Happy day, dear reader!
Thank you for visiting! Now that you’re here, I’ll pry… If I opened your closet, what three colors would jump out at me? If you had seen my wardrobe 15 years ago, you might have imagined I was clinically depressed. Pretty much everything in my closet was black, with some denim and grey for levity. I wasn’t depressed, but my wardrobe was! Since then, I’ve converted; now I’m preaching the color gospel to all and sundry, and fighting the good fight against the forces of the great black myth. Lighten up, and #bebravenot beige! Or in most cases black! Why am I color convicted? Join me for a dive into the 5 W’s and the H…
Who Can Wear Color?
Everyone can wear color. As a matter of fact, there are very few people who look best in all neutral outfits! Especially few for those of us who have celebrated 29 a few times over… I know! It’s easy to fall into a neutrals dressing rut. All neutrals are easy, and a common strategy for those who don’t want to be noticed. Unfortunately, we are still noticed, but instead of being noticed for looking healthy and happy, we are noticed for looking glum or drab. “What’s wrong?” “Are you feeling alright?” “Are you tired?” If you have been asked any of these after a good night’s sleep, let’s talk about a color intervention!
What Color(s) to Wear?
First, let’s clarify what I mean by color! When I say color, I am talking about the colors you find in the rainbow, or on a color wheel. Greens, blues, purples, reds, yellows, oranges, and their tints and shades. I don’t mean black, grey, navy, tan, beige, white, cream, taupe, camel, etc. This last list are not colors! They are neutrals, or as someone I know calls them, non-colors. Neutrals can also be colors so shaded (mixed with black) that they lose their color attributes and behave as neutrals. Think shades like olive, forest green, eggplant, and burgundy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not neutrals-bashing. I love neutrals! They are a great base upon which to build a wardrobe. A wardrobe that is all colors and no neutrals can feel chaotic and limiting, but one with no color often veers into a rut and can become cheerless and flat out boring. The good news is that there is a happy medium to be found!
Ideally, wearing colors that harmonize with your personal coloring will make you look your healthiest, happiest, and most vibrant. When I do a color consultation, I look at different the different properties of your personal coloring, light versus dark, undertone, and brightness to find a palette of colors that is most synchronous with the you you are now! These are the colors that let you shine, and minimize those “Are you feeling alright?” questions!
Where Wear Color?
Wherever you want others to look! Let’s talk about camouflage. Not camouflage the “color,” but camouflage the verb! As any magician will tell you, there are two parts to every trick. There is the what-you-don’t-want-the-audience-to-see part, and the what-you-get-them-to-look-at-instead part! The trick will not work without both working together. I will see the bus drive away if I don’t follow the magician’s distraction that focuses my attention on the flowers as he pulls them out of his jacket sleeve! It’s the same when we dress. If you wear dark trousers to cover your hips and don’t give the eye of the beholder somewhere else to focus, it doesn’t matter how dark those trousers are. Your hips are still going to be there. Pair those dark trousers and top with a colored scarf that draws the eye, and no one will be looking at your hips!
Why Wear Color?
OMGoodness, there are just so many reasons, but first and foremost, color is powerful! It affects mood and perception. Color attracts the eye. It’s simply part of our animal nature. We have cones in our eyes that let us see color. If we were meant to live life in black and white, we’d only have rods. We cannot help but notice color, which makes it a powerful tool in our style arsenal. Color can keep attention where you want it, and distract from where you don’t. When you choose to wear colors that enhance your skin and eyes, those colors can make you look healthier, more vibrant, and more youthful. Adding color strategically can boost your mood, and affect how others treat you. This boost can be even more important in fall and winter when sunlight levels drop and moods do, too!
Notice how in the first image, the door is the focus, but in the second, I am?
How Can I Add Color?
(Without looking foolish!)
This is a common fear! When I say add color, I am not suggesting you dress like a clown! Purple pants, an orange shirt, and green sweater are NOT necessary. If you have a neutral heavy wardrobe, adding color can feel daunting. Take baby steps. Start small. When you go shopping, commit to buying a colored top, sweater, or jacket. If that’s too scary, or pricey, find a colored scarf, and wear it. Pop on some colored earrings, or a necklace. Try the big box stores, or thrift shops. Even a colored lipstick or eyeliner can be a good and inexpensive place to start… If you feel brave, jump in and try a pair of colored shoes! Start by adding just one color. Make it your favorite color to give you even more reason to make the leap. As your bravery grows, repeat that color two or three times in your outfit! Notice how in each look below, there is color on or near the face, where we want others to focus their attention, and the same color is repeated elsewhere for harmony.
So how about you? What colors predominate in your closet? What is your favorite color? Favorite neutral? Do you find color to be scary or fun? I do so love to hear from you… Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!