The Truth About Black
by Shari Braendel, author of Good Girls Don’ t Have to Dress Bad
Like most teenage boys, my son Luke isn’t that into fashion. His outfit of choice is almost always a pair of athletic shorts and a T-shirt. That is as fashion forward as he gets. The one thing the kid knows, however, is color. He’s got this uncanny knack for knowing exactly what color looks good or not so good on someone (must get it from his mother). My son also doesn’t mind giving his opinion on “color analysis,” even if he isn’t asked for his thoughts.
Luke was the quarterback for his middle school football team. I remember watching one of his games and getting wrapped up in the moment, when out of nowhere two cheerleaders bounced up the bleachers towards me. Their faces were flushed with emotion and they looked exasperated. “Mrs. Braendel,” they chorused, “Luke told us we don’t look good in pink! Is that true?”
Oh boy! The funny thing was, the girls were genuinely concerned. They desperately wanted to know if Luke was right or not, but more importantly they wanted to know if they should never again wear pink. As it turned out, my son was right. Both girls had a very warm coloring in their complexion and light reddish hair, so pink was a no-go. After I shared this with them, they were shocked. With horrified looks of, “Oh my gosh! We love pink and we’ll never be able to wear it again!” they bounced down the bleachers and onto the sidelines.
Does color matter that much? It sure does. It matters as much as determining and dressing for your body type. As a matter of fact, knowing your colors is winning half the battle of dressing to look your best. The natural color of our complexion, hair, and eyes determines whether particular colors make us look radiant or washed out, youthful or aged, energized or exhausted.
Now, color can be a tricky thing. Many of us have general misconceptions about what looks good and what doesn’t. The biggest misunderstanding most women have is that black is a universal color. It should look great on everyone, right? After all, the dark hue is slimming, and all the hip people who work in trendy stores wear black all the time. It’s cool. It’s classic. So isn’t it true that everyone should have, for instance, a basic black dress and slacks? Well, no.
There’s more to life than black. Try to tell sales clerks that when their store is full of black clothes, and I promise you they’ll protest that statement. But friend, you must trust me on this. Black doesn’t flatter many women and, in fact, can help you look older than you are. Who needs help in that area? I certainly don’t!
It’s time for you to learn a new way of looking at color, as well as a new way of looking at you. And for some of you, by the time you finish reading this, it might even be time for you to toss out or donate the millions of black pants and shirts you own.
Determining which colors look best (or worst) on you depends on your dominant color characteristics. This starts with your hair color. Are you a natural blonde, a vibrant redhead, or a medium brunette? Perhaps you have jet black, silver, or white hair.
But it doesn’t stop there. We must then move to the shade of your eyes. Are they light or vibrant blue? Are they green or hazel? Are they deep brown or medium brown? Maybe yours are a greenish-blue.
We’re still not finished. We finally move on to your skin tone. Are you fair skinned? A deep mocha? Do you tan or sunburn easily? Do you have more of a medium or a dark complexion?
Because I can’t physically be with you, we have created a program on my website to help you figure out your dominant color characteristics. Please visit www.ColorEnalysis.com and follow the prompts to determining the category that best suits you. This tool will lead you through a series of questions to get you to the proper category for your particular coloring. Once you have determined this, you can then understand the perfect colors for you and learn how these hues will help you to look your very best.
Shari Braendel is a sought-after speaker for Christian women’s retreats, conferences, and youth events all over the nation. A fabulous, fun, and refreshing fashionista, she regularly hosts workshops for women to help them appreciate their beauty, discover their natural assets, and learn what to wear so they can look and feel their best.