Ask the Bean: Working Color into Your Clothing

March 20, 2010 • Magazine

Ask the Bean: Working Color into Your Clothing

Ask the Bean: Working Color into Your Clothing

Mon, 2000-03-20 00:00

Dear Bean:

I have a very simple wardrobe, however many of my friends say that it’s straight up boring. I mainly wear all black – every once in a while I may wear a white t-shirt with my black slacks. I’m starting to see their point and I’d like to start incorporating color into my outfits, but I have no idea where to start. Any ideas?

Black & Boring

Dear B&B,

You are absolutely correct – black is simple, slimming, and almost always attractive and assuredly always easy. However your friends are right – used too often, it can definitely be viewed as boring. And boring you are not! Bravo to you in wanting to bring some color into your wardrobe – as it is spring, you couldn’t have picked a more appropriate season to do so!

First off, if your wardrobe is almost all black with a white shirt thrown in here or there, you need to start with some basics. Incorporate some colorful accessories such as handbags, necklaces and scarves (albeit not all at once!) to your outfits to get used to some pop of color. Then look for solid-colored clothing items that will match with black so you don’t disregard your existing wardrobe. Try rose- and blue-based colors as those go with every skin tone and aren’t as hard to work with versus yellows and greens.

Once you have a few basic tops and dresses picked out, mix in some pattern. Since you already are comfortable with black, start with a safe black print with either a cream background or a neutral lighter tone. For example, with a black and white pattern skirt, you can add your colored top to the ensemble for a very fashion-forward look. Venture into the colored prints starting with tops and dresses as then you can pair them with your solid-toned bottoms and cardigans.

End with outerwear, including cardigans and sweaters. You have your blacks and your colored basics; now take your other blacks and throw on a color print cardigan. Or take a brown solid skirt, neutral pink t-shirt and wrap it all up with a Kelly green cropped cardigan. You now have a very fashionable and quite colorful ensemble!

As you are new to the color wheel, I’d suggest starting with these simple steps versus jumping right into the adventure of mixing patterns. Once you become comfortable incorporating color into your wardrobe regularly, then start playing “dress up” with different prints and colors to see what you can make out of it. Before you know it, your friends won’t call you boring at all – rather they’ll start calling you for wardrobe advice!

1. ISSA Silk Jersey Twist Dress $495
2. Donna Ricco Split Front Dress $118
3. The Limited Black Reign Skirt $59.50
4. The Limited Rosette Button-Front Shirt $44.50
5. 3.1 Phillip Lim Printed Silk Chiffon Blouse $395
6. Waterfloral Pastiche Cardigan $88
7. Featherweight Cashmere Rolled-Sleeve Cardigan $148

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