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Lend some optimism to your wardrobe with our curated edit of must-haves that span the rainbow.

By Lindsay Samson 

August 4, 2022

Summer is officially in full swing and for many of us this is the first time we’ve been able to step outside to enjoy it to the fullest since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The past couple of years saw us uncertainly moving through a changing landscape where working from home became the new norm, social distancing was essential, and outdoor activities were pretty much off the table. But now that restrictions have been relaxed and the number of those vaccinated has increased, the sunny outdoors have never looked so inviting. And what better way to celebrate than with a wardrobe update bursting with colors that reflect this bright optimism?

Color can have a major impact on the psyche. The association between brightly colored clothing and happiness is not new. In fact, the idea of instilling joy through what we wear has a name—‘dopamine dressing’—and has long been the subject of psychological research. But, can the colors we wear actually have an impact on our mood? Well, since there’s no harm in testing the theory, we've gathered the best pieces to incorporate some color into your closet this season. From brilliant blues and shades of orange; read on to discover the five most joyful hues defining summer '22.

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PRETTY IN PINK

This summer, the sweetest shade remains a firm fashion favorite, having shown up in the SS ‘22 collections of Valentino, Versace, and more. It’s also proven a preferred pick for African designers like IAMISIGO and Pepper Row, both of whom embraced pink as the color of the moment. Welcome it into your wardrobe this summer with the joyful, candy-colored Poolside Slip Dress by South African brand Viviers. Its coloring is a jolt of sartorial joy, a youthful and potently feminine pink that makes a bold statement. For a more “fly under the radar” shade than the irrepressibly sunny hues, turn to Hamaji’s dusty rose Carmine Shorts or Wide-Leg Pants; sleek and simple options, both look sensational yet subtle when paired with a classic white tee and a barely-there stiletto sandal.

Poolside Slip Dress
Poolside Slip Dress
Poolside Slip Dress
Poolside Slip Dress
Poolside Slip Dress
Poolside Slip Dress

Viviers

Poolside Slip Dress

$450
Drawstring Dress
Drawstring Dress
Drawstring Dress
Drawstring Dress
Drawstring Dress

IAMISIGO

Drawstring Dress

$424
Carmine Wide-Leg Pants
Carmine Wide-Leg Pants
Carmine Wide-Leg Pants
Carmine Wide-Leg Pants
Carmine Wide-Leg Pants
Carmine Wide-Leg Pants

Hamaji

Carmine Wide-Leg Pants

$129
Ayo Sandals
Ayo Sandals
Ayo Sandals

Maliko

Ayo Sandals

$300

WHITE FLAG

For the sunny days ahead, white should not be overlooked as a key shade to keep your wardrobe feeling fresh and aesthetically clean this summer. Afterall, it’s subtly eye-catching and provides a beautiful blank canvas against which the finest details really pop. Take KikoRomeo’s Pemba Dress. Meticulously crafted from crisp white linen, the garment’s porcelain hue and full-length flared fit is just the ticket you’ll need to feel comfortable and chic all summer long. If you prefer your white in the form of accessories, however, turn to the contemporary elegance and spirited nature of Margaux Wong’s Daisy Earrings. A motif that embodies the inherent whimsy of the season, they look perfectly summery when worn with just about anything. Try pairing them with Hamaji’s Stone Tie-Front Crop Top for a look that unites two contrasting, yet harmonious shades of white.

Daisy Earrings
Daisy Earrings
Daisy Earrings
Daisy Earrings

Margaux Wong

Daisy Earrings

$290
Pemba Dress
Pemba Dress
Pemba Dress
Pemba Dress
Pemba Dress
Pemba Dress
Pemba Dress

KikoRomeo

Pemba Dress

$650
Flower Dress
Flower Dress
Flower Dress
Flower Dress
Flower Dress
Flower Dress
Flower Dress
Flower Dress
Flower Dress

Taibo Bacar

Flower Dress

$764
White Fah Plus Sandals
White Fah Plus Sandals
White Fah Plus Sandals

Loza Maléombho

White Fah Plus Sandals

$235

BLUE STREAK

A dependable fashion staple, blue exudes calmness and confidence. A color that—thanks to its varying shades—easily serves as a foundational piece; it's an omnipresent hue that likely already occupies a fair chunk of your wardrobe. This season, however, it's all about deeper tones that conjure up images of Delphinium blooms and ripe blueberries. Orange Culture’s Two-Tone Waistcoat Dress and NKWO’s Twist Kaftan are just a couple of pieces that perfectly embody this shade, while ViviersCrochet On Hold Strappy Top combines it with a bang-on-trend 90’s inspired silhouette. For a pared-back touch of the tone, Pichulik’s Fiamma Earrings offer a subtle dose of blue via its braided rope elements and are best paired with an understated ensemble for maximum impact.

Twist Kaftan
Twist Kaftan
Twist Kaftan
Twist Kaftan

Nkwo

Twist Kaftan

$250
Rolake Camp Shirt
Rolake Camp Shirt
Rolake Camp Shirt

Pepper Row

Rolake Camp Shirt

$175
Blue Fiamma Earrings
Blue Fiamma Earrings
Blue Fiamma Earrings

Pichulik

Blue Fiamma Earrings

$135
Crochet On Hold Strappy Top
Crochet On Hold Strappy Top
Crochet On Hold Strappy Top
Crochet On Hold Strappy Top
Crochet On Hold Strappy Top

Viviers

Crochet On Hold Strappy Top

$590

ORANGE ALERT

This season, orange is officially the new black, with designers including Andrea Iyamah and NKWO embracing tangerine tones. The energetic, happy-feeling hue exudes an undeniable mood-lifting ability, delivering a dose of freshness and liveliness. Even color powerhouse Pantone tends to agree, naming 'Coral Rose'—a vivid shade of pinkish-orange perfect for any occasion—as one of the trending colors in fashion for SS '22. Cut from an uplifting, zesty shade of chiffon, Orange Culture’s Cape-Effect Crop Top is a serious statement-making choice and is easily worn with wardrobe staples like summer shorts or a pair of classic blue jeans. Cynthia Abila’s Orie Shirt Dress meanwhile pairs bright orange silk with complementary brown-toned suede, offering an offbeat style that’s as playful as it is elegant.

Orie Shirt Dress
Orie Shirt Dress
Orie Shirt Dress
Orie Shirt Dress
Orie Shirt Dress
Orie Shirt Dress
Orie Shirt Dress
Orie Shirt Dress

Cynthia Abila

Orie Shirt Dress

$400
Cape-Effect Crop Top
Cape-Effect Crop Top
Cape-Effect Crop Top
Cape-Effect Crop Top
Cape-Effect Crop Top

Orange Culture

Cape-Effect Crop Top

$138
Rust Behati Skirt
Rust Behati Skirt
Rust Behati Skirt

Andrea Iyamah

Rust Behati Skirt

$156
Rust Behati Crop Top
Rust Behati Crop Top
Rust Behati Crop Top

Andrea Iyamah

Rust Behati Crop Top

$148

YELLOW FEVER

While daffodils may typically bloom in the spring, this summer the vibrant yellow tone was all over the Summer ‘22 runways. From Etro and Chanel to Acne Studios and Dior, the sunny, optimistic shade shined brighter than ever. As it turns out, African designers including Emmy Kasbit and Niuku seem to agree. With its fluid linen form that’s been meticulously printed by hand with wooden brushes, the latter’s Seleti Dress is guaranteed to add that dose of optimism to your wardrobe. If your style is a bit on the bolder side though, turn to Ijeoma Shirt Dress by Emmy Kasbit. With its bright lemon shade, the traditional handwoven Akwete piece is a summery fever dream that will ensure you stand out from the crowd.

Ijeoma Shirt Dress
Ijeoma Shirt Dress
Ijeoma Shirt Dress
Ijeoma Shirt Dress
Ijeoma Shirt Dress

Emmy Kasbit

Ijeoma Shirt Dress

$425
For Alyx Smart Lounge Set
For Alyx Smart Lounge Set
For Alyx Smart Lounge Set
For Alyx Smart Lounge Set

Pepper Row

For Alyx Smart Lounge Set

$500
Yellow Seleti Dress
Yellow Seleti Dress
Yellow Seleti Dress
Yellow Seleti Dress

Niuku

Yellow Seleti Dress

$285
Yellow Rebel Fanny Bag XL
Yellow Rebel Fanny Bag XL
Yellow Rebel Fanny Bag XL
Yellow Rebel Fanny Bag XL
Yellow Rebel Fanny Bag XL
Yellow Rebel Fanny Bag XL

Reform Studio

Yellow Rebel Fanny Bag XL

$210