2024 Is The Year Of The Primary Colors: How To Wear The Trend

Red, yellow, and blue are the future of fashion in 2024. While there's always time and place for butters, creams, and beiges, these punchy primary colors offer a refreshing answer to the abundance of neutrals that we saw in fall 2023. Now, the forward momentum of 2024 is all about vivid tones: Think cobalt blue, lemon yellow, and cherry red — the kind of hues you might associate with a painter's palette. Whether you go heavy by wearing monochromatic looks, or adding a pop of color with a bright accessory, working these tones into your look will ensure you knock it out of the park every time .

The appeal of reds, yellows, and blues is that they transcend seasons; they're a welcome source of brightness in the winter, while remaining playful in the spring and summer. This makes them a perfect foundation for curating outfits that work all year long. Red has already established itself as a fashion darling, and it's not going anywhere. Instead, it's joining forces with blues and yellows in a powerful way. If you're concerned about looking like a kindergarten classroom, fear not; there are endless ways of styling these three hues to create polished, street-savvy looks.

Embrace the power of monochromatic red

When working with primary colors, there's nothing more sophisticated and put-together than a monochrome outfit. Of these three foundational tones, candy apple red is the most powerful choice, especially when used in a long sleeve, red tights, and red coat ensemble. Go for textural play by adding a leather piece in the mix, like a high-waisted mini skirt. The styling isn't complete without a tonal handbag to match. Monochrome dressing is a movement all its own that indicates deliberate coordination, and red is the perfect hue to make it happen. 

Bring the dazzle with yellow sneakers

Primary colors don't have to consume an entire outfit. Instead, style mustard yellow sneakers with an otherwise simple outfit to elevate the look. Pair them with wide-leg denim, or cargo pants and a neutral top. The bright sneakers carry the day, while the rest of the ensemble remains effortless and cool. Naturally, the sneakers invite other tonal accessories, like a punchy, canary yellow handbag, if you're feeling daring. 

Combine statement pieces of red and blue

Primary colors work well together, so keep this in mind as you put together a look. Scarlet red — a bright, energetic hue — makes for a stand-out wash when choosing pants. Pair scarlet trousers with an ultramarine blue bouclé jacket for a French finish. Keep the rest of your outfit grounded by accessorizing with white accents. Shoes, top, and handbag can all recede in this way, so that the final effect is fashionably deliberate.

Pump up neutrals with a yellow clutch

If your go-to style consists of jeans and a crisp, white button-up shirt, there's still a way to delve into the primary color trend. Stay within your comfort zone by adding a richly saturated yellow clutch to a chic, yet simple outfit. The bag allows for the playfulness of a primary color, while the getup as a whole remains like a blank canvas for other blue, red, or yellow accessories. Remember, you can always incorporate more of these playful primary shades by wearing red lipstick. 

A yellow overcoat makes a cheerful winter staple

Yellow may be the trickiest to style of the three primary colors, but there are ways to make the sunny tone not just workable but elegant. A larger yellow piece, like a belted trench coat, looks best when it's used as the focal point. Let accessories recede by opting for tonal neutrals, like beiges and caramels. Keep makeup and jewelry to a minimum, since the yellow piece is dazzling enough on its own. 

Pump up your workouts with cherry red activewear

When it comes to activewear and workout clothes there's no better place to play with primary colors. Style lobster-red yoga pants and a matching workout top with ribbed crew socks and your favorite white sneakers. Throw a loose, white button-up shirt over the look when you need to run errands after the gym. A baseball cap and some gold hoops make for an effortless finish. 

Slay at a formal event in canary yellow

A luminous color like daffdil is not for the faint of heart, but the final effect on formal wear is so dazzling that we can't resist. For your next formal event or wedding guest look, opt for a pleated gown with a unique, asymmetrical, cut in yellow, and you won't have to do much style the rest of the outfit. Nude, strappy sandals and a neutral clutch ensure that the outfit looks mature and uncomplicated. Simple gold jewelry is the cherry on this sunny sundae. 

Candy apple red tights are a gorgeous (and warm) way to accessorize

We've seen cherry red tights before, but we're focusing on them again for 2024 because they're such an effortless way to play with the vibrant primary color. In cooler months, red tights offer seamless layering under black and red skirts. It gives off a certain seductive, era energy without having to bare your legs. Wear with boots or red heels for an extra villainous touch.

Get extraterrestrial with lemon yellow shades

If you want to show off your penchant for yellow, but don't want to overcomplicate your outfit, work them into your accessories. A pair of futuristic sunglasses in a shade like chartreuse catapults a simple outfit into a daring ensemble. Feel free to style the rest of the look in blacks, so that the sunglasses really get their moment. 

Use a cobalt blue sweater to style endless outfits

A cobalt blue sweater is by far one of the easiest pieces to style within the area of primary color outfit options. It brings a compelling energy to a chic, simple outfit. The brilliant blue tone works beautifully with virtually every other color (there's a reason blue jeans go with everything!). Wear a blue sweater over other bright colors, like lime green, or bring it back down to earth by slipping it on over white jeans or high-waisted neutral slacks. 

Embrace primary colors with canary yellow pants

Yellow pants are actually much easier to style than you'd think. The trick is to wear them with a grounding color, such as a cream, moss, or plum in your top or shoes. Stick to these two tones when curating a look, drawing the vibrancy of the yellow and the richness of the earth-tone together through the other pieces. Finish off the look with smart sunglasses and a structural handbag. 

Go off duty in a red puffer coat

The puffer coat is taking winter by storm, and the insulated outerwear isn't going anywhere, thanks to its warming power on chilly sidewalks. The beauty of puffer coats is that there are no rules, especially when it comes to color. Take inspiration from Emily Ratajkowski's streetwear style, by layering a red puffer coat over an equally bright hoodie in a contrasting primary color, like blue. If you opt for an outfit with red in the logo, it will play off the red in your coat. 

Go black and blue with a cobalt blazer

We love a little menswear inspiration. It's long been a fashion conundrum whether blue or black go together, but that faux pas fear has long been debunked. "As far as I know there has never been any historical precedent for not wearing black and blue together," stylist Chris Modoo told GQ. "In fact, when I worked for Savile Row outfit Ede and Ravenscroft, the evening wear outfits we made for senior members of the Royal Household consisted of a blue tailcoat and black trousers."  Wear a blue, velvet blazer over black pants, and style with white sneakers for the perfect pairing of womenswear and men's fashion.

A cheerful, red cardigan goes with everything

The unsung hero of your wardrobe is a cherry red cardigan. The bright color on a soft fabric is just right for upping you layering game while maintaining a softer aesthetic. It's cozy, but not too heavy, making it super wearable during transition weather and works for indoor and outdoor situations. And, s ince red works so well with chocolate browns, you can wear it over brown trousers or earthy-toned plaids for a chic academia-inspired look. It's also a winner with a simple pair of jeans, so there's no need to overthink the red cardigan.

Sport that cobalt blue tracksuit like Mel C

Take a cue from Spice Girls Melanie C by working your primary color monochrome look into a matching color tracksuit in cobalt blue.

Pair with white platform sneakers for your ultimate chill-vibes day off. Extra points for combining the cobalt blue with a streak of punchy red to really get those primary colors singing.