I don’t mean to pick on certain colors. I mean, it’s not their fault that they are potentially catastrophic to your style. You’re probably thinking: “What have black sandals ever done to her?” Or “What does she have against pastel dresses?”
It’s nothing personal, really. I don’t have it out for a specific category. I’ve just seen over and over how the right clothes in the wrong colors can lead to style disaster. Or, at the very least, that slippery slope of frumpiness that so many of us are trying to avoid.
Today, I’m going to share some finds that work in certain colors, and don’t work in other colors, as well as some general categories to approach with caution. But first, an overview of some of the classifications of color.
3 Classifications of Color
Colors can be categorized 3 different ways: Warm to Cool, Light to Dark, and Clear to Muted.
Your personal coloring falls somewhere in the range of warm/neutral/cool, light/medium/dark, or clear to soft, but one of these categories is going to have the biggest impact on whether a color flatters you or not. For example, I have Deep (dark) coloring, and I’m also neutral and bright, but out of those 3 classifications: Dark, Neutral, and Bright, Bright is the most important criteria in determining whether something is going to look good on me. I can wear Light clothes as well as Warm or Cool clothes and look fine, but if I wear Muted clothes, I will look tired and gray.
Black May Age You
A lot of women say that black ages them more as they get older, or it starts feeling too harsh and no longer flattering. While this is sometimes the case, and our coloring can soften over the years, in other cases it’s more that as we get older and flattering becomes more important, we notice the effect of black on the way we look even more. Some people wear black very well, and others find it harsh or feel that it washes them out. If you’re finding black hard to wear, chances are you may have medium and muted coloring like Blake Lively. She is young enough and gorgeous enough to look good in everything, but she certainly looks better in medium and muted shades than she does in black.
Beware of Pastel Dresses
Lots of perfectly good dresses have been ruined by the wrong color. Take dresses, for example, especially chiffon dresses. They can look classic or even chic in a dark neutral or jewel tone, and totally frumpy in a pastel shade. Here is an example.
Especially pastel chiffon. And lace. Especially pastel chiffon + lace in the same dress.
And another example. Look how much more sophisticated the dress looks as the color gets darker.
This dress is deadly in pastels, but in a jewel tone or a dark neutral, it looks much better. Now let’s look at an example in yellow.
Beware of Nude Shoes
Nude shoes can be neutral and flattering and leg lengthening or they can be frumpy. There’s pretty much no middle ground. Here are a few guidelines.
- When in doubt, choose suede over patent. I love patent, but suede is the best choice for borderline styles. It will look more sophisticated and more elegant in suede.
2. If it’s borderline, don’t buy it nude. A shoe will look more frumpy in nude if it already leaned frumpy, and more modern in a trendy color or a neutral, like the most versatile medium brown.
3. Pick the Right Nude: One of these has a greenish more olive shade, and the other is rosier.
Choose Brown Over Black
When looking at a chunky or potentially clunky shoe, choose brown over black. Brown is a chic and very versatile warm weather neutral for everyone except for Cool Color ladies, who should choose gray instead. Brown is also less clunky looking and helps extend the leg line a bit more.
Try a Trendy Color
If an item is borderline, buy it in the color of the moment. This season, magenta/Barbie pink, lilac, and this leaf green color are all trendy, so choosing a classic style in one of these modern colors is an easy update. See the difference in this dress in the green versus the navy.
If A Dress is Borderline, Buy It In A Dark Neutral
Dark neutrals just read sophisticated anyway, but they also show less dated, which makes a potentially dated item look more modern.
What did you think of these comparisons? Did any of these surprise you? Let me know in the comments!