White. Black. Navy. Brown. These are the basic colors found in most of our wardrobes. But what happens when fashion designers decide they want to shake things up a bit? They surprise us by creating a little more daring color chaos thrown into the mix of all those boring basics we insist on wearing year after year.
“Without the classics, a wardrobe can’t be built,” admits Jackie Nasser, Fashion Director of the online boutique Rue La La. “But without a little color chaos, a wardrobe can’t come to life.”
Color expert Lee Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, agrees. “There are specific color combinations that say classic,” she says, “while other mixes are completely unexpected and bring an element of surprise. Some may refer to those combinations as chaotic, yet in the proper context they might be absolutely on target for expressing a more freewheeling and creative mood. … There is room for classic and chaotic.”
So whether you want to stick with the classic palette or inject a little more fun into your wardrobe this fall, designers provide plenty of color inspiration. Pantone’s fall 2015 predictions include a color palette that ranges from earthy neutrals such as greenish-gray “Desert Sage,” olive green “Dried Herb,” blue-gray “Stormy Weather” and golden-yellow “Oak Buff.”
Add a wine-like ruddy brown like “Marsala” to warm things up or a blue-green like “Biscay Bay” for a splash of tropical flair. And then if you really want to get a little “chaotic,” layer fall color favorites like “Cadmium Orange,” “Cashmere Rose” and “Amethyst Orchid” to invoke a ’70s flashback.
But while the trends may change every year or two, we usually have a favorite color, says Eiseman, who extensively explores how color affects all of us in her book “The Color Answer Book.” “Everyone has a personal color ‘signature’ based on hair, skin and eye colors,” she writes. “Wearing accessories or clothing that repeat elements of your personal coloring will be flattering and distinctive and pleasing to others as well.”
Here are Eiseman’s additional tips for selecting signature colors:
—”If you have hair, skin and eyes with very little contrast, such as very dark skin, eyes and hair that appear almost black, there are actually other undertones present. Extremely dark skin and hair may appear to be blue-black. So a jet black or true navy sweater and pants accented with a (Biscay Bay) blue shirt and a touch of pristine white to add sharp contrast … would look terrific.”
—”If your skin is a deep dark brown, a brownish black, such as Black Coffee, would look subtly striking.” Try shirts in this season’s Marsala or Biscay Bay to complement coffee-colored skin. Eiseman also suggests a touch of winter white to add a flattering contrast.
—”If your hair is silver, your eyes a light blue, and your skin is fair, there is nothing like the drama of jet black” or dark blue colors, writes Eiseman. This season, try Biscay Bay, Marsala and gray Stormy Weather worn with contrasting white or silvery gray and a vibrant touch of Amethyst Orchid.
—”Redheads, of course, by virtue of their unique coloring, can’t help but attract attention,” writes Eiseman. “If you are a copper-toned redhead with cream-colored skin and amber eyes, you simply know that the very same shades are magical on you.
—For Asian skin tones, Eisemen recommends complementary colors to the olive base of their skin. So reds and pinks are a good match (Marsala, Amethyst Orchid). These shades work well with anyone who has dark hair and dark eyes.
—”Sandy-haired people with beige skin tones and brown eyes invariably go for the neutrals. … If you wear them consistently and with very little contrast, you will disappear into the woodwork,” writes Eiseman. “Wear these classic tones, but add a touch of contrast, something memorable” A little Cadmium Orange or Cashmere Rose, perhaps?
Experiment with different elements from Pantone’s fall palette. Then if you want to add more “chaos” to your life, wear all these colors together!
To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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