’s tricky to pull off, it will garner plenty of compliments — or at least, that’s my experience. Is that narcissistic? A little, but guess what color is at the center of a narcissus flower? That’s right: yellow.

Scroll ahead to shop our favorite yellow finds in stores now.

Comfy, Stylish Pants

Sleeker than a pair of sweatpants but just as easy to wear.
Available in sizes XXS-XL

A Pretty Work Blouse

A good basic to have in your closet for when you don’t know what to wear on Monday morning.
Available in sizes 14-26

Dresses to Get You Through Wedding Season

All you need are block sandals and pretty earrings.
Available in sizes 0-12

And here’s a sustainable version that looks a little like this yellow moment. (In general, Kellie Brown is very good at yellow.)
Available in sizes L-XL

A Trendy Shoe

Strappy ’90s mules are back.
Available in sizes 5-11

A Breezy Blouse

Wear it over jeans or try it as a cute swimsuit cover-up.
Available in sizes 0-12

A Sunny Suit

You could wear the blazer alone, but why not ramp up your office look by getting the coordinating trousers or skirt?
Available in sizes 14-28

A Fun Pair of Sunglasses

Slick and futuristic, but thankfully not super tiny.

Arty Earrings

If you’re a fan of colorful hoops but don’t want every pair to look exactly the same, these flatter versions are just different enough.

A Non-Fussy Cardigan

The trick is to wear it as a top and not as a sweater layered over a shirt.
Available in sizes XS-L.

A Body-Hugging Dress

As comfortable as your favorite blanket, but way more flattering.
Available in sizes M-L

Whimsical Earrings

What? You can’t do a yellow story without one pair of fun banana earrings.

An Easy Summer Work Top

Made for those days when you need to look pristine despite sweating through your commute.
Available in sizes 14-28

A Slinky Skirt

Add a camisole and you can wear it for a date or a night out with friends.
Available in sizes XXS-L

A Non-Beige Trench

Just in time for finicky spring weather.
Available in sizes S-L

A Dress For Super-Hot Days

You’ll be glad to have this when it’s 90 degrees with humidity to boot.
Available in sizes XXS-XL

Slouchy Faux-Leather Pants

Hem them a bit long and have them puddle over sneakers.
Available in sizes XS-M

The Cool Girl Dress

Expect to see this all over your Instagram feed worn with strappy sandals and hoop earrings.
Available in sizes 2-4

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Allow Me to Make a Case for the Color Yellow