I have a burning question: How do I create interesting outfits as a medium-high value contrast and low color contrast gal? Everything about me is warm – my skin, eyes, and hair – all a shade of gold-ish caramel/chocolate. I am by no means Jennifer Lopez, but I feel like her coloring matches mine well (and I’m talking about her with her darker natural hair color, not with all the blonde highlights). I feel like I am stuck wearing all browns, and I even feel like I can’t wear denim jackets or jeans without it looking like a blue color on me (rather than a neutral). I also want to wear olive greens, rusty oranges, golds, and burnt reds so badly to switch things up a bit, but I am afraid because of my low color contrast levels, I have to be very careful about how I do so… So how do I make this happen with warm browns as a neutral without looking like colorful clown?
Another issue is that browns and other warmer neutrals just aren’t in right now. They are very difficult to find in the styles I like, whereas black, gray, and white are super gosh darn easy to spot anywhere you go… I despise the old rule that black is best… It is such a dreadful color on 95% of the population. Perhaps I’m just bitter that my colors are not available! It just makes shopping so difficult. I just want some brown pants – NOT an easy find when you factor in all the other considerations that also need to be made when purchasing a pair of pants!
Any advice for these two dilemmas? I would love a discussion on denim and how to wear neutrals as a low color contrast warm palette gal. Please! In a world that worships black, gray, and white, us warm girls need you!
Black not being a great option does certainly make it harder to find clothes in the mass market.
Have you thought about having some brown pants made for you? Often you can get them made for around the same price as a good quality pair of trousers from a major chain store (it can surprise you!).
Low Colour Contrast Dressing Princess Style
Jennifer Lopez may have similar colouring, as does, by the sounds of your description, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark who manages to dress in the kinds of colours that you describe well.
1. Go Monochromatic
Ideally think about either monochromatic outfits (and remember that monochromatic doesn’t mean black and white or neutral) like these examples of Princess Mary of Denmark.
2. Neutral + a Colour
Or wearing one to two neutrals with a colours. This allows you to wear all those colours, from reds to orange, green to blue, yellow to violet. Just wear one at a time back with your neutral base.
3. Denim Dilemma
When you think about jeans, do find the denims that are less obvious, often the darker denims are much less blue than the lighter ones. So if you’re wearing a lighter blue jean – treat it as your colour – and team it with neutrals and other blues. If a dark denim, then you can also pair it with another colour.
4. Pattern Like the Princess
When wearing patterns, look for lower colour contrast options such as neutrals with one to two colours in a more analogous or monochromatic scheme like these examples.
As a low colour contrast person there is no reason you can’t wear many colours – you just don’t want to wear them all at the same time!
Want to understand more about colour and value contrast? You can discover your colour and value contrast with this free guide, Then download my free guide with examples of outfits for different contrasts.