High Contrast: Soft Classic Styling
The first thing that you said to me, Dana, was that your current closet was “drab”. You’ve been wearing summer colors, which are greyed and soft. Guess what – wrong colors!
You are possibly the coolest, crispest Spring I’ve ever worked with – and I can see how you were mis-seasoned. You’re also coming into a changing of life-seasons, as most of your children have grown up and the youngest is in high school. It’s time for you to dress to your emerging self.
Your coloring is high-contrast, and your outfits are going to be at their best when they’re high-contrast too. Do you see the lovely ivories and warm light neutrals in your skin? Bring those into your blouses. Throw on your blues – your jeans or your pencil skirt and add an excellent jacket/cardigan and hit the world.
I want you to concentrate on the following colors:
Red – clear, warm red. Geranium, poppy, strawberry. This is your color of passion – I would recommend keeping this at “accessory” level – a scarf, a pin, a flower, a print. It’s a great color for capturing the high-contrast nature of your coloring and showing it off. Be very careful when you get your reds – the right red is amazing, the wrong one is dreadful. Either perfectly clear reds or reds with a pink cast to them. Think flowers.
Blue – Lots of blue. You have amazing eyes – the dark color in your iris is a bright navy/ocean blue. Wear this. It is your new signature color. Shouldn’t be a hardship – it’s a common color. Watch that your navies don’t go grey or too dark. Clear and bright.
Ivory and off whites – You have a beautiful skin, and it contrasts with the dark of your hair. I’d like to see you wear a lot of off-whites/ivories. This is where you start getting the warm tones in your outfits. Winter white, ivory, lightest warm buff.
Green – The light color in your iris is celadon green. Think of a piece of translucent jade – that’s your relaxing color! This is, again, one of the places that your warm tones are going to show up. To complement this color and your navy blue, I think that you’ll find that a clear medium green will also be flattering. If you want to bring in a clear, warm, periwinkle – you can do that.
Pink – Warm pinks. This is an intimate color for you, and a softening influence. I’d keep this for my more casual outfits – not because you won’t look amazing, but because it’s going to invite people in to your inner circle before you’re ready for them to be there. Again, hit this as an accessory, as a print, or as a contrast color… unless you want that soft tete-a-tete vibe. (You could wear it as a blouse under a navy jacket to bring down your navy if you liked).
Yellow – I would keep this in a print, but I see you in a light butter yellow, and some light warm yellows – again as accessories. You want to play up the contrast, and a touch of warm yellow on a navy background is going to make a visual pop that I think you’ll find flattering.
You can wear a brown the shade of your hair – but preferably just in leather goods and/or away from your face. You’ve said that your winter coat is this shade, but you wear it with a red scarf. Perfect!
Style and Figure Suggestions:
You also told me that you don’t feel like a vivacious spring archetype. That – and your figure – tell me that you would be better off in a softened classic look. Your life doesn’t call for power suits – but a softly tailored jacket? Yes, ma’am. It is possible to wear a high contrast look with bright colors and still put forth a sense of reserve. You use shape and fabric to convey these messages. (People are so visual, so tactile – we don’t take advantage of these things). You have a soft face, and I’d love to see you wear rounded collars – even a low peter pan collar would be cute on you. Pretty blouses! You see, the pretty blouse under the tailored jacket says, “I’m soft and romantic – but I’m also reserved and in control”.
Classic doesn’t mean not romantic! Use soft fabrics, tactile fabrics, to make your more romantic self known. Yes, you can wear patterns. I suggest a small to medium pattern, in a blouse or skirt or scarf.
Your figure is a balanced hourglass and you have good posture. Hip-to-waist ratio is how we decide if women have good figures – and your H-t-W is great. I know you’re carrying a few more pounds than you’d like, but the way to de-emphasize that is to wear tailored clothing and redirect the eye. Watch the fit of your jeans under your shirts, it can create an undesirable line. (This is the jeans, not you – perhaps buy higher-waisted jeans, or wear them with woven fabrics rather than knits. The figure, again, is fine – it’s the cling factor to watch).
I would recommend tucking blouses into skirts, although I quite like you with a hip-length blouse hem. No long tunics, no short-short skirts. I like the knee-length A line thing you’re doing, I would suggest you add some softer, more flowing fabrics to that – I imagine that would be very pretty. A not-super-fitted pencil skirt would also be very nice on you. You have such a balanced figure that only extremes are going to be unpleasant visually.
Enjoy the whole of who you are – both controlled and romantic, the colors that will give you the energy and snap that you’ve been missing.