What happened to my colour? 100



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At some time I’m sure many of us have had our colours “done”.

I remember having a consultation, such a serious word for such a vanity. I found I am one of the seasons, can’t remember which one, and that I looked better in winter white than I did in black. It wasn’t quite the lightbulb moment, I had anticipated.

I had a very expensive, black, designer, skirt suit in wool crepe (bought very inexpensively I might add), which I adored. Sorry to say, every time I wore it, people asked “Do you feel okay?” or “Did you have a late night?”

On the other hand, I had a white skirt suit, bought from a cheapie store and every time I wore it, irrespective of how I felt, people told me how good I looked.

Even for this “not quite a fashionista” the point was clear, black makes me look sick and white makes me look good. Didn’t cost me a cent to learn that lesson.

I remember my mother bemoaning the fact that at some point she realised black was no longer her “go to” colour. A classic dresser, Mum relied on a black crepe for summer/wool crepe for winter, ¾ sleeve, boat necked, tailored dress as her dawn to dusk go anywhere costume. Her mantra was that with a change of jewellery and leather accessories, she was always well dressed.

But somewhere in her 40s, she no longer looked good in black and started to wear, mainly, pastels. I couldn’t quite see her problem until it happened to me. These days, I rarely wear black in broad daylight unless it is with a bright colour near my face or in the design. At night, when I can apply the makeup with a trowel, I can get away with my one black evening outfit.

But then last week, preparing for a night out, I went to my wardrobe and took out my much loved, much worn, lilac outfit, dressed and I was on my way. I caught sight of myself in a store window and… yuk! Who was that old lady wearing my clothes? When did lilac start to make me look old, instead of elegant?

I wear purple and people comment that it suits me (and more importantly I feel good wearing it), so as lilac is just a shade of purple, why the difference just because of a little more of whatever turns lilac purple? Don’t know, but I can tell you, that outfit is about to leave home!

Ageing doesn’t faze me; I think it a privilege, but I don’t need any help from an uncomplimentary colour. I don’t need a visit to a colour consultant enlighten me, I just need to look in a mirror, wearing my honest glasses, not the rose coloured ones. I won’t be sending it to the charity shop, because I love the fabric and the style, but I’ll dye it, hopefully into a suitable shade of purple! Living in Brisbane, scarves/capes with a summer outfit are not an option, so hopefully the dye pot will do the trick.

As we age our hair colour changes and so does our skin tone. There is plenty we can do about that (yes you too, gentlemen) but nonetheless, the changes do occur. I suppose it is to be expected that what we wear will change to tone with our new colouring.

So over to you Starts at Sixty community members, have you noticed your ability to wear certain colours has changed? Do you dye something that is still good quality, but no longer what you want to wear? Do you follow a colour palette? 

Karen OBrien Hall

Karen O'Brien-Hall followed many careers in her life and loved each one! From accountancy to the hospitality industry, from managing an employment agency to Executive Assistant to the Chairman of a multi-national, when she retired Karen was in Public Relations. Whatever her career path at the time, Karen is a lifelong volunteer. Married to "the love of my life", John, her second love is community theatre where she enjoys acting and directing. Karen enjoys time in her garden and can always finds time to read, around 8 – 10 books a month. Her reviews appear on Starts at Sixty, Goodreads,The Reading Room and her own page http://www.facebook.com/ReadingReadit

  1. Always have disliked dull, drab, colours. There are only certain people that can wear these certain colours and it’s not this person either

  2. I had a colour chart done 20 years ago, they told me to wear earth colours. Even though I love them, I look like I am ready to be put 6 foot underground now when I wear them. I just stick to mainly pastels and a classic cut. I brighten with acesories

  3. Blue is my standby, and is the only colour that has stayed the same. black only with something bright near my face, but have found I need more brights in my life. Too bad oldies get steered towards pastels.

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