Fashion: Paint it yellow for the Tour de France

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As the Tour de France heads towards Yorkshire, Stephanie Smith celebrates by saying yes to summer’s hottest shade – yellow.

It’s as if it was all planned.

The Tour de France comes to town and guess what the boldest fashion colour of the summer just happens to be? Yellow, that’s what. Yellow in all its sunny, sporting glory, the symbolic colour of the Tour de France because the yellow jersey – le maillot jaune – is awarded to the leader of the race, as determined after each stage’s conclusion and presented on a podium in the stage’s finishing town.

Yellow was chosen, apparently, because the magazine that created the Tour de France, L’Auto, was printed on yellow paper. Each team brings multiple yellow jerseys in case one of their members becomes the leader, and riders try to keep the jersey for as long as possible to get publicity for the team and its sponsor.

In case you were wondering (as I was, until recently), the green jersey is awarded to the fastest sprinter and the white with red dots to the fastest mountain rider, or “King of the Mountains”.

I for one am relieved that red polka dots are not so prevalent a fashion theme as yellow is, because that would be far too much to bear.

Yellow is hard enough, thanks. Fashion wisdom has it that yellow is a difficult colour to wear, especially if you are pale and fair, because it works against your natural skin tones and washes you out. This can be true, but it’s an issue easily addressed with accent colour close to your face, so try a scarf with navy or with a flash of fuchsia pink, or a necklace.

Some women take to yellow quite naturally. The Queen frequently wears yellow (she wore it to a garden party earlier this month at Buckingham Palace ) and she is not afraid to wear it head to toe, confident that it will mean she stands out and looks cheery, whatever the weather.

This is a lesson to us all. Yellow brings sunshine on a rainy day, but steer clear if you actually don’t want to stand out from the crowd, because it’s hard to keep a low profile in bright yellow.

Yellow can veer into gold and indeed can blend well with gold, which makes it effective for evening and party wear. Model and actress Lily Cole is pictured left, below, in a rich yellow brocade two- piece outfit, demonstrating that even pale-skinned redheads can work yellow head to toe if they go for a rich, warm shade, with plenty of colour saturation and more than a hint of skin-highlighting gold tones.

There are on the High Street and online beautiful tops in yellow lace, embroidery and beading, which again are ideal for special event wear, so try teaming with black, white and nude (especially in satin or shiny PVC, for textural contrast).

It has to be said, darker and tanned skin tones and hair colourings work best with most yellows, and a simple dress in bright yellow can look stunning. So got for it. Enjoy your day in the sun.

19 August 2017......  Sarah Yates in period costume at the vintage fair at Lotherton Hall.  Picture Tony Johnson.

Vintage fair at Lotherton Hall draws colourful crowd for weekend of events