The New Black

HABITUALLY THE ‘GO-TO’ FASHION ITEM FOR MANY OF US, THE LEGACY OF THE LBD HAS UNDISPUTEDLY STOOD THE TEST OF TIME, TRANSCENDING AGE, SIZE AND OCCASION – BUT WHEN IT COMES TO OOZING GLAMOUR & SOPHISTICATION THERE ARE PLENTY OF CHIC ALTERNATIVES THAT WILL HELP YOU STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD SAYS EXPERT COLOUR ANALYST, VICTORIA SCRANAGE


Why are we so fixated with the LBD? Little...not many of us feel comfortable wearing a revealing outfit; Black… not always a colour that suits the majority of people; Dress… not everyone’s thing. Why do we feel the need to flash the flesh at the Christmas Party when it’s not necessarily our style? Whether it’s a low cut top or a short hem, if you don’t feel confident, you won’t look confident. Black is one of the hardest colours of all to wear, yet when women want to look their best they typically opt for it. With 70% of the clothes sold in the UK being black, it’s certainly hard to avoid, however there are so many beautiful coloured clothes out there. Just because we’re women, it doesn’t mean that we have to wear a dress - particularly if we don’t enjoy wearing one. I can’t remember the last time I saw Victoria Beckham in anything other than trousers, but she always looks particularly feminine.

So let’s talk about my speciality... colour! Why not try something different, stand out from the LBD crowd. During the festive period, try a Christmas colour like red or green. If you’re feeling really brave there are always the classic metallic colours. Oh.....but wait, before you get too excited, you first need to determine whether you have ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ colouring. If you have any red (natural or not) in your hair, you are likely to have ‘warm’ colouring and if not then you probably have ‘cool’ colouring - but this isn’t an exact science. Compare fuchsia and salmon pinks, next to your face, to see which colour makes your eyes brighten and your skin glow. If the fuchsia suits you best you have ‘cool’ colouring, but if it’s the salmon you will look best in ‘warm’ colours.

If you have ‘warm’ colouring, stick to poppy red, teal green, copper or gold. If you have ‘cool’ colouring, the best shades to wear would be postbox red, emerald green or silver. You don’t need to be head to toe in one of these colours, but look for outfits that primarily contain them, in a style and shape that suits you. If you have strong dominant features such as a piercing eye colour, then mix contrasting colours; you don’t want to look like a Christmas tree, but how about a statement red or green skirt with navy accessories, or a gold jumpsuit with a black handbag, shoes and jewellery. If you have softer features, then blend similar colours to coordinate your perfect outfit. Mix grey and silver tones, in a dress, with gun metal grey accessories, or a mint green trouser suit with a teal cami top. Don’t be scared to experiment with colour.

Some women use black as a crutch believing it makes them look slimmer, when actually a correctly sized outfit in a flattering colour will look far better than a LBD if it’s not your style. Patterns can be great to hide areas of concern, although they can also draw attention so be careful that you use them to your advantage. If you are worried about moving away from the ‘comfort blanket’ of black, or simply can’t find any other colours in a suitable outfit, then bring an alternative colour to the fore with accessories. You can have real fun by coordinating your necklace, handbag, shoes and nail polish colour. Wearing a chunky necklace in a colour that makes your eyes sparkle, and illuminates your skin, will make all the difference.

The reason black can look so detrimental is the impact it has on your skin tone and eyes. If it is not your colour, it will have a yellowing effect on your skin, exaggerate darkness under your eyes and highlight any blemishes and wrinkles. Find ‘your’ colours and use them as a base, or accent, for any outfit you wear. Tying it in with matching accessories will build and cement your look, making it individual to you whilst allowing your personality to shine through. Dressing to express, rather than dressing to impress!

Women look far better in outfits that work with their style, shape and colouring but most importantly make them feel great. After all, that is what we are all aiming for isn’t it?

 

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