Archive for the ‘Colour’ Category

A – Z of Styling C is for Column of Colour

A-Z of Styling C is for Colourr



What is a Column of Colour?

There are many ways to combine colour in an outfit for different effects. This post looks at the what, why and how of creating an outfit using tones of the same colour (neutrals & colours) which is called a monochromatic colour scheme. The colour wheel is great tool for exploring colour combinations. Each pie section of the colour wheel is an example of a monochromatic colour scheme. A column of colour is created when your outfit combines tones of the same colour top to toe.

Colour Wheel


What effect does a column of colour have for the wearer?

A column of colour is created when your outfit combines tones of the same colour top to toe. When you have an unbroken colour combination in your outfit there is no disruption or distraction. This creates a lengthening and slimming illusion for the wearer.

There a number of ways to create and wear a column of colour. Let’s look at some examples.


Column of Colour

In the above examples a column of colour has been created by using only one garment – long dress, jumpsuit and a short dress.   A column of colour has been created by colour matching the shoes with the outfit colour.  Wearing low vamp shoes that harmonise with your leg tone will create a column of colour. Low vamp shoes show the top of your feet. Wearing a nude toned shoe will create a continuous colour line up to the hem of the dress, skirt or shorts. Another way of creating a column of colour with a short dress is to tone hosiery / tights and shoes in a colour similar to the dress.


The examples above have created a column of colour on the outside of the body. An outside column of colour works well for those bodies with a defined waist. Attention is drawn away from hips, thighs and bottom area. Colour can be used to draw attention to the top half of the body. If you have a defined waist wearing a belt in a different colour can work. If you have an undefined waist toning belt colour with the internal colour will create less emphasis to the waist / tummy area. Note that shoe colour is toned to the outfit colour to create a continuous line of colour. If your legs are showing remember to tone low vamp shoes with leg colour to look taller.


Column of Colour Inner

The outfits above have been created with an inside column of colour. Wearing a column of colour works well if you have an undefined waist as it draws attention away from this area. If you have shorter legs wearing nude low vamp shoes will give the illusion of longer legs.


A column of colour works well for all body shapes, sizes and ages. This way of combining colours can be used with prints & patterns and plain colours. It can be used with light, medium and dark colours as well as muted and bright colours. The key to achieving this look is to make sure that there is little difference in lightness to darkness and colours are blended. The lengthening and slimming illusion of the column of colour is disrupted when there is a greater difference in colours and value.




What Went Wrong with My Shopping Experience



It has been quite some time since I have made a wrong purchase. However this is exactly what happened to me at the last Handmade Canberra Markets.

That shopping experiences did not go as planned. I reflected on the when, how and why of what happened during that shopping experience. These are the factors that contributed to my shopping misdemeanour:-


That particular day I was assisting my friend Josephene at her stall. On my way to start working my ‘that looks like me’ radar spotted a tunic style top at a stall.  With  five minutes to spare I quickly tried it on.  It felt good even before I looked in the mirror. After a quick glance in the mirror and a happy twirl I purchased this tunic.


At that particular time life had turned upside down with the recent passing of my dad. I had been wanting to buy something new to wear to his Life Celebration Service. My dad and I have had a long time love – hate relationship over my choice of clothing. He was very conservative and didn’t appreciate my less than conservative dressing style.

I really wanted to find something that was my style, appropriate for the occasion and something that was not over the top. The tunic I tried on ticked all these boxes.


There was a voice inside my head questioning whether the berry colour I had chosen was right for me. I wanted this outfit to work for me and I convinced myself that it was the light in the pavillion.


When I got home I tried the tunic on with the pants I planned to wear them with. I looked in the mirror and realised the:-

  •   top of this tunic was TOO big for me and
  •   colour was not going to work for me.

This story does have a happy ending. The next day I returned to see Alison Dominy.  I tried on a smaller size in a different colour and this tunic had the Goldilock’s Principle and was just right. My  dad would have approved of this outfit. When I wear this tunic I feel he is giving me a style hug. That makes me smile.

What went wrong with my shopping experience

REMEMBER – When you are shopping the WHEN, HOW and WHY can make a difference to the outcome of a shopping experience.



What is Monochromatic Dressing?

What is Monochromatic Dressing


Monochromatic means shades of the same colour. The colour wheel is a great tool for looking at how to combine colours. Each segment of colours represent shades of the same colour. When you wear shades of the same colour family in your outfit from top to bottom you are using the monochromatic colour scheme. You can choose colours from the colour wheel or neutral colours to create your monochromatic outfit.


Wearing a monochromatic colour scheme creates a vertical column of colour which gives the illusion of a taller and slimmer appearance. The eye can travel from top to bottom of your outfit without being interrupted by lines of different colours.

What is Monochromatic Dressing


Wearing a monochromatic outfit may appear boring to some people but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are ways to add interest and more colour to your monochromatic style.

  1. Wear light, medium and dark shades of the one colour.
  2. Combine different fabrics and textures to create interest.
  3. Add accessories to create different looks for your various activities.
Monochromatic Dressing How to Look Taller & Slimmer
When wearing your monochromatic outfit remember to choose a colour that harmonises with your complexion so that you also look healthy and vibrant.

How to Use Colour to Create a Focus Point

How to Use Colour to Create a Focus Point


The colours you wear and how you place them on your body is important to achieving a balanced, enhancing and harmonious style.  When planning an outfit you can use colour to create a focus point. A focus point is an area that draws attention and is noticeable.

I have found that most women have certain areas of their body (upper or lower) that they would prefer not to draw attention to. When you understand how colour can work to highlight or hide areas of your body you are able to dress with more confidence and highlight your assets.

When you think about creating an outfit ask yourself this question – WHERE DO I WANT PEOPLE TO LOOK?

Let’s start with looking at how colour works on our bodies:-

  • Light & bright colours come forward. They are advancing colours and will be noticeable. Placing light or bright colours on an area of your body will draw the eye to that area and create a focus point.
  • Dark colours recede and therefore are best placed on areas of the body that you do not want others to notice.
  • Patterns are more noticeable than a plain colour. Wear patterns on the area of your body you wish to highlight.
  • High contrast and sparse patterns attract more attention than low contrast and dense patterns.

When you look at the following outfits take note of where and what your eye is attracted to. In all of these outfits I have created an upward focus with jewellery so that attention is drawn to my face. The face is our communication centre and this is an important focus area. If you draw attention upwards then the attention of others is diverted away from the areas you don’t want noticed.


How to Create a Focus Point

Using the same  colour (monochromatic) top and bottom creates a column of colour. This is slimming.
Different coloured shoes creates a foot focus.
Jewellery draws the eye back to my face.
If I wasn’t wearing the necklaces and earrings the focus would remain on the coloured shoes.

focus - brighter blue top

The jeans are lighter than the top so attention is drawn to my legs.
Shoe colour has been toned with my pants and blend with the jeans.
Tunic is brighter and darker than the bottom half.
Upward focus created with jewellery.

How to use Colour to Create a focus point

Red column of colour from shoes to top. No obvious focus.
Earrings and necklace create an upward focus.

How to Use Colour to Create a Focus Point

Combining a neutral dark dress with lighter brighter green colour repeated in shoes, cardigan & jewellery.
Using the same colour on your shoes creates a top and tail focus which is balanced.

How to use Colour to Create a Focus Point

The patterned coloured  pants are a focus and noticeable.
The lighter coloured top and repetition of the pink colour in the jewellery brings the focus back to my face.

How to Use Colour to Create A Focus Point

Wearing two patterned pieces my not fit with your Personality Style.
The higher contrast more sparse pattern of the pants draws attention first.
The eye is drawn upwards because of the repetition of colours in the top.
Wearing a necklace, scarf or neckline detail will help to create an upward focus.


Combining Colours Blue and Green

Combining Colours Blue and Green


Combining Colours Blue and Green – How Does it Work?

Let’s look at combining colours blue and green and see why it works. Blue & green are neighbours on the colour wheel. Colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel can be combined for an harmonious  colour combination. Any combination of 3 colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel is called an Analogous Colour Scheme. This colour scheme can be seen in the natural world around us.

If you are looking for ways to style up any outfit then adding colour is the way to go. It can be inspiring and uplifting to play with different colour combinations in your outfits. My nanna use to say that “blue and green should never be seen.” I have never been able to understand why and it has taken me a long time to combine these colours in my outfits. Blue and green surround us every day in our landscape so it can be a very calming and friendly combination.

Experiment and see how you can add colour inspirations to your outfits to create different looks.



What Colours are You Wearing?

What Colours are You Wearing?

Colour plays a major part in our life. We are surrounded by it and there are so many choices. Let me ask you 2 questions:-

1. What colours are you wearing?

2 Are you wearing colours that you like or that like you?

The colours that you may be attracted to may not not harmonise and compliment your personal colourings and therefore have the tendency to make you appear:-

  • washed out
  • tired,
  • unwell
  • not healthy

A colour consultation can determine your personal colour properties which include:-

  •  warm  or cool  undertones:- colours can be classified as being warm or cool. Whether a colour is classified as warm or cool depends on how it was created. This relates to how much yellow (warm) or blue (cool) is added to make the colour. All colours except for orange can have a warm or cool undertone.  The first step in colour draping determines whether the undertones of your skin, eyes & hair are warm or cool.
  • intensity:- colours can be pure and bright, dull, soft, muted or smoky looking depending on how much white, black, brown or grey is added to the pure colour.  Using the colour drapes discovers the colour palette which harmonies with your your skin, eyes and hair colourings. The palette which suits you best will make you appear brighter, fresh, glowing, more vibrant and younger. You can actually see the changes in how your face looks during the draping sessions.
  • value:- refers to the lightness or darkness of a colour on the grey scale ranging from dark to light. To determine the value of a colour you need to think of it on a black and white scale and where it sits. Albert Munsell determined this approach. Your hair colour  influences whether light, mid range or darker colours will be most flattering.

The Absolute Colour System used for draping by Individually You has nine colour swatches for both warm and cool colourings which ensures there is a colour swatch to suit your personal colourings. This makes such a difference when choosing what colours to wear.

Once your colour direction has been determined your colour swatch is personalised for you by:-

  • identifying your hair, eye and skin enhancing colours
  • demonstrating how to combine and wear your colours 
  • discovering your colour personality
  • showing you how your colour personality affects you colour and value contrast and how to combine colours in your outfits
  • how to use your colour swatch when shopping and dressing

Investing in a colour consult can:

  • ensure you always look and feel great because you are wearing colours that  enhance you
  •  save you  time, effort and money by creating your own colour coordinated wardrobe
  • take the stress out of getting dressed by having a colour coordinated mix and match wardrobe
  • give you confidence when shopping and dressing by using your colour swatch


How to Dress Up Jeans

Style Tips for Wearing Jeans


How to Dress Up Jeans

Jeans are a versatile item to have in your wardrobe for many reasons. There are many ways and reasons to wear jeans which include:-

  • come in a large variety of styles to suit all body shapes
  • can be styled for all personality types
  • are comfortable to wear especially with the introduction of stretch element
  • durable and have a long life span (just be aware that the style of jeans and how you are wearing them are not dating your look)
  • available in all prices ranges

Find Your Way to Wear, Enjoy and Dress up Jeans

What is there not to like about jeans. Let’s look at how you can style your jeans to suit your Style Personality and express who you are. What you put with your jeans is what makes a difference. Everyone expresses themselves through their clothing in different ways. It is through the choices of colours, patterns, prints, type of fabrics, silhouette created and choices of accessories that enables you to feel comfortable and look good in your outfit.  The different outfit combinations of these outfits pictured below show how the combination of different elements  outlined above create a unique look and feel.


Find a Way to Ensure Your Jeans Add Value and Versatility to Your Wardrobe


Jeans can be adapted to create different looks for various occasions and activities. They can be styled and worn for many different activities from extremely casual to smart casual. Quite often we can have a mind set that differentiates certain items of clothing in our wardrobes as being for play, casual, work, going out or best activities. This thinking is limiting the potential of your wardrobe becoming your day to day shopping boutique.


Jeans have the potential to be dressed up and dressed down for different lifestyle activities. Clothing has different levels of refinement and when you understand this you can style up or style down


The images below shows how this pair of jeans  can be styled for 3 very different occasions by choosing fabrics, styles, accessories that are from different levels of refinements:-

  1. Special Occasion Clothes  for formal, evening, business formal wear
  2. Every ay Clothes for work, going to lunch, dinner & many social activities 
  3. At Home, Sports, Gym, Hobbies Clothing
How to Dress Down _ Dress Up Your Jeans (2)

What are your tips for How to Dress Up Jeans?

How to Make Colour Work for YOU

Making colour work


Sometimes you have clothes in your wardrobe that may be in colours you love but those colours may not love you. What I mean by this is that not all colours suit all people. Some colours will enhance your look making your complexion appear healthy, vibrant and glowing while other colours will have the total opposite effect and can cast an unhealthy reflection onto your face making it appear sallow, tired and unhealthy.

This dress /coat is another long time favourite in my wardrobe. A large proportion of the colours in this outfit are warm colours. The pinks are the only cool colours. In the photo above I have placed my colour swatch on the dress and you can see that all the colours except for the pinks do not blend in with my swatch – most of the colours in this dress / coat are warm colours. My colouring is cool so I needed to find a way to wear this loved coat / dress so that I did not looked washed out and tired when I wore it.

Due to the fact that there was very little pink placed near the neckline I needed to place a cool colour near my face to harmonise and enhance my cool complexion. I chose to wear a pink scarf that toned in with the pink flowers and this creates a healthier and more pleasing appearance. The other alternative I have is a red / pink necklace which I wear when it is not so cold. So I now am able to wear this outfit feeling and looking good.

If you have clothing that you find does not enhance your complexion look for ways to put an enhancing colour near your face by wearing a scarf, jewellery, vest, cardigan or jacket. There is usually a way to make it work.


How to Guide for Wearing Black

How to Guide for Wearing Black

Do you wear black? This post is my reflections on how and why I have changed my approach to buying and dressing in black. My wardrobe has always contained black items though that is changing. When I look in my wardrobe it is no longer a sea of black, black and more black.

How to Guide for Wearing Black

My approach to dressing in black has changed due to becoming more aware of how wearing this colour makes me look and feel.

Black seems to be readily available in all stores, styles, fabrics & price ranges to suit all occasions from sporty, casual, business to formal wear. For me choosing black was an easy, quick option because I could always find styles and shapes that were different. As I like wearing a column of colour black provided me with a range of options for tops and bottoms.

I didn’t have my eyes or mind open to the other colours available until I had my colours done and discovered the difference wearing colours that complimented and harmonised with my own complexion made. I started to notice the positive and negative impact that the colours I wore near my face had on my appearance.

When I wore a colour that had similar colour properties as my colour swatch my complexion looked fresher, brighter, more alive and the wrinkles were not as noticeable. The opposite was true when I wore colours that did not compliment my complexion and I was asked “Are you okay?” or told “You look tired.” I discovered that colours have powers and I am glad I did.

All colours have 3 properties relating to

  • Temperature – warm or cool
  • Value – dark to light
  • Intensity – soft, muted to bright

The colour properties of black are:-

  • COOL undertone,
  • DARK & DEEP value
  • BRIGHT & CLEAR intensity

If your personal colouring is not cool, dark and bright then black is not going to enhance your look.

As we age our colouring becomes lighter, softer and greyed down so colours that might have looked great on us when we were younger may not be as enhancing.

My colour properties are COOL, MEDIUM and SOFT and I have noticed that wearing a  charcoal colour is much more flattering than black. I am now on the lookout for charcoal and yes it is out there.


Black is a neutral colour. This is a colour that is not on the colour wheel. Neutral colours are the building blocks of a working wardrobe as they provide the opportunity to coordinate with many other colours.

What neutrals do you have in your wardrobe? Other neutrals include taupe, charcoal, gun metals, brown, caramel, beige, khaki, navy. Remember that neutrals come in both cool and warm undertones.

My wardrobe used to only have black and denim as my neutrals. By becoming aware of the other neutrals available I have created a more varied, interesting and valuable working wardrobe. The neutrals in my wardrobe now include navy (which I thought I would never wear), charcoal and grey.


Colour can evoke different responses and feelings. It can effect us emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. Black is a colour associated with strength, power, authority and can communicate formality, sophistication, mystery as well as evil, fear, rebellion and sadness.

Over the last year I started to notice my feelings when I wore black. I noticed that sometimes I felt quite heavy and not as full of life when I was wearing black especially in day time social situations and during the summer. I now add colour with necklaces, earrings, scarves and shoes and this lifts my mood.

Take notice of how you feel when wearing black.


There are many ways you can make black work for you if it is not the best colour to wear near your face. This post How to Wear Black outlines different ways to wear black so that it is more enhancing and flattering.

Play and experiment with your clothing to ensure you enjoy wearing what is in your wardrobe.


To Colour or not to Colour?


To Colour or not to Colour?
 To colour or not to colour their hair is the question many women ask. There are many reasons why we might colour our hair. Here are a few:-
  • think natural colouring is not vibrant enough
  •  to do something different for a change
  • make a statement
  • believe it makes us look younger
  • going to the hairdressers makes us feel great and  uplifted
  • to be trendy
  • feel natural colour is dull and boring

Whatever the reason for colouring your hair it is personal. I started colouring my naturally blonde hair in my late twenties and cannot remember why. Over the many years since then it has been many colours from red to black including teal & purple highlights.

The one thing I realise now when I look at photos is that some colours where far more flattering than others. There is one thing I am certain of that is having a hairdresser who understands the importance of choosing the right hair colour that compliments your complexion and personality.

For your hair colour to suit you it needs to:-

  • enhance your complexion,
  • skin tone, 
  • eye colour,
  • be in harmony with your natural hair colouring – warm or cool, light or dark, soft or muted.

    If your colour direction (undertone) is cool you will look your best in ash, violet & blue hues, while golden, red and orange hues work best if your colour direction (undertone) is warm.

Five months ago I decided to stop colouring my hair and discover what my natural colour was. At the time I wanted to do something different with my hair and found it difficult to decide on a new colour.  A  little voice inside my head said, “why not go natural”  I did. I had full support and enthusiasm from my hairdresser for this adventure.

The result was one that I am very happy with. Yes, my hair is starting to go grey but it does not make me feel or look older. In fact I am truly amazed at how much I love it and how flattering it is. I have received many comments on how well I look even on the days when I feel drained & tired. I have never been one to follow trends but it would appear from this link  that being grey is on trend for the moment. What do you think?

What ever you choose to do with your hair make sure the colour & style is flattering and reflects the person you want to be.

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