Because I have experienced first-hand the spirit-lifting power of color, I feel it is my duty to encourage everyone to wear more of it. Strangers on the street! Tiny children! Farm animals! You should all be wearing more color, dammit. No, I don’t have to look at you to know it. I can just tell.
Yet, I’m well aware that neutrals feel safe and eternally chic. And, perhaps more importantly, that certain colors make certain people look peaked. Poorly. Washed-out. Just plain awful. And while I believe that sometimes one should wear a bright, happy, invigorating shade despite its potential complexion-ruining properties, I also understand that most of us prefer to look healthy and glowing most days.
So, here are my tips for wearing colors that wear you. Nothing earth-shattering here, but it’s nice to have all the tricks in one place!
Wear it on your bottom half
So, the dusty rose color of my marvelous tulle skirt up there? There’s a specific reason it’s being worn on the lower half of my bod. Boy, does it ever make me look like a flu victim when it’s up next to my face. Drains the color from my skin, dulls my eyes and hair, sucks all the sparkle out of my complexion. But my legs suffer less, as you can see. They’re just as pale and pinky as always.
Now, if it’s bright red or neon yellow that messes with your complexion, you may feel like wearing such blaring brights on your bottom half will draw attention to your hips and butt and legs. True, true. And if you’re self-conscious about those body parts, that may feel risky. You can certainly mitigate the effect by doing a long cardigan or blazer when wearing bright bottoms, but if that doesn’t appeal, fear not. There are plenty of other ways to get your neon on.
Wear it in a pattern
This might be the least satisfying of your options, but it’s still a viable option. If you love yellow and long to wear big swaths of it, try a different trick than this one. But if a little dab will do ya, pattern is a fabulous way to work tricky colors into daily wear. You can even pick patterns in which the offending shade is dominant. The presence of other tones and the movement provided by graphic patterns will help soften the impact.
As is the case with bottoms, some unflattering colors make for real attention-grabbers when worn on your lower half. You may balk at the idea of wearing hot pink, bright white, or vibrant teal tights. But if it’s navy, gray, or black that fights your natural coloring, picking those colors up in hosiery can feel more easy and natural.
Place something between your face and the offending color
Most of us don’t worry quite as much about how colors play on our breastbones or wrists. The main concern is the face itself, and getting a more flattering color or distracting texture between your visage and the color that messes with it can help. The most obvious choice is a scarf, of course, but a cardigan, shawl, or blazer can do the job almost as well. Even a fairly heavy necklace can work wonders. Ideally, it should be a contrasting colored necklace, but even a metal that works with your skin tone will soften the effects of the unflatteringly colored top.
Wear it in accessories or shoes
Belts and sashes in bright or tricky colors can add punch to your outfits, as can incorporating colorful footwear. Handbags are an absolute natural, too, since you seldom press your purse against your face. (Or if you do feel the need for a purse-nuzzle, you don’t do it ALL DAY LONG.) Bangles and rings can work, too, although earrings, scarves, and necklaces in colors that fight your complexion can be far trickier.
- Color Simplified
- How to Be Intentional with White
- Being Intentional with Black
- Incorporating Colorful Shoes
- Color Combos
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to bring colors into your life. If wearing green makes you look green, you could buy a green car. If white makes you look like you’ve just seen a ghost, paint your walls white. If red makes you look ruddy, you can always invest in a red rug or bedspread. But if your desire is to don a color that makes mayhem with your natural facial tones, some of these suggestions may help make that possible.