Know Your Colors?

Do you remember back in the 80’s when we all tried to figure out what colors “brightened” us and which ones made us look washed out with dark circles under our eyes?  A book called Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson started this new quest for personal perfection.

A woman in our neighborhood had her colors analyzed professionally.  From then on, all her clothes were from the appropriate color season.  (I still wonder how she could afford to do that and what she did with her old stuff.)  Most of us just sort of guessed at our color season and then hoped we had a few things in the right colors.

My clothes tend to look the same year after year.  Jeans, t-shirts, black pants, dressier shirts.  My size might change, but not my basic shape or style.  I do like to look at what’s new each season, the colors and styles, but they rarely work for my body or my age or my tastes.  Jeggings?  I think not.

My colors shifted some when I stopped dying my hair.  Some of my gray hairs sparkle like silver and some hairs are still kind of dark.  When it was a warm brown, I couldn’t wear gray.  Now I have tops in several shades of gray.  Why?  My skin color didn’t change.

Several years ago I found the perfect black pants–for me, anyway.  Jjill Sympatico Stretch in petite.  The waist fit.  And the hips, too.  The length was fine.  They needed no alterations.  I bought 3 black and 2 dark gray pairs.  I celebrated.

Then I lost enough weight to drop a size in pants.  I wore those Jjill pants until they were baggy enough to look ridiculous.  No problem, right?  I’ll just get some more in a smaller size.  I looked everywhere on the Jjill website.  They are gone.  Discontinued.  Not available.  Why??

Now I have no nice black pants.  A sixty-year-old woman can only get so far in jeans, even a size smaller.  I have hope.  I found some before and I’ll find some again.

By that time I’ll probably be the old size and will be able to wear the ones that are too big now.  Which I will save, along with the jeans that I used to wear.  What?  You don’t have more than one size clothes in your house?

My husband always asks at these times why I can’t just go into any store and pick something out in my size like he can.  How do I answer him without my voice getting louder and louder as I rant about the stupid, inconsistent sizing in women’s clothing?  And why can’t I?

I got a new Lands End catalog.  I like them and L.L.Bean.  Trendy I’m not. The fall colors  look good.  The one color I know consistently “brightens” me is dark green, forest green, pine green.  Lands End online has a v-neck, 3/4 sleeve tee-shirt in pine green.  I ordered two.  And a silk/cotton blouse in the same color.

I’ve learned not to wait when I see something I like.  And to buy multiples.

Published in: on August 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I wear a lot of red, not because I look good in red–I’m blue-eyed with mouse brown hair. I wear red because it makes me feel bolder, and because it was my mother’s color and it reminds me of her.

    My own personal fashion consultant (my daughter) tells me my color is brown–and she is right. I look gook in brown.

    But I prefer red.

    • I’m with you. I don’t want to wear anything that doesn’t make me feel good, whether it’s my color or not.

  2. For some crazy reason, my natural size is exactly between sizes. So I can wear XX but be squeezed a bit or XX and feel sloppy! So, yes, I have more than one size clothes in the house, but not really because my weight fluctuates. It just depends upon whether I want to feel thin and uncomfortable or fat and comfy.

    • These days I usually pick comfy and don’t look much at mirrors. Thanks for reading, Susan.

  3. I did the Color Me Beautiful exercise on my own and decided I was a Spring. They said throw away all the clothes that aren’t in your color scheme, but that left me with three outfits, so I ran an experiment. i started wearing those three outfits first and then what was left to take me to the end of the week. Every time I wore my colors people complimented me. Women started asking me, for the first time in my life, where I bought my clothes. It’s addictive. It took about five years to replace everything in my closet, just buying my colors each time I was ready for something new, but I’m so happy I did.

    Color is free and makes more difference than fit or style. It makes it easy to shop and magnifies my wardrobe because everything goes together.

    BTW, I hear you about finding black pants that fit. I finally found just the right pair at Banana Republic. Keep looking.

    Forget what your husband says. Men can just walk in and get what they need. He’ll never understand, but he doesn’t have to. You know what you need.

    • I’ll have to check out Banana Republic. I always know when I’m wearing one of my colors by the compliments on how I look. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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