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Yesterday I got an almighty shock whilst wearing black

(62 Posts)
TheProvincialLady Wed 25-May-11 17:14:22

I wore black trousers and a black tank top with a silver/gray short sleeved silk blouse underneath. I thought I looked ok when I left the house.

But when I checked my reflection in the ladies at work, I found that I looked frightful. Black has always suited me, but I looked like the palest, most washed out person ever. It was quite frightening.

So what happened? I am 36...have I suddenly reached the age when black becomes a difficult to wear? I wear makeup and have blonde highlights, very similar to how my hair used to be before it suddenly went mousy after I had DS1.

Is this a common thing to happen and can I continue to wear black in other ways, or is it all over for me now? Any tips welcome.

whoneedssleepanyway Wed 25-May-11 17:17:44

Are you sure that black has always suited you....what is your colouring, you mention blonde highlights..this is a sweeping generalisation but didn't think black was great for blondes....

WhatsWrongWithYou Wed 25-May-11 17:20:05

According to the colour consultants, black suits 'winter' types, (Celtic colouring, pale skin, very dark hair), and I'm sure black and Asian complexions as well.
Mousy/blonde-haired types don't suit it, but if you ever did, your complexion and hair colour fade as you age, so the colours you can carry off change slightly as well.
I'd suggest getting your colours 'done' and keeping the black for wearing away from your face, with the ultimate aim of phasing it out entirely.

Gillybobs Wed 25-May-11 17:24:11

FWIW, I find the lighting in most Ladies to be horribly unkind and I often feel gutted when I see my reflection. Its much harsher than daylight, maybe you looked absolutely fine after all x

wordsonascreen Wed 25-May-11 17:26:22

I've stopped wearing black for that very reason.

TheProvincialLady Wed 25-May-11 17:27:59

I have always had lots of compliments wearing black, especially on my upper body (but always with a v or scoop neck as I have a large chest, so perhaps that helped). It has always set the paleness off in a good way before.

I suppose my complexion, such as it ever was, is fading. My colouring always used to be pink-and-white, but now it's just white. So this is a wake up call - TPL is ageing!

Where does one get colours done?

MissBeehiving Wed 25-May-11 17:30:47

I stopped wearing black next to my face because it made me look so old and haggard.

Jajas Wed 25-May-11 17:32:34

I look like a cadaver with black next to my face. Tis possible to wear a bright scarf I guess to break up the bleakness a bit.

WhatsWrongWithYou Wed 25-May-11 17:37:49

House of Colour here.

Strumpypumpy Wed 25-May-11 17:41:15

Blondes can't easily wear black IMO. Think Claudia Schiffer, I know she's a model and what not, but always looks horrendous in black. Navy blue, Greys are much more flattering. I'm dark, but my sister is blonde. We can make the same outfit look totally different, and we're pretty similar in most ways.

MrsSnow Wed 25-May-11 18:13:46

I think it was more the base colour of the blouse with the black that was draining. If you have blonde in your hair then it needs something warm with it whereas silver/grey is cold, add on the black it drains.

If you wear black with something like a pink or a gold then I don't think it will be as draining as the warmth will reflect colour back into you rather than suck it out.

neolara Wed 25-May-11 18:17:38

I used to be fine in black. Now it looks hideous. One of the many joys of getting older.....

ellangirl Wed 25-May-11 18:28:42

it's not so much the colouring, but the contrast. So, someone with pale skin and very dark hair can do strong colours and black. Someone with fair hair, blue eyes and fair skin cannot- they need muted colours as there is less contrast in their own colouring. Most people's colouring will fade and become muted with age- not that you are old! However, it is unlikely that black was ever a great colour on you, according to House of Colour anyway. I'm a total convert to wearing your best colours- I never wear black at all now.

mittenkitten007 Wed 25-May-11 18:40:44

YY. Had this same experience today in the bright sunshine. My head looked disconnected from my body.

I think this is why so many of us ageing ladeez end up having our "colours done."

TheProvincialLady Wed 25-May-11 18:46:44

I have looked at the House of Colour and there is someone in my details of cost on the website though. Any idea roughly how much it costs please? And how useful has it been to you, those who have had it done? And what do you do with the information? For example, I know that pink and brown are both colours that suit me well but they aren't always in the shops in good shades or styles, and I would look boring just dressed in those two colours all the how practical is it?

MrsSnow I do think the dark blouse underneath was the nail in the coffin but it seems my black wearing days are over.

TheProvincialLady Wed 25-May-11 18:49:54

What is annoying is that I look more like 29-30 than 36 (or so I am told, my friends may be lying!) so I don't think of myself as ageing particularly. What has put me off the HoC thing before is exactly the fact that older people do it (and often end up wearing jaunty scarves and linen thigh length coats, IME). I don't want to look like a styled older lady - is that essential?

mittenkitten007 Wed 25-May-11 20:07:55

Well, I for welcome my new Linen Trousered Overlords . . . oh, wait, what am I saying??? Yes, ProvincialLady, that's exactly what's putting me off -- the idea that I'm going to have to walk around in "coordinates."

WhatsWrongWithYou Wed 25-May-11 20:18:59

I don't think anyone would ever accuse me of wearing 'co-ordinates.' I wear colours that blend with each other and flatter me - is that a bad thing?
Don't own said linen coat or wear jaunty scarves either - although scarves seem to be worn by everyone these days, but I think I know what you mean.

I was aged about 42 when I went, so older than you, but, tbh, it would have served me well had I gone when I was younger and had more disposable income from working - plus I wouldn't have gone around in the frankly dull/inappropriate get-ups I used to sport then.

I gradually changed the colours in my wardrobe; took a while as was on a restricted budget, but now find it really easy to get dressed; everything can be worn with several other things so if I'm behind with laundry it's not the end of the world.

Cost me about £85 I think - you could phone the consultant for an up to date price.

And being a blonde doesn't necessarily mean you should wear gold rather than silver; you could be a 'cool' blonde, which I suspect you may be since you mentioned mousy hair, in which case your best metal would be silver.

garrulousgirl Wed 25-May-11 20:27:30

I got my colours done for precisely that reason, I always wore black and had become aware it was draining me. Like you I had concerns about how this might work with my preferred styles, I still want to look edgy! Even just wearing neutrals or colours on my top half with brighter lipstick has made a massive difference, in my eyes and from people I know. I won't give up my black trousers or jackets just yet though!

noddyholder Wed 25-May-11 20:30:01

This happened to me late 30s I just looked awful but I can wear black again now and am 45

ellangirl Wed 25-May-11 20:55:44

Think it's £95 now. I went a few months ago and I am only 27 just to prove it's not just for older ladies! I agree with everything that whatswrongwithyou basically, and want to add that I don't find it hard to find my colours in the shops at all. It's interesting shopping now because I'm always thinking 'will it really suit me?' rather than just buying what's in fashion/whatever fits!

JemimaMop Wed 25-May-11 20:59:42

It happened to me around the time I turned 30. I always wore a lot of black and it suited me (dark hair, pale freckly skin). But I suddenly found it made me look really washed out. Navy is now my friend grin

mittenkitten007 Wed 25-May-11 21:44:00

You know there are several systems of "personal colour analysis," right? More recent thinking is that any season can have any hair or eye colour. Truth is Beauty and Pretty Your World are a couple of blogs I've recently discovered on this subject. This is really informative too.

All this research over the past few days, and yet if I'm honest all I really want is a neutral I can substitute for black.

TheProvincialLady Wed 25-May-11 21:44:14

WWWY that all sounds like a good thing to me - sorry, didn't mean to be offensive. Being armed with information about what suits is good, especially with colour because I have never been very good with colour generally and tend to play it safe with what I think already suits me. Obviously this is starting to change.

I will find out how much the session costs. I don't have a huge amount of disposable income either ATM but it is always better to buy a small amount of something that I will wear a lot than loads of stuff I wear once and then realise was a mistake.

I think I must be a cool blonde because gold looks hideous on me. I would never wear a gold necklace especially.

Thanks everyone for all your help.

TheProvincialLady Wed 25-May-11 21:46:40

Sorry, I typed that ages ago and only just got to post it. Thanks for those links mitten and for the reassurance that I am not too young to do it ellangirl.

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