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Colour me Beautiful



In 2014 age has nothing to do with how you dress.  For example jeans and a top can be worn by a woman of any age and still look great - so beware of moving into frump mood as the years pass and learn to dress for your personality instead!


Whatever your size or shape wearing one block of solid colour creates a longer, leaner look, because it stops cutting the body in half with 2 different colours can make it appear shorter.  But you need to be aware where your top finishes, (especially if you’re wearing a sweater with trousers or a skirt) because the eye is drawn to the line where the two meet - which too often is the widest part of the hips!   The solution is to wear either a shorter or a longer top to create a leaner effect.  A solid block of black will create a slim, sombre silhouette but you may need to give it a “lift” with the addition of colour.


Colours are important and help create moods.  But, it’s imperative to recognise that as we age we lose pigment and colour from our skin, our complexion and our hair colour changes too.  Colours which once suited in our youth or even 10 years ago may do nothing for us in maturity.  Wearing a flattering colour next to the skin (particularly pinks and reds) in the form of a scarf or necklace  is a subtle way of putting colour back into an older jaded face without having to use much, if any make-up.


As an amateur artist I use The Colour Wheel (an artist’s aid) to tell me which colours compliment or clash with another.  Ones which sit happily alongside one another are those directly opposite the other across the colour wheel.  You can see this harmony in nature, for example, my favourite flower the pansy illustrates it beautifully - purple compliments yellow.


Clothes can affect our mood, so making an effort to dress up a bit makes me feel good (even if nobody else notices!).  Layering clothes is not only pretty, but practical too, especially in climate changes which are created by air conditioning and central heating. When I put an outfit together and have doubts about the effect, I remember what my Mother taught me “when in doubt leave out” and I try a different combination.


As we mature, many older women wear black to be safe.  Personally I have to feel on top of the world in order to wear it well, and if I’m feeling a bit low wearing an all black outfit can be a big mistake!   For my work in London I find the trick is to add a colourful pashima, brooch or necklace near my face in a colour that really flatters me. When you get it right, a black outfit can look sensational! 


The solution is to experiment with inexpensive colourful accessories, flowers, and textures.  Mix textures and fabrics – such as a strong black leather jacket over a soft black silk dress.  A little splash of colour can lift a black outfit, so being a bit “arty” I enjoy seeing different colours pulling a look together creating unexpected, exciting effects.  Be bold, that colourful scarf or startling piece of jewellery need not be expensive but will give interest to a simple outfit.  A trimming or decoration worn near a pretty face will bring attention up to your assets and disguise the body faults lower down!


Use colour to the same effect, for example if you have big thighs, wear black on the bottom half and keep your brightest colours to draw attention to your top half.  Conversely, a really bright top is not a good idea if you are busty or have a less than flat tummy.  The trick here is to wear that little black dress or a black top teamed with black trousers or skirt for a lengthening, slimming effect.  By wearing a pleasing coloured jacket over will flatter your skin - but at the same time will draw attention away from your tubby tummy (which has been disguised by the black top underneath the jacket!)


I lead a very busy life and organise my clothes by colour.  I have a huge amount of black in my wardrobe - dresses, skirts, trousers and jackets. I would never buy garments in colours just because they are “fashionable” and I only wear colours that suit me, lift my spirits and make me feel happy. I hang all my clothes in colour groups – greens (of course), yellows, reds, purples and that large black section!  This way I easily find garments I want and can accessorise and co-ordinate them.  It avoids panic buying, and the frustration I later feel when I discover I’d already had something similar buried in my wardrobe or drawer for years!   So if you’re stuck in a style rut, start organising your wardrobe, keep clearing out and don’t hoard.  The charity shops are grateful for your cast-offs and you will be helping others less fortunate than yourself.


And finally – look at the shape you’re in! Size matters and should not automatically increase with the increase in years!  So help yourself look good and feel great by keeping active and eating less in order to enjoy life in your mature years.


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