Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Re-thinking Black and Accepting My Softness



How many selfies does it take for me to figure out that my colouring is primarily soft, that I should probably not dye my hair too dark and that black is no more right for me any more than warm tones are?  Well, it takes about this many:






 I get a reddish tint in my hair in some lighting but regardless of hair colour I think it's quite obvious that softer colours are better.  I don't  have makeup on in these pictures and yet the soft colours can make my complexion quite rosy.



Compare those soft colours with this black intruding on the purpe colour and see how tired I look.  While I love it, I am not  sure that the purple with gold is working for me but I do think it is better than the black.

                                   Deep blue is better than black.


     Deep chocolate brown seems to work, especially with my hair a bit darker.



 Sexy shoulder! This sweater slips off all the time so I only wear it at home.  Here, I think grey is working better than black  although this sweater is actually a mix of tones and reads a bit muddy in the photo.  Perhaps I look nice in mud.  I have lately been obsessed with a sort of muddy grey-brown and pinning lots of clothing of this colour on Pinterest.


I always love jewel tones and I think they work but are perhaps better for a dramatic look involving makeup, which I rarely do. There is definitely makeup in this picture.  This is my glamorous look.  Glamorous school teacher?  Sexy librarian?  Okay, I know a big baggy sweater is not sexy.  There's my Supermodel Sophie in the background.

                   Here I think the purple works but the black doesn't.


I think even this grey and camel combination is working better than black too, though I am doubtful about camel on it's own.  I got rid of this camel sweater but it's the overall softness of this combination that I think is working for me.

Black is not flattering on me.  At best, it is "not bad" but blue and grey are clearly more flattering so why waste my time with black? I look tired and puffy here and I could well be tired but I am also tired in most of these photos since I am tired most of the time. (grumble, moan, complain)

Why did it take me this long to figure it out?  It took a collection of photos, which seem to reveal more than looking in the mirror does, to show me what I truly look like.  It also took acceptance of the fact that overall I have a soft look.  I used to think that I looked boring and that soft, muted colours would make me disappear.  I have changed my mind and it's about bloody time!  Soft and muted does not equal dull and boring. I feel 'right' in those colours.  The neutrals I want to work with are cool browns, taupe and charcoal grey.

This is where the excessive thinking part comes in and I have had to edit this several times so as to get it down to a small selection of rambling thoughts.

In a nutshell, or the closest thing to nutshells that I can do, I want to eliminate black and I am the sort of person who once she decides on something jumps right in.  There has been plenty of thinking.  Now I want action.  BUT it isn't easy.  I have a large collection of black things most of which I love for the style and comfort if not the colour.

Options:

* eliminate black clothing but still use black in hosiery/footwear (I suspect this will annoy me for feeling incomplete)

* change hosiery to grey but still wear black shoes/boots and embrace contrast (confess to not liking this idea as I like a more blended look)

* dye my shoes/boots/handbags (big job and risky but possible)

* sell the black shoes/boots/handbags (see concern listed below)

* put the black items away out of sight, live without them and don't make any other decision yet (also called procrastination)

Concerns:

* it feels wasteful and frivolous to abandon a large and good quality collection of boots/shoes/bags GUILT

* I really like the shoes and boots for their style and comfort

Does black work for you?  Do you care?  If you don't wear black, what do you wear instead? How do you treat the hosiery/footwear relationship?  I would love to hear about what you do.



17 comments:

  1. black works for me - if i wear makeup of the more dramatic type, think 20´s or 50´s starlet. or - the other way - in a classic folk costume style which do not need makeup because it´s a completely different idea of beauty (from modern ones). but LBD with bare face? folks will think i´m sick.
    i have only a few black items, bought because they only worked in black, if i have other options i take "color".
    it took you long - but finally you arrived! i would use a bit from all the options you´d written down here, is has not to be complete or perfect from now on :-)
    (de-coloring/bleaching black clothes makes for fab mud tones!)
    thank you for the lovely comment on my red salon!!!
    xxxxxxx

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    1. I can see how your colouring is quite striking and can wear a dramatic black. You would also look good in red lipstick. I look silly in it. LOL Yes, it took me a very long time. There was all that thinking, researching, comparing and pondering to do but I do tend to get quite gung ho once I've decided and I definitely do aim for compelete and perfect immediately! I will try to moderate myself. ;-)
      xoxoxo

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  2. I actually think black is a pretty good "color" on everyone. My mom used to never wear it because she is an "Autumn", but she does now and it looks fabulous. I think you should keep what you really love and wear it no matter what!! You're beautiful regardless of clothing and/or hair color!

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  3. I think it can depend on how you wear it and I am certainly making my comparisons here based on not wearing makeup. If your mum is a deep Autumn her strong colouring would wear the black well. Thanks for your always supportive and positive comments!
    xoxoxo

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  4. You can still wear black but use it not directly near your face.But under a scarf. You can bring everything black in the attic and forget about it until you feel the need to wear it again.Some people never find what colors suit them but you did. Wearing make up is a matter of experiment and it takes some getting used to. I didn't wear make up until recently. Red lipstic is the most difficult to get used to but the right shade brightens the face gives character. Mascara and brow pencil make for a groomed but not dramatic effect. Internet has lots of advice and tutorials. I'm very happy you get on a big experiment!

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    1. Thank you, Angie, for your support and encouragement. I know how to apply makeup, and used to wear it but I just don't seem to like it anymore. I use a little if I go out but still prefer very soft shades and a natural look. I am going to try to fade some of my black things to more of a charcoal colour and certainly I can still wear black things if they are underneath layers and not visible near my face. Thanks for all your suggestions!
      xoxoxo

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  5. I think I must be really crap at this colour business, because I can't tell the difference between your photos! You look fine, and you look like you in all of them, whatever colour you're wearing, make-up or no make-up. But if you have found a set of colours you prefer, then that's what you should wear because that's what makes you happy. Mud wouldn't make me happy, but that's the beauty of blogging - we all make and share our own unique choices! Black? Yes, sometimes I like it, for the drama mostly. It would be s shame to ditch all your black clothes and accessories - black shoes, tights and bags surely can't affect your complexion, can they? See? I'm not getting this, am I?! xxx

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    1. LOL-well I suppose perhaps we see things differently the same way that we taste things differently though I think most of us have some sort of emotional response to colours, such as you not wanting to wear mud colour. But I see you as someone who absolutely should be wearing the bold and dramatic looks that you do. I think you've got yourself figured out and I was stuck thinking that I was 'supposed' to be dressing like you do. I recognise I can wear whatever I damn well want to, but my point is that something felt wrong to me and I had to identify it and fix it. As you say, we should all wear what makes us happy but I also suspect many people are good at being happy in the colours that work for them. I love many colours, many colour combinations and could not sort out what I like from what I like on me but I knew some things felt like they were wearing me instead of the other way round. Drama is not me, bold is not me, soft is me. Yes, I could keep the black shoes, tights etc but it would still make the overall look a bit less soft. It will take a bit of experimenting to see if that is right for me. I do love charcoal though and would prefer that as my 'black'.
      xoxoxo

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  6. I wear black, not often but I do. Although I don't wear much black on my upper half I have a huge selection of black boots that go with everything. I would not get rid of the black boots. They could be the only thing in your whole outfit that is black.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I think you can carry off more drama than I can but I know what you mean about the black footwear going with everything. That's exactly why I have it. I figured it was easy and simple. IN winter I have to wear tights so I am not yet sure if I want grey tights with black shoes.
      xoxo

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  7. Shawna, I've missed you! :) I am so glad that you feel better and started blogging and commenting again. I love it when you start a discussion! I read Curtise's reply and smiled... I missed it! :)

    I think you look lovely in soft, it feels like you, at least at this point of your life. But I also remember a few of your very bold color combos a month or two back, and I love them so much - it is also you! I think there are many sides of us, and whenever we feel soft and tender, we tend to choose such colors, and when we feel bold and strong and adventurous, then there are bold colors. Black can be so many things, from dramatic, artistic and refined to dull, boring, conservative and tragic. It all depends how we use it, yes? I went through a black period in my early 20s. I made a few black dresses (two or three) and bought some. That was all I wanted to wear back then. I admit I was not a happy girl when I had this preference. It was dark inside of me, I was looking for answers, I needed to know, and I think black was a shield I carried with me in my life search. I still wear black (you know it), but sparingly. It's very strong. If we are talking about universal preferences, I would probably go with warm brown, charcoal gray and warm soft "oatmeal" for my neutrals - not black, white or beige, or even navy. But it's for me - others of course will pick what suit them. I think what we either have on the inside and want to continue with it, or we don't have much of and would like to add... those inner things let us to pick outer things. I love variety above all. So I would leave the things I like, even if it's not the ideal color. There will be time when your inner world will be craving for it. I know. :) That's how we work, a creative bunch. We are changing all the time.

    Love xxxxx

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    1. I missed you too, and your detailed and thoughtful replies. I am not as perky yet as I would like to be-lol but I am getting there. I think I used a lot of black because it was easy. It goes with everything and if all my shoes are black I never have to worry about having shoes to go with my outfit. It is also easier to buy. I prefer a dark taupe, brown colour that is often called mink but it's rare to find it. I like dark chocolate brown, indigo blue and charcoal grey. Those are my first choices but they are less common and definitely more difficult to achieve the monochromatic look in tights and shoes that I prefer. I also thought black was kind of timeless. It never goes out of style but greys and browns go in and out and that can also make them harder to find or make you feel like you look outdated. I think I am past caring about that though.

      I never felt right in the bold colours, I felt that I was not being boring. It was akin to how I am an introvert who can temporarily fake extroversion. I do love jewel tones but I feel dramatic and dressed up in them so don't like to wear them all the time. I like colours best when they are muted or greyed. There are lots of colours and combinations I love on other people or in the abstract even though I don't like to wear them and I think that used to confuse me too.

      I think darker browns are the loveliest neutral on you. You definitely look amazing in rich tones and patterns. I can see black accents on you but I agree that white or beige or any really light colour would just not go with your richness.

      I have successfully dyed a few pairs of boots and a handbag and am quite pleased with my results. I will be showing them off on the blog soon.
      xoxoxo

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  8. I'm with Curtise ... I actually think you look great in all the different colours.
    I wear LOADS of black ... I like the effect of it with red hair AND I can be clumsy and messy and spill things and nobody is any the wiser ;0)
    xx

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  9. It's no good asking me about colour, I have to get advice from my daughter. I think you look fine in all these photos and you could always wear scarves to soften the black. Don't think I could live without black shoes/boots and hosiery. Nice to see you blogging and commenting again xx

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  10. ok I felt I was a blah dresser and I admired my fellow teacher friends. I too have muted coloring. I tried to liven it up with makeup but I felt like a clown. I also realized that high contrast clothing black/white combinations did nothing for me. I decided in 2009 to completely get rid of my black clothes coats shoes, etc and to add back the pieces in the browns and golds.I like colors too. So I decided that I needed to figure out which colors worked with my complexion. It has taken me up until now 2014 to figure this all out. I also don't wear makeup anymore except when I feel like dressing up. The result is I feel better about how I look. Did I make the correct choices? Who cares? I like not wearing black. Do I slip up and wear black shoes yet every once in a while. I just bought a dress that has a turquoise and black print. I think it works because the print is my type of print and the embellishment is near my face is turquoise. Why am I telling you all of this. I think you are smart to care about how you look and you must feel right in your selections. My opinion of how you look is really immaterial. So go girl and feel good about your decision. PS, I do agree with your choices.....

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    1. You are such a sweetie! Thank you for your support and encouragement. I'll bet you look fantastic in the turquoise and black print dress and feel it too! I agree that you can use the less than ideal colours when a really good one is closest to your face. For myself I also think in terms of my dramatic colours. I love jewel tones but they look dramatic on me and tend to need a bit of makeup and jewellery more than I would normally use. So for me they feel extra dressed up. Maybe a touch of black is like that for you.
      xoxoxo

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  11. I think this is a good thing, because now that you know black doesn't suit you you can experiment with lots of colors. ^_^ Instead of just wearing black like most people do when Winter comes! I love you in color, maybe because I'm addicted to colors, but I personally think they make life happier and more interesting! ^^ Aaaand, you look awesome in colors O_O

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