Wardrobe strategies to suit the colour-shy
A common lament heard from fashionistas far and wide is the blind homage paid to the corporate identity of the colour black.
Colour equals confidence, and, let’s be honest, it takes a great deal of courage to wear vast amounts of colour if you prefer to blend rather than stand out from the crowd.
While many a stylist would argue the colour black is a no-no for certain complexions, it is a wardrobe essential for everyone.
The reality is as a contrast colour with few shade variances, the emphasis should be on how you wear it and with what.
Firstly, any colour worn away from the face has minimal impact on your complexion.
Secondly, when black is worn in a block foundation format broken up by colour, it often creates a more flattering effect.
When colour is the main foundation broken up by black it loses impact. Darker colour absorbs and recedes, while lighter colour reflects and highlights.
But for the colour-shy this may be a rather daunting prospect to begin with, as is changing a whole wardrobe to your personal colour palette.
It is a well-known fact that the medium shade of any colour can be worn by most – it is depth, light and tone that has a greater bearing on suitability.
This is why seasonal palettes are considered a really popular way of shades.
Add to this that 70 per cent of the population suit cooler (bluebased) colours versus 30 per cent suit warmer (yellow-based) colours and you have the fundamentals of colour theory.
Those with greenish eyes tend to be lucky enough to flow between the two more easily.
A good starting point for the really colour-shy is to find a versatile vibrant handbag to love and use with a variety of outfits.
Compliments always fly fast and furious when it comes to the perfect selection of a woman’s bag and shoes.
Always noticed by others, it is the fastest way to feed confidence into someone who lacks self-esteem.
Coloured shoes work well, because they are furthest away from the face and not the first thing that hits like a lightning bolt when looking in the mirror.
Next might come a little hair colour by way of a few foils to
colour add contrast or light, and some lippy for those who wear none, or a shade one or two tones darker than normal.
One can add belts, jewellery or a scarf to continue building on that colour palette.
Other options include changing the foundation colour of your outfit from black to grey or stone.
A much softer, muted effect is achieved with additional colour, even with more vibrant shades due to a less dramatic contrast.
White as a foundation can also be considered quite harsh and this can be easily replaced with pastel tones to create more colour and softness. Pattern and texture is probably the most under-utilised tool for adding colour in a subtle but exciting way.
Clever colour additions by default often come as a result of wardrobe planning focused on life events as opposed to colour palettes.
Weddings are a good example of this strategy in action. If you apply this strategy to other life events you may find this a more effective way of injecting colour into your wardrobe painlessly.
Next month: Instant Goddess – a perfect tan.
Paula Birnie is a hair and wardrobe stylist who lives in Titahi Bay. For more information about hair, makeup and wardrobe styling go to www. completeenvy.com.