How to Wear Unflattering Colours

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Do you have some imput on occasionally wearing colors that maybe aren’t the very best, but that you still love and want to include in your wardrobe? And I mean, like a blouse or sweater, not just an accessory or something you wear far away from your face.

I have reddish hair and my coloring is fair with yellow undertones. A “spring” season, and I’m 50’ish.

Don’t you agree that sometimes for the sake of making yourself happy with that special find, that you can add more color to your cheeks and pick a nice shade of lipstick and play with eye color to pull it off? (Please say, yes!).

 

how to wear unflattering colours

If you want to wear colours that don’t work for you and are unflattering to your skin tone, there are a few ways to wear them more successfully.  They’ll never be as great as the good colours for you but here are my tips to make them work.

1. Wear a low neckline

2. Don’t put them on a body part you don’t want to draw attention to (a colour that doesn’t relate will draw attention to itself and create a body focus).

3. Put on a scarf or necklace that does suit your colouring between your face and the colour.

3. Wear foundation, blush and lipstick.

4. Keep the less than great colour to less than 20% of your whole outfit.

5. Wear the right value contrast for you.

6. Wear it in a shoe.

7. Wear it in a fabric that is soft or slightly see-through.

8. Wear it at night – we don’t see colours as obviously at night.

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15 Comments

  • Excellent suggestions, Imogen! So many creative ideas that I’d never considered, and will definitely be a great help. I’m printing up the list. (I may even make a pocket sized version to slip into my purse.)

    Thank you so much for taking the time to put together such a thoughtful, well-written post. You’re so good!

  • That is really helpful – thanks Imogen.
    What about ‘the little black dress’? I am a ‘summer’ and therefore black is not a good colour for me, yet I would love to wear a little black dress on special occasions. Would I be able to get away with that?

  • Hi imogen,
    This was an extraordinarily helpful post! What is your take on incorporating seasonal colors? For example, I am a light summer color, so pastels and the such look good on me. While there are plenty of them to be had in the summer, it’s harder to wear pastels in the fall/winter as clothes and moods are more dominated by burgundys/navy/camel/black. What do you think is better – dressing in “unflattering” colors or wearing flattering colors are looking season-incongruent? I hope this question makes sense….

      • Thank you so much Imogen!!!! I’ve recently stumbled on your blog and have spent hours reading through it, what an invaluable resource! According to your recs I’m having a friend of the family who lives in Australia order me some Glassons merino sweaters for the fall and ship them here to NY. I trust they’ll be great!!

  • Sigh – I have a whole shirtdress in a red nuance that really pops and that does not flatter me at all. I have taken the sleeves off, and think I can wear it with a good belt, a t-shirt, shoes, a scarf in a colour that is better for me, but it will be a stretch! Thanks for the good pointers.

  • Imogen,

    You’ve gotten me thinking about these ideas a lot, and I just thought of an additional way to add some distance between your face and an unflattering color in a top—add a cardigan in a flattering color, and button the top button. 🙂 Love that look, anyway.

  • Just what I was looking for, Imogen. I look dreadful in olive and usually wear it in accessories only because I like the color so much. This gives me new ideas on how to use the color in layering pieces instead. Thank you!

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