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shall I give up on brown?

(34 Posts)
Standandwait Sat 11-Nov-17 21:08:01

A couple of years ago I got desperate and got my colours done. Probably because of my odd ethnic mix, turns there just aren’t many real-world colours that look good on me. Was firmly told to avoid black, grey, all beiges, all whites except a very light yellow, all navy blue except something called “French navy” that I have never found in an actual shop. Was basically told to go with chocolate brown and certain greens. In other words, sludge.

Fashionistas like to claim brown is a base colour, but it really isn’t. (I mean real chocolate brown, btw, not tan or beige or camel.) Tell me if you disagree:
-dark brown doesn’t work in summer or spring
-brown doesn’t work in evenings. So you still need black shoes and bags for those times; you can’t make brown an all-season basic.
-most people, including me, find brown a very boring, even ugly, colour
-British shops have not stocked ANY brown shoes or handbags since it was last in fashion in 2006 (I live in London and I have been looking fulltime at every price point, online and in person! And you weed through a lot of junk, because type in “brown” and every website shows tan or beige)
-brown doesn’t go well with any other useful colours: okay, turquoise, no one really looks terrible in it, but it’s wasted as I don’t have blue eyes; pink, fashionable right now but either too young or too old for me to wear all the time at 50; yellow or mint green, but who's going to wear those or even find them in shops; anything can go with cream and off-white but again these shades do nothing for me; orange is possible only in tiny doses and not near face
-brown doesn’t even go with brown for stylish tone-on-tone efforts: unlike, say, most blacks, blues, greens or even reds, different shades of brown simply war: one is more red-based, one more grey-based
-brown can go with black but only if you have at least one linking accessory in BOTH colours (which again I cannot buy) or something black higher up to show the mix is deliberate, which brings us right back to the no-no of putting black near my face
-if brown is my colour it should go near my face, but that more or less makes it impossible to follow the figure-flattering rule that you should wear the darker colour on your bottom half, because what colour is darker than chocolate brown? Only black (see above)

I give up, I really do. It seems to me only brown leather is feasible. Has anyone had any other experience?

Therealslimshady1 Sat 11-Nov-17 21:13:21

I have a dress, with bits of gold, I wear for parties.

And,a brown.summer dress

And two sludge coloured tops that are weirdly flattering.

I find it can work if you combine it with gold Jewellery.

Yellow works for me too.

My skin tone is yellowy (if you are being unkind) or gold (if you're kind) or olive. Green eyes. What about you?

Therealslimshady1 Sat 11-Nov-17 21:14:36

I also have a much loved briwn leather jacket, and a brown wintercoat grin

MismatchedCat Sat 11-Nov-17 21:20:13

I feel your pain, it is almost impossible to find chocolate brown in the shops. For the last ten years everything has been grey and taupe and more grey. But with this 90s revival I do think we will see a resurgence in brown, the richer colours are already seeping in here and there.

I'm curious about your colour consultation - no black, grey, beige, white, navy. WTF are you supposed to wear? I don't see how you can put together a functional wardrobe when basically all neutrals are taken off the table.

It's sounds very restrictive compared to my consultation. With mine, I was told I could wear any colour in my palette and it will work, but some will work better than others IYSWIM ... (I am also supposed to opt for French navy, which like you mention is virtually impossible to find in the shops. I just substitute regular navy).

Perhaps you could go for a colour re-rate? I believe it's only 50 quid to get a re-rate with HoC, which I think is pretty reasonable.

onlyconnect Sat 11-Nov-17 21:22:35

I was talking to my daughter about capsule wardrobes just this morning and said that brown could be a base colour but it’s not in at the moment so looks a bit dated. I actually like brown and think it goes with many colours, in fact most colours except grey. The trouble is though it’s right out if fashion at the moment. I think that’s the main problem. If it was in you’d see it styled with different colours and you’d feel a whole lot better about it.

Ttbb Sat 11-Nov-17 21:25:01

I would probably just be living in tweed. I feel your pain though. I love Brian but it's hard to match. A combination of brown green and purple works quite well. Think plum purple.

mrsRosaPimento Sat 11-Nov-17 21:26:04

Maybe try to raise your self esteem. I’m sure that ‘sludge’ is not the only colour that looks good on you. Go to a shop that has a personal shopper or take a kind friend and try some clothes you like and get their opinion. Also your ethnic mix can’t be odd, unique may be a kinder way to describe yourself.

madeyemoodysmum Sat 11-Nov-17 21:35:53

I say sod it and wear the colours you like

Janeways Sat 11-Nov-17 21:37:33

I was whinging about this on a grey hair thread earlier. I suit sludgy colours especially brown, and I can see they make my pale skin look like it's meant to be that way, rather than just looking poorly and drained. But, Christ alive, they are fairly horrible colours. They're like a swatch card for 1970s allegro cars - all shades of shit from mustard to deepest poo.
Plus, as you say, not really in fashion so there's not much to tempt at the moment, or last decade. I find it incredibly inconvenient not to be able to easily wear grey, black or navy.

ClaudiaNaughton Sat 11-Nov-17 21:44:10

I remember an article by Hilary Rose of the Times who said nobody ever went anywhere nice in brown. I thought yes, that’s right.

Backingvocals Sat 11-Nov-17 21:48:55

No to brown clothes.

squoosh Sat 11-Nov-17 21:54:09

The only brown I like is tan leather. Brown clothes are just drab.

Pretend you've never had your colours done and instead wear colours that bring you joy.

Oddbutnotodd Sat 11-Nov-17 21:54:29

I have loads of brown in my wardrobe. I very rarely wear black at all. Even at night. The colours I mix it with are red, greens, teal and orange. I admit it's harder to shop but there are clothes out there. Gold and copper also work well with brown. It also looks good with denim. Look at Pinterest for ideas.

Candlelight234 Sat 11-Nov-17 22:09:10

How far would burgundy be from brown? There's loads of burgundy in shops at the moment.
TBH I would forget the brown, it sounds like you dislike it and like you say it's not fashionable at the moment.

neveradullmoment99 Sat 11-Nov-17 22:09:27

I dont like brown particularly. I don't suit a chocolate brown at all. I think you should wear the colours you like. Sounds like a miserable choice. Most people can wear most colours. Its just a case of finding the shade that suits you.

MismatchedCat Sat 11-Nov-17 22:37:49

Oh don't listen to all the naysayers. Brown is fabulous.

For the last ten years this type of thing has been considered the height of sophistication and that's what everyone is used to. But grey has had its moment and now we are starting to see colours warm up again.

Here are some chocolate brown outfits to inspire you all.

In all these outfits you could switch out the brown for grey (yawn) or black (bigger yawn) but you would lose something in doing so. Chocolate brown can look sophisticated and substantial, while still being earthy and natural and deep. That is its strength.

I wish I could pull off some of these head-to-toe chocolate brown looks! It only suits me in small doses though

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Sat 11-Nov-17 22:38:09

I have similar problems. Don't really like brown, can just about cope with sludge. Still have black, but mainly wear it on the bottom. V occasionally wear it on the top. IME you leave your Colour Session with a swatch of suitable colours, and the range just isn't available in the kind of shops I use, where the choices are usually black, blue or red grin

squoosh Sat 11-Nov-17 22:52:08

Black will never be yawn.

Brown only works in a retro 1970s preppy vibe.

Floisme Sat 11-Nov-17 23:18:12

I like brown. Depends on the shade of course but that's true of anything.

I remember when grey first started appearing in the shops and everyone went 'Christ what a plug ugly colour, do you think we're stupid?'

Brown will be back.

Gah81 Sat 11-Nov-17 23:32:20

Love brown. It looks so rich. Sound like you're an autumn, like me. I combine it with mustard, cream, tan, rust, olive/moss and other, not-too-dissimilar shades of brown. Maybe try tweeds, silks and velvets to bring the colour alive?

I wish there were more brown accessories around, but thank goodness for vintage (40s, 50s, some 70s).

Fozzleyplum Sat 11-Nov-17 23:50:06

I wear chocolate brown all the time and it really suits me, to the extent that strangers have commented on it being a good colour.I have mid gold-brown hair, light olive skin and dark brown eyes. If I wear it with a colour, it's usually light olive, lizard green or dark red; a mix of earthy colours, eg in a scarf, works very well. I never really got into teal, though. One of the greens in a slightly sheen fabric or in a slightly marked knit, looks good on top if you have a brown skirt or trousers.

For the Summer, I usually buy Max Mara-off ebay if I can't justify the full price. For example, I have a lovely sleeveless linen dress in chocolate and a rich brown silk top.

Fozzleyplum Sat 11-Nov-17 23:53:50

That should read marled knit-my phone is a Phillistine

Fozzleyplum Sun 12-Nov-17 00:01:25

Thinking about it, the only thing I wouldn't buy in brown is a clingy knit dress. Whilst this might be irrational, brown knit dresses make me feel like Mr Hanky the Christmas Poo (cartoon singing turd from South Park).

HighburyHattie Sun 12-Nov-17 04:32:41

Honestly I would get rid of the ‘brown’ idea, it sounds more frustrating than anything. I refuse to believe that chocolate brown/sludge are the ONLY colours that suits you! Not even dark khakis/olive greens?

Personally I would go into topshop (or similar) and book a session with a personal shopper to pick out a new wardrobe for you. You don’t have to buy anything they suggest, but it might be fun for you to see how other colours and styles actually look on you and go from there as you’ve been sticking to brown for so long.

I think you could possibly make this jacket work and still have a great modern 2017/8 wardrobe:

PhyllisWig Sun 12-Nov-17 08:22:15

God yes. I almost posted about this yesterday in fact.

Chocolate brown is my best ‘neutral’ by far and I love it when it’s rich and deep, would happily wear it. But whilst I can find bits of it, generally not in clothes I like.

I too don’t look good in black/navy/grey/ivory. My best colours are all bright like apple green or hot pink. HOC can fuck off with their French navy as it just doesn’t exist except in Joules which isn’t good for work.

It makes dressing for my professional senior management job quite hard actually. I can look drab but appropriate or a bit ott and garish. I think I’m going to have to go back to black bottoms with brighter tops (trinny and susannah be damned) but then what jackets?

I need a jacket for client meetings and whilst the hot pink one I’ve seen in boden would suit me, I just can’t see me wearing it at every meeting. Drab it is then!

Sorry, bit of a rant......

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