Fashion Color Coordination Starts By Choosing What Looks Good on You

Fashion color coordination has two components: what flatters you and what-goes-with-what.

The first principle of chic color choices is finding colors that flatter your complexion, hair, and eyes.

The second principle is teaming colors harmoniously.

Let's consider each of these.

What Colors Should I Wear?

Your unique coloring is the only thing to consider when making clothing choices.

Knowing what colors flatter you simplifies shopping. As you go through racks, you ignore any color that isn't your palette.

Another thing you can ignore is what colors are popular this year.

Small changes in the favored seasonal colors don't matter -- unless you travel in a crowd that lives and dies by fashion. No one is going to rush up to you with a color wheel and declare,

"My dear, that fuchsia is so out this season. Why aren't you wearing honeysuckle?"

If a color looks good on you and enhances the other colors in your ensemble, you are sure to gain compliments.

Winter and Summer Coloring Oversimplifies Your Choices

One simple way of advising women what colors to wear is to divide types into the warm or summer complexions and the wintry, pale type.

Warm skin tones are yellow or darker, and this type -- we are told -- has dark eyes and hair. Warm colors, such as red, rust, olive green, and dusty yellow are recommended.

The wintry, pale type has an underlying pink skin tone, pale eyes, and light hair. Pastels and medium light colors in the blue, green, purple, and pink families often look well on these women.

This simple answer to the question, "What colors should I wear?" is unreliable and unrealistic.

There Are More Than Two Perfect Palettes

Human appearance is much more complicated summer skin and eyes versus winter skin and eyes.

Warm-skinned women, with an underlying gold or yellow cast to the skin, may have gray, hazel, or blue eyes.

Pale women may have dark hair and eyes.

Here is an illustration of the complexities of fashion color coordination:

Is there a color you believe you simply cannot wear?

Yet one day while shopping, you came upon a variation of that color that looks simply stunning on you?

For instance, redheads often are told that they cannot wear red or pink.

However, there are shades of red and pink that may look just right.

The only way to know for sure is to look at the garment in several shades of light and give it a try if you love it.

White and some pastels may look absolutely stunning on some dark-skinned women.

On the other hand, whites and pastel colors may make some older fair women look washed out and ghostly. Jewel tones may provide a good pick me up.

Two Guidelines for Noticing Your Perfect Colors

Here are a few tips for fashion color coordination that suits you:

#1. Pay attention to compliments.

Some of us have trouble accepting compliments.

Graciously say, "Thank you."

Do not provide the other person with a litany of reasons why his or her evaluation is wrong.

This will do wonders for your confidence. When you button your flap, you have time to soak in and enjoy the kind words.

Isn't it kinder to glow with pleasure when we get a compliment? By doing so, we show appreciation for other people -- so they get a payoff too.

Not only is "You mean, this old thing?" syndrome rude, it blocks you from taking stock of what colors and styles are most flattering.

Fashioning ourselves in later life means stepping into compliments with grace and inner style, providing a model for younger women to grow into their own confidence, and using this feedback to fine-tune our esthetics and our wardrobes.

#2. Notice what colors make you feel good.

When a color gives you a boost, it shows in the way you carry yourself and on your face.

This combination is more likely to earn compliments from others, too.

Notice when you smile at yourself in the mirror when you catch your reflection wearning a particular color.

Buy accessories in these colors, such as a scarf that you can wear near your face, so you can incorporate them often into your outfits.

Matching Clothes Colors Is Easy in Our Everything-Goes World

Very few color combinations are unacceptable these days.

Coral and lime green, yellow and turquoise, brown and black, navy blue and brown - breaking color taboos can result in striking and dramatic ensembles.

One woman can pull off a flamboyant mismatch of colors and even mix prints with panache.

Another gal doesn't feel comfortable unless her outfit is a pull-together and polished selection of conservative fashion color coordination.

"What Colors Should I Wear?" Is About Personality, Too

The success of your matching clothes colors depend on your personality and approach to life, as much as on your skin type and what's popular this season.

Fashion color coordination is highly personal.

Pay attention to what other people like on you and experiment.

If you truly cannot decide, "What colors should I wear?" and can afford it, consider hiring a fashion color expert with good references and credentials.

Fashion Color Coordination Is Endlessly Fascinating

I often write about colors, because it is fun to think about what colors go with each other and what can add that special pop.

Guide to Color Pages: Click on Color Box
khaki clothes
red apparel
characoal sweater
coral color
Khaki Red Charcoal Coral

teal clothing
black and white dresses
yellow clothing
womens white site jacket
Teal Black & White Yellow White

Here a some tips about how to mix and match the best khakis for stylish combinations.

Teal is one of my personal favorites. Use this jewel tone with strong colors, pastels, or neutral for a vivid effect.

Red is a storied color, and I've devoted several pages to its history and uses. Start here at Red Apparel: Everything You Need to Know from Crimson to Scarlet.

Love yellow? Find out how to wear it and why it sparks optimism and creativity.

Corals and vivid pinks are almost always in style in one shade or another.

Other neutrals we've covered at the charcoal sweater, the ever-svelte white suit, and long white dresses.

> Fashion Color Coordination
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