Wearing Our True Colors


Colors can really flatter a person, but they have to be worn correctly. So, what is the proper way to wear color?

Whenever I advise someone about color, I start by telling her to use neutrals as a base and then adding a pop of color near her face. I stand by this. It’s a universally flattering way to go. Keeping your base neutral and drawing attention to your face flatters every body type. You don’t have to feel self-conscious about whatever body issues you may have if no one’s looking there. When people look at your face, your personality can take over. This formula is also universally appropriate according to all levels of tzniut. It’s a good way to wear color without rocking the proverbial boat. Plus, if you are attending an event, you won’t outshine the guest of honor. In addition, if your personality is more reserved, this method allows you to be seen without being in the spotlight.

This formula works best when your base neutrals are of the same value (lightness or darkness). Black, navy, dark chocolate, and charcoal worn head to toe give you one long line that makes you appear taller and slimmer. White, ivory, and beige worn head to toe also provide you with that long line, while additionally giving you just a little more presence.

In theory, you could add your pop of color anywhere, but it works best when it’s near your face. It’s fun to wear cobalt blue shoes sometimes, but if cobalt blue flatters you, it’s even better to wear it near your face to brighten up the whole outfit and draw attention to your face and personality.

You might decide to wear a neutral base outfit, and then add color with jewelry and/or accessories. If you’re going to an event, nothing dresses up an outfit better than a showstopper piece of jewelry. I love chandelier earrings OR a bib necklace OR several colorful necklaces OR an armful of bracelets—just stick with one showstopper at a time and you’ll look great. You might even decide to use your head covering as your pop of color. I did this for my daughter’s graduation festivities.

What about wearing a bright color from head to toe, such as a dress? I admit that I love this one too, but it’s tricky and not for the faint of heart.

If the dress is in a flattering color, then as long as the fabric and shape are flattering to your body, it will make you look great. However, since a dress has to fit in so many different places, you may need to have it tailored to fit just right. This holds true even if the dress is neutral, but when it’s in a bright color, any lapses in fit will be that much more noticeable. If you decide to wear a skirt-and-top outfit in bright colors, the same thing holds true here as a dress—it has to fit you and flatter you.

If you choose to wear a dress or skirt-and-top outfit in a bright color, then you have to be prepared for the attention. Bright colors get noticed. However, if this is for an event where you’re the host or the guest of honor, you may prefer a bright color precisely for this reason. Or maybe it’s a regular weekday, and you just want to wear something fun that makes you feel good.

Ultimately, how you wear color is up to you. Just don’t leave it out completely. Color adds interest to an outfit and flatters the face, making a person look great!