How to Work with Your Contrast – Medium Contrast

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Medium Value Contrast – Patterns

medium value contrast patterns


As you can see in this picture, even with a medium value contrast, you still need to take into consideration your colour contrast. Sticking to ones that are similar to your personal colour contrast is the most flattering, but we can all play one above and one below our colour contrast (and if you’re a creative personality, then you can go well outside your ‘rules’ if you choose).

Remember: Even if a pattern has both light and dark colours, it will have a medium value contrast if it also includes medium value colours.

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    • Think about light colours being very close to white and then dark clothes being very close to black. Neither of these outfits is “very light” or “Very dark”, they are closer towards medium, but still one on the lighter side, the other on the deeper/darker side.

  • Thanks for this post, Imogen. It was very helpful. I’m medium value, high color contrast, and even with the previous posts I was still having a hard time picturing the right combinations. As it turns out, I was on the right track already (so you must be a good teacher!), but it was good to get some confirmation.

    Princess? You really made me laugh with your list of professions! Have a merry Christmas!

    • As I said, jewellery – any colour or metal, of course can be used to provide contrast. Gold jewellery is more ‘coloured’ but silver is more ‘neutral’.

  • Thank you Imogen of another excellent post. I found it very informative and helpful.
    The illustrations help greatly especially for ideas i hadn’t thought of before.

  • I have learned so much from your blog! Thank you for the wonderful information. I do have a nagging question about brown colors. I am an A shape, cool and clear. I recently allowed my blonde hair to go back to it’s natural color, which is a neutral dark blonde/ light brown. I have blue eyes and fair skin, so this moved me from a light contrast to a medium contrast. I also had a baby, moved to a warmer climate, and turned 40! so I am forced to work on a new wardrobe. I don’t want a lot of clothes so I have tried to pattern my wardrobe around a big capsule. My neutrals are blue, tan, and white. I have deep raspberry and teal for some accent colors. I have a few other pieces in my closet, but mostly am drawn to these. I have read over and over the information about color undertones, and studied the difference between light, deep, muted and clear. I am beginning to be able to judge these things but browns trip me up every time. Tan or brown seems like a natural choice for me given my hair color. I can’t seem to recognize browns that coordinate well and look good on me. They seem to yellow or bland. Are there cool and clear browns and tans? Can you help demystify the browns? Thanks so much and Merry Christmas to you!

  • Any tips on how to wear full length skinny pants with ankle boots? It seems like they just smash along the top.

    I keep reading blogs saying that you should roll up the skinny pants, but that is not practical in a place with very cold winters. They good thing about wearing boots is that your ankles stay covered, warm and out of the snow!

  • Dear Imogen,
    Being medium contrast myself (medium brown eyes, medium neutral skin, dark charcoal hair), I wonder if white can still be worn and how.
    Is white a stylish color for a person with this value contrast? Or will white be a too high contrast not flattering?

    • You can wear it – in a white that suits your complexion (it may be a soft white rather than bright white), but in smaller proportions – just not head to toe.

  • Imogen,
    Thank you so much for your highly valued and detailed answer to my medium light overall value, coupled with an A shape Inquiry ! Your wealth of imparted knowledge with all of the nuances of what goes into an outfit or a wardrobe are so greatly appreciated ! I have learned and continue to learn so very much from your YouTube videos and your formats such as this one , so my deepest gratitude is being sent to you in appreciation ! Stay well, please !
    In one of the You Tube videos with Jill, she mentions the wear out factor of minimalist wardrobes with frequent laundering . I can’t seem to refind that one — do you recall which title was the correct one for me to view it again ?
    I love your “ stuff “ !

    Sherry Seher

    • I do remember that conversation but I too don’t remember which is is – just search “Jill chivers” on the search bar and that will bring up all the posts we’ve done together and you may find it that way!

  • Imogen,
    Thank you — for this response as well as the video answers to my questions ! I am just so thrilled with all of the expertise that you provide — way above “ the competition” ! As soon as the Stock Market returns some of my financial assets, I hope to tap your brain even more and take your “ 7 Steps to Style “ course ! At this rate, I’m afraid that could be awhile ! I hope that you and yours stay healthy !

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