Have you ever thought about which are you knockout colours? The ones that make your eyes pop and skin glow? These are your best colours and ones you want to build your wardrobe around, and are also fantastic in your jewellery too. Carol Karl and I discuss more about choosing colours and why black isn’t necessarily the right neutral for your wardrobe in this video interview – check it out now.
Why Do So Many People Wear Black?
Most people tell me that they don’t know how to mix colours, so they avoid colours and go for black instead as it seems easier.
Mass media and the fashion industry has marketed black as being the most sophisticated colour, the colour that goes with everything and the most slimming colour. Yet this is all a myth.
Black, it’s so everywhere now it’s actually boring. When I’ve asked people why they wear a lot of black, most people tell me because they’re unsure of what other colours to wear and it feels “safe” to them. So much so, that most of the time when I walk into a store and pick up a coloured item, the retail sales assistant will immediately say to me “did you see we’ve got that in black?” Why do they do this? Well because most people go for that safe black option and so they are more likely to make a sale (and that keeps them in business).
When black first became a fashion colour back in the late 80s and early 90s, before that it was really only worn mostly by widows, as evening wear (glamourous and sophisticate) or by that artistic crowd (again, more sophisticated), it was a more exciting and interesting colour. Sadly, these days it’s everywhere and so no longer has any feeling of being a special colour to wear.
Black is boring.
Black is the most slimming colour so you’re told? Now I’ve talked about that before here, but if you missed the memo, the reason why people think black is the most slimming is the simple logic:
If light colours advance and make you look larger and dark colours recede so should make you look smaller. – what’s the darkest colour? Well black. But… if you look at another of the properties of colours which is the spectrum of intensity, if bright colours are advancing (larger) and muted colours more receding (slimming) what’s black? It’s BRIGHT – that’s right – as soon as you soften black it becomes grey (no longer black) and so (cue Beethoven’s 5th Symphony …da na na na naaaaaaa) black is ADVANCING and makes itself more apparent.
Also, colours have visual weight – white is the lightest, and black the darkest – and so black feels HEAVY (particularly on someone who has light colouring it’s really noticeable). Black weighs you down, it can also make you appear shorter when wearing it on your top half and a lighter colour on your bottom half.
So if muted colours are more slimming, then a darker muted colour will be more slimming that black, ergo…
Black is NOT the most slimming colour.
Does black go with everything? It’s a cool, deep and bright colour – so it goes well with other colours with those properties, but it really doesn’t look good with warm colours and muted colours, other colours look way better with those, it’s just that most people have gotten so used to seeing black with everything they don’t see how it clashes. Get my tips here on how to stop buying and wearing black when it’s not flattering for you.
So what should you wear instead?
Finding Your Colours
When you’re wearing colours that aren’t in harmony with your own colouring you’ll look more washed out, pale, tired and even jaundiced, as I discovered when I was 16 and bought myself a mustard yellow jumper (sweater). Every time I wore it people would ask me with concerned looks on their faces “are you feeling OK?” to which I always replied that I was find, and wondered to myself why they asked me that. When I learned about colours and how that mustard yellow colour was not in harmony with my cool colouring, it suddenly made sense and that jumper was donated to a home where it would be flattering to the wearer.
If you’re ever in a store and the sales assistant says “you just need a bright lippy with that” then it’s a great indication that the colour is wearing you and less than flattering on you and should be avoided.
Choosing Your Best Metallics
Cool metals include silver, platinum, brushed aluminium etc.
Warm metals include bronze, gold, brushed golds etc.
Rose gold is a crossover between warm and cool, so can by worn by both warm and cool colouring.
Your Signature Colours
These are the colours inherent in you – they are in your skin, your lips, your eyes, your hair and when you repeat those colours in your clothes and jewellery, you really do look amazing. And very rarely is black a signature colour! When doing a colour analysis one of the steps is to find from the generic palette of around 50 colours, the 15 that are your personal signature colours.
Your signatures are your ultimate colours.
Discover Your Colours