Thursday, July 24, 2014

Breaking up the BLACK

Anyone who knows me knows how much I despair over how many people wear black. Having just returned from a presentation in Christchurch, I can confirm it’s not just a Wellington & Auckland ‘thing’ it is in fact a NZ thing. It is also a ‘winter’ thing and for me, a depressing ‘thing’. Harsh, I know, but my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, I know why people are wearing black. Or at least I know at LEAST half a dozen excuses why people do. Let me see if I can cover all the bases. There is LOTS of it in the shops – true. It goes with everything – not true. It’s safe, true. I don’t want to stand out – personal preference. Its slimming – not always true. It’s corporate, true but there are many other better corporate colours as well. Everyone else is wearing it – true. I don’t know what other colours suit me – I understand that scary concept. Its classic – well, maybe in NZ!

Ok, so if you have ticked one, two or all of the above reasons and you are not to be swayed out of wearing black, at least do one thing for me. Wear SOME colour to lift the effects of black on skin that it does suit (which by the way is making people look older and tired). Those that do suit black, great, go for it. But know that compliments will be few and far between if you also have a whole wardrobe of it.

My best tip, is to find a really nice sleeveless vest or top with which you can wear a coloured top or shirt underneath. This at least gives a pop of colour nearer your face and down your arms, whilst still encasing your body in black to achieve any slimming capabilities you may be searching for.

Accessories! They are your best friend with black. A gorgeous coloured scarf or necklace in a beautiful colour will gain you many things. A lift and lots of compliments being the main two. It also says to people ‘hey, I know I’m wearing boring old black but at least I’m adding something a little more interesting.’

How about instead of wearing a black dress with a black cardigan or blazer, you make that outer layer colourful? That way again, the body is encased but the arms and side have great, beneficial colour. I know its winter and people feel more inclined to wear black during this dark and cold time. To me this seems crazy. What I believe we need is much more colour during the bleak season.

Another request from me. I want you to notice people who DO wear colour during winter. I want you to smile at them and tell them they look nice. Then once you have added a splash of colour to your black wardrobe, the same will happen for you. Let’s pay compliments forward when people are brave enough to step out of their comfort zone and try a bit of colour.

P.S. If you have a coloured winter coat, then you already get extra points from me!

Stay warm, stay colourful,!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Are you hiding out in your Winter clothes?

Many people say they find Winter dressing much easier. Much easier to hide certain body parts they giggle. Whenever I hear the word 'hide' I have to grimace. The reason is that 9/10 times, the body part you are trying to hide is actually made to look much bigger. The right styles for your body shape is the way to go if you want to successfully disguise certain areas.

So other than inappropriate volume, usually in areas that don't need that volume, what other ways to people 'hide' during Winter? They hide with a lack of colour. I can't tell you the number of times someone says to me "oh my summer wardrobe is full of colour, but I only wear black and grey in Winter."

Call me crazy, but don't you think Winter is the perfect time to inject some colour when it's cold, wet and dark outside? I realise some people do seem to associate colour with sun and happiness and Winter with dreary darkness, but I'm here to try and change that. Colour during the colder months makes us look better. It perks up other people too! I am ALWAYS going on about people needing to buy a coloured Winter coat and sure enough, the people that do report back to me to say people smile at them in the street.

You suit the colours you suit rain or shine. If you need a tan to wear a colour, this probably means that colour isn't right for you. Find one that you don't feel washed out in or need to do extra's with (need to add a scarf, more lippy etc.) There are plenty of your own colours to choose from.

Another way people try to hide in their Winter clothing is by adding bulky knits in the hope that with the bulk, they will get superior warmth. Nowadays with all the fine merino around, you can layer for both superb warmth and looks. There really isn't any need for big bulky sweaters if you don't suit or like them.

Don't get me wrong, texture is a wonderful thing and in full abundance this season. Velvet, lace, wool, leather or fur, choose your texture and enjoy it. There has to be other major benefits to Winter other than crockpots and roaring fires. For fashion this season, it is about wearing and enjoying textures but also making sure they suit your shape.

Stay warm, stay colourful, don't hide. Enjoy the benefits of Winter clothing and swim against the stream of dull and bulky clothing. You can do it and trust me when the compliments come streaming in you with be rather pleased you did. !