Thursday, March 25, 2010

30 Days to 10 years younger--10 minute tips. Tip 21: Back out of black

Black is chic; black is slimming; black goes everywhere; black goes with everything. But let me tell you something; you don't look as good in black as you think you do.

Think about it. Black washes everyone out. It makes them look sad. That's why it's the traditional color for mourning. It makes you look so terrible that even if you aren't all that upset at the death of your mother-in-law, you can put on a good show. Who wears black clothes and no makeup? Nuns. The rest of us have to wear a full face of spackle to overcome the effect of the black.

There are colors out there that flatter your complexion a hundred times more than black does. Like the lights on a skincare infomercial, they cast a flattering glow at your face. When you wear the right colors, you can wear less makeup. Maybe you don't need to wear any makeup at all.

Figure out what your best colors are and wear them. A lot. If you don't know what your best colors are, ask. And pay attention when people pay you compliments. Example? I went to a party wearing a pale green silk suit the color of Boston lettuce. It had a fitted satin jacket and a chiffon skirt with car wash panels. My friend Ann told me "You should never wear any other color. Ever." Well, talk about a wake-up call. If I thought I could get away with it, I'd paint my entire house that color. (And I'm definitely going to make sure my coffin is lined in it. Might as well make the undertaker's job a little easier.)

OK, here's is one instance where a picture is worth a thousand words. Look what came home with me yesterday:

Aren't those colors amazing?

Let me break this down into its component parts. This is

a pale green Banana Republic cardigan

and two Banana Republic luxe tank tops, one green, one turquoise blue

the pale green Banana Republic ombré scarf I admired in an earlier post

and my favorite--a metallic tie-dye scarf from Express in shades of green, turquoise, and purple.

I feel like I brought home the best bits of a Crayola box. And the effect of them together is amazing. I can't wait to wear these pieces.

Are you ready to make friends with color?


  1. In the summer, when I have a little color in my face? I've been told I look great in black. In the winter? Not so much.

  2. People compliment me when I'm wearing white and shades of white - cream, ivory. But I really like color - red, robins egg blue. No yellow or orange, though.

    I used to love navy blue (it felt like such a *preppy* Ralph Lauren color) until I saw a photo of myself wearing a navy blue sweater - my face looked ghastly, pale(r) than usual and washed out.

  3. I agree, but will admit to often wearing simple black (dresses and pants) with beautiful scarves, necklaces, sweaters in the colors that look great on me. I think it works - especially when traveling.

  4. I LOVE color! I wear black pants regularly because it's easy dressing for me, but I don't think my black pants are washing out my face. hee hee

    I get lots of compliments when I wear pink (any shade, pale to fuchsia), red or light blue. IMO, pink is flattering to everyone, even men. A man in a navy suit with a pink dress shirt is one of my favorite looks.

    I adore the green ensemble but it would make me look like I had just, or was about to, lose my lunch. Which is unfortunate since green is my favorite color.

    And that crap about black being slimming? Maybe if you are only trying to slim away 5 pounds or standing in front of a black wall.

  5. I noticed my laundry pile was nothing but black, gray and white clothes... tragic.

  6. Hi Poppy! It's Madolyn Chowdah here. I love this new blog of yours. Did you get the tank at a BR store? They don't offer the colors you mentioned online.

  7. This revelation came to me just before Christmas when the delightful manager of a boutique took some time to help me choose a cashmere bolero to go with a party dress. My inclination was to choose black but she showed me that the fuschia pink bolero really made a difference - it lifted the whole outfit and flattered my skin. When I saw her again this weekend I thanked her because I don't think they often get feedback for the help that they give.

  8. Okay.
    This time we ARE NOT talking about me.

  9. Oooh! Those are my colors too ...sea greens and gorgeous. Love the "They'll have to pry the lipstick..." lol. Great post and great blog. I'm looking forward to reading through it.

  10. I'm 24 and save the colors for the weekend/nighttime. I usually wear all black to work since it *is* the color of mourning :)

  11. AS I started reading I said:
    uh oh ...
    NOT for Bb!!!
    I used to wear all kinds of colours adn NO black. Lately I've thown in some black.

  12. Pops I am loving that mint green sick! Tres divine. Embrace colour I say!

  13. Well put, black is the absence of light and drains so many complexions.

  14. I nearly always wear black on the bottom- and sometimes on top. A vibrant redhead (well, these days), I am not washed out.

    In an urban setting, black is read as sophisticated (most kids' departments don't have much black)- it's easier to wear if you add colour at or near the face.

    Black is traditional for mourning but also for formal occasions. (Do men or women in tuxedos/'le smoking' look sad?

    Colour is glorious! And for some of us, black is 'our colour'.

  15. I know I'm late to this post, but the beautiful scarf caught my eye under today's post. My own post today is about getting away from black and into color, so I loved seeing your ideas!


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.