In my 7 Steps to Style online program, I do a monthly Q&A session on Zoom to answer members’ questions. This month one of the questions I received was how to wear a column of colour when you don’t always want to wear a third piece (jacket, cardigan, additional layer) because you live in a hot environment (or it’s just summer), And how to wear darker pants in the column when you have light overall value (but you feel that your weight makes you want to wear darker colours) and also can you wear your hair colour in a shoe with any outfit (including said column).
So I created an image of a few column of colour options to show different ways you can make a column as well as look at options for shoe colours as well.
Firstly, let’s start with – what is a column of colour?
A column of colour is when you wear similar colours head to toe – which creates an unbroken line from upper to lower body.
Many dresses are naturally a column of colour (if they are one colour or pattern throughout). When choosing tops and bottoms in two or three garment outfits, you can make an inner column (similar coloured top and bottom, with a different coloured outer garment that’s left undone), or you can choose to wear an outer column, which is where you choose an outer layer (cardigan, jacket, blazer, that blends with your pants or skirt – a traditional suit is an outer column of colour, and then you can wear a different coloured top with that outer column of colour. I’ve got heaps of column of colour ideas and inspiration that you can find here.
Choosing Shoes – Your Options
Top and Tail (aka Visual Grouping or “The Sandwich”)
You can always wear a shoe in your hair colour. This is because you’re always wearing your hair, so it’s a colour that exists in the outfit. This makes your hair colour a great colour to own in a pair of summer sandals and potentially a winter shoe or boot as well. It’s your all-purpose shoe colour so you don’t need to own hundreds of pairs of shoes in every colour you wear.
Why it’s so great is that it creates a bookend effect, that balances the colours in your outfits. There is a current term “sandwich dressing” trending on TikTok and other social media, and really, this is just visual grouping given a different name. If your hair and feet are the bread, and the rest of your outfit is the sandwich filling, it’s an easy way to think about putting colours together in an outfit.
Blend Shoes to Trousers (or Hosiery) or Legs (if Wearing a Skirt)
If you have shorter legs or are petite, I always recommend blending shoe colour to that of your trousers (or hosiery if you’re wearing it), or wear a nude shoe that blends with your skin colour if you’re wearing a skirt or dress.
Blending shoes to what is next to it, makes a seamless unbroken line, visually elongating you, which is great if you have shorter legs or are petite as you’re going for maximum elongation by not changing colours too frequently in your outfit.
Match Shoe Colour to Accessories
If you are wearing a column of colour and want to add in alternate colours (maybe you have a medium or higher colour contrast and so ideally look best in at least one or two colours in every outfit), then why not choose to wear accessories in the same colour, for example in my image above, I’ve selected turquoise shoes to go with turquoise jewellery.
Column of Colour Tips
Your column of colour doesn’t always have to match exactly, close enough is good enough! You just want to create a more unbroken vertical line of colour. You can even use prints and patterns as part of your column of colour.
For the most elongating look, match the background colour of the print to your bottom half. Alternatively, have the colours in your bottom half included in the print.
Wearing Darker Bottoms When You Have Lighter Colouring (Ideal Value)
Even if you have white hair and a very light ideal value, it doesn’t mean you can only wear white pants. You can choose any medium to lighter colour (try and avoid really dark colours, they will just weigh you down and actually make you appear heavier), then use these tips to help lighten your outfit up near your face:
- Wear an outer layer (third piece – jacket, cardigan, vest etc) in your light ideal value
- Wear a print that has a similar colour background to your bottoms still creates a column
- Look for tops that are darker at the waist and lighter near your face (ombre).
- Add a scarf that is in your ideal value
So you can see that there are lots of different options for putting together a column of colour and deciding which shoe colour to choose.
Want To Get This Kind of Personalised Feedback on Your Style Conundrums?
If you too would love to get my professional wisdom on your particular style and colour questions, I’d love to have you in my online style program 7 Steps to Style. Inside you’ll get heaps of information that will help you discover what really works for you today, as well as have the opportunity to not only get my focus on your style each month in our Q&A sessions but also my highly trained personal stylists who are there in our VIP community answering member questions every day! There is so much value inside this program that will help you save money as you create your style that makes you look and feel fantastic every single day. Find out more here now.