You’ve probably noticed that whatever your taste, some colours just seem to sit better on you. But have you ever wondered why that is? And have you ever stressed about what to pick when you want to branch out a bit?
Science & Taste
Colour palette is a very personal thing. However, try as we might, some colours work better on us than others, no matter what we might prefer the reality to be.
There is a science to this - different types of cones (the photoreceptor cells in your eye that contribute to colour vision) perceive different colours of light. Looking at the same colours for long periods of time causes eye fatigue, and complementary colours - those on the other side of the colour wheel, relieve this, allowing other cells to take over. This is why some colours work so well together, and others clash badly, with some people even finding them painful to look at! In truth though, science’s understanding of colour perception is incomplete. Thinking of the infinite shades a “colour” could be made up of, we begin to see why.
But we digress - there are more practical concerns, with clear differences between people that contribute to the hues behind our wardrobe doors. If you’re in need of guidance when picking your accessories, or you’re wanting to branch out and don’t know where to begin, Cravat Club can help!
When looking for the perfect outfit, the colour of your hair suggests an area for you to begin the search in. Hair tones differ widely, with everything from the purest black to the lightest platinum, (not to mention the silver foxes and the venerably depilated among us). Picking something to suit your hair means looking at both the core tone and the highlights, if any, then picking something that complements your natural look. For darker hair, brighter and bolder colours can be your friend, as they can if you’re a brunette. Blonde hair tends to do better with earthy and muted tones. For the redheads among us, avoiding pale and heading towards greens and blues can look spectacular. Again rules are made to be broken, so trust your instincts.
Skin tone is a big thing to consider when choosing your outfit. Note that this is different from skin colour, as it’s more about the underlying and complementary tones than it is about core pigmentation. For example, if you have pinker tones to your skin, staying away from reds and pinks and choosing deeper and warmer colours can help. Similarly, if you have warm or yellow tones, then a foray into brighter or more strident shades works very well.
Generally speaking, you’re likely to have Warm, Cool or Neutral tones to your skin, with each suggesting different styling cues. Warm tones should lead you towards warmer colours, whereas cooler tones should lead similarly to a cooler palette. If you have neutral tones to your skin - lucky you! Your search can be that bit wider.
These “rules” are not prescriptive, and experimentation is king here. Often it may not be obvious what your underlying tones are until you start trying things on, and if it works, it works!
“Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done:
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee”
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet 24
Eyes, the window to the soul. No one is sure if Shakespeare actually said this, but he was certainly a subscriber to the idea! Using the colour of your eyes as the starting point of your outfit is a powerful move. While your eye colour doesn’t restrict you, matching it to something you’re wearing gives your outfit a satisfying harmony, and dare we say it, sexiness. If you have eyes of vibrant blue, deepest brown or glowing green, they should be your first port of call when choosing your wardrobe.
The Colour Wheel
As we referenced earlier, the colour wheel is a great guide to show you which colours go with which. It’s not just useful for fashion tips either - it’s great for decorating, choosing gifts or even picking which car to buy!
Essentially, each colour has an “opposite”, and will be on opposing sides of the colour wheel. These opposites go together extremely well, and can be used in dramatic fashion when choosing what to wear.
This is the science behind why blue and orange, or purple and yellow work so well together. When matching your accessories to the rest of your outfit, keep this rule-of-thumb in mind - a little touch of contrast can work wonders.
Aim for a Look
With fashion being as broad as it is, it’s best to have an idea of what you’re trying to achieve in your head. Even if you don’t know how to go about it, deciding that you want a classic or a summery look makes your search much easier. Clearly, there are tolerances in this, and experimenting with colour is not outlawed even in the most conservative circles. However some palettes are more redolent of some things than others. Consider your occasion and remember to balance your colours, and you can achieve the finish you’re looking for.
Learn to Love the Mirror
If this guide to colour is aimed at one thing, it’s this - giving you the confidence to choose! It’s very difficult to look at a rack of clothes and think “which should I get?”, whereas it’s much easier to do if you have an idea of what’s going to work in mind first. The key word here is confidence - to gain confidence with a few simple tips, then to project that confidence when you put on your new outfit. Remember fashion is about making YOU feel good first and foremost, so put your choices front and centre, own your personal style and get out there!
If you’re in need of a pop of colour or a new direction, our range of fine silk accessories can help. Shop here and discover a world of distinguished style.