The 7 Words That You Must Know That Tell You the Colour of the Garment That You’re Trying On is Completely Wrong For You


The 7 Words to Listen For That Tell You To Definitely Not Buy a Garment

Beware, next time you’re in the store changing room, trying on some clothes and want to know if the colour is right or wrong …

What to look for in colours when shopping with friends - the 7 words that you want to know so that you know exactly when to put the garment back!

How often have you been trying on something in a store and the ever ‘helpful’ sales assistant (or shopping pal) comes into the change area where you’re looking at the garment from a distance in the mirror (or it’s one of those places where there are no mirrors inside the changing booth and you are forced to step out to see yourself) and of course, the salesperson needs to make the sale (yes that’s their job, to sell you clothes and they are just doing their job) and says cheerily,

“Lovely… you just need a bright lipstick”

This is the first set of seven words that should put you on high alert.  If someone tells you that you need a bright lipstick, it means that the colour is drawing all the attention away from your face (communication centre) and to itself.  It’s code for the colour is too bright (or even completely wrong in undertone).  Needing a bright lipstick means that to actually draw some attention and create some sort of balance with the colour of the garment, you need to alter your natural colouring to compensate.

If you hear words relating to the need to wear makeup or lipstick with a garment.  Take it off and back away.  Do not, I repeat, do not take it home!  And by the way, remember that you can’t trust that sales assistant to tell you the truth about what really does look good on you.

How to wear a colour that's too bright for you - wear a brighter lipstick - Helen Mirren in Bright LipstickHere is an example of the divine Helen Mirren wearing a bright red dress, it’s hard to look at anything other than that red dress which is why it requires a brighter lipstick.  And then a softer subtle blue dress and jacket in signature eye enhancers that only requires a more natural pinkish shade of lipstick.  Notice how in the blue outfit, the colour of the clothing isn’t taking attention away from her face, just harmonising beautifully and making her glow.

And then there is the next set of 7 words that you sometimes hear…

“It will look great with a tan”

Excuse me?  I may never get a tan!  A tan is your skin’s way of saying that you’re damaging it.

This is code for the colour is washing you out.

Do you want to be washed out? Do you want to look tired and lacklustre?  Do you want to have to have a tan (real or faux) to wear your clothes and look good?  Somehow I doubt it.

How wearing the wrong colour will wash you out


Here is a great example.  On the left (above), Denise Richards is wearing a silver dress (cool undertone, she has a warm undertone) and it’s washing her out and making her look tired, so much so, she’s gone a serious spray tan and then packed on a heap of blush to try and bring some life back to her face.  On the right, a lovely warm metallic, and see, less makeup, less tan  – and she looks a whole load better!

So now you are the wiser, don’t let yourself be talked into unflattering colours that don’t make you look fabulous with either of these short seven-word sentences!

If you’re completely flummoxed in knowing which colours suit you best, and this changes over time with age as our colouring changes (yes we may lose pigment from our hair, that’s the obvious bit, but did you know that your skin is changing in pigment too?).  If you’d like my professional opinion on the colours that suit you best, this is just one of the steps in my 7 Steps to Style – total image program  – where you can discover your signature eye enhancers, your best colours and start creating a wardrobe that truly harmonises and makes you look naturally beautiful.  Find out more here.

More Shopping Tips

Shopping Tips to Make it Easier and Less Stressful

How Not to Buy Crap Ever Again

Why Living with a 3D Body in a 2D Fashion World Makes Shopping Such a Nightmare

How to Have a Successful Shopping Trip



I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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  • Thank you for this post, Imogen.
    Recently in a store: Me: No, the red of this lipstick is not my color. The salesperson: Oh, these (stupid) colour schemes! If a lipstick flatters or no is only depending on the colour of your clothing…

  • With spring on its way, these are reminders we so need to hear, Imogen, especially when stocking up on neutrals or base colors. If white or beige washes us out, why bother when a richer tone of tan works better..
    Thank you, for helping me sort through wardrobe items for the upcoming months.
    You are the best!
    a faithful fan,

  • Right on! When you see someone wearing what’s right for them it can be borderline magical how good they look. Just as themselves. “Take it off and back away”. Lovin’ your sassy ‘tude!

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