Strong colour

Do you look good wearing the strong yellow of Easter chicks ?

Many trends this season are more about colour and prints than shape (see trends post).

Strong pure colours are important : red, blue, yellow, plus the intermediate green, purple, orange. All in bright versions, not with a little white or black mixed in to soften their impact.

Colour reproduction on my screen isn’t good so this may not look ‘primary’, but hopefully you get the idea. Drawing the colour wheel this way shows it may be a good idea to choose the right red or green. Though the best colour may only be obvious if you’re clearly either cool or warm in colouring (which I’m not).

One way of being super trendy is to wear three or four strong colours combined. With each garment in a different colour. Or several colours in one item, perhaps body, sleeves, and neck band/ collar/ cuffs in different colours.
See Style.com on Hyper Color.

Or two colours, one of the strong colours combined with white.

Well, colour blocking has been suggested by high fashion magazines for some seasons now, but I can’t remember seeing anyone wearing these tropical colours in this quiet suburb in this cool rainy climate :D

Care with strong colours

If you can’t decide whether to wear bright colours and bold prints, they’re probably not for you. Have a look at Nancy Nix-Rice’s excellent articles, 7, 8, 9 on colour and 10 on prints.

Perhaps you can wear one or two of the strong clear colours, but not all of them. I can wear red, though reds with a touch of blue, not a yellowy red (odd, as I’m mainly ‘autumn’ in colouring). Other strong colours completely overwhelm me.

White is also a key trend this year, but it’s too ‘strong’ for many people. Does it help if you wear a white slightly tinted with blue, or white tinted with cream ?

A touch of strong colour

What if you don’t look your best when wearing strong colours or strong contrasts ? Would you still like a little trendy brightness ? Add it in bag or shoes. Just not near your face.

Or use it for trim, perhaps binding, piping or frills. Personally I think that makes a garment rather inflexible about what it will combine with. So don’t use it unless you have several items this will look good with.

Pantone colours for this season

Here’s the pdf of Pantone’s colour suggestions for Spring 2011.

Goodness, you can even get a Pantone app. . . though it needs accurate colour pick up from your mobile phone camera.

Happily Pantone are aware that some of us need muted (with a touch of grey), or paler (with added white), or more subtle mixes. They don’t include all those brights. They choose colours with names like :
Coral Rose (“sophisticated orange”)
Beeswax
Honeysuckle (not sure what they mean by this, perhaps it’s a problem with colours on my screen, UK native honeysuckle is rose-red and cream.)
Russet
Peapod (yellow-green)
Blue Curacao (related to turquoise)
Regatta (blue)
Lavender
Silver Cloud
Silver Peony

Look also at the colours mentioned by the designers in the pdf, who use more colour names, and wonderfully luscious sounding colour combinations.

Pantone colour predictions for the coming Fall are also more muted.

So if you’re a ‘Summer’ or ‘Autumn’ feeling left out by the high fashion brights, not to worry. There are many other attractive colours relevant for this season.

Some Soft ‘Summers’ like the top-to-toe ‘nude’ shades that are another fashion theme. This is a grayed palest pink, Pantone’s Silver Peony. Another colour we can’t all look good in. Would it help if you use a muted bluey pink, or a muted peachy pink ?

Or try the palest most washed out shades of denim blue.

For Warm ‘Autumns’, refer to Pantone rather than Vogue ! The simple colour wheel doesn’t work well for browns.

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If you’re like me and the season’s brights and nudes don’t make you look your best, just stick to your most flattering colours, and choose to ignore being trendy about colour this season :D

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Links available April 2011

Explore posts in the same categories: current fashion, personal style

5 Comments on “Strong colour”

  1. Nancy Says:

    I’m a “Winter” according to color me beautiful, so clear cool colors are best for me(but not their greens, light grays and the lighter icy colors).

    I love some of the strong colors that are on trend right now, so I am happy with the current trend. Reds, magentas, fuschias, blues, black and pure white all look good next to my skin. I get the most compliments when I wear red. I’m not sure if it’s peoples reaction to red or that it is my best color.

    The one thing that I am unhappy with about the color trend is that the fashion industry tends to over do trends to the point of oversaturation. So the fabrics that I have purchased have a lot of the strong color and may look dated eventually. I don’t want the colors I look best in to become so…. 2011… if you know what I mean. A good example of this are animal prints. They are everywhere, but eventually, they will become very dated and disappear and that is a shame.

    Thank you for another great and informative post. You always seem to put a lot of research into you topics!

    • sewingplums Says:

      Thanks Nancy – yes, you Winters are likely to be happiest with this colour trend !

      Good point about over-saturation. Though these specific brights worn together may be ‘this year’, I think Winters are always going to demand strong colours, and some personal styles are always going to love animal prints ! Everyone has some seasons where the top trends are right for them, and others where they’re not so. And these days there’s a much wider range of styles that are fashionable at any one time than there used to be 50-60 years ago.

      I’m a ‘research’ person. Finding information and noticing patterns in it is what I enjoy doing :D

  2. wardrobes Says:

    I look horrible in strong yellow put the pale orange yellow green I look fine in.

    • sewingplums Says:

      Yes, many of us have ways we don’t fit into the simple formulas for what colours look good – well worth experimenting !

  3. RuthieK Says:

    I’m a dark haired Spring and a fairly bold personality so love this, though I am just recycling what I already have in the wardrobe rather than buying new right now. I tend to have one bright colour which may be in a vivid print also, and team it with plean bottoms in particualr as I am pear shaped. However this is my personal look so I wear it whatever the supposed fashions are!


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