This is a question I get asked by almost every single Style Coaching client I see, “what colours should I be wearing?”
There are several schools of thought with this – but my approach is a fairly simple one – if you love the colour, wear the colour.
Now there are a few more little tricks we can talk about, but I think as long as you remember that statement as your starting point, then we’re going to get along just fine.
Like all “rules” in fashion, what colours you wear are not set in stone, but I’m going to give you a few tips to help point you in the general direction of the right sorts of colours for you.
1. BLACK and WHITE don’t suit most people
I’m sorry, New Zealand, but it’s true – black is very rarely a super-flattering colour on most people. Sure it does help hide the lumps and bumps, and slim the silhouette, but at the same time, it can wash you out and make your skin look dull and lifeless.
Black and white are both quite STRONG colours, and unless you have DOMINANT colouring to stand up to those colours, black and white are going to wear you, rather than you wearing them.
Try and substitute. Grey/navy for black and cream/ivory for white. You’ll be surprise how much of a difference it makes!
Or if you MUST wear black or white next to your face, break it up with a colourful necklace or scarf (or even jacket) in a tone that suits you.
SHOP THE LOOK (left to right) Necklace | Scarf | Necklace | Scarf – all online or in store at EziBuy
2. Are you a WARM or COOL colour?
Look at your skin tone. Does it have a yellow tinge (WARM)? or a pink tinge (COOL)?
Got that sorted? Good – now if you are a WARM tone, look for colours that have a RED or ORANGE base to them (think “like fire”) – they are going to bring out the golden tones in your skin.
If you are a COOL tone, aim for “ice” colours – colours with a blue base to them. This CAN include some reds and pinks, but the ones that are more “raspberry” tones.
Image courtesy of lostinaspotlessmind.com
3. Are you a MUTED or INTESE colour?
Once you work this one out, you then need to apply it to the colours you wear.
This about your colouring – does your hair and eye colour CONTRAST against your skin?
Are you features quite dominant? If the answer is YES – you are an INTENSE colour
Does your eye colour and hair colour BLEND into your skin tone a little more? if the answer is YES then you are a MUTED colour
The same principle then applies to the clothes you can wear. If you have INTENSE colouring, go for stronger, more dominant colours to match up to your colouring. If you have softer, more MUTED colouring, then clothes with the same strength are going to work best and not overwhelm you.
SHOP THE LOOK: left – Essentials Merino Cardigan | right – Capture Pleat Front Top
4. Your colours can (and probably will CHANGE)
This could either be from season to season (like me) or as you get older.
I change from having darker hair, and lighter skin (and therefore more DOMINANT COLOURING) in the cooler months, to having lighter hair and a darker tan in the warmer months (and therefore more MUTED COLOURING) so the colour that I wear do differ slightly. And that’s ok!
People’s looks subtly change also as they age. Your hair may grey, your skin may become more translucent (and therefore more pink tinged). So the colours that used to work on you when you were younger are now too strong for you.
Solution: Be aware, and pay constant attention when you try things on, even if you think you know what colours suit you – does the colour you are trying make you look a little ill? If so, it’s probably not the best colour for you. If if makes your skin glow and your eyes bright then it’s a great colour for you to wear.
If you aren’t certain, ask for a second opinion from the shop assistant (or even a stranger, they are more likely to tell the truth)
So I hope that clears things up a little with colour…. but remember, IF YOU LOVE IT, WEAR IT!
Until next time,