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The rules: Get mellow with yellow

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This cheery colour is so uplifting, it pains Maggie Alderson to realise there isn't a skerrick of it in her wardrobe - and not much more in the shops.

Charlize Theron defies established fashion protocol by matching her blonde hair with yellow.

Charlize Theron defies established fashion protocol by matching her blonde hair with yellow. Photo: Getty Images

When it comes to clothing, I think yellow is the most neglected colour, which is odd when you think how ubiquitous it is in nature. From the very sun in the sky down, it's all over the place.

You see more of it in domestic interiors than you do in fashion. It's the first colour I think of when deciding what to paint a room as it always seems right, whatever the use and situation of the room. So cheery and uplifting.

My sitting room is painted a vibrant shade called something like ''sunflower sunburst'' and it always makes me happy to be in there, sitting among all that egg-yolky yellowness. The floor-length curtains are the same colour, so there's a lot of yellow. Yet, when I think of my wardrobe, I can't recall a single yellow item. Not a scrap of lemon, daffodil or primrose to be seen.

Hang on a minute, I'm going to go into my closet and check. OK, I'm back, and I was right, not a skerrick of yellow in there, although there is, quite literally, every other colour I can think of.

Quite a bit of orange, lots of purple and green and pink, every shade of blue very well represented, highlights of red and acres of the neutral family (which, of course, includes leopard print). The only thing anywhere near yellow is gold, of which I have quite a bit, most of it sequinned. I'm a Leo, what do you expect?

This is partly because you don't see it for sale much. I did see a yellow cardigan a couple of years ago, which I didn't buy because I was having a non-shopping moment (which does make me wonder why I was in a bloody shop) and have regretted ever since.

And that is presumably because it's considered a colour that doesn't sell well. I just looked at the Jigsaw website (that's where I saw that lovely cardigan) and of the 11 colours in the cardigan drop-down menu, yellow doesn't even feature.

I reckon this lovely, uplifting colour's low popularity stems from all the ''rules'' involved in wearing it.

Blondes are not ''supposed'' to go near yellow, for example - but just look at Charlize Theron here in this gorgeous Stella McCartney number.

I think she looks amazing and the convergence of the colour of the dress with her hair is exactly what I like about it. There's no distraction from the neutral shoes and bag, so her red lips pop and it becomes all about her face.

In the same set of photos, there was a shot of a brunette - the colouring that old fashion regulations deem most suited to yellow - wearing the same dress. She doesn't look nearly as good as Charlize. And that's not just because it was Kim Kardashian and I'm not a fan of anything to do with that family.

Kardashian's dark hair is so contrasty with the subtle colouring of the dress's damask fabric, it spoils the whole effect. It cheapens it. But that's just this particular dress. As a general rule, I do think brunettes look great in yellow.

And far from being tricky to wear, I think yellow is very flattering to all hair colours - even redheads. Think of Emma Pillsbury, played by Jayma Mays, the student counsellor in Glee. She wears a lot of yellow and always looks great in it. It has the freshness of a pastel with more edge.

So the only way to get more yellow clothes into the shops is for all of us to buy them when we see them. I have a new quest …

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