Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A New You....a pop of colour....

I've been a fan of the monochromatic look for many years now.
That's a kind way of saying I always wear black and grey!
Over the last 8 months though, I've been slowly replacing many black items in my wardrobe, with navy blue ones. I've been pleasantly surprised at how navy blue can still be a neutral, and be much softer on the complexion that flat black or grey is.
I've also realised that navy blue pairs well with most other colours, especially bright ones, thus rendering it another just as versatile as black. I'm happy to say, that these days, black is NOT my wardrobe staple, and that navy and brights are finding their way into my repertoire with pleasing regularity.
Now this was daunting at first. Abandon my basic black? Never! But as my confidence has grown, and the compliments have proven, there's something to this whole Navy and Brights idea.
I decided to be a little methodical in my approach however, rather than just going at it like a bull at a gate.
Here's a great colour wheel I found online, that not only shows the traditional basic colours, but also variations in tone and shade of those colours:
As with colour schemes in décor, it can be useful to use a colour directly opposite the one you are styling, remembering to keep the depth of colour similar. So pastel with pastel; vivid or bright with vivid or bright. Looking at the circles on this colour wheel, your strategy would be to try to choose shades of colours from the same circle. Thus, not a vivid green with a pastel lemon, and not a navy blue with a pastel pink.
That said, if you listen to the Seasonal colour experts, they have a different opinion again, so maybe be guided by your own preferences. I'm not trying to confuse you by saying that. I'm just trying to give you options. I've never been entirely convinced on the Season thing. I've been classified as a Spring, a Cool Winter and a Bright Summer at different times, so I don't have a great deal of faith in that particular! 
Personally, I've found that the colour wheel, and the idea of using an opposite colour for contrast, or colour choices in a triangle from any point, is  a great strategy for stretching my wardrobe ideas.
My recent purchase of an orange tailored jacket, has seen me pair it with a turquoise clutch, seen above...
...this tropical print silk scarf, with vivid pink, orange and turquoise print, and lime green and vivid pink trim...
...and this Pucci scarf, a graphic profusion of lime, turquoise and fuschia pink...
I used to be a fan of pastel scarves, especially that pale peach colour, often referred to as Ballet Pink. Here I am in my Basic Black cardi and jacket, with a Ballet Pink silk chiffon scarf. I still like this look, but can see the difference a bright pop of colour makes now.
I have learned that vivid colours are better next to my face, and I now have a growing collection of crazy bright scarves and accessories, that are far more flattering and, dare I say, youthful.
If like me, you're closer to 60 than 30, it may interest you to know that one of the best ways to look ten years younger, is to simply wear a bright colour. Not necessarily all over, but in a scarf, a solid coloured jacket paired with an otherwise neutral outfit, a cute clutch or bag, or a bright lipstick.
When doing this, I've learned to keep everything else simple. Especially for we cute and cuddly, Petite Plus Size Apple shape ladies, it's best to keep the jacket free of unnecessary embellishments, keep the rest of the outfit in a single tone and a solid colour, do not go over the top with jewellery, and minimise ruffles and frills and other frou-frou. This achieves the most streamlined, slender, flattering and youthful silhouette possible. You've heard the expression 'don't gild the lily'? That's what we're trying to achieve. WE want to shine in our outfits. We, as short and cuddly types, don't want the outfit to overwhelm us.
So now if I wear Navy Blue, I know that bright orange is a flattering contrast on me, rather than the usual Nautical style of red or white, and it's certainly a softer look than black. Looking at the colour wheel, that's actually an obvious choice (providing it flatters your colouring), and I prefer it, as red on it's own, has never really been kind to my colouring. The orange however, adds a pop of colour and harmonises with my gold skin undertones. As with the difference between wearing black or navy, so it seems the subtle difference of wearing orange instead of red, is a good decision for me.
This orange jacket was not expensive, having been purchased at the end of season sales. But I am so enamoured with it, that I am now on the lookout for other brightly coloured jackets, as we move into Summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
What do you think? Do you like bright colours? What about navy VS black? Tell me all...


  1. I love brights up near my face. I can look half asleep if I don't do this. I have a collection of lovely scarves and pashminas that I use for this. My two favourite colours are red and green. Looking at your colour wheel they are the opposites so they do compliment each other. My two favourite scarves have either of these colours as the dominant with the other as the subordinate. I think scarves are a great way to dress up an ordinary outfit.
    That shade of orange is lovely on you Miss Mimi. You are looking very smart and pulled together.

    1. Jane, I like your comment that you look half asleep if you don't wear colour. I think this can be the case for a lot of us. I see now that I've just been in a bit of a rut, and black is easy. I'm remedying that now. Scarves are great, aren't they. Such an easy and inexpensive way to update your wardrobe. Thankyou for your lovely comment. Love, Mimi xxx

  2. I love the orange and navy on you Mimi and the other pops of colour ! I too have been called a Spring with a nod to Autumn but ive tended to wear a lot of winter colours with black or all black for evening wear .
    And in the last few years worn softer versions of the many colours I like . Am definitely mood affected by colour .
    I agree with you navy is far kinder to our skin colour at our ages and I have slowly been adding navy .
    Good luck finding your next colourful jacket , I looked forward to seeing it on you here :-)
    With love, Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, I'm glad I'm not the only one confused by the Season colour idea. I agree that our mood can be affected by the colours we wear too. Well said! Mimi xxx

  3. I too have been a bit lost on what colours suit me now that I am 57 and have greying hair. Recently I had a session with a style consultant who showed me that navy is a much better neutral for me also. She also recommended brights as well as updating my glasses. I think it is very important to reassess just like you are doing this year. The benefits are enormous. I look forward to continuing to follow your journey. Best wishes.

    1. Yes I am 57 and silver as well. I hear you on the changes necessary! It's good to be aware of what works now, as opposed to what used to work. That in itself is valuable. Thankyou for your lovely comment. Mimi xxx

  4. Dear Mimi, I am loving these posts of yours. It really makes me rethink my wardrobe, lots of black and grey. I do have scarves and I do like the pretty soft pinks and mauves. I recently picked up a soft mauve and grey scarf, there's that grey again, lol.
    I need to see if I can find some more things in navy as it's a fav of mine. I am a winter as far as colors go, jewel colors mostly.
    Thank you again and have a great day!

    1. Dear Laurie, that's such a lovely thing to say. I don't pretend to be anything other than someone who is learning as we go along, so I'm flattered that I've helped anyone. I know what you mean on the grey. Once you start down that neutrals path, it's hard to pick up colour again. It's just so easy. Everything goes with everything else (and isn't that supposed to be a wardrobe goal?), and you don't really feel the need to change. All I can say is, colour makes me look healthy and glowy, and that's a good enough reason for! I bet if you wear grey, you'll look fabulous in navy. Good luck. Love, Mimi xxx

  5. Dear Mimi,
    The bright orange jacket compliments you very well. Thank you for giving me the freedom to not be boxed in by a season lol. I have tried and tried to figure out what season I am and I just can't do it! My skin is very...we'll say fair haha. Black looks awful on me, white isn't good either, and brights have the same effect- they all make me look like a ghost. Navy is my go-to color. I have learned to stick to Annabel's advice. That is, try to match your clothes and accessories to your hair and eye color. For me, that means medium brown and navy blue are my neutrals. I have grey in my eyes so that looks good too. The rest is more of an ongoing experiment ;) Because of your style posts, though, I have been paying more attention to fit, color, and quality. I'd rather have one really nice article of clothing that looks great on me than ten that are just "ok" that I bought because they were inexpensive. On my list next is a winter coat.
    Thank you for your helpful tips, Mimi!
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Dear you've felt the pressure of being categorised by Season too? Look, I know that works for some people, but for me, knowing my SHAPE has been far more life changing. Going by your skin tone, I'd say navy is a great neutral for you, and I love Annabels advice on hair and eye colour as well. I've just found that now that my hair is silver, that advice probably relates (for me anyway) to accessories. I know that I look best in silver accessories over gold or pewter for sure. Eyes, yes, if I go with a clear green, not a sage or khaki. As for it all being an ongoing experiment, well, it's only by experimenting that we hit our stride eventually, right? I love your thinking on having one good quality item over ten so-so ones bought on sale. It's taken me years to learn that lesson. Good on you Kelsey! I hope you are well and all is happy there. Have fun shopping for your Winter coat! Love, Mimi xxx

  6. Mimi, I love this color on you! I've always been one to go for the bold, but now I find myself adding a bit more subtle colors to my wardrobe.


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx