When it comes to choosing patterns for your clothes, it’s not just about the style or design of the fabric. Another important factor to consider is the value contrast. This refers to the difference in lightness or darkness between the different colors or and neutrals within a pattern. Choosing patterns with the right value contrast can help you create an outfit that complements your features rather than overwhelming them.
Consider Your Ideal Value
Your ideal value is the value that relates to your hair colour and more of your outfit (particularly on the upper body) should be in a colour or neutral that is similar to the lightness or darkness of your hair. For instance, if you have medium-light hair, you should look for patterns that have a background that is medium-light similar your hair color. This way, you can create a cohesive and balanced look. It’s essential to note that changing your hair color can alter your ideal value, so make sure to reassess your value contrast too if you make a radical change
Understand Your Value Contrast
Understanding your value contrast can help you choose patterns with the right value contrast
- If you have dark eyes or, dark hair with fair skin, you are most likely to fall into high-value contrast.
- If you have light or coloured eyes, light hair with fair skin, you are most likely to fall into low-value contrast.
- If you have light with medium or medium with dark colouring (whether it’s hair or eyes that are darker and skin that’s fairer) then you’ll have a more medium-value contrast.
When choosing patterns, consider your overall value contrast and aim for a pattern that complements your features. If you are unsure of your value contrast, please check out How to Find Your Ultimate Colour Contrast – Your Three Step Process
Select the Right Pattern
Choosing the right pattern can make all the difference. A pattern that is too high in value contrast can wear you and dominate your appearance. For example, a scarf with a high-value contrast may look overpowering on someone with medium or low-value contrast. Instead, opt for patterns that have a medium to low value contrast or are more blended. If you have a lower-value contrast, a blended pattern can make it much easier to wear. Look for patterns that are similar in value to your hair and skin, or if you want to wear a high-value contrast, make sure there are medium light, medium and medium dark colours in the pattern, rather than it being a stark light, dark print.
Breaking The Value Contrast Rules
Watch this video as I share how to choose a print or pattern that is not in your optimal value contrast and still make it work
Choosing the right patterns to suit your value contrast is crucial in creating an outfit that flatters your features. Consider your value contrast when selecting patterns, so you can create a balanced and cohesive look that showcases your unique features.