Book Snippet: Color Contrasts

High Contrast vs. Low Contrast
When I wear an outfit made entirely of soft colors and neutrals, I fade out.  Even if those neutrals are my neutrals, even if all of the colors are mine…. if I don’t put *something* with some kick in there, I disappear.   BFF, who wears the same season that I do, glows when she wears the same set of colors that make me disappear.  It’s very individual.

Some people look best in high contrast looks – wearing their most intense colors.  Some people look best in their least intense colors, in a more monochromatic outfit.   You have to play with this to notice it, but if you’re still feeling “off” about your colors, this is a place to check.  Go all-neutral (or all soft colors) and then spike it up to the power suit combo (a dark neutral with a bright) and see which looks better on you, which brings your features to the fore most effectively.  How much contrast is there between your skin, hair and eyes?

Example:  Let’s take two redheads.  Likely they’re both autumns – usually redheads are.  Lady One has deep red hair – almost looks like it came out of a bottle, though it didn’t.  Her skin is milky pale, and her eyes are forest green.   Lady Two has a softer tone of red hair, almost strawberry blonde, and although she’s got a redhead’s pale complexion, hers comes with lots of freckles.  Her eyes are a warm topaz.

Lady One is very high contrast, and she’s going to look her best in the colors that bring out the flaming red hair and brilliant green eyes.  Lady Two will look her best in colors that are more muted, colors that bring her more subtle coloring out to shine.  Probably they’ll both wear chocolate brown…. But what will they wear with that brown?  More brown, or something that contrasts?   If you’re trying to force yourself into wearing higher or lower contrast than you can really pull off, you won’t look your best.  You’ll still be wearing your colors, maybe your style… but something won’t be right.

This is something you can check at home, by combining clothes in different ways, or in the dressing room.  Check how it looks, see what you see!


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