How to Wear the Rainbow, According to JetSetSarah

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon is as well known for her travel writing as she is for her bold, colorful wardrobe. She shares her tips for bringing more brightness to your closet—fearlessly.
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Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon has always loved color. As a kid, she remembers her mom saying yellow suited her young self very well. 

Head to the Miami-based travel journalist's website or Instagram page today and you'll see her love of color hasn't faded in the slightest. 

“What I wear is very much an expression of who I am," Sarah (widely known as JetSetSarah) says. "I love the power that fashion has, where you can telegraph who you are without saying a word. When people see me, I want them to think I’m bold and colorful and a little bit eccentric and a little bit quirky. That’s what my wardrobe hopefully telegraphs to the world.”

There's no doubt Sarah pulls off head-to-toe color well—very well. You won't find a photo on her Instagram feed that doesn't make you want to immediately ditch all the darks in your wardrobe and embrace the Roy G. Biv life. But if the actual practice of introducing color to your closet scares you, Sarah gets it. 

RainbowSarah

“Rainbows and bright colors are energizing, but they get you noticed, so I understand why people are apprehensive about wearing them,” Sarah says. 

The queen of color is here to help. She shares her starter tips for incorporating brighter hues into your outfits so you can confidently wear the rainbow—something she says is especially important right now.

“I don’t just love the rainbow because it’s colorful,” she says. “ I love it because of the symbolism: There is not a rainbow without rain, just as there is no joy without sadness. The rainbow makes me feel very hopeful. A lot of people are going through dark times right now, but there will be good times that will feel even sweeter after all this.”

Tip 1: Start away from the face

“When you’re embracing any new color or embracing the rainbow, it doesn’t have to be near your face,” Sarah says. “I think that’s why people shy away. They think they have to wear a rainbow jacket or a rainbow top, but that’s not the case.”

The recommendation: Start small. Wear an accessory like Alex & Ani's Rainbow Beaded Stretch Bracelet ($38) or C4's Rainbow Belt ($35).

Tip 2: Modify the rainbow

“Recognize you don’t have to do full-on Roy G. Biv” Sarah says. “There are many iterations of rainbow: pastel, color wash, or ombre.”

The recommendation: Talbot's Linen Tie-Dye Sweater ($90) lets you wear a muted rainbow look. Or take a more creative approach to the rainbow with Ace & Jig's Leelee Dress ($278).

Tip 3: Dip your toes in first

Sarah's an avid runner, so shoes are a big part of her wardrobe. As a self-proclaimed “old-school sneakerhead,” she marks the first week of June on her calendar each year, when Nike and Adidas roll out their Pride Month packs. You best believe Sarah is first in line to snag the new sneaks!

The recommendation: For more casual, everyday kicks, Soludos has a variety of rainbow patterns to choose from, like the Rainbow Wave Sneaker ($139). For a modified look, sans rainbow, ModCloth sells these colorful, floral Keds ($59).

Tip 4: Dabble with athleisure

Given her active, jet-set lifestyle, Sarah also wears a lot of athleisure clothing. What’s great about tying in color to your workout 'fits is you’re only wearing the clothes for a short period of time and around a limited audience, which makes the bold style more approachable for those who are still unsure about adding the rainbow palette into all-day wear.

The recommendation: Lululemon has several solid, brightly colored pieces, like the Carnation Red Speed Up Shorts ($58), plus ones with fun patterns like the Floral Multi Sculpt Tank ($58). Athleta's Love Proudly 7/8 Tights ($98) let you wear the rainbow with a watercolor-like twist. And Wolven—a sustainable athleisure brand—has fantastically patterned tops and leggings, like the Aqua Aura Legging ($68).

Tip 5: Shop the kids' department

Outside of Pride Month, some may find it hard to track down rainbow clothing. Sarah has luck getting bigger sizes in the children’s section. And remember: With shoes, the general rule is to subtract two from you typical size to find your kids' size. So if you’re a women’s size 8, for example, a kid’s size 6 will usually fit pretty well. (But be sure to try the shoes on first, just to make sure!)

The recommendation: Adidas' Lite Racer Adapt Shoes ($39) are a soft introduction to wearing the rainbow while Target's gender-inclusive Flip Sequin Rainbow T-Shirt ($10) lets you wear it loud and proud. You best bet, though, is to hit up your favorite stores and browse the littles' sections in person. 

Tip 6: Ditch the dark color myth

“I think people get into wearing a limited color palette or dark colors because they think it’s more practical, but I believe all the colors go together, just as they do in the rainbow,” Sarah says. “The way I dress is always very practical. I’m always very comfortable, but I’m also very colorful.”

The recommendation: A bold pant like Chico's Brigitte Tropical Print Ankle Pants ($90) leaves several color options for your top, whether you want to go neutral or bold. But if you’re feeling up for it, there’s a matching Satin Tropical Print Long Tank ($79) to complete the jungle look.

Need more inspo? Other brands JetSetSarah turns to for color are Mara Hoffman, Trina Turk, and FARM Rio Global. She’s also forever inspired by the spectrum designs of Kitty Joseph. Follow her on Instagram @jetsetsarah and on her blog at jetsetsarah.com for tons more inspiration and advice!