Mar 122015

As part of the slow process of updating the information on my blog to match what I know now about applying artistic principles stylishly, I am trying to pull out an old post once/week and edit/republish. Originally posted October 18, 2006, this deals with combining colors, aka “color harmony”.

Some 2015 blog readers may not be aware that in the early days there was a convention of taking outfit photos without faces. Lol! I will also point out that my 2006 self was wearing pants that were slightly too tight. See the horizontal lines? And this look would have been a little better with a shorter jacket and top.

On what appeared to be the final sunny Saturday of the Fall, I chose this outfit to wear to a women’s conference. Doing so, I stumbled onto an extremely useful color combining technique.

When I bought this jacket, I wondered if I would be able to use it. Although it fits nicely, the color is much too intense for my personal coloring. Actually, I now know, as a trained stylist (2015), that intensity is not the problem with this violet, but the principle remains true. But here’s the trick: the top is the same color as the jacket — only TINTED (white added) like my hair and skin. As I discover my signature style, I am finding a monochromatic color harmony featuring a bright and either a shade, a tint, or both is a good formula for me.

More good ideas on this topic:

  5 Responses to “How to Wear an Intense Color When You’re Not”

  1. This is a great tip! It works in reverse–if you’re darker, like me, and you get the urge to wear light pastels.

    Thanks to all your color & personal coloring talk, I finally figured out why I’ve never liked to wear white, although I keep trying because it looks so good on others. I’m too dark and have no white on me so it looks out of place! I

    noticed a young lady at church w/a fair complexion and dark hair, and she looked fabulous in a black & white skirt with black sweater. it blended w/her coloring.

  2. Oh good! I’m glad it works in reverse (makes sense).

    Why you don’t like to wear white probably explains, too, why I have never liked black. Neither of my daughters do either. I mostly use black as an accent.

    I thought of you the other day when I picked up a little leopard print blouse for $1 at Value Village! 🙂

  3. What Jennifer said!

    I also think that if there’s a neutral that particularly suits you (i.e. black, gray, brown) you can take the brights you might not ordinarily wear and mix them in. It works particularly well if the neutral top has a collar or high neckline.

  4. Thanks for the tip. I like it too because I like bright colors (good or bad :0), but this helps tone it down.

  5. I was just pondering how I’m going to pull off wearing a white shirt at my conference in a few weeks, when white currently makes me look like death warmed over. (And to make matters worse, it’s been determined that Friday will be “white shirt day” – the other two shirts are black – and Friday is the day when we’re likely to feel at our worst too).

    I cannot wear something over the work shirt – it’ll cover the logo. But perhaps I can get away with a brightly colored undershirt or a bib necklace…

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