Last week I shared how a personal shopper taught me a lot about proportion. Another thing she helped me with was what colors I should wear. Not all shades of the rainbow look good on me. There are some colors that generally work well with my skin tone, usually tomato reds (not blue-red tones), corals, hot pinks (tricky), mid-purples. Some neutrals are OK too: light grey, black, tan, denim blue, cream. (Yes, I consider these all neutrals. YMMV.)
But the best tip she gave me was: before you even try something on, hold it up to your face and see if it makes you look pale, sallow, or, best case scenario, it brightens your skin making you look healthy.
Some colors are surprising: yellow is unpredictable. The color chartreuse? Looks good on me! RANDOM. You’ll see an outfit featuring chartreuse below. Chiffon yellow makes me look like I’ve caught diphtheria.
My shopper also taught me to pair colors with a base or neutral color. To ground an outfit, you can have one base color. (Not a hard and fast rule, though: lots of good stylists avoid this.) Even though dark brown doesn’t look great right next to my skin, it does look fine as pants. Same with olive (also a base). If you are super skinny, you could get away with wearing white pants or a white skirt. But that doesn’t work for my proportions: darker colors are generally better for my bottom half to balance out my wide hips. Usually. Colored skinny jeans, if paired properly, are almost universally flattering. That’s why they’re so popular.
Then there are the seasons to take into account. I do like to wear the oranges, yellows, rusts and the multi-colored comfy sweaters during October and November.
Here’s this week’s outfits with an eye on color:
Chartreuse and grey generally pair well, and that’s true in design too. Purple, grey and chartreuse are fantabulous all together. In an ideal world, those would be the colors of my living room. I found this peacoat (I LOVE peacoats!) and the color oddly worked with my skin tone. I had no idea what to wear it with until I found this sweater, from the same store. Another tip: it’s easier to pair colors at a store with a collection that matches all together. Peacoat: Old Navy, 2009. Sweater: Old Navy, 2009. Grey cords: Banana Republic, 2010. Boots: Born, 2009.
Back when I was using my personal shopper, she pulled this sweater coat for me: it was marked down to $180 from $990. I thought she was crazy. She convinced me that not only was this a classic American style (the blanket coat), but she also knew it would balance out my proportions. I wore it to death in London. It’s warm, cute, and feels like a bathrobe, shows NO stains, yet I always get a million compliments on it. One of my greatest purchases, ever. Sweater Coat: Ralph Lauren, 2000. Turtleneck, INC (gift). Necklace, Lucky Brand 2012. Peach cords: Old Navy, new. Boots: Payless, new.
This outfit’s pretty boring. It was cold and rainy, and miserable. I just wanted to be comfortable. I figured the Vermillion boots added enough of a punch to brighten me up. I love those boots. Grey sweater: Old Navy, 2010. Grey turtleneck: Walmart, 2011. Leggings: H&M, 2010. Boots, Hunter, new.
The weather perked up a bit and I thought it was warm enough to wear this. Yeah, no. I was freezing. But I felt cute. The sweater is that tomato red color that works so well for me. Denim shirtdress: Old Navy, 2012. Sweater: Gap, new. Shoes, Tahari, 2012.
If there was a date night. Black and beige are good neutrals for me, and outfits can be composed entirely of neutrals, as Coco Chanel spent her life proving. Faux fur coat: Michael Kors, gift. Shirt, Lauren, gift. Skirt, Banana Republic, 2006. Bow belt: Anthropologie, gift. Spectator heels: Aerosoles, 2006.
What colors look good on you? Do you wear colors that don’t suit you because you like them anyway? What’s your favorite color to wear?