Monday, May 31, 2010

Colour my world

The are posts to come featuring the fabulous vintage jackets from the Love Vintage fair and the completed vintage-inspired cherry print apron, however as I type my house is being invaded by various tradespeople doing renovations and I had to pack up the study, including my computer, over the weekend and it has all my photos.

Instead, a post about colour. My colours, to be exact. After years of reading various articles from fashion folk, friends and fellow bloggers, I have learnt that finding one's colours is an important part of developing one's overall style. I don't think I thought much about colours growing up. Once I hit teenage years I liked black, black, and black. I did have other colours in the wardrobe, but they were things that I thought I "should" wear, rather than things I loved. I loathed pastels and bright colours. In Year 12 I went Goth, possibly because it justified wearing black almost exclusively.

Over the years as I've matured, I've tried a lot of different colours. I've made the mistake of buying things in colours that look great on a friend, but awful on me. I've been sucked in to colours that are "now" or "in", but awful on me. After many years, I think I've finally settled into what I consider to be colours that work for me. They look good and more importantly, I feel good wearing them.

And guess what number one is? Black! Seriously, after all these years, there was obviously a reason I was drawn to black. I love black and it loves me. I think one of the reasons I love black is that it is a great palette to play with textural and sculptural elements. I have a lot of black in my wardrobe, but in different fabrics, weights, weaves, textures, and shapes. Black is my "background" that I use to showcase my figure, a striking accessory, or my favourite lippy.

Grey - For very much the same reasons as I love black. I have dark, charcoal greys, mid-greys with pinstripes or textured weaves. I often pair grey with black, or different tones of grey together.

Red - But it has to be the right red. I have a penchant for red things the way bower birds have a penchant for blue things. It's a colour that makes me feel vibrant and happy. My red is a dark, slightly earthy red. Muted clarets also work if they're not too purple. I can't do reds that are too pink, orange, or purple. I have a couple of red dresses and one striking red top, but otherwise, red appears mainly in my accessories. Red shoes, two favourite strings of beads in a dark and a bright red, claret wool scarf and of course, my favourite dark red lipstick that I wear almost every day. And red goes fabulously with black and grey.

Green - Not one I have a lot of in my wardrobe as it is hard to find shades I like. My green is usually an olive green or slightly grey-green. I have green eyes, which probably explains my liking of green. Generally muted greens rather than bright greens. I think my tendency towards the muted greens is that I struggle to pull off either yellow or blue, and the brighter the green, the more it will lean to one of those. I have an olive green linen skirt suit that I love. I also have a couple of green necklaces that work nicely to highlight my eyes.

Brown - This one depends a bit on my hair colour. I have a reasonable amount of dark chocolate brown and brown-ish tweeds in my wardrobe. I love them when I'm blonde, but less so when I'm red. When I'm red, I go more for grey. As with black and grey, I like the relatively neutral palette to play with texture. I love tweeds and similar fabrics that have multiple tones and a slight pattern to the weave, without it being overwhelming. Both brown and green make me feel very relaxed and grounded. Probably because they're hues found in the natural world. I often wear brown and green together when I'm feeling very laid back.

Colours I really can't wear:
Pink - Have loathed it from an early age. It looks awful on me as it clashes horribly with my skin tone and eyes.
Blue - I wish I could wear blue, but it rarely looks good on me. Navy makes me look completely washed out. I can sometimes get away with a greenish blue.
Yellow - Urgh, makes me look like I'm on death's door.
Orange - See yellow.
Purple - Another one I wish I could wear, but it suffers from similar problems to blue. I can get away with it on an accessory level and usually paired with grey.
White - Only if it is the only colour. Seriously. White plus another colour just doesn't seem to work for me. I have pale olive skin, so it goes okay with my skin, but it doesn't make me "sing". The only time I've liked white was a simple white linen dress I wore for my graduation. I don't mind white as a small accessory, like white flowers in my hair, white pearl jewellery etc..
Pastels - A long standing aversion. They make me look like I'm either 5 years old or 80 years old. I think I have the wrong personality for pastels.

So there are the colours that make up my personal style. It's taken me a while to learn what works and embrace them as my own. I was reading another blog today where someone commented that having a small range of colours that are your own isn't restrictive, it's liberating! It allows you to zoom in on those colours, knowing they will work for you, and not be distracted by the latest "in" colour. Like knowing your shape, knowing your colours helps you focus on what suits YOU.

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