Wrong Colours Away From The Face
October 3, 2009 by Christine Scaman
There are those who believe that even if black is not among your good colours, you can still wear it away from your face, or with a right-coloured accessory. I have tried to agree with that but I can’t. To my eyes, it throws the look completely off balance, even if it’s just dark shoes.
Whenever people cannot agree about something, it’s because there must be many right answers. If there were only one right way, we’d all be doing it, not unlike dog ear cleaning methods. A large amount of it comes down to opinion or taste.
When colours fight, one will win. One will lose. For any person with very light colouring or very low contrast, black is overpowering. It will win, meaning that in the contest between what is getting noticed, it will be the black. The person wearing it fades to grey, the edges get fuzzy, and the whole image is weak.
I know a heavy set blond-haired, blue-eyed man. He favors dark shirts and pants, presumably to look thinner. Because his body clothed in black takes over his face, his head seems to shrink by comparison. His body appears disproportionately large, even larger than it already is, because the eye is occupied with looking at the body all the time. The black sucks your gaze down from his face.
Of the 12 Seasons in personal colour analysis, only 4 or 5 can balance black without disappearing in it.
There are darker Summers out there, almost Wintery looking, but they can’t wear Winter’s dark drapes well. They can wear black as pants and shoes, because their hair tones approach black. Also, their coloring is dramatic enough to balance that same effect in the colour black. BUT, they do not do well in a black top on its own, scoop-neck or not. Black looks too heavy, dense, and solid.
Many of these women have thought of themselves as Winter for so long that they are comfortable in black. Once they see how old and tired they look in the solid colour, they quickly learn to adapt it with their cool roses and incredibly sophisticated neutrals. By softening the black with better colours and feminine details, it becomes a possibility for some of them.
Does the darkness and statement of black contrast well with light and/or warm hair? Maybe if there were nothing else to look at but clothes and hair. But the face pays a price. Seasonal Colour Analysis in clothing aims to perfect the skin tone above all else.
The essential element
I do agree with the convention that pants and shoes look best in the range of tones of the person’s hair, and not going darker than the darkest tone in the hair. You have many tones in your hair when you study the range from lightest to darkest or warmest to coolest. You still have a lot of choice.
A reader introduced me to the work of Jennifer Butler. Her site is full of good stuff. This is a very short YouTube video on this topic.
Watch some of the videos, or the main large one at the top on her Videos page. Her work is fascinating and hugely creative. I loved watching all the videos on her site. She is very comprehensive in her ability to incorporate colour, style, silhouette, and the individual’s inner essence with awesome (and humbling) skill.
Since I’m the Budget Colour and Style Analyst, I prefer the IKEA version of clothing, clean straight lines. Gathers, details, smocking, jewels – I don’t know, the final look always seems complicated. Perhaps she’d leave me to my simple ways, who knows, though I’m the first to admit I could use her help.
Colour and style expert Irenee Riter has an enormous amount of information on her website. She takes yet another approach to colour and human beings, with Color Ovals and InterSeasons. On this page, some more on wearing your hair colour
See the image about 1/3 down the page with the comment “looks like a head sitting on a dresser”? That’s exactly what the light-coloured man looks like in the dark suit, plus 200lbs.