What color should I wear is a question that I am frequently asked as a fashion + style expert.
I’ve been traveling a lot lately and meeting many bright and savvy entrepreneurs at business conferences who are totally stymied when it comes to how they present themselves.
Color is one of their biggest roadblocks when it comes to creating a chic and professional image.
One woman told me that she saw an image consultant who told her to wear brown and apricot as it reflected her soul.
No wonder this poor woman couldn’t find a thing to wear and when she did she looked like the thing that brown best represents.
Here’s the truth about color and style, if you want to look chic, rich and relevant: wear classic neutral colors!
Have you ever looked at chic French women?
They build a wardrobe around black or navy.
Have you ever looked in high-end department stores like Barney’s New York, Bergdorf Goodman or Neiman Marcus (just Google them to see), you’ will see plenty of black, navy or white.
Keep in mind that it is NOT about the price tag but about the elegance that the color conveys. Stay away from murky, trendy or off colors that only suck up your presence and become dated very quickly.
By all means do add color to your wardrobe, but as I teach the ladies in the C’est Chic Crash Course, think of color as an accent rather than a mainstay of your wardrobe.
Consider this the next time you go shopping:
- Color dates itself.
Every year there is a Pantone Color of the Year to keep things fresh so you want to go out and buy something new. But want happens the next year or the year after that? Before you know you’ll be wearing the color of 2001 in 2016 and looking out of touch and irrelevant.
Classic colors like black, navy, white, gray or red as an accent always look modern. Always look chic. Always look rich. Always look relevant.
- Color gimmicks are exactly just that.
It’s not about what “color season” you are it’s about the texture, tone and how the color looks on you as a whole. The time of year, whether or not you are wearing makeup, have a tan or not, your hair color, lighting also come into play as well as fabric texture and color placement.
I once took a season color test for the hell of it and was the fifth season. No matter how many pieces of polyester fabric someone throws up against your face, it’s just a gimmick for ignoring something pretty obvious: how does it look on you that day?
- Colors are difficult to coordinate.
There is nothing more limiting than a wardrobe of separates that are all different colors. Ground your wardrobe in flattering neutrals so that the colors can easily be added as accents.
- Combine high and low.
When you do invest in key wardrobe pieces be certain that they will last from a color standpoint. Classic colors can easily be found on a sale rack at the end of the season and will last for seasons to come. Add of-the-moment + disposable color trends from cheaper, fast fashion stores like the Zara outfit pictured above.
- Color tells a visual story.
When you want to look chic and successful you need to stay away from colors that say the wrong thing. Present yourself in a language that looks global, modern and relevant. For instance: Tan looks earthy. Mauve looks like the early 80s. Baby pink looks juvenile. Tie dye looks like you’re stuck in a time warp.
So what’s your color story? Are you dating yourself? Are you playing small?
Do you want to chat about unleveling your style? Let’s have a laser coaching session, click here to learn more.
Lead Photo: Zara