How do you wear dark, subtle colours without looking drab? Are there any rules I can follow?

(67 Posts)
IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 11:30:31

Due to my colouring (cool-toned, pale skin, dark hair and eyes) I look best in dark, wintery colours - greys, navy, black, deep dark purple. But it can look quite drab I think - I tried to find a scarf to lift the overall look, but most of them are really bright and make me look ill, or are too patterned and don't suit me either. It doesn't help that I'm rather skinny and small and big accessories, even scarves, can overwhelm me. Where am I going wrong?

QueenCadbury Wed 09-Jan-13 13:11:02

What about a coloured bag? Otherwise as others have said belt or shoes. Or bangle/cuff if you don't like necklaces or earrings.

theghostinthewashingmachine Wed 09-Jan-13 13:15:32

try stud earrings? either pearls or maybe that kind of roughed up silver (there must be a technical term for that) - because they're near to your face they can really brighten a look and pull it together.

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 13:22:56

Theghost you are really tempting me to go and get my ears pierced now. MN is far too influential!! Like the idea of pearl or silvery studs. I never got them pierced because at the height of my wanting-pierced-ears stage as a child I wasn't allowed to get them done, and I never bothered in the end.

Ephiny Wed 09-Jan-13 13:23:52

No idea about make up, sorry, I never wear any!

Itsafineline Wed 09-Jan-13 13:32:09

Of course, its always possible that if bright stuff really overwhelms you that you aren't a winter, but a summer......
Sorry - don't want to throw cat amongst pigeons.
The most important thing about winters is the contrast - it is a high contrast season. So with your dark hair and very very pale skin, that makes sense to me. You should be looking for the same level of contrast in your clothing look, as in your face/eyes/hair.
The middle scarf looks the best, Fox, the pink one looks a bit summery on my screen, and I'm worried about the print size of the green one. Too big for a gam.

theghostinthewashingmachine Wed 09-Jan-13 13:55:07

I think you should, in that case! I have similar problems to you but with summer colours rather than winter and it's amazing how easily simple earrings transform a boring/neutral outfit to something subtle and (apparently) thought out.

QueefLatina Wed 09-Jan-13 14:00:23

I'm a winter and i can look a lot like the girl of 'the ring' if i'm not careful!

white clothes are great for me. I have a white blazer and coat and they really perk up my skin tone.

Also dolly pink coloured blusher and pinky lipgloss.

I wear grey pearl earring as white makes me feel a bit classic.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 09-Jan-13 14:04:47

Another winter here - if you have dark eyes that you are likely to be a deep winter:

http://seasonalcoloranalysis.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/deep%20winter%20ceebrities#.UO14W2-U1Bk

Here is an useful link about the clothing/personal style you need to be looking out for:

http://trepanrr.tripod.com/personal_clothing_styles.htm

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 09-Jan-13 14:05:01

Another winter here - if you have dark eyes that you are likely to be a deep winter:

seasonalcoloranalysis.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/deep%20winter%20ceebrities#.UO14W2-U1Bk

Here is an useful link about the clothing/personal style you need to be looking out for:

trepanrr.tripod.com/personal_clothing_styles.htm

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 09-Jan-13 14:06:59
DonaAna Wed 09-Jan-13 14:17:56

Italians seem to master this look. They wear dark monochrome a lot - when they do, they make their face, eyes and lips the focal point (subtly defined neutral eye makeup that accentuates the eye color, rosy/ terracotta blusher, berry-stained lips, perhaps an interesting earring).

The rest of the outfit is simple, dark and minimalistic (go for clean lines), but they have some color near the face. One of those circular scarves in a softer or brighter blue would work (and it would break the long vertical lines) - I have seen several of those looking great on the street. Or the brighter accent is somewhere else - perhaps a contrasting bag (I saw a stunning off-white calf leather bag with tan straps today - the rest of the outfit was gray/indigo). Footwear can work too, but it's trickier.

Don't go overboard with the accents. Limit yourself to one in the beginning. Too much and you'll get this. wink

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 14:28:58

Thanks for those links MadAbout. I'm not exactly like any of those dark winter or cool winter people - I have more contrast than the cool winters as my eyes are very dark, but not a warm chocolate colour, more a cool dark sludge colour! And I am not olive skinned like the deep winters, which is probably why too-bright colours drain me. I need to look for jewel tones instead of bright I think.

Thank you this is so helpful, I thought it might be too boring a thread to get any replies!

Queef I often wake up looking like the girl from The Ring! Agree dolly pink blusher is a lifesaver. I've recently discovered Mac Frankly Scarlet blusher - blended well gives you proper Snow White cheeks.

DonaAna I'm going to look for a royal blue circular scarf I reckon smile

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 09-Jan-13 14:47:52

Maybe you're a deep Autumn then - they are high contrast, tend to have sludgy coloured eyes and can have pale skins...

seasonalcoloranalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/deep-autumn.html#.UO2Cr2-U1Bk

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 14:53:46

I'm definitely very cool toned MadAbout, so probably not an Autumn - taupe, salmon, beige and camel look unbelievably hideous on me. Maybe my problem is having mixture of English and Polish/Czech/Hungarian blood - my genes are confused!

You sound Wintry to me. The seasons are good but they're not one size fits all. In my palette I have stone, ice lemon and ice green. Theoretically I should be able to get away with them, but I avoid like the plague. Ice pink not so bad, ice blue at a push (for socks or something...). I'm what HoC calls a sultry winter so the deeper hues suit me best. You can be really pale and be a sultry winter I think, it is the closest winter to autumn of that makes sense.

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 15:11:59

Yes I'm pretty convinced I'm a Winter of some kind Amber. Pale icy lavender seems to work really well on me, and ice pink pretty well, though more in a cardigan than a whole jumper. Pale blues look a little bit drab somehow.

Yes lavender good on me too. Have you tried a burgundy lip colour? I find it the most flattering on me, quite dramatic as it is such a contrast, but I wear a burgundy gloss in the day, full on lipstick at night. Can seem startling at first but I got used to it quickly.

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 15:16:18

No I haven't Amber, I love the idea of a burgundy gloss. Any recommendations? (Sorry I feel like I'm squeezing you for information!)

Have you actually had your colours done, petfox? Some pale cool people are actually Summer, which might explain why you feel the more intense colours are draining you.

I'm a gamine too - it is a challenge to be warm without bulk! I wear wool tights and quite a few hats. And stay away from wrap coats and very big scarves, though sometimes needs must.

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 15:22:33

Travelin I've had them done quickly and informally by a HoC consultant that I know! What kind of coats do you wear as a gamine? My favourite is a black cropped leather jacket, that's the one that seems to go best with all my outfits and not drown me, but obv it's not warm enough for winter. My winter coat is a nice navy peacoat, but it's still a little bit flarey and fussy and not quite me.

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 15:23:42

Sorry forgot to say, you could possibly be right about me being a Summer, I don't know. Maybe I will get them done probably and throroughly this year.

This is the gloss I wear (in chaotic currant), or I wear HoC lipstick no 512.

IwantaPetFox Wed 09-Jan-13 15:41:47

Thanks Amber Chaotic Currant looks gorgeous and has gone straight on my shopping list grin It's dark, but I dressed up as a witch at Halloween and wore a heavy layer of Revlon Black Cherry lipstick - and strangely looked more attractive instead of more witchy! I haven't made it a staple though, I'm too lazy for proper lipstick everyday.

DonaAna Wed 09-Jan-13 15:46:37

Being a Summer would explain the drabness.
Summers are inherently drab.
We don't get to wear black and white, we get charcoal and oatmeal (sigh)
<Fellow Summer sufferer here>

If that's true, you need to give up the high intensity high contrast cool colors and go for softer shades and low contrast (ie, smoky blue instead of royal blue).
They can look incredibly flattering.

I'd love to be a Winter, but I've learned to like Summer colors.
Blusher and lipstick are super important for Summers (if I stand against a beige wall, you won't notice me otherwise).

If you are a Winter, you are high-contrast, and need to create contrast in your looks. Head to toe black with black accessories will actually be low-contrast, unless you have Snow White's skin tone and blood red lips.

I tend to go for wool, single breasted knee length or just above - fitted at the waist. Basically a bit like a school coat. Need to make sure the lapels are not too big or drapy. I'm a classic gamine, so the traditional styles and quality fabrics are good for me. I also wear brooches on coats for a bit of quirky detail, and I wear vintage silk scarves knotted at the neck, which are also warm.

I found getting my clothing personality done was really enlightening - it explained why cardigans make me feel like worlds biggest frump, and why big prints look wrong on me, even though I'm not at all petite.

(I'm an HoC consultant by the way, and your friend could really get in trouble for doing a 'quick and informal'!) grin

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