Wearing Neutrals and Other Topics

Tips From Your Indianapolis Personal Stylist

Hello Fashionistas, this is your Indianapolis Personal Stylist here.

Tip: Build your wardrobe with neutral colors

As an Indianapolis Personal Stylist, I try to urge my clients who are buying basics or restocking their wardrobe to consistently buy quality over quantity. I find many of my clients who have trouble putting outfits together lack many of the basics we all need in our closet. (See my closet clothing guide.) When we have plenty of jackets, pants, skirt and dresses in basic neutral colors such as — black, navy, cream, grey, burgundy, olive, white and even hunter green, it’s so much easier to put outfits together. You can always pair neutrals with neutrals such as cream and black, navy and black, brown and back, olive and black, or olive and navy. This is easy.

Tip: Make sure your colors are the same saturation level. 

Next you can add some color to the neutrals such as a red print with olive, grey/black print with back, fuchsia with cream, etc. When you start to add colors, make sure your saturation levels match. That is, put wrong colors with other strong colors. What you don’t want to do is put a very muted color with a strong color like black. For instance, don’t pair a washed out blue jean shirt with a startling black pant.

Which leads to my next discussion: black. I rarely ever have to urge any clients to buy black because they have tons of it — especially ladies 40 and older. Why is this. Most likely because we have heard our whole lives that black is sophisticated, looks expensive–always–and is most slimming. Let me shatter this myth. Yes, I will agree black is slimming, but it does not always look expensive nor does it always look sophisticated.

Tip: Break up with black; befriend navy or other neutral colors

My friend who routinely interacts with Clinton Kelly, former host of the show, What Not to Wear, says he has recently said: “Women of a certain age should no longer wear black.” What –no, it can’t be so!! What is the reason — black emphasizes the darkness in our face and actually makes us look older. In addition to this important reason, for the 80 percent of the population who is in the Soft category, black is not a good color. It brings out the darkness in our complexion. So — consider breaking up with black, or at the very least relegate black to your sometimes acquaintance category. Embrace black’s bastard cousin — navy or even burgundy. Navy is especially beautiful for anyone with blue or green eyes. If you don’t believe me, the next time you are out shopping, pick up a black top and look in the mirror, Then, try the navy or other color top such as burgundy. Notice the difference? The navy is very flattering.

Tips: Don’t fall into the pitfall of wearing beige

Finally, another color I am not fond of …beige. (Not cream, but its other cousin, beige). I recently saw a movie with Kristen Bell (a beautiful blue-eyed blonde), and she was wearing a shapeless beige sweater on a date. Her boss, Melissa McCarthy said — that sweater says you’ve already given up. Yes, beige can be trendy and considered fashionable, but what does it really do for your complexion–very little. If you must wear beige (which I don’t think you need to do so), wear it with a pop color a friendly neutral such as navy. I do accept beige can look nice with white jeans — but I’d still add a pop of color.

Tip: Don’t match everything

I will never forget in style school a gal matched the dress on her Hero Look with a matching plaid shoe. The teachers did not like this look. “It’s too matchy-matchy.” However, they did like a black and white shorts outfit with a bright blue pump. “This is cute,” they said. It made me think. For most of my life I could have matched the dress. I thought that is just want you did. Something to ponder, fashionistas.

Have a great day and keep it sassy.

Beth Divine, Your Indianapolis Personal Stylist