I Can Wear That Color

November 9, 2014 Updated: November 9, 2014
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I have a friend who is always talking about color, as in, “I can’t wear that color. You can, but I can’t.” A number of years ago she had her color chart done, and she’s never been the same since.

Color charts were very popular for quite awhile. Women had them done and were told they were “summer” or “winter.” And this determined their choice of cosmetic colors and clothing. I thought that it was nonsense then, and I still think it’s nonsense.

I think that many women are just afraid of color. In actuality, there aren’t that many colors women can’t wear. Admittedly, black can be hard or mustard or a neon-bright. But a bright, sunny yellow is great for most skin tones and while you might shy away from a shocking pink, a gentler pastel version is lovely. Black right close to the face can be difficult to wear, but not if the neckline is low or you wear a bright scarf or, if all else fails, brighter makeup.

In truth, khaki is impossible. And so is camouflage. I doubt that the woman has been born who is flattered by either. Why designers use camouflage prints is beyond me.

My friend who had her color chart done, is very pretty with dark brown hair and eyes, and perfect skin. I think she could wear so many different colors well, but she closes herself off from them. So many women do this.

I love color. Whenever I decide against a color, it’s not because I “can’t wear it,” but because I just don’t like it. I stay away from any color that is muddy or looks washed out. In the winter I wear bright red lipstick and switch to a lighter shade in the summer. But I wear bright clothing all year round.

I would advise any woman who thinks she can’t wear a certain shade to try it before deciding to banish it from her wardrobe. Forget whether you’re a “winter” or “summer” and just play with color, experiment a little.

This is why stores have dressing rooms. Try a color you never considered before, and really look at yourself in the mirror. If you lack confidence, pick a shirt in three different colors and ask a shop assistant which one she thinks looks best on you. This way she will have to justify her choice and you might also gain a better understanding about what kinds of colors suit you. Perhaps a different lipstick might make a big difference.

There are so many colors. Open your mind to them.

Miriam Silverberg is a freelance journalist and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates, a boutique publicity firm in Manhattan. She may be reached at silverbergm@mindspring.com

(Photo of woman via Shutterstock)