How to Wear Colours That Don't Suit You
Can I still wear bright colours now I have grey hair?
Yes, I know I bang on about how having a colour analysis can boost your personal style and self-image confidence AND take years off you. And I know it’s not for everyone. But it’s a fact some colours are going to make your complexion look healthier, more youthful, vibrant and alive and some colours that don't suit you will do the opposite.
For example as we go grey and still want to wear bright colours that suited us when we were younger, but they can be overpowering these days as our natural colouring is softer. Do we resort to wearing beige and fading into the background? Ermmm NO!
Some of my clients admit to worrying about me telling them that they can’t wear certain colours anymore. Perhaps you might be worried about it restricting your personal choice or making you wear colours you don’t like? It is much more about finding out which colours really enhance your natural radiance.
How to tell if a colour suits you
So, what happens if you have your colours done and find out that loads of your clothes in the wardrobe don’t actually suit you?
I understand that you are not necessarily going to want to dump everything off at your nearest Oxfam and end up with an empty wardrobe. Fear not, there are things you can do to rescue those items that could make you look older, tired, sallow and not be very flattering.
You want to see if you notice YOU or the colour first. As a general rule the darker your hair, the darker the colours you can get away with. Black is NEVER going to look great on you if you are fair or have warm undertones.
A good way to tell if a colour is overpowering you is to do the ‘blink test’. Hold the colour under your chin, close your eyes and then open them quickly – what do you notice first? Your face or the colour? If it’s the colour, then that’s not good. You want to wear the colour, not have the colour wearing you.
If you find that you need more makeup, a brighter lipstick or a tan to ‘get away’ with a colour then that would suggest it’s not one of your best ones to go for.
How to wear unflattering colours and still look great
Here are my 12 top tips on how to rescue colours that are not your best colours to wear...
1: avoid wearing the colour near your face, keep it to your bottom half
2: do not wear it in block colours, try patterns instead. Look for patterned fabrics that are mostly in colours that do suit you then a bit of what doesn’t won’t hurt.
3: use the colours that don’t suit you in accessories and keep them to around 10-20% of your outfit
4: use the right coloured jewellery and scarves as an intermediate step between the wrong colour and your face
5: use makeup particularly a bold lipstick to bring the colour back to your face
6: wear the colour as a layer rather than the main focus of your outfit
7: choose your glasses in the right colours so there is always something on your face that suits you
8: do not wear a wrong colour on a body part that you want to detract attention from
9: use scoop or v neck lines to keep the colour away from your face
10: consider wearing a sheer fabric so that the colour is not as strong
11: wear the colour at night-time when the lights are dimmer
12: make friends with the dye pot
How to rescue colours that don't suit you
With all dying you need to bear basic colour theory in mind. Generally white or lighter fabrics give a crisper, clearer result.
Think about the colour of the fabric that you want to dye - for example if you were using a red dye on a yellow top it could potentially come out as orange. You can't use dye to make fabrics lighter, but you can use bleach to lighten a colour if it’s too strong. Soak the garment in a watered-down bleach solution until you get the desired effect.
You can buy cold water dyes for synthetic fabrics and there are dyes that you just pop in the washing machine for natural fabrics. However, be warned that even natural fabrics are often stitched with synthetic thread so the stitching might not take.
You can buy leather or suede dye and use it for handbags, shoes or belts etc.
You could use acrylic paint or nail polish on jewellery like wooden beads for example.
At the end of the day though, my caveat is always if you love a colour then still wear it even if it doesn't love you. If it brings you joy that’s all good, just be aware that it might not be particularly flattering.
If this has whetted your appetite to find out more then you could download my pdf, which has further information on how to make sure that you are wearing colours that suit you.
How can I book a colour analysis consultation?
And finally, if you’re really curious, and would like a definitive answer you could book with me for a full online colour analysis reading.
Here's how it works:
• You send me the answers to a set of questions and photographs.
• I complete your reading.
• I’ll post your personalised swatch of 50 colours to keep in your handbag and will make clothes shopping a breeze.
• I’ll email you a pdf guide full of comprehensive information on how to make the most of your colours. It focuses on easy-to-follow tips.
• We will then book in a 15–20-minute video call to chat through your results.
• You have ongoing support and lifetime access to my exclusive Absolute Colour Club, with bonus video tutorials, plus a forum for chat and to check in with colour quandaries.
Here's what Clare had to say recently after her online reading.
"I'm so pleased I did it. It answered so many questions I hadn't even asked and I'm already receiving more compliments and feeling more confident about what I wear. I couldn't recommend Lisa more!"
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