Yes, I realize that sounds bad. "Internet, if you want me to blog, you have to almost get hit by a car and break your wrist in multiple places."
But really, when you're trying to catch up with your friend, and she's telling you about the trauma unit and her orthopedic surgeon, and you counter with the changes you've been making in your wardrobe because you realized--at the age of 57, mind you--that you looked better in brown than black, you have no recourse except to turn to the internet. Because even in the throes of my angst, even I realize that the all-consuming question: "Am I a Winter or an Autumn?" is a little lacking in drama.
But enough of the obligatory sorry-I-haven't-blogged-in-so-long and in-case-you-haven't-noticed-this-blog-is-deeply-shallow. Let's get on with it, shall we?
I found out by accident that I've been wearing the wrong colors for years. Do you remember Color Me Beautiful? Well, when that book came out, I thought in pretty much binary terms. The system is based on hair color, eye color, level of contrast between your hair and skin, and undertones. You had blue eyes or brown; brown hair or blonde. Or you were a redhead, which I wasn't. Since I didn't have blue eyes or blond hair, I had to be a winter.
Over the past three or four years I've managed to accumulate items of clothing that aren't my colors (classic Color Me Beautiful winter shades like black, black, navy, red, pale pink, pale blue, and black.) I may have gotten them because they were on sale or were the only dress that fitted or one of those half-assing-it shopping scenarios that make people end up on What Not to Wear.
However, some of these sale purchases netted me more compliments than the stuff I liked and paid full retail for. I'll illustrate my point with a series of selfies taken over the past year and a half.
Here I am trying to tell whether the coral shades in my clearance faux-Liberty Gap shirt are flattering:
If I remember correctly, I was trying to wear warm-toned makeup to complement the shirt.
Then back to black:
|Black leather jacket only mildly marked down at Brooks Brothers; faux Alexander McQueen scarf courtesy of China via Susie Sunshine.|
For the record, I took this picture in the bathroom at my hair salon, so the lighting is terrible. I look even more sallow than I actually am, but the black is doing my complexion no favors. I think.
|Gray dress by Lafayette 148 (old) necklace J. Crew (old)|
In this picture, I'm wearing a charcoal gray dress with a J. Crew necklace in tones of bronze and pale lilac. I've got on a full face of spackle (except I guess I wasn't filling my brows every day at this point.) I think this is on my front porch, so it's filtered daylight, which explains why I look about 27 years old.
|Suit from a sale Neiman Marcus catalog (old)|
OK, this is Easter Sunday on the way to brunch. It was a very sunny day (it may be the last time the sun shone in Chicago this year.) I'm wearing a very pale coral silk suit and a full face of spackle.
This is the most recent picture--I'm wearing a darker coral sheath, full face of spackle, hair up and glasses off. Indoors at lunch time, no flash.
|Coral Ponte knit with raffia center panel by Worth New York|
So. I've pretty much decided that I am not a winter. Black is not my color. Neither is hot pink, or bright blue. Even pale pink is a little trying. As a result, I'm wearing colors that I haven't gone near since the 1980s, when black/cobalt/fuschia triumphed over the earth tones that had ruled the 1970s. Colors that until recently I wouldn't have touched with a ten foot pole. Colors that I had formerly categorized as redhead colors. Autumn colors. But not the full on pumpkin shades that real redheads wear. I've been buying things like these, in colors like primrose yellow
|GAP fitted boyfriend shirt, on sale for $27.99|
|Worth New York pencil skirt in white with coral branches, from a post at Pam Lutrell's blog, Over 50 Feeling 40|
|Salvatore Ferragamo "Varina" flats|
I'm still wearing Lilly
but I'm keeping the hot pink away from my face. It's OK in shoes.
|Ferragamo Vara pumps in Agata Rosa Arancio on sale at Zappos for $329.99|
but not makeup. Instead, I'm wearing soft corals, pinky corals, beiges, and browns.
|Chantecaille Coral Reefs palette|