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Friday, April 19, 2013

How to Wear Black with your Colours


Depending on your colouring you may or not be able to wear black well next to your face.  Of course, some of you can - those with winter colouring, although even winters may find that they need a lift of colour  near the face.

Black is a very handy neutral and most of us have it in our wardrobes.  In the 1980's when I trained in colour, we were quite rule bound, and if you were a season other than winter, then you were practically forbidden to wear black.  As I was a summer, and black is not in my palette, I always found this difficult, as I cannot easily find my colours in clothes or fabrics.  And many of my activities required black clothing (and during the 1990's nothing much was available!).

Times change and it became more accepted  that people will wear black (for whatever reason) whatever the colour consultant thought best! But if it is not in your palette do wear it in a way that flatters you. Here are some ideas for wearing black if it is not such a great colour for you - springs, autumns and summers especially.

1/. If you are wearing a black top, please have a lower neckline so that the black is not right up against your face.  Use a round or V-neckline so that your face is framed by your natural skin tone.

2/.  Wear your most flattering colours with black to compensate for wearing a colour that does not bring out the best in your natural colouring.

3/. One good way of wearing black is to frame your face with a scarf in colours that flatter your skin tone.

4/.  You can also get the same effect by wearing jewelery in either your colours or a metallic in your colours (gold for autumn and spring, silver for summer and winter) .

5/. Wear a stoles, pashminas and capes in your colours against black clothing.

6/. With a black jacket wear a top or blouse in colours that flatter you.  If you choose to wear white, try and wear a white that suits you - or use the scarf/jewelery trick.

7/.  If wearing black on the lower half of your body, wear a top or blouse in your colours on the top half.

8/. Wear jackets in your colours.

9/.  Why not swap the LBD for a LCD (little coloured dress) in one of your most flattering neutrals.

10/. If wearing black patterned clothes, use fabrics that have your colours in it along with the black.  Or as we are sewers, trim your black garments with a flattering print with black and your colours combined.

AND: Wear lipstick in one of your colours. 

I hope you enjoyed this week's introduction to colour.

Sarah Liz  :)

21 comments:

  1. I used to have jet black hair so I never used to wear black, it all felt too much. Now I have silver grey hair which is alot lighter I am more comfortable with the colour around my face. Another good post.

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    1. Hi Louise, yes, you make some good points about how forbidding a whole black appearance can be! The black now would really suit your gorgeous hair.

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  2. Interesting post... I rarely wear black, or if I do it's just trousers and far from my face. I'm probably a Spring or Summer colour person, but really can't be sure. Will need to mull all this over futher I guess .... Thanks

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    1. Hi Sally - black is a good colour for larger hips as well, if worn on the bottom half. Springs and summers sometimes are hard to differentiate - do you look better in peach and coral, or pink and muted blue?

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    2. Well now... I wear blues quite a bit (strong rather than muted though) and pink really isn't me - unless it's more of a raspberry red pink. So I guess peach and coral, but I then I don't wear those colours much either. Maybe I'm not Spring or Summer afterall?

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    3. Hi Sally, I think you are a Spring or Summer, but maybe you don't like muted pink - I don't either, and blues can be quite deep and still be in both these palettes. Will talk more about this on another post.

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    4. :) Perhaps I'll get one of those colour tests done sometime. I'm enjoying these posts.

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  3. Beautiful post, full of interesting information ... I use colors on me by pure intuition ... so I learned a few things here ... Thank you!

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    1. Sometimes intuition is a good way of going - intuition can sometimes be pushed aside by what the fashion industry says looks good.

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  4. Thanks for the introductions to colour. It has been a great read. I do wear black but only if I have another colour with it - I can't bear a full black outfit!

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    1. Hi Claire - all over black can look a bit sombre. On some people though, it can look good. Your colouring looks quite soft, so I think you have made the right decision :)

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  5. Perfect timing with this advice for me. Thanks so much

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    1. I am pleased that this post came at the right time for you Ruth :)

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  6. Great post Sarah.... I love your tips. Black is one of my favorites and staples in my wardrobe. I will be incorporating the tips you mentioned about using flattering colors with it. Vita

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    1. Thank you Vita. You would be able to wear black quite well because of your depth of colouring. From what I hjave seen, you certainly know what colours flatter you.

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  7. Thank you for another good post.. I only wear black on the bottom , such as pants or skirt.. And wear a pretty color blouse..

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    1. A pleasure - and I look forward to seeing your next pretty blouse :)

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  8. I lived in black until I started sewing - seemed that black slacks were a staple for the larger wardrobe. I am so glad to be able to get away from it. Good tips.

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    1. Hi BeaJay - yes, black is slimming, but so are the very dark browns that you are wearing, and so much nicer to look at.

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  9. As one who keeps a lot of black in my wardrobe, these are some interesting tips.

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    1. Hi Dorothy, you would wear black very well, you have deeper colouring. And then you use colours so well too, so I think you are on track :)

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