Have you ever seen a beautiful blouse walk into the room and then notice there was a woman wearing it? Or have you admired a perfectly put-together outfit and wondered, “How did she do that??” It often comes down to the art of contrast. I offer you…
A lesson in contrast.
Every woman has a certain amount of contrast between her skin, eyes and hair.
You might have noticed that some ladies “pop” in zebra print while it overpowers others. Or you’ve wondered why a certain floral blouse looks fabulous on your best friend but does nothing for you.
It’s about contrast.
I consider myself a “medium contrast” which is why this outfit works well for me. The orange/blue/white is a medium contrast combination. Paler or darker colors would make me seem unbalanced.
As you can see below, low contrast means that the hair and skin blend into each other. High contrast means there is a sharp different between the skin and hair.
My LIGHT ladies are often low…and my CLEAR ladies are often high.
SOFT, DEEP, WARM and COOL are commonly medium. Most women are, in fact, medium contrast.
How does this extend to what you wear?
It’s important to choose PRINTS that complement your level of contrast. If you have low-contrast coloring, wear a low-contrast print. If you have high-contrast coloring, wear high-contrast prints.
This is a visual of what I mean from my Polyvore account. Notice how the intensity increases.
Here are examples of contrast done correctly.
The blond with fair skin and light eyes (a LIGHT) is wearing a low-contrast print. The SOFT in the middle is wearing a medium-contrast print and it also creates a medium contrast between the print and the solid. Our CLEAR beauty on the right is wearing a high-contrast polka dot, and even high-contrast red lips!
Technically, low-contrast ladies can wear low to medium contrast prints. High-contrast ladies can wear medium to high contrast prints. The medium gals can have fun experimenting.
~~NEW!~~ Contrast for polka dots depending on your Color Code. Notice LIGHT gals should wear a low contrast polka dot in a LIGHT outfit. SOFT gals can wear medium contrast (white with black would also work as long as the proportions were the same). CLEAR can go high contrast with the pieces of the outfit.
This concept also extends to your outfits.
YES, there are low-contrast and high-contrast outfits!
Below are examples of those “put-together women” who are doing contrast correctly. Again, the contrast of their prints…AND how the print contrasts to their solids…coordinate with their coloring. Even the shoes are the right contrast! Amazing, isn’t it?!
Here are more examples of outfits with the correct levels of contrast.
Notice the contrast in each models’ coloring, and how they accessorize.
This is something to keep in mind when you’re shopping or getting pictures done.
Wearing the right level of contrast in your prints and outfits keeps the attention on your beautiful face.
This is another outfit that suits my medium intensity coloring because it has medium contrast. A softer print (or a strong zebra) print just wouldn’t work as well.
I hope you enjoyed this lesson in contrast!
What do you think? Are you wearing prints and outfits that work for your coloring?
Are you ready for more like this??
Read on about scale and proportion.