Knowing your colors is the perfect first step to transforming your look. Once you know your season… you’ll need to understand how to wear your colors. My seasonal color guides go into depth on how to exactly wear your colors for your season… but this article will get you started.
By the way, if you don’t know your season yet, take my free online quiz or sign up for your personal color analysis.
Based on your overall coloring, you will wear your colors in low, medium or high contrast.
High contrast means that the difference between 2 colors is great. This creates an energetic, high voltage look. The colors may be different between light and dark… or between intensity. If you have fair skin and dark hair, you will likely look great in high contrast colors. High contrast individuals should avoid low contrast clothing because it will drain the color right out of you. High contrast should be worn by:
Medium contrast means that the difference between 2 colors is medium. This creates an interesting, less intense look. The colors may be different between light and dark… or between intensity. If you have light skin and medium hair… medium skin and dark hair, you will likely look great in medium contrast colors. Medium contrast can be worn by:
Low contrast means that the difference between 2 colors is low. This creates a calm look. The colors will seem to blend into each other. If you have light skin and light hair… medium skin and medium hair… dark skin and dark hair, you will likely look great in low contrast colors. Low contrast individuals can not tolerate high contrast clothing. It visually vibrates on them. Low contrast can be worn by:
Contrast can also be found in patterns.
Pay attention to the intensity of a pattern when choosing your clothes. A high contrast striped shirt will look wrong on a soft summer. A low contrast scarf will appear boring on a clear winter.
Contrast isn’t just in between the colors and patterns in an outfit. There is also contrast between a color and a person’s skin. A dark skinned person wearing black is wearing low contrast. Wear as a fair skinned person wearing black is in high contrast. A dark skinned person may need to wear bright saturated colors to be in high contrast… if that’s the look they’re going for.
Hayden Panettierre on the left is in low contrast. Middle is closer to medium with the brighter shirt. On the right is high contrast. Hayden is a light spring and should only go for high contrast at formal events. It’s critical to wear the RIGHT color if you’re going for high contrast. That red-orange is really fun. A royal blue would have been perfect.
Here’s another example…
Kerry Washington in low contrast on the left. Medium contrast in the middle. High contrast on the right. You can see where a low contrast look that is perfect on Hayden… is draining on Kerry. Kerry Washington is a deep autumn and needs some contrast. I think she looks perfect in medium contrast. The bright red on the right isn’t great. If it were deeper, it would be perfect.
Your goal is to not have your colors wear you. When you wear your perfect colors in the right combinations… YOU stand out. Not your clothes. You want people to notice you, not your outfit.
Have fun and wear what you love!
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