March 27, 2007

The Clash: Coordination Calling

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Color is an essential part of any outfit. Although some men or women can pull off an all black or all white outfit and still look chic, most people must mix and match their colors in order to create a great outfit. Beyond materials, styles, cuts, lengths and accessories, color is the most fundamental part of an outfit. A great color scheme can really change an outfit and make a woman stand out.

Sometimes wearing the same color twice in an outfit can look chic, but it is very hard to pull off. Many people just assume that wearing many shades of the same color will make a unified outfit. However, they are mistaken. Often, wearing shades of the same color will clash more than match. Wearing varying shades of green doesn’t make an outfit, it makes a life-size booger.

Imagine the quintessential little girl decked out in pink, from a tutu to her mother’s old lip stick. The all-pink ensemble is adorable, considering that the outfit was constructed by a playful five-year-old. However, such an outfit is no longer adorable when the child has moved on from wearing her mother’s old lip stick to purchasing her own.

Many women will try to coordinate their outfits in the same fashion as their five-year-old counterparts decked out in all the same colors. Sticking with natural tones, like olive green, beige and brown makes the woman look like she must be going on a safari.

Worse yet is the outfit that is composed of strictly one color, such as cobalt blue, sky blue, navy blue and other shades of blue that border on purple and green. Such outfits clash. Multiple varying shades of the same color do not belong in the same outfit.

Instead of sticking to one color, women should try to mix up their outfits with colors that complement each other and bring more life and personality to the outfit. For example, turquoise and coral are both bold colors, but look fabulous together. As opposed to sticking with various shades of one color, mix it up, be bold and throw together an outfit that consists of more than one color. Wearing a plain v-neck sweater in a bold color with a contrasting bold necklace in a different color stands out far more than when the necklace is just another shade of the color of the sweater.

Additionally, it is essential that woman wear colors that match both their skin tone and their hair color. A top that looks great on a mannequin may not look so good on you. A very fair skinned woman looks awful in neon and red heads should be cautious about wearing certain bold shades as well. Thus, women should pick out an item and then try on all of the available colors to decide which is the most flattering as opposed to choosing a color regardless of how it looks when worn.

Along the same lines, certain patterns and materials can’t be worn in multiples. Wearing more than one patterned designer item, especially when made by the same company, is generally offensive. A Burberry (or Furberry for that matter) scarf with matching purse, rain boots, jacket and hat is nauseating. Corduroy, velour, terry cloth and denim are also best when worn alone. Making an entire outfit out of one material is bland. Denim just does not match with denim, unless you happen to be ‘Jenny from the block.’

Wearing too much of anything — whether it’s a color, metallics or denim— is serious overkill. It’s best to be moderate and wear a little of everything instead of running the risk of looking like a crayola crayon.