Dress to Impress – Find Out How? – 3. Instalment – The Importance of Colour

Another Sunday and another step towards looking your best -today we are finding out how colours can influence your look.

The Importance of Colour

Colours have a great influence on your femininity. They send out all kinds of messages. Think of black. It is known to look sexy when worn as lingerie; however, as the colour of a judge’s robe it imposes authority . White is known to stand for purity, but a white bikini on a tanned body looks very appealing. It is impossible to say that one colour is more becoming than another. What makes the difference is the person who is wearing it, and how the colour contrasts with her skin.

The contrast a colour creates is very important because contrasts bring out vitality, and vitality is associated, even if unconsciously, with attractiveness. For example, a blond dressed in black or a brunette in beige will look more vibrant than the reverse. A blond dressed all in beige or white will project a monochromatic look and appear a bit lifeless. Only strong make-up can improve the situation. (I can speak from experience here, being a blond myself.) If you are blond and wish to look alive, make sure that you wear your beige ,suit with a dark-coloured blouse or sweater, such as black, brown, rust, or burgundy. A white or pastel shade will look well on a brunette with olive skin.

Colours affect how we look and how others see us, more so than style. (We say, for instance, that a dark colour is authoritative—without even mentioning the style of a garment.) Colour is the first thing in our wardrobe to which we should give our attention. No style or design can make up for a lack of colour co-ordination, or for a shade that does not complement a person’s complexion, personality, or lifestyle.

LOOKING AT WHAT YOU HAVE

Many fashion designers never follow any guidelines; ignoring all the rules, they trust their instincts. I am asking you to do just that. Look at yourself and the colours you wear and decide what you like and what you feel good in. If you answer that you really don’t know, now is the time to find out. I know from working with women that there is hardly a woman alive who doesn’t react when something looks well on her, provided she makes a real effort to notice. Therefore, the first thing I am asking you to do is trust your own judgment. When you are in doubt, the colour is not for you. If it were, you would have immediately responded to it in a positive way.

What you need to do now is work with your present wardrobe. Try on your clothes and look at yourself. Do you like what you see? Maybe you think: I never should have bought the burgundy blouse for the charcoal-grey suit—it’s drab. Well, why not try the white blouse instead? See how much livelier that looks? The message here is that two muted colours don’t enhance your appearance because your face needs more light.

NOTE – Never (if you wear make-up) try on clothes without make-up; the results will not be dependable

Trying on all your clothes will help you learn more. You may find, for example, that navy isn’t really a great colour on you; you liked yourself better in burgundy or grey. This exercise will prove that you do indeed know what colour is just right for you.

CHECKING OUT THE UNFAMILIAR

Since your wardrobe, like most wardrobes, doesn’t contain all colours, now is the time to experiment with some shades you’ve never worn before. Most shops let you try on clothes before making a purchase. If, for example, lavender or charcoal grey are among those never-before-worn colours, find out now how they look on you. Remember not to listen to the salesperson—decide for yourself. Also, don’t think that another style might make a difference. If the shade isn’t becoming, another style won’t make it more attractive. (To illustrate this point, think of the times you’ve tried on something and thought: ‘If this were in a different colour I’d like it,’ or ‘The colour is nice but the style isn’t for me.’) You must consider the colour before the style. Never prejudge: try it on and look. If a blouse you want to buy comes in six colours, it’s a good idea to try on several to see the most flattering.

Also don’t forget that colours come in many different shades. While brown might not be appropriate for you, tan might be. Often we are too general in our assessment of colours. We don’t consider the many different tones that exist. Beige is a good example: there are lots of different beige. If a very light tone makes you look lifeless a camel tone might look smashing.By the way, the richer and more unusual shades can often be found only in more expensive garments. The higher price might be worth it if the shade in question suits you especially well

 NOTE – When shopping and trying to decide whether a certain colour is good for you, try to look at it in daylight. Artificial light changes colours. Go to the door of the boutique or to a window in a department store. If this isn’t possible, check it at home. If you find it to be unsuitable, take the trouble to return it. Don’t compromise when it comes to your looks. The contrary applies when buying an evening dress or a garment to be worn mainly in artificial light: try it on in that light. Many colours that look well in daylight appear drab or ugly in the evening.

 Once you have done your research, you will see that there are many colours that suit you. However, for practical purposes—budget, lifestyle, and easier co-ordination of your wardrobe—you will have to eliminate some.

Let’s start with your budget. Your funds are probably limited, which means that you have to plan your wardrobe to get the most for your money—many different looks with relatively few pieces. These pieces have to match any way you put them together. You cannot have both a navy-blue and black suit because they and their accessories can’t be interchanged. The best solution is to pick two colours that suit you well and build your wardrobe around them.

Of course, if these two colours are red and royal blue, they might not fit your lifestyle, which is your next consideration. Red and royal blue would not be suitable as basic colours. They are noticed and remembered too easily by others and they are inappropriate in many situations. So you should concentrate on the neutral tones that suit you: black, white, grey, brown, beige, navy, and so on. From these pick two for the basic items in your wardrobe, such as coats, suits, dresses, trousers, and skirts. Don’t worry about being too monotone in your look, for there are endless variations and shades in these colours. Another advantage of basic colours is that you will never look out of place, either at work or in a more casual setting. Furthermore, you will never be overpowered by these shades. I’m referring not only to your complexion but also to your personality. It takes a certain bravado and energy to carry off flamboyant colours. Unless you have plenty of both, you will feel and look uncomfortable in, such as, a bright pink. You can see how true this is when you think of days when you don’t feel well; don’t you automatically choose a darker outfit? This comes from your unconscious desire to fade into the background.

NOTE –When you’re tired, it’s better not to wear black at all. Instead, put a lighter shade next to your face.

Now look at the bright colours that you found becoming. Just because they don’t fit your lifestyle as basics doesn’t mean that you have to live without them. You can wear them in small quantities: in a scarf, belt, blouse, bag, and, if you are daring, as the colour of a pair of shoes. Did you ever own a pair of red shoes? They go with more outfits than you realise. They brighten up a grey dress, a navy suit, or a black skirt. Red also looks very fashionable with beige; a red blouse can work wonders with a beige suit.

Another reason that can help you decide on a colour is the type of fabric. A heavy fabric projects a colour more strongly than a thinner, finer material. There seems to be more of it. Take yellow, for example. In a wool fabric, it will be too bright for most of us. But the same colour in chiffon or silk is very soft and feminine.

Sometimes it happens that a colour unflattering to you is needed to complete an outfit. Let’s say you have a tweed jacket with a bit of green in it. A green blouse or sweater would certainly complete the outfit, but since green is not a good colour for you, choose a green skirt instead—it is far enough from your face not to be unbecoming. In other words, keep an unflattering colour away from your face. This type of compromise is sometimes necessary to extend your wardrobe.

NOTE  – Don’t worry too much about the latest fashion colour. It is never the only colour to be worn, even if it is the dominant one of the season. If it is suitable for your looks and your lifestyle, by all means wear it. If not, don’t feel too bad. Remember that looking terrific is more important than looking fashionable.

I think for today we will leave at this – there is much more to say about colour, but I don’t want to overwhelm you – this is quite a bit to digest –

Until next Sunday when we will talk about Black and what colours co-ordinate well.

And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

 

 

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TIP OF THE DAY NO. 74 – COMMIT TO YOUR BEST FRIENDS

TIP NO. 74 – COMMIT TO YOUR BEST FRIENDS

The other day when I was putting on my favourite black pants, and one of four sweaters I wear all the time, finishing it with a duffel coat I have worn all winter, it occurred to me that I wear these items all the time – why – because I feel very comfortable in them . They are like old faithful friends, I can always rely on to feel good.

Do you have friends like this in your wardrobe? I am sure you do – find out who they are and the next time they need replacing – BUY THE  BEST QUALITY  you can afford. You will never regret it, being of good quality they will be your best friends even longer.

See you tomorrow

    scan0004-2        Brigitte

TIP OF THE DAY NO. 73 – PUT AWAY WINTER AND WELCOME SUMMER

TIP NO. 74 – PUT AWAY WINTER AND WELCOME SUMMER

Please forgive me if I repeat myself. I know I have said it before, but since sometimes we need a reminder I will say it again.

It is time to put your winter clothes away and bring out your spring and summer wardrobe.

If you don’t do it now, you will be standing in front of your closet one morning, looking at warm sweaters and pants, wondering what to wear today when the temperature is going up to 70 degrees.

Other rewards for doing this are:

– you will see what you have in your wardrobe

– you will be surprised to find  things you had forgotten about

– you will see what you need for the coming season

– you will be able to eliminate what you don’t like anymore and will never wear again

– you will be able to make a shopping list that compliments, and coordinates with what you have in your wardrobe.

Don’t be caught unprepared – do it now – and enjoy the sunshine of spring.

Happy Sunny Days    P & R 021

See you tomorrow

      scan0004-2                      Brigitte

TIP OF THE DAY – NO. 18 LOOKING GOOD AND DRESSING WELL

TIP NO. 18 – Buy The Same Item In Different Colors.

When you find a blouse that suits and fits you well, or a pair of pants that fit like a dream, think about buying more than one, in different colors. Nobody will notice that your white shirt and your fuchsia shirt are the same. This applies also to t-shirts, shoes, and underwear – but make sure they really suit you and make you feel good.

See you tomorrow

                                    Brigitte

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TIP OF THE DAY – NO. 15 LOOKING GOOD AND DRESSING WELL

TIP NO. 15  Is your Wardrobe bulging?    

When you stand in front of your wardrobe are you overwhelmed by what you see? If that is the case you have too many clothes in your closet. It is probably because you keep adding new items and don’t eliminate any.

The rule of thumb is that when you buy a new piece you must eliminate something. Say you bought a new sweater today – the piece you take out of your wardrobe does not have to be a sweater, it can be that skirt you have not worn in a long while – applying this rule, you will never be like this womanscan0001-2!

See you tomorrow

                                     Brigitte

TIP OF THE DAY – NO.12 LOOKING GOOD AND DRESSING WELL

TIP NO. 12  Make a list of what you need.

Yesterday we spoke about looking at your wardrobe, ‘cheking up, tidying up’ and while you are at it I suggest you find out what you need to buy and write it down – e.g. a white sweater, a nice scarf, a new black skirt and so on. No, I don’t think you can’t remember, but with everything else that occupies our mind, and maybe not having the time to go shopping soon, it can slip your mind.  And  please put that list in your handbag so that the next time you are in a store you can look at it and you won’t be tempted by a dress, instead of  getting that sweater you really need to go with your suit.

See you tomorrow

        scan0004-2                       Brigitte

TIP OF THE DAY – NO.10 LOOKING GOOD AND BEING WELL DRESSED

TIP NO. 10 – Don’t buy what you already have

We all have favorite colours, favorite styles – I, for example,  love beige,  love V-necks , love tops with zippers and I find myself drawn to these styles over and over again, But fortunately, while looking at a lovely beige sweater I catch myself thinking ‘but you have one like that already’ and I put it back.

Has this happened to you already? If so – think carefully of what you have in your wardrobe. And if you are not sure – TIP NO. 11  tomorrow will help to remember.

See you tomorrow

       scan0004-2                                    Brigitte