Because... getting dressed should be fun!

Because... getting dressed should be fun!

Category: Color

Beauty Bundles

Beauty Bundles

I love the ever amazing Brenda Kinsel, and the versatility of what she (and many others, now) calls Beauty Bundles. A Beauty Bundle (BB) is a group of coordinated accessories that can be used to add a punch to a variety of outfits. Think of them as accessory families. Now don’t panic. A BB is not fixed; you don’t have to wear all the pieces at once, and there is no set number of pieces required. You probably have some at home already…

(Please forgive my extremely amateur photos… They were taken years ago, for my own reference, ages before I ever imagined I would be blogging!)

Color or Theme?

Often, BB’s are thought of as a way to add color to an outfit, and they can be a great way to pop your neutrals, or add a second color to an outfit without feeling like you are dressed like a clown. If a Beauty Bundle is an accessory family, think of the bundle’s DNA as what makes it hang together. That DNA could be a color, or a theme. I have a polka dot problem (no there is no support group available, yet!) and pulled together a polka dot bundle. No, I would not wear all my polka dots at once, but I would mix up two or maybe three! Maybe you feel a little rebellious some days and need a Rock-n-Roll Bundle. One summer, feeling a little sad that a trip to Capri was not on my itinerary (A friend was going and I was extremely happy for her, as well as a little jealous), I pulled together a Capri beauty bundle. In my mind’s eye, that meant turquoise blue, gold, and white, and a boho luxe flair. While she was away, I joined her (in spirit) on her trip by wearing items from my Capri bundle each day. Crazy? Probably, but it made me happy, and when we did sneak off to the beach later in the summer, I packed my bundle, and that long weekend became my Capri!

Packing with a Bundle

Which brings us to one of the ways Beauty Bundles can be most effectively used. Packing! I love to travel, and will throw together a suitcase at the drop of a hat. Weekend away is one of my favorite phrases in the English language. A BB, whether by color, or theme, can help a suitcase full of basics turn into a customized travel wardrobe. Imagine my Capri bundle on the left packed with white jeans, a white tee, a denim shirt, a turquoise tee, and a chambray sundress and a swimsuit. You would be dressed for days, with very little in your bag!

Pulling Together a Bundle

Since color is the easiest place to start, head to your closet or drawers and choose a colored accessory. It could be a pair of shoes, a scarf, a handbag, or jewelry. This is your starting point. Now look through your other pieces and see what else you have that shares that piece’s color DNA. Look everywhere. Bandanas count, too! Take a snapshot of your bundle, and next time you put on jeans and a white tee, add two or three pieces from your bundle, and see if you don’t feel more polished.

Good Colors/Bad Colors

Good Colors/Bad Colors

I love color! As a matter of fact, if you want to see me break into a grin, just hand me a new box of crayons… There’s so much potential in those little bits of wax and pigment! Now, I should make something clear. Just because I love color, does not mean I wear just any color, or lot of it, and I don’t wear a lot of colors at once. I do love color, especially the right colors on the right person!

What is a Good Color?

The power of color is that it can make you look like you have just won the lottery, or are at death’s door. Some people will look at a color, say Pantone’s Golden Lime, and say “Yuck!” because it is a color that does not appeal to them. Maybe they had a bad experience with that color, or maybe they know that it makes them look like death on a stick. They can’t imagine that color being flattering, but there are people on whom Golden Lime will look amazing! Golden Lime will make them look gorgeous, vibrant, and like they have a fabulous secret.

How do you know what colors look good on you? Have you every worn an item and, all day long, people remarked, “You look great today! Did you do something different?” You were wearing one of your best colors. Notice that I did not say they commented on the color. There’s a difference. In the first case, you were wearing the color, and in the second, it was wearing you. Every color is a “good color,” on the right person, and a “bad color” on the wrong person.

Your Perfect Colors

You were given your perfect coloring at birth, and that coloring gradually changes throughout your life. The colors and combinations that look best on you will be a reflection of the colors that are already a part of you. Some take that to mean that if you have brown hair you should wear brown, but it is not that simple. If you look closely at your iris, you will see a variety of colors there. A green eyed person may have 5 different shades of green in her eyes, along with the outer ring which she may have thought was brown, but on closer inspection turns out to be a deep smoky navy. Look, also, at your cheeks. There are so many different shades of pink there when you blush. All of those colors in your eyes, and your God-given blush are beautiful colors for you! (And so many more!) Next, we add in the other colors from the color wheel, in the correct values, that are complements of your personal colors, along with the various triads, and analogous colors that all come from your personal coloring.

I Love Orange…

Confession: I love orange, but I do not wear it. In any shade. It makes me look ghastly. I indulge my love of orange in other ways. My favorite coffee mug is orange, and it brightens my morning. I surround myself with colors I love, and I try not to wear the ones that don’t love me…

Calling All Color Nerds!

Calling All Color Nerds!

I know I am not the only one who waits to see what the Pantone people project the coming seasonal color trends. I may not be watching them for the same reasons the movers and shakers are, though. I find the cyclical socio-economic trends of color and fashion truly interesting, but I’ll save those musings for another post completely!

This season, the Pantone people (some think of them as tyrants, others just forecasters) have chosen to publish two palettes, one for New York, and one for London. (My inner culture geek is over the moon!) For now, I will stick with the New York palette, since this one will have the greatest effect on what the US consumer will be seeing in the stores this coming fall and winter., and most likely the next fall-winter season as well.

Versatile Colors

I am inordinately happy that Navy Peony (Really? I want the name choosing job! A pitcher of cocktails, some nibbles, and a swatch of colors to give names to…) is on the list for fall/winter 2017/2018. Navy is a great neutral that traditionally has shown up in resort wear and spring collections. I am keeping my eyes open for a special occasion dress in some shade of navy! It is a beautiful neutral that is far more flattering that black for many women. Shaded Spruce is another color I’m interested in… It is a deep blue-green that suits many.

Tawny Port is keeping the Marsala flame of a few years ago alight. You should see warmer and cooler versions of this color, so you can pick whatever suits you best! I am hoping to see cordovan and oxblood leather goods showing up in the stores for fall. They look rich and elegant paired with almost any neutral! If you are in the business of stalking on the Nordstrom Annual Sale, check out Women’s Shoes, and color sort for Red… You will see everything from dark wine to russet red, and even a gorgeous pair of suede sandals that might be a dead ringer for Pantone’s Grenadine!

 Warm and Cool

Some years the palette skews predominantly warm or cool. This new palette is fairly evenly divided, with a few colors (Shaded Spruce, Navy Peony, Tawny Port, and Ballet Slipper) that may be seen in both warmer and cooler variations as they show up in the stores. For warm palette women, there is a vibrant Golden Lime that could rock your world, along with more basic shades like Butterum, and Autumn Maple. Grenadine, a bright warm red, would make for a fabulous blouse, or a showstopping dress perfect for the holiday season! (Why do so many warm color names make me hungry?)

Why Bother with the Color Trends?

Really the best reason to pay attention to the color trends is (as I’ve also discussed here: to know what will be coming into the stores, and where to invest your hard-earned money, or when to save your cash and let the wave pass on by! If you love a “trend” color and it suits you, then this is a great time to stock up on what you love, or replace worn items. Also, knowing what to expect to see in the stores can save you frustration when heading to the shops. Managing your expectations before you head into the mall can go a long way to making your trip a much happier one.


Choosing Colors

Choosing Colors

I was talking to a young woman the other day who asked me “How does having a color palette help with a wardrobe?” It made me realize that there are probably others out there wondering the same thing.

Can’t I just wear the colors I like?

Sure! You are welcome to wear whatever colors you love, but wearing colors that suit you and your personal coloring make you look healthier and happier. Sometimes we are instinctively drawn to our best colors, and other times we are drawn by our associations with certain colors. Have you ever had someone ask you if you were feeling well, when you felt just fine? It is likely you had on a color that was not one of your best. If you are wearing a color that is good for you, people will not notice the color, but just how great you look. They may even suspect you have a secret, are in love, or have won the lottery! Some colors we wear well, and others wear us.

What good is a Personal Color Analysis?

Having a Personal Color Analysis and a palette, gives you your own personalized crayon box of colors. The Absolute Color System has 18 different palettes, with colors custom selected to play well together. Your combination of genes makes you unique, so from your personal palette are chosen signature colors. These are the colors that enhance your skin, eyes, lips, and hair. After a Personal Color Analysis, you will know what colors suit you best, how to choose combinations that flatter your shape and your coloring, and how to use the psychology of color to your advantage.

How can knowing my colors help me make good shopping choices?

When the clothes in your wardrobe all come from the same palette, they play nicely with each other. That means that you will have more options for mixing and matching, and fewer wardrobe orphans–those pieces that you struggle to make work with the other things in your closet. Colors have different properties of lightness and darkness, brightness and smokiness, and warmth and coolness. When you mix warm and smoky with cool and bright, the result is less than harmonious, and often downright jarring! Buying items with the same color DNA creates a related and versatile wardrobe. Using a palette when shopping saves you money, because what you buy will go with what you already have, saving you money by preventing closet mistakes. Using your palette to skip past colors that aren’t good for you saves you time browsing and in the dressing room, and I don’t know anyone who wishes they had less time! A small investment in having a Personal Color Analysis pays huge dividends in saved money and time in very short order.

Red, White, and Blue

Red, White, and Blue

I am thankful for the freedom with which I have been blessed, by no more than an accident of birth. There are many other places I could have been born, and into such different circumstances. When I was a Spanish teacher, my middle-schoolers completed a unit on the flags of Spanish speaking countries, which brought with it a discussion about the symbolism of colors. We would end the unit with each child designing a flag for his or her own imaginary country. As you can imagine, there were some very creative and unusual choices!

When I reflect on the Red, White, and Blue that symbolizes our nation, it is easy to understand why the same colors have been chosen by so many nations for their national ensign. Color has many associations; these vary dramatically from culture to culture, particularly in the East and West. For many in the West, red symbolizes Courage, and the blood shed for the founding of a nation. White symbolizes not only purity (a bride’s white dress) but also Justice. Blue (as your average Webelo will remind you) is a color symbolizing Loyalty. Apt choices for a flag, and a valuable reminder as to the ideals to which we aspire.

As for fashion, I have never been keen on clothing with our flag emblazoned all over it (especially on the backside of bottoms!), but I defend your right to wear it as an expression of free speech. I would rather we took respectful care of the flags we fly, and properly dispose of them when they are faded and tattered. (And the same for the clothing as well. The ripped and torn flag tee does our national symbol no honor.)

On this day, and all days, let us remember to respect others by treating them with Courage, Justice, and Loyalty, and make ourselves worthy of the title American.

My Love-Hate Relationship with Pink

My Love-Hate Relationship with Pink

Pink. Love it? Hate it? Or both? My relationship with pink is complicated. I used to h.a.t.e. pink. I don’t remember owning pink clothing as a girl. My mother preferred, and bought me, clothes in more classic colors. The only pink I clearly remember from my childhood was Bazooka Bubble Gum. And that pink, wrapped in wax paper with the Bazooka Joe comic inside, with its jaw straining memories (to soften it up), is the color I associated with pink for years. (Even Barbie wasn’t nearly so pink in her pre-vehicle days!) No pink for decor either, my bedroom was painted blue; we tried yellow at one point, but it was too bright, streaky, and stressful, so back to blue it was.

I never really liked pink until I found “my pink.” I was well into adulthood before I did. We were living in England, in the most amazing house in which we will probably ever abide, with our three sons. Two were teens at this point, and the third was hot on their heels to becoming one. In desperation, I bought myself a pink towel, hoping that the bright color might give my sons pause before grabbing it to dry their semi-washed hands. It was amazing! They left my towel alone. Not only did they not dry their hands on it, they never even grabbed it when their own was not at hand. They would walk dripping wet past my towel to get one of theirs out of the airing cupboard. Hallelujah!

And so began the parade of pink. When I needed a new Thermos, I found one in pink. Then came a pink coffee mug. I even bought a pink scooter. My strategy became “If I don’t want to share it, I will find it in pink.” Pink became my happy color, and not just my selfish color. My affection for pink these days is much more broad. There are myriad shades of pink I find attractive, and I love how there is a pink to flatter everyone.

It’s just a matter of finding “your pink.”

What shades of pink do you love, or hate? I would love to know! Please share your thoughts in the comments below!



Pink, or purple?

Neither, thank you! I’ll take magenta. More grown up than bubblegum pink, not as moody as purple, less in-your-face than red, but never overlooked.

Feminine, assertive, and adult.