Value Contrast and Your Value

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dark vs light

That said, you can see how when I had dark hair (and so dark colouring) I suited the dark colours much better than I do now with my light hair (and now light colouring).  I definitely have to wear  more eyeliner to be able to carry off black now as I need a deep colour on my face for it to relate to.

valueYou can see that the overall light or medium value colour suit me so much better now than the deep/dark colours as your eye flows from top to toe and back up more easily when there is not such a contrast with my colouring.  In fact when I had the deep colouring I remember trying on white jackets and just never ever liked the look, it was wrong on me then, but works perfectly now I have light colouring.

white jacket and jeans


And I will wear it with a more medium colour, than a dark colour as I have medium blue eyes which makes my value contrast more medium.

More posts on value contrast:

Real life examples of value contrast

7 important factors when working with contrast

Working with low contrast

working with medium contrast

working with high contrast

what is my value contrast?



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  • Hi Imogen,

    Good post on value for further clarity …

    I thought my impression on your outfits was interesting. Right off, I felt you looked stunning in both the all white and the black (darling on you!!) The blue, which is a great color on you and being medium is likely your value, etc … but I didn’t care for that so much … I mean you always look GREAT, but the other two just look WOW !!

  • Great examples – it always make more sense to me when I see the actual photos rather than reading the descriptions.

  • Hi, Imogen. I agree with the other comments. This is so must easier for me, too. I have always been a “visual” learner, & , being a retired sewing teacher, I think most women are. No matter how many times I print off the instructions & reread them, the drawings / pictures / photos always seem to click instantly!

  • Great post and you look wonderful in all the photos. If the aim is to see you rather than the clothes then my preference is the all blue outfit. Interestingly you are wearing relatively brighter colors but with medium to light value. In the black outfit the ‘wheely’ nice jacket seems to soften the black around your face. Thank you

    • Hi Imogen! Thank you so much for such a useful information which could help every single person on this planet.
      If you may allow I want to ask you a question which has been troubling me ever since I have read your post!
      I have a deep ideal value as my hair is dark and I am medium-high value contrast! Do you think I can wear a light colour shirt and then complement it with trousers and shoes which is deep in value? This is because you have always stressed upon wearing your ideal value near to your face and there are instances where it is not always possible to wear darker colour shirts especially in summer and also layering with a darker colour jacket or blazer is not a possibility because of the same reason that it is summer and also because generally in our office nobody wears a blazer.
      I would love to get some advice on this topic from you.

      • It’s better to have something dark up top near your face – so can you add a scarf or necklace that is dark to create you ideal contrast?

  • Thank you for the great post. Great explanations as always. BTW, I just can’t get over how great you look as a blonde. I think I actually prefer it to the brunette, though that was nice also.

  • interesting how much hair colour matters! when you were a brunette, you said you didn’t look that good in a white jacket, even though your skin is rather light, so I’d have thought that adding contrast in some other way – white should still have worked?

  • You certainly look healthy and very pretty and slimmer in the lighter versions of yourself.
    So where does Deep, Cool, Soft fit in?
    I take my little swatch with me but I am still not sure.
    Deep, dark cool brown eyes, olive skin and dark brown hair are pretty boring if you don’t know what you’re doing and then you end up wearing lots of black because its easier than trying to stand there figuring out what’s what

    • I don’t understand your question Meredith about where does deep cool soft fit in?

      Deep means you need overall darker colours rather than all light colours. At least one dark coloured item in your outfit.
      Cool – means you want a cool undertone to all your colours
      Soft – means that you don’t’ want really bright colours, nor really greyed down and dull colours.

  • Apart from combining light, medium and dark colors…what about combining warm, neutral and cool colors? And what about combining pure, tints, tones and shades? (So pure colors or colors with with, grey or black added)

  • I thought greyed down colours would be soft – so not quite sure. Aren’t they just really soft?


    • Greyed down colours are soft – there are many words you can use to describe these colours – smoky, soft, muted, dusky, toned – they mean the same thing, just variety in the English language.

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