I was feeling very confident - perhaps a little over confident? - until the words "value contrast" and "colour contrast" came into the equation. What did this mean? As Imogen had promised to write a blog post on the subject and was looking for volunteers, I sent her a photo as soon as I read the request. Here it is:
I was delighted when I saw that I had been included as I knew this would help me progress even more. Imogen said that I am high value contrast but low colour contrast. I have dark hair and eyes, however my skin is fair making the value contrast high. On the other hand there is no obvious colour in my face as my hair, eyes and skin are all neutral, which is why my colour contrast is low.
If you click on this link you can look at the other volunteers, who have different levels of value contrast and colour contrast, plus outfits that Imogen has suggested would suit us all. I think Imogen explains the concept very well and I agree with how she defines my contrast levels. Now comes the tricky bit! When I'm putting together an outfit and I know that the colours and designs all suit me, I also need to take value and colour contrasts into consideration. In my case I will look my best if I wear either a monochromatic colour scheme or dress head to toe in neutrals, both in a high value contrast. I will also look my best if I wear more dark colours than light ones, just using small amounts of light colours to add the contrast.
This is the outfit that Imogen suggested for me:
I love that outfit, however I won't be making any purchases until I receive my colour swatch and have confirmed that the colours suit me. In the meantime, I am using my current wardrobe to try and work out suitable combinations. I may treat myself to some new additions once I have identified which colours work best for me, but the looks below will have to do for now!
This was yesterday's outfit. The trousers are a bit too loose though the colour seemed right. Once I have the swatch, if the trousers look good with it, I'll be taking them to be tailored so they fit better. When I went out I wore a much lighter blue scarf, which provided a better contrast than the necklace I'm wearing in the above photo.
Today's outfit seemed to meet the criteria a lot better. The colour of my top blended well with the colour card and I think the white stripes help with the value contrast, so this is a definite keeper. I posted this photo on the "7 Steps to Style" facebook page and it met with general approval, so I'm confident that I'm going in the right direction.
It is often said that the most stylish women make it all look effortless, but trust me behind the scenes there's a lot of hard work involved. Having said that, it's also great fun. For all you over 60 women out there, I hope that you will start creating new and more flattering outfits with your own clothes. With Christmas coming up, what better time to add some style and colour to your wardrobe?